Research and Development 


Mohammad Esmaeili

Engineering consultant

  • More than 25 years of experience in start-ups, technology development and acquisition
  • Experience in mechanical and electrical engineering, software development and automation systems
  • Experience in management and implementation of ISO and European standards in large-scale production facilities to improve compliance, as well as production outputs and margins
  • Founded 4 successful companies

G. Sridhar Prasad, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr Prasad has over 16 years of experience in the field of structure based drug discovery. As a founder of CalAsia Pharmaceuticals, he has raised nearly four million dollars through non-dilutive funding mechanism, which includes multiple NIH SBIR and Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research grants. He has been a core member of the teams that discovered multiple drug candidates which were advanced to various stages of preclinical and clinical development, including Merck’s MK-4965. Importantly, he was the lead crystallographer and core member of the team that discovered Alogliptin - A Syrrx and Takeda San Diego's FDA approved DPP4 inhibitor, being marketed under the brand name Nesina® to treat type 2 diabetes, the first drug to be discovered using structure-based method at Syrrx. He designed, built and implemented fragment-based drug discovery technology platforms at Syrrx, Merck and Metabasis. He has co-authored over 40 peer-reviewed research articles and holds 6 US and international patents. He serves on the editorial board of Current Protein and Peptide Science, Chemical Sciences Journal and Organic and Medicinal Chemistry International Journal. Dr. Prasad obtained his PhD from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India and post-doctoral training at the University of Minnesota Medical School and the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, where he grew to the rank of Assistant Professor.


Surya K. De, Ph.D., FRSC, CChem

Principal Scientist, Chemistry

Dr. De has over 15 years of experience is small molecule medicinal chemistry lead optimization. He has been instrumental in design and synthesis of multiple lead drug candidates that have been advanced into preclinical development studies. Of significance, was the program involved with inhibitors of EphA4, which resulted in the discovery and development of a novel preclinical candidate for the treatment of ALS, successfully out licensed by Iron Horse Therapeutics for clinical development under a joint investment involving Avalon Ventures and Glaxo Smith Kline. He did his post-doctoral training at University of Washington, Seattle and Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Subsequently, he worked at The Scripps Research Institute, and Sanford-Burnham-Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, La Jolla, California, on multiple drug discovery programs. He is an Editorial Board Member of The Open Organic Chemistry Journal, The Open Catalysis Journal, Current Catalysis, and Current Chemical Research. He has over 100 publications, including articles, reviews, and monographs in peer-reviewed international journals and holds 10 US patents. He is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, London, UK (FRSC, 2010). He is a member of Indian Science Congress. He is an elected Alternate Councilor at The American Chemical Society, San Diego section, USA. He obtained his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, Calcutta, India.