Akanocure Pharmaceuticals

Purdue University

Akanocure Pharmaceuticals is a drug development company with a focus on orphan and unmet needs in oncology. Metastasis is the spread of cancer to surrounding tissues and distant organs. It is responsible for 90% of cancer deaths. Medical efforts usually fail in managing the disease once it spreads through the body. It is our mission to find therapeutic approaches that block metastatic processes.  We are applying our expertise throughout the drug discovery and development process to create novel small molecules that will positively impact the lives of cancer patients.


Sherine Abdelmawla is the Cofounder and CEO of Akanocure Pharmaceuticals. She has over 14 years of experience teaching organic chemistry and conducting research in the biotechnology industry; within R&D and clinical divisions. Abdelmawla’s research involved working on nucleic acid-based cancer therapeutics and cancer diagnostics. She serves on a few boards including MatchBox Co-working Board of Directors and Ivy Tech Community College, Chemical Technology Advisory Board. Abdelmawla holds a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology from Purdue University and a B.S. degree with honors in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Cairo University, School of Pharmacy.

Mohammad Noshi, President of R&D and COO, has over 12 years of experience within the academic and industrial settings developing chemistry methodologies, synthesis of anti-cancer natural products, complex alkaloids synthesis, diagnostic agents for image-guided surgery in cancer, and potential drug candidates for Alzheimer’s disease and prostate cancer. Noshi holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Purdue University, postdoctoral experience from MIT, M.S. in Medicinal Chemistry from The University of Toledo, and a B.S. with honors in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Cairo University where he held a faculty position.

Philip Fuchs, Chief Scientific Officer, has been on the Purdue Faculty since 1973. He is currently the Emeritus R. B. Wetherill Professor of Chemistry and holds Purdue’s highest scientific award, the McCoy Research award. He published more than 240 papers and granted 71 PhDs dedicated to total organic synthesis and methodologies. Fuchs has consulted for Pfizer and Eli Lilly, has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Organic Chemistry, and is the Editor-in-Chief for EROS. Fuchs holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, and moved to Harvard for a postdoctoral fellowship with the Nobel Prize winner, E.J. Corey.

Homer Pearce, Scientific Advisory Board Chairman, had a 27-year career at Lilly was devoted to cancer drug discovery and clinical development. Pearce held several positions of increasing responsibility at Lilly. He served as Vice President of Cancer Research and Clinical Investigation from 1994-2002 and became a Distinguished Research Fellow, Cancer Research in 2002. He now serves in several consulting and advisory roles in the academic, government and biopharmaceutical communities. In 2001 Pearce was named a Distinguished Graduate of the College of Science, Texas A&M University, and in 2006 he was named a Hero of Chemistry by the American Chemical Society. Pearce received a B.S. degree in chemistry from Texas A&M University in 1974 and was awarded a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard University in 1979 working with the Nobel Prize winner, E.J. Corey.

John Bamforth, Board of Directors Chairman, has been a highly successful executive for over 30 years in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry. He held a number of cross-functional roles and is best known for his successes in an array of commercial roles. These experiences include broad global strategy roles in building blockbuster brands, such as Cialis. He was instrumental to the success of the largest restructure in Lilly’s history in 2013. Bamforth has recently retired as Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Lilly’s $6 billion Biomedicines business unit. He has been active in business development, most notably the recent $960M acquisition of CoLucid. He is the Lilly chair of a partnership with Pfizer in the development of a chronic pain brand and has lead launches with biotech companies such as ICOS, United Therapeutics, and Acrux. He is currently the Director of the Eshelman Institute for Innovation at UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, where he is managing a $100 million in funds to advance transformative technologies. He received his bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Bath and his Ph.D. in neuropharmacology from Aston University in the United Kingdom. Pharmavoice named John one of Pharma’s top 100 ‘Inspirational Leaders’ in 2007 and Aston University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate for service to the Pharma Industry in 2012.