OUR HISTORY.


IntelliSyn was founded by Jeffrey Albert in 2011 to bring together outstanding pharma researchers in the Montreal area following the closure of major sites by AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Merck Frosst. 

Within these companies, our team members worked with scientific CROs from all across the world and came to understand the frequent challenges and frustrations with these CROs.  IntelliSyn was formed to bring highly efficient capabilities and experienced personnel to rapidly advance client’s projects on a reliable, secure, and economical basis.


  • Connector.

    April 2014

    IntelliSyn successfully reaches its milestone with Epigenetix and partners its BRD4 inhibitor project with the NeoMed Institute to advance to clinical trials.

  • Connector.

    July 2013

    IntelliSyn expands to new facilities at the NeoMed Institute the Montreal Technopark.  It is a first-tier R&D facility that has been specifically designed for early R&D work.

  • Connector.

    April 2013

    IntelliSyn receives NSERC grant in collaboration with Prof. N. Moitessier of McGill University to advance “Novel molecular scaffolds as epigenetic-directed anti-cancer drug candidates”.

  • Connector.

    January 2013

    IntelliSyn is named as a member of Pharmaqam; a consortium of 50 researchers from 17 different institutions with common interests in biopharmaceutical research. The center focuses on the molecular aspects of biopharmaceutical research and brings together complementary, cutting-edge research essential for efficient drug discovery.  http://www.pharmaqam.uqam.ca/

  • Connector.

    August 2012

    IntelliSyn is selected as the exclusive Med Chem partner for Epigenetix, a US-based biotechnology group focusing on novel epigenetic mechanisms for cancer and other indications. IntelliSyn provides full medicinal chemistry design, synthesis, and DMPK support.

  • Connector.

    June 2012

    IntelliSyn is founded at the Biotech Incubator at the University of Quebec in downtown Montreal.

OUR TEAM.


Jeffrey Albert, Ph.D. CEO and Director of Chemistry

Jeff is IntelliSyn’s Founder and Director.  Over 20 years’ experience in Medicinal Chemistry at AstraZeneca at the US and in Canada.  He served as Section Head in the Lead Discovery Department and as Project Leader in the Neuroscience Department.  His teams have successfully delivered 4 drugs into clinical development, two of which are currently in Ph-3.  He has authored or co-authored >50 publications, >45 patents, 5 book chapters, and one book.

Malken Bayrakdarian, Ph.D. Associate Director of Chemistry

Malken has over 15 years of experience in drug discovery within large pharma and contract organization and has contributed to the discovery of several clinical drug candidates into development for CNS and pain indications.  In his role as Project Chemistry Leader at AstraZeneca, he led chemistry activities ranging from target discovery through Phase II clinical development. Over the years, he has developed extensive experience in a research-driven organization, been involved in the evaluation of new biological targets, and managed collaborations with chemistry CROs across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Malken Bayrakdarian, Ph.D. Associate Director of Chemistry

Malken has over 15 years of experience in drug discovery within large pharma and contract organization and has contributed to the discovery of several clinical drug candidates into development for CNS and pain indications.  In his role as Project Chemistry Leader at AstraZeneca, he led chemistry activities ranging from target discovery through Phase II clinical development. Over the years, he has developed extensive experience in a research-driven organization, been involved in the evaluation of new biological targets, and managed collaborations with chemistry CROs across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Shawn Johnstone, Ph.D. Associate Director of Chemistry

Shawn has 18 years’ experience in major pharma.  Formerly, he was at AstraZeneca and served as Project Lead for multiple projects across CNS disease and pain disorders, resulting in 3 drugs entering clinical trials.  He has specialized drug development experience in GPCR and ion channel targets, particularly involving NAMs, PAMs, and biased signaling agents.  He holds a PhD in synthetic chemistry from University of Montreal and an MSc in organometallic chemistry from University of Toronto.

Bill Brown, Ph.D.; CSO

Bill has more than 26 years of drug discovery experience.  He  started his career at BioChem Pharma where he spent 6 years working in the field of antivirals and analgesia.  This was followed by 16 years at Astra/AstraZeneca where he was section head in medicinal chemistry and discovery project leader where he delivered seven compounds into development for CNS and pain indications.  Upon closure of the Montreal AstraZeneca site Bill was involved in starting the NeoMed Institute where he held the position of project director and led three programs, one in analgesia that is currently in Phase II, and two other projects to candidate selection stage in oncology and antiviral therapeutic areas.  Bill has co-authored >35 publications and > 35 patents.

Bill Brown, Ph.D.; CSO

Bill has more than 26 years of drug discovery experience.  He  started his career at BioChem Pharma where he spent 6 years working in the field of antivirals and analgesia.  This was followed by 16 years at Astra/AstraZeneca where he was section head in medicinal chemistry and discovery project leader where he delivered seven compounds into development for CNS and pain indications.  Upon closure of the Montreal AstraZeneca site Bill was involved in starting the NeoMed Institute where he held the position of project director and led three programs, one in analgesia that is currently in Phase II, and two other projects to candidate selection stage in oncology and antiviral therapeutic areas.  Bill has co-authored >35 publications and > 35 patents.

Zuomei Li, Ph.D.; Senior Advisor of Screening and in Vivo Biology

Zuomei is Founder of Amplia PharmaTek Inc.  She has over 18 years’ of pharma experience in Biology and Pharmacology.  Formerly, she served as Executive Director of Biology of MethylGene (now Mirati Pharmaceuticals Inc.) where she directed multiple projects in Oncology and CNS.  Her teams have successfully delivered 2 drugs into clinical development, now both in Phase II.  She has authored or co-authored >35 publications, >5 patents.  In 2009, Zuomei founded Amplia PharmaTek; this group specializes in providing expert scientific support for in vitro screening and in vivo biology to major pharma and biotech.

MICHAEL COVENS, CFO

Michael has over 35 years of experience as a financial executive, key member of the senior management team and partner in a midsized accounting firm.  He is a Chartered Accountant (CPA, CA) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University and a Diploma in Public Accountancy from McGill University.

Michael has over 14 years of experience as a senior executive and CFO for a large private specialty fashion retailer with locations throughout Canada. His operational responsibilities beyond accounting and finance included inventory management, information technology, human resources, loss prevention, lease negotiation, and store construction.

MICHAEL COVENS, CFO

Michael has over 35 years of experience as a financial executive, key member of the senior management team and partner in a midsized accounting firm.  He is a Chartered Accountant (CPA, CA) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University and a Diploma in Public Accountancy from McGill University.

Michael has over 14 years of experience as a senior executive and CFO for a large private specialty fashion retailer with locations throughout Canada. His operational responsibilities beyond accounting and finance included inventory management, information technology, human resources, loss prevention, lease negotiation, and store construction.

OUR SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD.


MATT MARX, Scientific Advisory Board, iNTELLIsYN r&d

Matt Marx  has over two decades of post-Ph.D. experience in chemistry and drug discovery. Currently Senior Director and Head, Drug Discovery at Mirati Therapeutics, he is responsible for the creation and progression of small molecules to advance the Mirati research portfolio.  Prior to Mirati, Matt was Senior Director at Takeda California, where he led the company’s medicinal chemistry efforts across oncology, immunology and metabolic diseases and was a member of the site senior leadership team and the global oncology research leadership team.  Matt began his industry career in the oncology research group at Pfizer, where he worked in roles of escalating responsibility in the Groton, CT, site, eventually leading the oncology chemistry group there.  As a project member, team leader or department head, Matt has been responsible for the nomination of nearly 20 small-molecule development candidates, resulting in 9 INDs. 

jOE vACCA, Scientific Advisory Board, iNTELLIsYN r&d

Joe Vacca earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from SUNY Buffalo before starting at Merck, where he made many contributions in positions of increasing responsibility during his 30 year career.  Joe’s work on HIV-1 protease inhibitors led to the discovery of Crixivan® and he played a key role in the discovery of the HIV integrase inhibitor Isentress® as well as the development of both Vanihep® and Zepatier® for hepatitis C. He recently served as SVP of Early Partnerships at Wuxi Apptec, and currently consults with both biotech and pharma clients.  Joe is the author of more than 100 publications and patents and is the recipient of many awards, including a Merck Directors’ Award, PhRMA Discoverers Award, ACS Award for Creative Invention, and Merck Presidential Fellow.  He was named to the ACS Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame and was named a “Hero of Chemistry” for his role in the discovery of Isentress®.

jOE vACCA, Scientific Advisory Board, iNTELLIsYN r&d

Joe Vacca earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from SUNY Buffalo before starting at Merck, where he made many contributions in positions of increasing responsibility during his 30 year career.  Joe’s work on HIV-1 protease inhibitors led to the discovery of Crixivan® and he played a key role in the discovery of the HIV integrase inhibitor Isentress® as well as the development of both Vanihep® and Zepatier® for hepatitis C. He recently served as SVP of Early Partnerships at Wuxi Apptec, and currently consults with both biotech and pharma clients.  Joe is the author of more than 100 publications and patents and is the recipient of many awards, including a Merck Directors’ Award, PhRMA Discoverers Award, ACS Award for Creative Invention, and Merck Presidential Fellow.  He was named to the ACS Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame and was named a “Hero of Chemistry” for his role in the discovery of Isentress®.

JOHN DIXON, Scientific Advisory Board, iNTELLIsYN r&d

John Dixon has 36 years experience in Pharmaceutical Research & Development across several therapeutic areas. He was Head of Medicinal Chemistry for 20 years at Fisons, Vice President of Pre Clinical R&D at Astra Charnwood for 4 years and Vice President of Drug Discovery at AstraZeneca Charnwood for 9 years. As VP of AstraZeneca Charnwood he delivered 35 candidate drugs, most recently in the respiratory area. Currently several Charnwood compounds are in Phase II and Phase III development. Brilinta/Brilique (ticagrelor), a potential blockbuster for thrombotic disorders, achieved marketing approval in Europe and final FDA approval on 20 July 2011. A second drug Cangrelor/ Kengrexal achieved both European and FDA marketing approval in 2015.

EXPERIENCE
YOUR CAN TRUST

IntelliSyn delivers excellence, innovation, and efficiency.

More than 75% of our scientists have Ph.D. degrees and post-doctoral work at leading Universities in the US, Canada, or Europe. Our lead scientists have 15-25 years of experience within major pharma, including AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Merck.

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