Cocoon is led by a committed group of physicians, scientists, and engineers dedicated to providing patients freedom from serious diseases.

Team

Ailis Tweed-Kent

CEO & Founder

Dr. Ailis Tweed-Kent is an up-and-coming entrepreneur and leader in the development of innovative medical technologies. With her education in medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Ailis has first hand knowledge of the burden of disease. In 2013, Ailis was inspired by her patients to found Cocoon to develop innovative silk therapeutics for osteoarthritis. Prior to Cocoon, she worked on the design, development, and delivery of diagnostic technologies for global health collaborating with organizations such as PEPFAR/Office of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and the Global Health Delivery Project. She brings a multidisciplinary approach with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Peter Mitchell

Chief Scientific Officer

Peter Mitchell comes to Coccoon Biotech with 25 years of commercial pharmaceutical leadership focused on arthritis and inflammation, and has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications. He started his career in basic research in cartilage biology, leading drug discovery projects focused on arthritis and inflammation at Pfizer in Groton, Connecticut. In 2003, he joined Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, where he became Senior Director in the Translational Sciences, and then Tailored Therapeutics, Departments, with work focused on how to provide tailored therapeutics in the areas of autoimmune and musculoskeletal diseases. He earned a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Following his graduate work, Dr. Mitchell completed post-doctoral research in cancer cell biology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and then went on to perform rheumatology research for three years at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Steve Myers

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Steve Myers, FACM, FACR graduated from the Johns Hopkins University.  He completed his M.D., residency in internal medicine and rheumatology fellowship at the University of Michigan. Dr. Myers then joined the Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine faculty.  He served as Staff Physician and Chief of Rheumatology at the Indianapolis Veterans Administration Hospital, and was a member of the medical staff and clinical practice at the Indiana University and Wishard Memorial Hospitals.  His research interests and areas of grant support included synovial pathophysiology, articular cartilage, and osteoarthritis. He served as Clinical Director of the Rheumatology Division and Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Myers joined Eli Lilly and Co. as a Clinical Research Physician in 1998.  He participated in the Phase 3 trials, submission and registration of recombinant parathyroid hormone for osteoporosis treatment, in phase 2 RA studies, and in the development of Lilly strategy and external asset evaluation in RA and osteoarthritis. After transitioning to the Management team he led clinical strategy development for, and the physicians conducting early phase studies with biologics in RA, autoimmune diseases and both small molecules and biologics in a variety of musculoskeletal and urological diseases.   He retired from his Senior Medical Director position at Lilly in 2014 and joined the Cocoon Biotech team in early 2016.

Mike Santos

Director of Formulation

Mike Santos has 12 years of pharmaceutical experience in parenteral formulation and drug delivery.  Before joining Cocoon Biotech, Mike worked at Genzyme a Sanofi company, in the Polymers, Biomaterials and Drug Delivery department where he was responsible for the development of novel systems for controlled and/or local delivery of small and large molecules.  Mike has formulation experience that spans across multiple disease areas including orthopedics, oncology, diabetes, animal health, and vaccines where he has lead programs from discovery through Phase I.  At Cocoon, he is leveraging his expertise in formulation and drug delivery from a wide variety of polymer formats.  

Renee Curreri

Chief Financial Officer

Renee Curreri joined Cocoon in August 2016 with over 30 years of financial leadership experience.  She is an experienced CFO of start-up and rapid-growth enterprises. In 2004, she founded Fortius Business Solutions to provide contract CFO services that young companies often need, and often on a flexible basis.  Her clients represent a variety of biotech, software, distribution, services, industrial manufacturing and consumer product companies. Her specialties include business advisory services, strategic planning, raising capital, bank financing, M&A, and general finance and human resource administration.  She is also an experienced entrepreneur.  With her husband, she helped create AVIcode, Inc., a software company, in 2004 and guided its exit through an acquisition by Microsoft in 2010.

Prior to her formal entrepreneurial roles, Renee held a variety of senior financial positions in public and private companies, including VP of Investor Relations and Corporate Secretary for an NYSE-traded multi-national, and CFO of a rapidly growing consumer products company. She earned a BBA with highest honors from the University of Notre Dame, and holds an MBA from the University of Richmond. She is a Certified Public Accountant.

Theresa Foley

Director of Operations

Theresa Foley has over ten years of experience in R&D and technology commercialization. As a scientist she worked with commercial and development biotech products at Johnson & Johnson. Her research focus is polymer science. As a consultant she worked with medical device companies, pharmaceutical startups, and universities to commercialize new technologies. In addition, Theresa brings project management and operational expertise to Cocoon. She earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Penn State, and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Board of Directors

Grace Colón

Board Member

Dr. Colón brings over 25 years experience in biopharma, genomics, healthcare, drug delivery and industrial biotechnology.  Currently she is President and CEO at InCarda Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering a novel approach of treating cardiovascular conditions and diseases by the inhalation route.   She is also a senior advisor at New Science Ventures (where she was formerly a partner), serves on the boards of Proterix Bio (Executive Chairman; formerly CEO) and PerceptiMed, and is an advisor at Kiverdi.  She has served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University since 2014.   She also co-founded Pyranose Biotherapeutics, an early stage discovery platform company.   Previously she was founding President of the Industrial Products Division at Intrexon Corporation, where she established a new division focused on leveraging synthetic biology for bioindustrial applications such as biofuels and renewable chemicals and was a key contributor to the company’s $100M Series E raise.  Prior to Intrexon, she was head of Clinical Operations for Gilead Sciences, where she was responsible for global execution of clinical trials.   At Gilead, she also created and led both the Alliance Management and Commercial Strategic Planning groups.  Prior to Gilead, she was VP, Corporate Planning at Affymetrix, where she was responsible for strategic planning and project management and where she also served as COO for the International Genomics Consortium, a non-profit medical research organization focused on cancer genomics.  Earlier in her career she was a consultant with McKinsey & Co., where she served clients in healthcare, biotech, high tech and venture capital.  She was also an engineer with Merck & Co. in France and in Rahway, NJ.  Dr. Colón received her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar.

Ailis Tweed-Kent

Board Chair, CEO & Founder

Dr. Ailis Tweed-Kent is an up-and-coming entrepreneur and leader in the development of innovative medical technologies. With her education in medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Ailis has first hand knowledge of the burden of disease. In 2013, Ailis was inspired by her patients to found Cocoon to develop innovative silk therapeutics for osteoarthritis. Prior to Cocoon, she worked on the design, development, and delivery of diagnostic technologies for global health collaborating with organizations such as PEPFAR/Office of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and the Global Health Delivery Project. She brings a multidisciplinary approach with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Scientific Advisory Board

Annalisa Jenkins

Advisory Board

Annalisa Jenkins, M.B.B.S., F.R.C.P., President and Chief Executive Officer at leading gene therapy company Dimension Therapeutics, is a biopharma thought leader with nearly 20 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Dimension in September 2014, Dr. Jenkins served as head of global research and development at Merck Serono Pharmaceuticals from 2013 to 2014, where she also served as executive vice president global development and medical from 2011 to 2013. Prior to this, Dr. Jenkins held several leadership roles at Bristol Myers-Squibb (BMS) from 1997 to 2011, most recently serving as senior vice president and head of global medical affairs. Earlier in her career, Dr. Jenkins was a medical officer in the British Royal Navy during the Gulf Conflict, achieving the rank of surgeon lieutenant commander. Dr. Jenkins is a member of the board of directors of Ardelyx, Inc., Biothera Pharmaceutical Inc., iOX Therapeutics Limited, MedCity, and Vium and previously served as a board member of Prosensa Holding N.V. (acquired by BioMarin Pharmaceutical) and Viventia Bio, Inc. (acquired by Eleven Bio). She also is a committee member of the Science Board to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, and a member of the European Union Commission’s Scientific Panel for Health. She also serves on the boards of Women in Bio and the Center for Talent Innovation (U.K.), is an executive committee member of Springboard Enterprises, and is on the Advisory Panel of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. Dr. Jenkins graduated with a degree in medicine from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in the University of London and subsequently trained in cardiovascular medicine in the U.K. National Health Service.

David Hunter

Advisory Board

Professor Hunter is a rheumatology clinician researcher whose main research focus is clinical and translational research in osteoarthritis (OA). He is the Florance and Cope Chair of Rheumatology and Professor of Medicine at University of Sydney, Chair of the Institute of Bone and Joint Research and Staff Specialist at Royal North Shore Hospital and North Sydney Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Centre. He is ranked as the leading expert in the world on osteoarthritis on expertscape.com and is the section editor for UpToDate osteoarthritis. He holds a medical degree and Master of Sports Medicine from the University of New South Wales. He completed a fellowship in Rheumatology at the Royal Australian College of Physicians and earned a Masters of Medical Science (Clinical Epidemiology) from the University of Newcastle and received his PhD from the University of Sydney in 2001. His research is focused on a number of key elements in OA including (but not limited to) the epidemiology of osteoarthritis, the application of imaging to better understand structure and function with application to both epidemiologic research and clinical trials, novel therapies in disease management and heath service system delivery of chronic disease management. He is an editor for leading international journals in his field, has authored books on osteoarthritis and has over 350 publications in peer reviewed journals.

Andrew Bellinger

Advisory Board

Dr. Bellinger is an accomplished physician and scientist with more than 10 years of experience in pharmaceutical innovation. He is the Chief Science Officer of Lyndra.  He graduated from Princeton University majoring in physics before studying mathematical modeling of the human body at NYU. He received his MD and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University. He trained in internal medicine at UCSF and now continues to practice medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He also works with Robert Langer at MIT on novel drug delivery platforms.

Christian Lattermann

Advisory Board

Professor Lattermann is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine.  He is the director for cartilage repair and restoration at UK Healthcare and a professor of orthopaedics at the University of Kentucky.  He received his medical degree from Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany. Dr Latterman completed fellowships at Rush-Presbyterian Hospital, Chicago and Center for Sports Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

David Kaplan

Scientific Founder & Advisory Board

David Kaplan holds an Endowed Chair, the Stern Family Professor of Engineering, at Tufts University. He is Professor & Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and also holds faculty appointments in the School of Medicine, the School of Dental Medicine, Department of Chemistry and the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. His research focus is on biopolymer engineering. He has published over 600 peer reviewed papers and edited eight books. He serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals and is Associate Editor for the ACS journal Biomacromolecules. He was Elected Fellow American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and received the Columbus Discovery Medal and Society for Biomaterials Clemson Award for contributions to the literature.