Richard B. Silverman, Ph.D.
Richard B. Silverman, Ph.D., the founder of AKAVA Therapeutics, is the Patrick G. Ryan/Aon Professor in the Departments of Chemistry, Molecular Biosciences, and Pharmacology at Northwestern University, where he has been a professor for 48 years. He is the inventor of the molecule that became the blockbuster drug Lyrica®, marketed by Pfizer for fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, spinal cord injury pain, and epilepsy; inventor of CPP-115, which successful completed a Phase I clinical trial and has been taken by a child with infantile spasms, refractory to all other medications, for the last eight years; and inventor of OV329, licensed to Ovid Therapeutics for epilepsies. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the following (since 2009): Elected to National Academy of Sciences (2023), Member, National Academy of Sciences (2023), Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry (2021), Creative Invention Award of the American Chemical Society (ACS) (2017), Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2014), Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (2014), iCON Innovator Award of the iBIO Institute (2014), Medicinal Chemistry Prize of the Israel Chemical Society (2014), Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) (2013), Centenary Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2013), Bristol-Myers Squibb-Edward E. Smissman Award of the ACS (2013), Sato Memorial International Award of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan (2012), Fellow of the ACS (2011), E.B. Hershberg Award for Important Discoveries in Medicinally Active Substances of the ACS (2011), Perkin Medal of the Society of Chemical Industry (2009), Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame of the ACS (2009). He has published nearly 400 research papers, five books, and holds 130 patents. He received a B.S. degree in chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University, a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard University, and carried out postdoctoral studies in enzymology at Brandeis University prior to joining the Department of Chemistry at Northwestern University.
Olga Jasinsky
Olga Jasinsky, MBA, MS, Director of Operations, joined AKAVA Therapeutics with over 30 years of drug development experience at both large and small pharmaceutical companies. Her experience covers all phases of pharmaceutical and clinical development in multiple therapeutic areas including neuroscience, immunology, metabolic conditions, and infectious disease. She has led cross functional pharmaceutical project teams to numerous successful IND submissions and other development milestones. Olga has also managed a variety of Phase 1-4 clinical programs including pivotal registration studies for several New Drug Applications and supplemental submissions for label extensions. She has a proven track record for successfully managing complex global drug development programs within timelines and budget.  Olga holds a B.S. in Biology from DePaul University, an M.B.A. from Loyola University, and an M.S. in Product Development from Northwestern University.