The Benu Team

Drs. Dennis I. Goldberg, Eric M. Morrel and Phillip M. Friden, first worked together as a team for 5 years as senior managers at Transport Pharmaceuticals, using contract vendors to develop drug/product combination products for the treatment of dermal conditions. These were products that combined novel drug formulations, unique delivery systems and cutting edge medical electronics, and required tightly coordinated activity amongst multiple vendors in multiple disciplines. They provide great examples of efficient and effective product development in the virtual company format.

Dennis Goldberg, Ph.D., FAHA


Dr. Goldberg has 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, ranging from drug discovery at a Fortune 25 company to chief executive officer of “virtual” biotechnology companies. Dr. Goldberg has served as president, CEO and Founder of Transport Pharmaceuticals, Inc., President, CEO and Founder of neXus therapeutics, inc., a biotechnology management and consulting company, President, CEO and Director of BZL Biologics, a company developing monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of prostate cancer. The BZL antibody technology was licensed by Millennium Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:MLNM). Dr. Goldberg was President, CEO and co-Founder of Talaria Therapeutics, which developed the Large Unilamellar Vesicle (LUV) technology. Talaria Therapeutics was acquired by Esperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ESPR) less than two years after its formation.

Dr. Goldberg was also Vice President of Product development and regulatory Affairs at GelTex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:GELX), where he was responsible for all biological and clinical development activities at the company, leading to the approval of RenaGel® and WelChol®. He was also co-Founder of Transcend Therapeutics, a spin out of Clintec Nutrition Co. (a joint venture between Baxter and Nestle), where he was Vice President of Research and Development, and Science Coordinator for the Atherosclerosis Research Program at Pfizer Central Research. Dr. Goldberg holds a Ph.D. in Physiology and Biochemistry from Temple University and received post doctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania and at the Specialized Center of Research on Atherosclerosis, University of California, San Diego. He is a Fellow of the American Heart Association. He has published extensively in basic and clinical sciences and is the inventor on twelve U.S. patents.

Eric M. Morrel, Ph.D.


Dr. Morrel has been working in the biotechnology industry for over 25 years and in clinical research for the last 20. Dr. Morrel was previously Vice President of Clinical Research at Transport Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he was responsible for the design and writing of all clinical Phase 1 - 3 Protocols, participated in the management and execution of those trials and contributed the clinical sections for all regulatory submissions. Prior to joining Transport, Dr. Morrel was associate director of clinical operations at Transkaryotic Therapeutics, Inc. (TKTI) where he was responsible for the execution and management of TKTI’s gene therapy Clinical Trial. Dr. Morrel began his work in clinical Research at Ascent pediatrics, Inc., a virtual company focused on reformulating drugs for the pediatric market, where he was assistant director of medical affairs. At Ascent he managed multiple phase 1-3 trials, including selecting, negotiating and managing the contracts of the CROs. Dr. Morrel has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from M.I.T., an M.S. in Chemical Engineering and Chemical Engineering Practice from M.I.T. and B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University.

Phillip M.Friden, Ph.D.

Dr. Friden has 25 years experience in the biopharmaceutical industry taking products from concept through proof of concept clinical studies. This includes more than 15 years working in virtual/semi-virtual companies. Most recently, Dr. Friden was Vice President of Research & Development and Clinical Operations at Transport Pharmaceuticals, which included responsibility for development of all new products, two of which went from concept into clinical testing. Dr. Friden was formerly vice president of biology at Scion Pharmaceuticals, a start-up biotechnology company focused on small molecule drug discovery of ion channel modulators. Prior to Scion, Dr. Friden was vice president of Research & Development at Periodontix (acquired by Demegen in 2001) where he managed a team focused on the development of multiple novel peptide-based treatments for chronic infections. Dr. Friden began his career in the biotechnology industry as one of the founding scientists of Alkermes, Inc., where he initiated and lead a research program focused on the delivery of therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier. Dr. Friden received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology from the State University of New York, Stony Brook and conducted Post-Doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Friden is an inventor on 19 issued U.S. patents and has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.

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