Predictive Oncology Completes AI-driven Study of Ovarian Cancer with UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital
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Predictive Oncology invited to present groundbreaking approach to drug discovery at the 2023 BIO International Convention
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Predictive Oncology Appoints Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr. to its Newly Formed Business Advisory Board
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Predictive Oncology Appoints Biopharmaceutical Finance Veteran Mr. Andrew Einhorn to its Business Advisory Board
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Predictive Oncology Announces Relocation of Corporate Headquarters to Pittsburgh
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Executive summary

With the increase in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in pharmaceutical drug development, the race is on to develop life-saving drugs faster and more cost-efficiently. Companies in this space purport to help expedite time to market, but depending on cancer types, processes and available tumor samples, it’s rarely an easy solve. 

Predictive Oncology’s Proof of Concept (PoC) Study reveals a more powerful and reliable tool that provides a competitive edge to oncology drug developers. The study tested the PEDAL platform’s ability to make drug response predictions. PEDAL, from Predictive Oncology (POAI), is a unique combination of AI technology, drug response data and a biobank of over 150,000 tumor samples for 137 tumor types.

 The current early drug discovery process involves testing drug candidates against immortalized cell-lines and mice models with single-patient tumor xenografts. In this PoC, Predictive Oncology performed hands-on testing of 175 FDA-approved drugs using 130 ovarian tumor samples. PEDAL’s machine learning model based its drug-response predictions on the results from 720 hands on experiments and made an additional 4,600 drug/tumor type predictions—all with an accuracy rate of 92% and in only 11 weeks. 

These results have strong implications not only for the new drug discovery process, but also in terms of identifying opportunities for drug repurposing. This PoC demonstrates that PEDAL is an efficient and cost-effective tool to expand an indication for an existing or abandoned drug using real tumor samples—not immortalized cell lines.

Study highlights

  • The PEDAL platform assessed 175 existing, FDA-approved oncology drugs against 130 ovarian tumor samples.
  • Researchers ran PEDAL’s AI-driven experimentation engine to iteratively improve the predictive model until results stabilized from round to round. 
  • The results from the PoC were subsequently validated. The validation work shows that PEDAL can predict whether or not a compound would be a hit for a given tumor sample with 92% accuracy.

  • PEDAL completed actual lab experiments for only 3.16% of the experimental space and made high-confidence predictions for an additional 20.47% of all possible combinations.
  • A number of potentially useful predictions were made regarding specific drug classes and their expected effectiveness across different patient tumors.
  • This PoC demonstrates the power of PEDAL to make higher-confidence predictions, so researchers can select the best drug/tumor type combinations to increase their probability of technical success

Objective and background

The power of PEDAL (which stands for Patient-centric Discovery by Active Learning) comes from a unique combination of three exclusive assets:

  • The world’s largest proprietary biobank of tumor samples—150,000+ clinical cases covering 137 different tumor types (plus associated assay capabilities). 
  • A supplementary knowledge base—historical drug response, biomarker, tissue imaging, patient characteristics and additional public data sets.
  • Advanced AI machine-learning platform CORE™ (Computational Research Engine), developed by top researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and licensed exclusively to POAI; CORE takes a polypharmacological/pharmacogenomic approach to active machine learning, constructing models of all possible combinations of patient-specific drug response and using these models to efficiently drive rounds of wet-lab drug-response testing in an
    iterative manner.
Objective
Demonstrate that the PEDAL system is a highly accurate, efficient and powerful tool with which to make high-confidence drug-tumor pairing predictions.
Methodology

The PEDAL proof of concept study was carried out in an experimental space of 175 FDA-approved drugs and 130 primary samples from ovarian tumors. The study consisted of two phases, the first of which demonstrates that PEDAL’s predictive model efficiently reveals drug-response patterns that provide insight into the treatment of ovarian cancers. The second phase focused on the wet-lab validation of the
accuracy of the predictions.

The study leveraged historical drug response data, biomarker data and general tumor histopathology categories of the tumor samples, and focused on learning which drugs effectively inhibit tumor cell growth.

Part 1: AI-driven experimentation

POC_table

Figure 1. Campaign progress measures

Before the predictive modeling process begins, criteria are set to determine at what point a model has reached stabilization. These criteria are designed to meet the specific study needs and are actively calculated and graphed from round to round, as seen here.

The proof of concept study began with the AI machine-learning phase, in which the CORE platform performed the first round of predictive models for all possible combinations based on the features data available for 130 tumor samples and 175 drugs. After each round of modeling, CORE determined the most informative wet-lab testing to conduct. The results of these experiments were incorporated into the starting data for the next round of predictions in order to iteratively improve the predictive model until it stabilized (based on predetermined criteria). In the case of this study, stabilization occurred after
12 rounds (see figure 1), after which only 3.16% of the experimental space had been tested.

Experimentation highlights

•  The team completed testing for 720 combinations of drug and patient tumor samples, and the resulting model made high-confidence predictions for an additional 20.47% of all possible combinations

•  In a matter of weeks, PEDAL efficiently made over 4,600 high-level predictions of drug/tumor sample combinations

Part 2: Wet-lab validation

Upon completion of the PoC, additional wet-lab experimentation was used to validate the reproducibility and the accuracy of the high-confidence predictions generated by PEDAL.

Model accuracy results

Overall, the wet-lab validation revealed that the PEDAL platform was able to predict whether or not a compound would be a hit for a given tumor sample with 92% accuracy.

Results summary and implications

Through this PoC study, Predictive Oncology demonstrated that the PEDAL platform is a highly efficient tool to make confident predictions about drug-tumor pairings (up to 7x the number of drug-tumor-sample combinations actually tested in the lab). In addition to efficient identification of drug-tumor-type combinations, the platform has been validated to perform these predictions with 92% accuracy. This has strong implications not only for the new drug discovery process, but also in terms of identifying opportunities for drug repurposing.

PEDAL is a powerful tool in the fight against cancer

There’s a lot at stake in the fight against cancer, and companies that work smarter will come out ahead. The
PEDAL platform is now commercially available and can help oncology drug development companies gain a
competitive edge:

  • Bring primary tumor samples, from a variety of tumor types, earlier into the drug discovery process
  • Make higher-confidence predictions to select the best drug/tumor type combinations to increase the
    probability of technical success
  • Reduce the timeframe and increase the agility of the drug discovery process
  • Gain the ability to repurpose drugs faster and more accurately and improve the diversity of the drug
    portfolio for a given cancer

Start a PEDAL pilot program today

Complete the form and our PEDAL expert will be in touch to discuss customized solutions for your needs.

News & resources

Andrew Einhorn

Member

As a biopharmaceutical finance veteran and former investment banking and capital markets manager, Andrew Einhorn brings a wealth of senior financial leadership experience to the Business Advisory Board. Mr. Einhorn currently works with Danforth Advisors, builders of life science companies and leaders in healthcare innovation from strategy through execution, where he provides strategic and situational financial expertise to public and privately held life science companies.

Mr. Einhorn has served as interim chief financial officer of Cognition Therapeutics and chief financial officer of RVL Pharmaceuticals plc (formerly Osmotica Pharmaceuticals plc), Edge Therapeutics, Inc., co-founder and CFO of Oceana Therapeutics, Inc., Esprit Pharma, Inc. and ESP Pharma, Inc.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Einhorn was deeply engaged in investment banking and capital markets at PNC Bank, Chase Securities, and BT Securities, where he managed debt, equity and structured financing transactions with institutional investors. He is a graduate of The American University with a degree in finance and accounting.

Bernard A. Harris, Jr., MD, MBA

Member

Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr., brings a wealth of scientific, clinical, business, finance and operational expertise to Predictive Oncology and understands the vision, mission and enormous potential of applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to early drug discovery and development.

He currently serves as CEO and Managing Partner of Vesalius Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in early to mid-stage healthcare technologies and companies. Harris is also Founder of the Harris Foundation, a non-profit organization that serves socially and economically disadvantaged communities, striving to reach the most underserved populations in the areas of education, health, and wealth. Dr. Harris is Board Director of Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX), Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), and Chairman of the Texas Medical Center Board of Directors.

A former NASA astronaut, Dr. Harris has traveled more than 7.2 million miles in space and the first African American to walk in space in 1995.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Houston, a Master of Medical Science from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, an MBA from the University of Houston and a Doctorate of Medicine from Texas Tech University School of Medicine. Dr. Harris has held faculty positions at the University of Texas Medical Branch and Baylor College of Medicine and is the recipient of numerous awards, including nine honorary doctorates.

Christoph Reinhard, Ph.D., MBA

Member

Christoph Reinhard, Ph.D., MBA, is a leader in oncology translational research, new technologies in drug development and external innovation.

He currently serves as acting Chief Scientific Officer for CELLphenomics, where he is instrumental in determining what types of novel drugs and drug combinations might be beneficial to future cancer patients with solid tumors.

For more than a decade Dr. Reinhard worked at Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) where he was responsible for strategy development and implementation of translational research support for its oncology portfolio assets and spearheaded the company’s Innovative Medicine Initiative in Oncology.

Dr. Reinhard holds a Ph.D. from the Biocenter University, Basel, Switzerland; an MBA in Technology Management from Phoenix University; and a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Microbiology from the University of Freiburg in Germany.

Robert F. Murphy, Ph.D.

Member

As a pioneer in the field of machine learning and analytics for biological data, Dr. Murphy is an expert in developing algorithms and models to understand biological systems and relationships. He was founding head of the Computational Biology Department at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and led the development of CORE™, the machine learning technology that is exclusive to and powers Predictive Oncology’s PEDAL platform.

In addition to his role at CMU, Dr. Murphy has also served as Professor of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, and Machine Learning there. He is an Honorary Professor of Biology at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Germany, and was the recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Senior Research Award.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and served as President of the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry. He was the first full-term chair of the Biodata Management and Analysis Study Section of the National Institutes of Health and was a member of the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council, and the National Institutes of Health Council of Councils.

Among his many accolades, Dr. Murphy has a patent for identifying location biomarkers, published more than 200 research papers and served on numerous editorial boards, committees, advisory panels, conference organizations and committee panels and professional societies. He received an A.B. in Biochemistry from Columbia College and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology. He was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Charles Cantor at Columbia University

Marc Malandro, Ph.D., D.Sc. ​

Member

Dr. Malandro currently serves as the Vice President of Operations for Science at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, where he is part of the team that partners, supports and builds novel advances and tools to enable and accelerate biomedical research.

As an expert in genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry and bioengineering, Dr. Malandro has held roles in both business and corporate settings. Prior to Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, he was Vice Chancellor for Technology Management and Commercialization and the Founding Director of the Innovation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh.

Prior to that, Dr. Malandro co- founded Sagres Discovery, a systems biology company focused on the understanding of the molecular basis of cancer, where he served as Vice President of Technology and Strategic Alliances. There he was involved in all aspects of intellectual property, licensing and alliance management.

Dr. Malandro received his B.S. and M.S. in Biological Sciences and D.Sc. from Youngstown State University and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Florida College of Medicine.

Gregory S. St. Clair, Sr.

Director

Mr. St. Clair has more than three decades of hands-on experience in building and growing companies across a diversity of markets. As an innovator and entrepreneur, his experience encompasses executive leadership, strategic planning, compliance, reimbursement and revenue integrity and cycle management. His professional and personal endeavors reflect his continuing commitment to the integration of the financial needs and market niche opportunities for health systems and related biomedical organizations.

He is Founder and a Managing Member of SunStone Consulting, LLC. Prior to that, Mr. St. Clair worked as a national vice president for CGI, ImrGlobal, and Orion Consulting and as a national director for Coopers & Lybrand.

Veena Rao, Ph.D., MBA​

Director

As a pharma, biotech and digital health veteran, Veena Rao, Ph.D., MBA, brings extensive experience launching products and building commercial organizations in the pre-launch and early launch phases.

Dr. Rao currently serves as Chief Business Officer of Portal Instruments, where she leads the identification, evaluation and negotiation of partnership opportunities. 

Before Portal, she served as Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Corporate Development & Strategy at Beta Bionics where she led the commercial team and was responsible for the go-to-market strategy. Dr. Rao also spent more than a decade working for Eli Lilly in a number of commercial and technical roles.

She has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

David S. Smith, J.D.

Director

David S. Smith, J.D., is a life sciences and intellectual property attorney, veteran biotech industry executive and leading authority on the legal issues surrounding the therapeutic use of human tissue and cells. He has extensive transactional experience, venture financings and regulatory matters for life sciences companies and investors.

Mr. Smith frequently speaks on matters related to the commercial development of tissue, cell and stem cell technologies, and has authored extensively on topics like human tissue therapies and tissue engineering research. He currently serves on the Board of Directors with Foundation for Cell and Gene Medicine; is a current fellow and past member of the executive committee of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society; was a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association; and was a past officer of the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative.

Chuck Nuzum, CPA

Director

Mr. Nuzum was appointed to the Board on July 9, 2020. He has extensive experience as a CFO that ranges from private start-ups to large publicly traded companies. Mr. Nuzum presently provides financial consulting services on a project basis to companies such as McKesson, BioMarin, AutoDesk and Squire Patton Boggs, mentors start-up companies and serves on the Board of Directors of several companies. Previously he was co-founder and CFO of the Tyburn Group, a financial services company that creates and delivers prepaid payroll and general-purpose card programs for customers. For the four years prior, Mr. Nuzum served as the Controller of Dey, L.P., a large pharmaceutical manufacturing subsidiary of Merck KGaA. Prior to that he was co-founder, Executive Vice President and CFO of SVC Financials Services, one of the first companies in the field to integrate a mobile money solution for global distribution, Vice President of Finance and Administration at Tiburon, Inc., a leader in public safety and justice information systems, and CFO of Winebid.com the world’s leading e-commerce wine auction company. 

For more than two decades, Mr. Nuzum was CFO of Loomis Fargo & Co., the well-known international provider of ATM systems, armored cars and other security services. Mr. Nuzum, a Certified Public Accountant, earned his BA at the University of Washington at Seattle.   He served with the U.S. Army Special Forces in Vietnam earning the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal during combat operations, other international postings and served with distinction as an intelligence officer in Washington, D.C.

Matthew J. Hawryluk, Ph.D., MBA

Director

Dr. Hawryluk, Ph.D., MBA, currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer of Gritstone bio, Inc (Nasdaq: GRTS). Dr. Hawryluk was recognized by Pharmaceutical Executive magazine as a leading business executive in the pharma and biotech industries and has played key roles in bridging the gap between scientific discovery and the commercial application of scientific breakthroughs. As a named inventor on multiple patents and co-author on several peer-reviewed publications, he brings an instrumental awareness and insight to Predictive Oncology.

Before joining Gritstone, Dr. Hawryluk served as Vice President of Corporate and Business Development at Foundation Medicine, Inc., a public molecular information company—subsequently acquired by Roche—and before then assumed roles in business development, marketing and product management across multiple divisions of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.

In addition to his Board role with Predictive Oncology, Dr. Hawryluk serves as an Advisory Board Member of PathAI, Inc. 

Dr. Hawryluk holds a Ph.D. in cell biology and protein biochemistry from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, an M.B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business and B.S. from the University of Notre Dame. 

 

Dan Handley, M.S., Ph.D.

Director

Dr. Handley serves as a Professor and the Director of the Clinical and Translational Genome Research Institute of Southern California University of Health Sciences. Previously, he was the Chief Scientific Officer of the Clinical and Translational Genome Research Institute, a Florida 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. During that time, he also held a courtesy faculty appointment in the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. He previously served as the Chief Scientific Officer for Advanced Healthcare Technology Solutions, Inc., Life-Seq, LLC, as a senior researcher at the Procter & Gamble Co., a senior administrator, researcher, and laboratory manager at the David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine, and as a founding biotechnology inventor for the National Genetics Institute.

He holds a B.A. in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University, an M.S. in Logic and Computation from Carnegie Mellon University, a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his post-doctoral training at Magee-Women’s Research Institute researching advanced genomic technologies applied to fetal and maternal health. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served as a nuclear propulsion instructor.

Nancy Chung-Welch, Ph.D.

Director

Dr. Chung-Welch is currently an independent consultant advising life science companies and their institutional investors on life science companies, technologies and industries with an emphasis on the research product/tools market. Previously she was a Director, Business Development at Cell Signaling Technology and was Director, Business Development at Thermo Fisher Scientific and Technical Marketing Manager for Fisher Scientific. She has over 25 years of marketing and business development experience in the life sciences market. Dr. Chung-Welch has a balanced blend of business and technical/analytical strengths to provide a sound foundation for technology/IP assessments and external partnerships.

She has a strong record of domestic and international experience in business and customer needs analysis, technology assessment, licensing, distribution deals, partnerships, strategic alliances, strategic customer relationships, mergers/acquisitions. She previously served as Instructor in Surgery and Assistant in Physiology at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital with expertise in basic science research, including cell biology, tissue culture, vascular physiology, genomics, proteomics, and lab automation applications. She is also a hands-on marketing executive and has conceptualized, launched, and managed products and services in the laboratory, medical, biotech/pharma, academic and government markets. She received her Ph.D. in Vascular Physiology and Cell Biology from Boston University.

Arlette H. Uihlein, MD

SVP, Translational Medicine and Drug Discovery, Medical Director

Arlette H. Uihlein, MD, FCAP, FASCP, is Senior Vice President of Translational Medicine and Drug Discovery for Predictive Oncology and Site Leader of Helomics. She has also served as Medical Director of Helomics® Clinical and Research Labs since 2011. Dr. Uihlein is Board Certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, Cytopathology and Family Medicine. Dr. Uihlein completed her Pathology Residency at Allegheny General Hospital, where she served as Chief Resident in Pathology and completed Fellowships in Cytopathology and Surgical Pathology. During that time, she conducted extensive clinical research involving molecular pathology diagnostic and predictive markers, imaging of solid tumors, and novel applications of cellular tumor markers.


While serving as Medical Director at Helomics, a CLIA and New York State certified lab, Dr. Uihlein has published research in molecular assay development, lab automation, and tissue and cell processing. She is a Designated Civil Surgeon for the U.S. Dept. of Justice and a certified Medical Review Officer for the Department of Transportation. She is a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists and the American Society of Clinical Pathology, NYSDOH Certificate Qualified, and a member of ASCO.

Larry DeLucas, Ph.D.

SVP, Biologics

Dr. DeLucas is the Senior Vice President of Biologics for Predictive Oncology. He oversees Predictive Oncology’s solubility and stability contracts for numerous pharmaceutical/biotech companies.

From 1981 to 2016, Dr. DeLucas was a faculty member at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) where he served as a Professor in the School of Optometry, Senior Scientist and Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center X-ray Shared Facility, and Director of the Center for Structural Biology. Dr. DeLucas received five degrees from UAB culminating in a Doctor of Optometry degree and a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry. He also received honorary Doctor of Science degrees from The Ohio State University, Ferris State University, the State University of New York (SUNY), and the Illinois College of Optometry.

He has published 164 peer-reviewed research articles in various scientific journals, co-authored and edited several books on protein crystal growth and membrane proteins and is a co-inventor on 43 patents involving protein crystal growth, novel biotechnologies and structure-based drug design. DeLucas was a payload specialist NASA astronaut and member of the 7-person crew of Space Shuttle Columbia for Mission “STS-50”, called the United States Microgravity Laboratory-1 (USML-1) Spacelab mission. Columbia launched on June 25, 1992, returning on July 9. In 1994 and 1995, Dr. DeLucas served as the Chief Scientist for the International Space Station at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. In 1999, Dr. DeLucas was recognized as one of the scientists who could shape the 21st century in an article published by “The Sunday Times” of London titled “The Brains Behind the 21st Century.” In 2004, he was recognized as a Top Ten Finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Birmingham Business Journal.

Pamela Bush, Ph.D., MBA

Chief Business Officer

Pamela Bush, Ph.D., MBA, leads all business development, partnering and growth strategies for Predictive Oncology.  As a key member of the executive team, she spearheads the company’s strategic, operational and financial planning initiatives for both existing customers and emerging new markets. This includes leveraging and expanding the company’s portfolio of proprietary solutions to advance drug discovery and enable oncology drug development for the company’s biopharma partners. She previously served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Sales and Business Development at Predictive Oncology.

Dr. Bush has more than twenty years of experience in venture creation, finance and business development in the life sciences industry. Prior to joining POAI Pamela worked at Eli Lilly & Company in various roles including Corporate Business Development, Finance and Patient Services. Throughout her career, Dr. Bush has supported the creation and growth of more than 100 life sciences start-ups.

She earned her Ph.D. in Biology from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and MBA from CMU’s Tepper School of Business.

Raymond F. Vennare

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board

Raymond F. Vennare became Predictive Oncology’s CEO and Chairman of the Board on November 1, 2022. He has served on the Board of Directors since September of 2021.

Mr. Vennare brings more than thirty years of experience as an accomplished senior executive, board director and biotechnology entrepreneur. As a seasoned professional who has founded, built and managed multiple companies on behalf of institutional investors, private foundations and research institutions, Mr. Vennare has a long history of leading companies that range from bioinformatics, diagnostics and therapeutic drug delivery to FDA-cleared medical devices. Throughout his career, Mr. Vennare has played a key role in the capitalization, development and commercialization of innovative and novel technologies.

Since 2015, Mr. Vennare has served as CEO and Chairman of Cvergenx, Inc., a genomic informatics company developing decision-support tools for radiation oncology, and is currently an Investment Partner in Inventeur, LLC, a holding company of medical technologies in anesthesiology. Mr. Vennare’s previous experience includes co-founding ThermalTherapeutic Systems, Inc., where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer, President and Chief Executive Officer of ImmunoSite, Inc., Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of TissueInformatics, Inc., and President of VS/Interactive.

Josh Blacher

Interim Chief Financial Officer

Josh Blacher is the Interim Chief Financial Officer for Predictive Oncology.  As a strategic and operational CFO with more than 20 years of experience in leadership for private and Nasdaq-listed companies, Mr. Blacher specializes in the life science and biotech sectors.

His background spans roles as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer for RNA Disease Diagnostics, InMed Pharmaceuticals, Therapix Biosciences, Galmed Pharmaceuticals. He has worked in corporate development for Columbus Circle Capital and Teva Pharmaceuticals, as well as in investment management for Deutsche Asset Management and Morgan Stanley.

With a focus on optimizing fiscal health and transforming business decision-making, Mr. Blacher’s expertise is in building finance functions from the ground up, pioneering new financial and establishing global initiatives. He possesses a track record of raising profitability, high-impact issues and transformational deal-making including IPOs, follow-on offerings, M&A, licensing and partnerships.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Yeshiva University and MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School.

David S. Smith

DIRECTOR

David S. Smith, JD, is a life sciences and intellectual property attorney, veteran biotech industry executive and leading authority on the legal issues surrounding the therapeutic use of human tissue and cells. He has extensive transactional experience, venture financings and regulatory matters for life sciences companies and investors.

Mr. Smith frequently speaks on matters related to the commercial development of tissue, cell and stem cell technologies, and has authored extensively on topics like human tissue therapies and tissue engineering research. He currently serves on the Board of Directors with Foundation for Cell and Gene Medicine; is a current fellow and past member of the executive committee of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society; was a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association; and was a past officer of the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative.

“ Having worked in the healthcare industry for over 30 years, helping the companies who deliver patient care utilize the best technology, improve their processes and receive all the revenue they can within all compliance standards;
I was excited to join Predictive Oncology’s Board of Directors in helping to guide this exciting company with all of their cutting edge capabilities for improving
the health care of patients
with cancer.”

Pamela Bush, Ph.D.

SVP, Strategic Sales and Business Development,

PREDICTIVE ONCOLOGY
At Predictive Oncology

Pamela Bush comes with more than twenty years of experience in venture creation, finance, and business development in the life sciences industry. At POAI, she leads the sales efforts and business development activities across the portfolio.

Before Predictive Oncology

Prior to joining POAI Pamela worked at Eli Lilly & Company in various roles including Corporate Business Development, Finance and Patient Services. In addition to her Lilly work experience, Pamela has worked in economic development, academia, and business consulting supporting the creation and growth of 80+ life sciences start-ups.

“ POAI has developed solutions to help biopharma partners increase the probability of success of their oncology pipeline.”

Education
Carnegie Mellon University

Ph.D., Molecular Biology
MBA, Tepper School of Business

Lawrence J. DeLucas, Ph.D

SVP, OPERATIONS,
Predictive Oncology
President, Soluble Biotech
At Predictive Oncology

Dr. DeLucas is the Vice president of Operations for Predictive Oncology and President and co-founder of Soluble Biotech, Inc. DeLucas is currently working to complete development of GMP facilities at Soluble Biotech and at TumorGenesis. In addition, he oversees Soluble Biotech’s solubility and stability contracts for numerous pharmaceutical/biotech companies.

Before Predictive Oncology

From 1981-2016 Dr. DeLucas was a faculty member at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) where he served as a Professor in the School of Optometry, Senior Scientist and Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center X-ray Shared Facility, and Director of the Center for Structural Biology. Dr. DeLucas received five degrees from UAB culminating in a Doctor of Optometry degree and a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry. He also received honorary Doctor of Science degrees from The Ohio State University, Ferris State University, the State University of New York (SUNY), and the Illinois College of Optometry. He has published 164 peer-reviewed research articles in various scientific journals, co-authored and edited several books on protein crystal growth and membrane proteins and is a co-inventor on 43 patents involving protein crystal growth, novel biotechnologies and structure-based drug design. DeLucas was a payload specialist NASA astronaut and member of the 7-person crew of Space Shuttle Columbia for Mission “STS-50”, called the United States Microgravity Laboratory-1 (USML-1) Spacelab mission. Columbia launched on June 25, 1992, returning on July 9.  In 1994 and 1995, Dr. DeLucas served as the Chief Scientist for the International Space Station at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. In 1999, Dr. DeLucas was recognized as one of the scientists who could shape the 21st century in an article published by “The Sunday Times” of London titled “The Brains Behind the 21st Century.”  In 2004, he was recognized as a Top Ten Finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Birmingham Business Journal. 

“ Soluble Biotech is continually demonstrating to pharmaceutical and biotech companies the significant value of its novel HSC technology for optimizing protein therapeutic formulations to treat a variety of chronic and infectious diseases. ”

Education
  • Five degrees from Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB): B.S. Chemistry, M.S. Chemistry, B.S. Physiological Optics, O.D. Optometry, Ph.D Biochemistry
  •  
  • Published 164 peer-reviewed research articles in various scientific journals
  •  
  • 1993-2016: Director of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center X-ray Shared Facility, and Director of the Center for Structural Biology
  •  
  • NASA Astronaut, flew on Columbia Space Shuttle
  •  
  • 1994-1995: Appointed Chief Scientist for the International Space Station at NASA HQ

Arlette Uihlein, MD, FCAP, FASCP

Dr. Arlette Uihlein is Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality for Predictive Oncology and Site Leader of Helomics, serving as the Vice President of Operations, Pathology Services and Medical Director of Helomics® Clinical and Research Labs since 2011. Dr. Uihlein is Board Certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology, Cytopathology and Family Medicine. Dr. Uihlein completed her Pathology Residency at Allegheny General Hospital, where she served as Chief Resident in Pathology and completed Fellowships in Cytopathology and Surgical Pathology. During that time, she conducted extensive clinical research involving molecular pathology diagnostic and predictive markers, imaging of solid tumors, and novel applications of cellular tumor markers. While serving as Medical Director at Helomics, a CLIA and New York State certified lab, Dr. Uihlein has published research in molecular assay development, lab automation, and tissue and cell processing. She is a Designated Civil Surgeon for the U.S. Dept. of Justice and a certified Medical Review Officer for the Department of Transportation. She is a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists and the American Society of Clinical Pathology, NYSDOH Certificate Qualified, and a member of ASCO.

“ At Helomics we’re delivering better-informed decision making saving pharma time and money, while providing cancer patients with appropriate therapies.”

 

 

Education

Medical College of Ohio
Doctor of Medicine

Baldwin-Wallace University
BS, Biology

Richard Gabriel, BS, MBA

SVP, RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Predictive Oncology
Site Leader, TumorGenesis
At Predictive Oncology
My role at Predictive Oncology is to bring the business sense to managing Research and Development programs at all our companies. To seek new ways and opportunities to commercialize exciting new technologies that we have built, licensed, acquired, or are developing through our own research and development. The success of any company is to get the research off the bench and to the customers. That is what I do at POAI and help the other companies as well.
Before Predictive Oncology
Prior to starting his first company in 1984 and registering with the FDA a pilot plant facility to make pharmaceutical actives, Mr. Gabriel managed a $50 million product line for W.R. Grace, developed new marketing and sales strategies for Ventron a Division of Morton Thiokol, research work at Ashland Chemical for pressure sensitive adhesives and plant scale-up. Since then, he ran a genetics company, built three GMP/Research facilities, and helped 5 drugs reach their markets in AIDS and cancer. Real expertise in cGMP process scale-up and compliance. Completely understand the needs of an API manufacturing facility and build processes that are scalable, environmentally acceptable, and safe. 3 FDA inspections with no 483’s, ISO certification, DEA registration, DoD compliance, NCI contractor and inventor. Has also broad-based experience in start-up companies and how to make them operational and profitable. 7 years of Team set-up, R&D management, and implementation for 165-person (85 PhD’s and Engineers) company (Pharm-Eco) and lecturer on cGMP and Teams within the Pharmaceutical Industry.

“ Patients are always first, is our driving force. Oncology is a tough space, and we are determined to bring the best validated science to help cancer patients and as our CEO says, ‘Eliminate Cancer.’ That takes teamwork and a lot of smart hard-working people, our team members at POAI are up to the challenge. ”

 

 

Education
Suffolk University
Executive MBA Program

Ohio Dominican College
BS, Chemistry

Ohio State University
Microbiology and Virology

University of Cincinnati
Associates Degree, Liberal Arts

Bob Myers, BBA, MBA

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Predictive Oncology
Site Leader, Skyline Medical
At Predictive Oncology

Executive Officer, Compliance Officer, Corporate Secretary, and member of the Senior Leadership Team. Responsible for Finance, Administration, Human Resources, Investor Relations, and IT. Skyline Medical Site Leader.

Before Predictive Oncology

Numerous years as CEO/Controller consultant including medical devices companies. Executive positions with CES Computer Solutions, Computer Accomplishments, Hi-Tech Stationary & Printing, Capital Distributors Corp, International Creative Management American Express, Showtime Entertainment and public accounting with Laventhol & Horwath, CPA’s.

“ It’s a privilege to work with a highly talented team to pursue oncology advances, while protecting and increasing shareholder value. ”

Education

Adelphi University
MBA, Finance

Hofstra University
BBA, Public Accounting 

Raymond Vennare

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
& CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
Predictive Oncology
At Predictive Oncology

Raymond F. Vennare became Predictive Oncology’s CEO and Chairman of the Board on November 1, 2022. He has served on the Board of Directors since September of 2021.

Mr. Vennare brings more than thirty years of experience as an accomplished senior executive, board director and biotechnology entrepreneur. As a seasoned professional who has founded, built and managed multiple companies on behalf of institutional investors, private foundations and research institutions, Mr. Vennare has a long history of leading companies that range from bioinformatics, diagnostics and therapeutic drug delivery to FDA-cleared medical devices. Throughout his career, Mr. Vennare has played a key role in the capitalization, development and commercialization of innovative and novel technologies.

Since 2015, Mr. Vennare has served as CEO and Chairman of Cvergenx, Inc., a genomic informatics company developing decision-support tools for radiation oncology, and is currently an Investment Partner in Inventeur, LLC, a holding company of medical technologies in anesthesiology. Mr. Vennare’s previous experience includes co-founding ThermalTherapeutic Systems, Inc., where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer, President and Chief Executive Officer of ImmunoSite, Inc., Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of TissueInformatics, Inc., and President of VS/Interactive.

 

Mr. Vennare earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh (BA) and holds graduate degrees from Duquesne University (MS) and Case Western Reserve University (MA).

What we do for our customers today will directly impact the lives of those patients who may benefit by these discoveries in the future.”