The engine to put transformative therapeutics at our fingertips
Propel drug discovery into the information age to bridge the gap between discovery and treatment
Premium chemical data at unrivaled scale
The first step to powering an engine is to add the right fuel. We’re generating chemical data purpose-built for drug discovery in the information age.
Our closed loop system generates precise chemical datasets at unrivaled scale that work seamlessly with AI to systematically map biochemical interactions between small molecules and causes of disease. With our unparalleled resolution, we’re finally able to meet the challenge of drug discovery with the power of both scale experimentation and modern computation, deriving insights that lead to new drugs for patients in need. Learn more.
The engine to solve hard problems
When it comes to chemistry data, scale and precision are key. Our integrated computational platform, tNova, runs iterative cycles of virtual molecular design and precise biochemical measurement, feeding forward every experiment to power artificial intelligence and machine learning models, which in turn guide the next cycle of design. Learn more.
We are a highly skilled, dedicated, and passionate team that combines specific expertise and experience in AI, medicinal chemistry, biology and preclinical development, automation, and nanotechnology, with the bold vision to create a world where transformative therapeutics are available at our fingertips.
Jacob is a distinguished inventor at the intersection of nanotechnology and synthetic chemistry. Prior to joining Terray full-time, he ran an NIH-funded lab at City of Hope, where he was an associate professor. He has more than 40 publications, 20 patents and over 11 thousand citations associated with his work. He was named one of the “Rising Stars and Young Nanoarchitects in Materials Science” by the Royal Society of Chemistry and was nominated for the Kabiller Young Investigator Award in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine. Jacob received his PhD in organometallic chemistry from CalTech where he studied with Nobel Laureate Bob Grubbs. Jacob completed his postdoctoral training at MIT and Rice University focusing on synthetic chemistry and nanotechnology, and received a BA in chemistry from Harvard University (magna cum laude).
Prior to joining Terray, Vanessa most recently served as Vice President of Biology at Rigel Pharmaceuticals and brings over 19 years of experience in small molecule drug discovery to the company. In this role, she was responsible for leading preclinical research programs from target identification to lead candidate selection as well as support of IND filings and early clinical studies. During her tenure at Rigel, she was directly involved in taking 7 drug candidates into clinical studies focused on inflammatory and rare diseases and partnering of 3 additional programs. Vanessa received her B.S. from Durham University in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, her Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Cambridge and completed her postdoctoral training at Oxford University’s Institute of Molecular Medicine and the University of California, San Francisco
Prior to joining Terray, Narbe was a Senior Scientist at Amgen. In this role, he was responsible for supporting all aspects of computational small molecule drug discovery, including the development of advanced quantum mechanics and machine learning methods, as well as cloud-based solutions to support high-throughput, data-driven workflows. Narbe is a thought leader in quantum mechanics, machine learning, computational chemistry, and closed-loop drug discovery. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley, his Ph.D. in Quantum Chemistry from UC Berkeley, and was a postdoc in Chemical Physics at Caltech.
Prior to joining Terray, Eli was at Parthenon Capital Partners, an operationally focused middle-market private equity firm where he led transactions across healthcare, software, and financial services. Prior to Parthenon, Eli worked at Irving Place Capital and Lehman Brothers. He holds an MBA from Stanford University and a BA with honors from the London School of Economics.
Prior to joining Terray, Craig was a Principal Scientist at Amgen. In this role, he was responsible for designing, testing, and implementing automation solutions across Amgen’s discovery organization. Craig has invented numerous novel technologies that encompass enhancements to both small and large molecule synthesis, purification, and screening. He was the recipient of the “Innovation of the Year” award and was the primary facilitator for out-licensing of three patents which resulted in royalty generating commercial technologies. He received his B.A. from Saint Olaf College and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Washington.
Prior to joining Terray, Adam was Executive Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Theravance Biopharma. With over 21 years of experience in small molecule drug discovery, he led preclinical research programs from inception to clinical candidate nomination, and supported IND-enabling studies and filings. He was also responsible for leading the Exploratory Science R&D effort to identify and nominate new projects for the company’s portfolio. Adam directed new discoveries and nominations of 11 clinical candidates across a wide range of biological targets and therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs, including the discovery of a first-in-class dual pharmacology bronchodilator, Batefenterol, for the treatment of COPD, which completed Phase 2b studies. Adam earned his BSc in Chemistry (Henry Forth Prize) and his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Nottingham. He completed his academic training after winning one of four Glaxo Wellcome Fellowships, conducting postdoctoral research at Stanford University. He is an author on over 50 publications and patents.
Feroze (Fez) Ujjainwalla brings 26 years of experience in small molecule drug discovery to Terray. Prior to joining the company, Fez was Director of Business Development and Licensing (BD&L) at Merck & Co., Inc. He joined Merck in 1995 as Senior Research Chemist and rose to the rank of Executive Director of Chemistry before joining BD&L. He has led discovery programs from inception to early clinical development, delivering eight preclinical development candidates of which three proceeded to clinical trials – including the discovery of the first-in-class small molecule MC4R agonist, MK-0493, for the treatment of obesity. He has also led the search, scientific evaluation and execution of licensing deals and strategic partnerships, establishing numerous deals across a range of deal-types including dominant platform licenses for DNA-Encoded Library Technology and mRNA Display Technology. Fez earned his BSc in Chemistry and PhD in Organic Chemistry from Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine and completed his postdoctoral training at The University of Texas at Austin. He is an author on over 85 publications and patents.
Brian Kotzin, M.D. is a board-certified rheumatologist and internist with more than three decades of experience in the fields of inflammation and immunology in academia and industry. Currently, Dr. Kotzin is currently Senior Vice President, Clinical Development at Nektar Therapeutics, Inc. Before Nektar, Dr. Kotzin served as Vice President of Global Clinical Development and Head of the Inflammation Therapeutic Area at Amgen, directing the global development efforts for Amgen’s inflammation product candidates. During his 11 years at Amgen, he also served as Vice President of Medical Sciences, which encompassed early development, biomarker development, and clinical immunology. Prior to his industry career, Dr. Kotzin served as Head of Clinical Immunology in the Department of Medicine and Director of the Autoimmunity Center of Excellence at the University of ColoradoHealth Sciences Center in Denver. Dr. Kotzin has authored more than 200 publications in medical journals, books and book chapters, and has served on the editorial boards of Arthritis and Rheumatism, The Journal of Immunology and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He is an elected member of the American Association of Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, and elected Master of the American College of Rheumatology.
Dr. Kotzin received a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Southern California and an M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in rheumatology and medicine at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is board certified in rheumatology and internal medicine.
With her doctorate degree in Chemistry, Christine spent her early career days in academia where she developed and applied computer-assisted molecular modeling techniques while building the foundation and blueprint for the software Sybyl, later commercialized by Tripos Inc. Her research focused in the Pain, Neurosciences and Cardiovascular areas to elucidate structure-activity patterns for fentanyl, gabapentin, serotonin inhibitors among others.
She transitioned to the Pharmaceutical Industry, initially as an individual contributor and grew into an exceptional scientific and technical leader in her field. Her journey began at Parke-Davis in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since her early days in molecular modeling and drug design, Christine has been a champion and advocate in pioneering the use of structure-based design, 3-dimensional molecular visualization and integrated platforms to analyze target families with ligand-based structure-activity data.
By systematically applying predictive approaches with medicinal chemistry desktop modeling tools, she has positively impacted therapeutics discovery as evidenced by more than 115 publications. Most recently, she led cheminformatics initiatives to transform drug discovery through artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques.
Throughout her career, she has led multiple scientific collaborations with leading academic and industrial partners. She tutored and mentored multiple group members who progressed in successful careers.
Don Payan, MD, is an experienced hands-on biotechnology physician-scientist-executive. During the past 30 years in biotechnology in the two companies he has founded (Khepri and Rigel), he has hired, organized and led highly productive multi discipline target and drug discovery and development teams in the areas of Immunology, Oncology and Muscle Wasting diseases. His teams have discovered and developed the first FDA approved oral SYK inhibitor for an autoimmune disease, as well as an additional 12 IND candidates. Moreover, he was instrumental in establishing multiple collaborations with pharmaceutical companies.
He received his BS in Physics and MD from Stanford University, and his MS in Physics from MIT. His residency in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease fellowship were done at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. An additional fellowship in Allergy Immunology was done at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, also at HMS. Following his training at Harvard, he joined the faculty of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is an author of over 200 published articles and chapters, and an inventor on over 90 issued patents. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation.
Dr. Ian Watson has more than 25 years of experience applying machine learning to small molecule drug discovery. Ian spent more than 20 years at Eli Lilly working across Lilly business units on business problems involving Analytics and Statistics, Machine Learning, High Performance Computing. As part of Discovery Chemistry, he built a substantial portion of the computational infrastructure currently used by Lilly to support small molecule drug discovery. This includes leading edge tools for substructure searching, very fast, and large-scale chemical similarity tools as well as SVM machine learning models. Dr. Watson implemented and now maintains the Lilly Medchem Rules, widely used for filtering compounds for biological testing. Ian most recently spent 3 years at Google where he worked with the Google Accelerated Science team on early phase small molecule drug discovery including extensive work on chemical similarity, clustering, enumeration and analysis, and hit follow-up. Dr. Watson has a BSc with honors from the Australian National University and a PhD from Cornell in Physical Chemistry.
New appointments add deep expertise in small molecule drug discovery, business development, and strategic partnerships
Drs. Ujjainwalla and Hughes join an executive team of pioneers and long-time leaders in artificial intelligence, biology and preclinical development, automation, and nanotechnology
PASADENA, Cali., March 1, 2022 – Terray Therapeutics, a biotechnology company propelling drug discovery into the information age, today announced the appointments of Feroze (Fez) Ujjainwalla, PhD, as Head of Business, and Adam D. Hughes, PhD, as Head of Chemistry. They join an expanding lineup of industry veterans including Vanessa Taylor, Terray’s Head of Biology and Preclinical Development, Narbe Mardirossian, Terray’s Head of Computational and Data Science and Craig Schulz, Terray’s Head of Automation. The combined expertise of the executive team will advance Terray’s mission to deliver premium chemical data at unrivaled scale, unlocking the potential of AI-driven small molecule drug discovery.
“We are thrilled to welcome Fez and Adam to the team as we start this new chapter in the Terray story,” said Chief Executive Officer Jacob Berlin, PhD. “They each bring over 20 years of drug discovery and development experience to our interdisciplinary team of highly skilled computational scientists, biologists, chemists and engineers. With the addition of Adam’s medicinal chemistry expertise and his rich knowledge of small molecule drug discovery and R&D and Fez’s keen insights and business acumen for deals and partnerships, grounded in his medicinal chemistry background, we have the right mix of skills and perspectives on the leadership team that will help us bridge the gap between drug discovery and treatment.”
“I’m very excited to join the Terray team at this momentous stage,” said Dr. Ujjainwalla, “Having focused on cutting-edge biomedical technologies and strategic partnerships at Merck, I was immediately drawn to Terray’s sophisticated platform approach to developing quality chemical data at scale. Datasets like these, combined with the speed and power of machine learning, have the opportunity to open so many doors to research, collaborations, and transformative therapies.”
“I was energized to learn that Terray’s chemistry engine addresses the underlying limitation of high quality, diverse chemical starting points, and subscale data that has been a significant challenge in drug discovery for as long as I’ve worked in the field,” said Dr. Hughes. “This astute understanding of the dual need for modern computation and high-quality scale data is what will help us to build stronger models and design better molecules. I’m thrilled to join the team at this critical turning point so we can revolutionize the drug discovery process and have an impact on the future of medicine.”
Dr. Ujjainwalla joins Terray from Merck, where he was most recently Director of Business Development and Licensing, having transitioned into Business Development after nearly two decades as a Medicinal Chemist. In 26 years of experience in small molecule drug discovery, he has led programs from inception to early clinical development, including the discovery of the first-in-class small molecule MC4R agonist, MK-0493, for the treatment of obesity. His licensing deals and strategic partnerships established numerous deals across a range of deal-types.
Prior to joining Terray, Dr. Hughes was Executive Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Theravance Biopharma. Over his 21-year career, Dr. Hughes directed new discoveries and nominations of 11 clinical candidates across a wide range of biological targets and therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs, including the discovery of a first-in-class dual pharmacology bronchodilator, Batefenterol, for the treatment of COPD, which completed Phase 2b studies.
Drs. Ujjainwalla and Hughes join the following on the executive leadership team with Dr. Jacob Berlin, CEO, and Eli Berlin, Chief Financial and Operating Officer;
Dr. Vanessa Taylor, Head of Biology & Preclinical Development. Dr. Taylor joined Terray from Rigel Pharmaceuticals, where she led preclinical programs and was involved in taking seven drug candidates into clinical studies focused on inflammatory and rare diseases, and partnering of additional programs.
Dr. Narbe Mardirossian, Head of Computational and Data Sciences. A thought leader in quantum mechanics, machine learning, computational chemistry and closed-loop drug discovery, Dr. Mardirossian joined Terray from Amgen, where he supported computational small molecule drug discovery, including the development of advanced quantum mechanics and machine learning methods, as well as cloud-based solutions to support high-throughput, data-driven workflows.
Dr. Craig Schulz, Head of Automation. Dr. Schulz most recently was a Principal Scientist at Amgen responsible for designing, testing, and implementing automation solutions across Amgen’s discovery organization. He has invented numerous novel technologies that encompass enhancements to both small and large molecule synthesis, purification, and screening.
About Terray Therapeutics
Terray Therapeutics is an emerging biotechnology company led by pioneers and long-time leaders in AI, medicinal chemistry, biology and preclinical development, automation, and nanotechnology to propel drug discovery into the information age. Terray’s proprietary integrated computational and experimental platforms generate massively scaled, powerfully agnostic chemical data that are purpose-built to power computational learning and reveal new interactions. This foundation is building an iterative, flexible chemistry engine that aims to deliver more precise therapies to patients faster than ever before. Visit terraytx.com to learn more.
tNova platform leverages the world’s most dense and precise microarray to discover and develop transformative therapeutics
Series A Financing led by Madrona Venture Group with strong investor syndicate
PASADENA, Cali., February 15, 2022 – Terray Therapeutics, a biotechnology company propelling drug discovery into the information age, today announced the closing of a $60 million Series A financing to advance its novel tNova platform and deliver therapies to patients faster than ever before. The financing was led by Madrona Venture Group with participation from a broad syndicate of new and existing investors, including Two Sigma Ventures, Digitalis Ventures, KdT Ventures, Goldcrest Capital, XTX Ventures, Sahsen Ventures, Greentrail Capital and Alexandria Venture Investments. This financing follows a previously unannounced $20 million seed round co-led by Digitalis Ventures and Two Sigma Ventures.
“Even the most powerful artificial intelligence can’t get past insufficient or unclear data,” said Jacob Berlin, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Terray. “Current chemical data lacks the scale and quality to enable AI-driven drug development. We’re building a future where the speed, precision and scale of our engine enable us to predictably create drugs that meet urgent patient needs.”
In today’s emerging frontier of AI-led drug discovery, Terray’s chemistry engine operates at an unrivaled scale, measuring billions of interactions daily and becoming increasingly precise with each cycle of design and experimentation. Chemical datasets generated using Terray’s novel ultra-dense microarray technology work seamlessly with Terray’s integrated machine learning and computational platform to systematically map biochemical interactions between small molecules and causes of disease. Combining these capabilities with unique resynthesis capabilities and broad biology infrastructure, Terray can answer an unprecedented array of questions to accurately navigate vast chemical space and deliver therapeutics for previously inaccessible targets.
“The right chemical data at scale is the only way to fuel a modern drug discovery engine. We’ve seen the impact that scaled data can deliver in other industries, and we are now leveraging that power and promise to deliver more precise therapies to patients faster than ever before,” said Eli Berlin, Chief Financial and Operating Officer of Terray.
Terray brings together a highly skilled, world-class team with deep pharma expertise and experience in AI, synthetic chemistry, biology, automation, and nanotechnology with the bold vision to harness the power of their discovery engine and put transformative therapeutics at our fingertips.
“Madrona is thrilled to support Terray’s mission of revolutionizing drug discovery and accelerating cures to patients,” said Chris Picardo, Partner at Madrona Venture Group. “We are excited by the Company’s world-class team of scientists and machine learning experts and the broad therapeutic potential of the tNova platform to drive solutions to our greatest medical problems.”
“Leveraging more than a decade of research from its founders, Terray has constructed a chemistry platform that systematically integrates high-throughput experimentation and computation at an unprecedented scale,” said Geoffrey W. Smith, Managing Partner of Digitalis Ventures. “This integration sets Terray apart by addressing a key industry pain point, generating clean and relatable data that enables AI-driven models to succeed in the highly complex space of chemical compounds,” added Dusan Perovic, Partner at Two Sigma Ventures.
The financing will be used to advance the Company’s preclinical pipeline of therapeutics and the Company’s discovery partnerships.
About Terray Therapeutics
Terray Therapeutics is an emerging biotechnology company led by pioneers and long-time leaders in AI, synthetic chemistry, automation, and nanotechnology to propel drug discovery into the information age. Terray’s proprietary integrated computational and experimental platforms generate massively scaled, powerfully agnostic chemical data that are purpose-built to power computational learning and reveal new interactions. This foundation is building an iterative, flexible chemistry engine that delivers more precise therapies to patients faster than ever before. Visit terraytx.com to learn more.