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About Us

Genisphere is developing 3DNA®-based therapeutics for our partners and our own portfolio.

Genisphere provides an innovative DNA-based targeted drug delivery platform called 3DNA®. Genisphere seeks additional partnerships with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies that could benefit from the company's platform technology, which is IP-protected and fully customizable to deliver small molecules, biologics, and nucleic acids in a highly targeted manner.

For us, this mission is much more than words on a page. We live this mission every day as we employ the unique characteristics of our flexible platform to support our continuing partnerships and to advance our own lead programs based on 3DNA® nanotechnology.

Company History

Over 20 years history of customizing 3DNA® for commercial and collaborative purposes - from life science and clinical diagnostic reagents to specifically targeted biotherapeutics

In 1986, the first patent applications covering the design and use of 3DNA technology were filed. Genisphere was incorporated in 1997 and proudly launched its first 3DNA Expression Array Detection kit, developed in conjunction with Harvard-affiliated researchers, in 1999. Genisphere launched the world’s first microRNA labeling kit in 2005, and an optimized FlashTag microRNA labeling kit in 2007, which was licensed to Invitrogen (2006, 2008) and Affymetrix (2009, 2011).

With an established business in microarrays, Genisphere launched products with unique RNA amplification technology including SenseAMP in 2004, RampUP in 2006, and Sensation in 2011. In 2008, Genisphere’s RNA amplification technology was incorporated into the Pathwork Diagnostics Tissue of Origin Test, which was cleared by the FDA in 2010. The Sensation technology was licensed to Affymetrix in 2011 for microarray applications.

Single-tube 3DNA UltraAmp reagents were first launched in 2005, and have been cited in publications describing improved sensitivity in various immunoassays. Genisphere found particular success in providing custom reagents to improve the limit of detection in lateral flow point-of-care diagnostic tests and licensed 3DNA technology to BBI Solutions for lateral flow assay development for enhanced performance and sensitivity (2014).

In 2009, Genisphere LLC was formed when management partnered with Corporate Fuel Partners to execute a MBO and acquired all its legacy technology and intellectual property from Datascope (Getinge AB). With established success of 3DNA technology in life science and diagnostic applications, the company turned its focus to targeted drug delivery. Since research has shown DNA to be a non-toxic, biocompatible material in vivo, Genisphere aimed to become the first commercial source of highly targeted DNA-based nanocarriers. Genisphere's first task was to re-engineer its DNA strands based on three goals for the final 3DNA construct:

  1. Redesigning the DNA sequences with the immune system in mind
  2. Incorporating more crosslinking sites for better stability of the core 3DNA structure
  3. Scaling up the manufacturing process and engaging a contract manufacturing organization to achieve routine production of therapeutic quantities of 3DNA

After meeting these objectives, Genisphere leveraged its experience in antibody-DNA conjugation to expand research in attachment of DNA to antibody fragments, peptides, sugars, vitamins and other molecules for cell-specific targeting. The company studied DNA-binding drugs and small molecules linked to DNA for use as cytotoxic treatments. Genisphere established several key collaborations to perform in vitro and in vivo evaluations of various combinations of targeting conjugates and payload conjugates on the 3DNA nanocarrier.

A key publication in 2014 by Dr. Muro demonstrated 3DNA as a platform to provide cell-specific (cytosolic and nuclear) delivery of drugs with functional intracellular effects without apparent toxicity. In 2017, Genisphere announced ongoing studies of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of various 3DNA designs and formulations with Dr. Muro at the University of Maryland. The company also engaged a contract research organization to establish safety of 3DNA in a dose escalation and repeated dose toxicity study (2017).

Genisphere’s collaborators were crucial to generate preclinical data showing the versatility and efficacy of 3DNA-based therapeutics. The lab of Dr. Sawicki proposed siRNA delivered with 3DNA as a biotherapueutic for sensitizing ovarian tumors to standard-of-care treatments (2016), while Dr. George-Weinstein and colleagues suggested using a unique antibody coupled to 3DNA loaded with doxorubicin to immunodeplete cells responsible for forming secondary cataracts (2017).

Today, Genisphere continues to support partners in pursuit of 3DNA-based therapeutics for neurological disease, pancreatic cancer, and other diseases. The company seeks additional partnerships with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to pursue 3DNA as a core technology in targeted small molecules, bispecific antibodies, nucleic acid delivery, and antibody-drug conjugates. Genisphere is also advancing its own lead programs based on the 3DNA platform for targeted drug delivery.

Management Team

Thomas H. Bliss

Mr. Bliss is the Chief Executive Officer at Genisphere. He is responsible for managing the commercialization of Genisphere's Research and Development with Dr. Robert Getts and his organization. Commercializing successfully also requires him to coordinate with Genisphere Operations led by Mr. James Kadushin. After spinning out of Datascope with Corporate Fuel Partners and creating a successful, validated diagnostics platform, Genisphere is advancing its 3DNA technology into therapeutics. The initial therapeutic focus is on creating exquisitely controlled, highly targeted medicines, both with biopharmaceutical partners and on its own account. Mr. Bliss has spent most of his career commercializing technology and research. Prior to Genisphere, he was the founding Chief Executive Officer at TheraKine, a start-up, biophysical matrix, sustained-release, drug delivery technology company. While there, he guided the company through its first evaluative partnerships with two top-5 biopharmaceutical companies and cultivated a CRADA-based partnership with the United States Air Force through its 2nd and 3rd grants. Most recently, Mr. Bliss managed the Business Development function at Kyocera International, the group holding company of the Americas for Kyocera Corporation. Previously, he managed similar licensing, corporate development and business development departments at Amgen and Baxter. At Amgen, Mr. Bliss managed Corporate Development during the acquisition of Abgenix. He went on to manage three departments within the Licensing/R&D organization, International Licensing, Licensing Operations and China/India R&D activities, the latter of which he created under Dr. Roger Perlmutter's direction from concept to include over 200 R&D staff members across five departments. While at Baxter, Mr. Bliss completed over 16 licensing agreements including antibody agreements with Dyax and Protein Design Labs, and a commercialization agreement with InterMune. Earlier in his career, Mr. Bliss worked in the Treasury, Licensing and Acquisitions Analysis group within Johnson & Johnson to prepare partnering, licensing and acquisition transactions for Executive Committee review. Here, Mr. Bliss completed his first licensing transaction with then start-up company Amylin of San Diego, California. Mr. Bliss also worked in the corporate finance departments of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Cowen and Lehman Brothers where he provided financing alternatives and mergers and acquisitions advice to Healthcare and Technology companies. Mr. Bliss has an MBA in Finance and Marketing from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a BA in English and Asian Studies (Mandarin Chinese) from Dartmouth College.

Robert C. Getts, Ph.D.

Dr. Getts is the Vice President of Research and Development and CSO at Genisphere. Dr. Getts is also an Associate Clinical Preceptor of Pharmacy and Therapeutics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, and is a graduate program advisor at Thomas Jefferson University. Since joining the Company in 1994 as a Senior Research Scientist, he has actively developed outside relationships with project collaborators and potential partners in the biotech research and business communities for work on original and custom products and technologies. Dr. Getts is a chemistry department trained biochemist. During undergraduate and graduate training as a biochemist, his goal was to understand chemically, molecularly and functionally each of the major classes of biomolecules. As an undergraduate, his thesis was focused on vitamins and lipids. As a graduate student his training was focused on proteins, nucleic acids and the interactions between proteins and nucleic acids. As a postdoctoral candidate, Dr. Getts linked his broad training together and studied novel DNA repair mechanisms for double strand break repair. As a biotech professional, Dr. Getts has over 20 years of research and development experience. The majority of this experience has been focused on the development of Genisphere’s 3DNA nanotechnology and IP portfolio as a signal amplification platform for improving sensitivity in life science and diagnostic assays (for microRNA and mRNA) and more recently as a pre-clinically validated targeted delivery platform for cancer, cardiovascular and central nervous system indications. Dr. Getts has over 25 publications and continues to publish peer-reviewed manuscripts and review articles. He has more than 15 issued patents domestically and internationally and more than 35 submitted patent applications internationally. In recent years Dr. Getts has been focused on drug discovery and the pre-clinical development of Genisphere’s 3DNA platform for both Genisphere and partner pharmaceutical company lead candidates, leading to the development of an extensive dataset in support of this work. Dr. Getts also serves as the lead scientific adviser for AllerGenis, a spin-out food allergy diagnostic company.

James M. Kadushin

Mr. Kadushin is the Vice President of Operations and COO at Genisphere, a role he has held for more than 11 years, including through the change of ownership from Datascope Corp. to Corporate Fuel Partners. Since joining Genisphere in 1997, he has held increasingly senior operating and product development roles. Along with his strategic and operating management of the company, Mr. Kadushin is also the primary inventor or co-inventor on 14 patents and patent applications, including the application of Genisphere's 3DNA signal amplification technology to "point of care" lateral flow immunoassays. Concurrently with his tenure at Genisphere, Mr. Kadushin started a testing laboratory to conduct molecular research and diagnostic testing for veterinary samples. Among the tests developed were PCR amplification-based assays for infectious diseases and identity determination. Previously, Mr. Kadushin led Operations and R&D for Gen Trak, Inc., manufacturer of a quality line of classical HLA serological typing tests and frozen human lymphocyte cell trays. While there, he developed a HLA PCR-based clinical typing test for matching organ donors and recipients, which became only the second PCR-based product 510(k) cleared by the FDA. Earlier in his career, Mr. Kadushin co-founded HKB Systems, Inc., through which he and his partners licensed the rights from Case Western Reserve University to the clinical laboratory Database Management System (DBMS). He and his partners sold and installed the DBMS system in clinical labs nationwide. Mr. Kadushin holds a B.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University.

Lori A. Getts, Ph.D.

Dr. Getts, Genisphere’s Vice President of Preclinical and Process Development, joined the Company in 1998 and has had a key role in both Research and Development and Operations. While Dr. Getts' primary function is directing Process Development, she also has a significant role in Manufacturing, QC, and QA of all products. Prior to Genisphere’s pivot to therapeutics, she managed all of the Company’s legacy product manufacture and QC. More recently and since engaging a contract manufacturer (CMO) to produce scale 3DNA materials for pre-clinical and clinical development, her expertise in product development and design led her to a managerial role in both tech transfer and scale up activities with the CMO. Dr. Getts also interfaces with the therapeutic development team to support pharmaceutical partners, academic research collaborations, and preclinical development programs focused on building Genisphere’s pipeline. She has been serving as the liaison, study monitor and Principal Investigator in studies run by an outside contract research organization focused on assembling a preclinical package. As an example, she was the study monitor for Genisphere’s 3DNA dose escalation and repeat dose toxicity study. She is a co-author of several posters and papers as well as co-inventor on several patents and patent applications. Dr. Getts received her Ph.D. in Chemistry (Biochemistry focus) from Lehigh University and completed her Ph.D. thesis at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Her graduate background includes cancer research and using ovarian cancer model systems to study ovarian cancer etiology. She has familiarity with multi-drug resistance in various tumor models and her knowledge of tumor biology has been instrumental in the development of variations of the 3DNA scaffold for improved targeted delivery within the variable tumor micro-environment.

Board of Directors

Vijay Aggarwal, Ph.D.

Dr. Aggarwal serves on the Board of Directors of Genisphere. He has over thirty years of experience in both pharmaceutical services and clinical diagnostics. He is currently a Partner of The Channel Group, LLC and its affiliate, BioMed Transition Partners, a New York-based life sciences venture development and management firm, engaging in venture formation and venture transactions. Most recently, Dr. Aggarwal was President and CEO of Aureon Laboratories, Inc., a predictive pathology company offering advanced tissue analysis services to practicing physicians and the pharmaceutical industry. Previously, he was President of AAI Development Services, Inc., a contract research and development services company serving the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Prior to holding that position, Dr. Aggarwal was President of Quest Diagnostic Ventures, where he had responsibility for new technology, new business models, clinical trials testing, and direct–to-consumer strategies. Earlier in his career, Dr. Aggarwal held many positions with SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories (“SBCL”), the clinical laboratory operations of SmithKline Beecham plc, including direct responsibility for all of SBCL’s U.S.-based laboratories as Executive Vice President of Laboratories, Vice President of Managed Care. Dr. Aggarwal serves on the boards of several privately held diagnostic companies, including: Hycor Biomedical, Inc.; Mitomics Inc.; Targeted Diagnostics and Therapeutics, Inc.; and Viracor-IBT Laboratories; and, serves as Chairman of Lesanne Life Sciences, LLC. He earned a BA in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology/Toxicology from the Medical College of Virginia.

Alan L. Rubino

Mr. Rubino has served as CEO and President of Emisphere Technologies, Inc. since September, 2012. Previously, Mr. Rubino served as the CEO and President of New American Therapeutics, CEO and President of Akrimax Pharmaceuticals, LLC and President and COO of Pharmos Corporation. Mr. Rubino has continued to expand upon a highly successful and distinguished career which included Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc. where he was a member of the U.S. Executive and Operating Committees and a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Corporate Officer. During his Roche tenure, he held key executive positions in marketing, sales, business operations, supply chain and human resource management, and was assigned executive committee roles in marketing, project management, and globalization of the worldwide pharmaceuticals business. Mr. Rubino also held senior executive positions at PDI, Inc. and Cardinal Health. He holds a B.A. in economics from Rutgers University with a minor in biology/chemistry and completed his post-graduate educational programs at the University of Lausanne and Harvard Business School. Additionally, he serves on the Boards of Sanuwave, Inc. (SNWV), Vericel, Inc. (VCEL), and Rutgers University School of Business.

S. Arieh Zak

Mr. Zak has 20 years of experience in the life science industry. He is currently Senior Vice President, Regulatory/Clinical/Quality Affairs and General Counsel at PowerVision Inc. in Belmont, California. Prior to that, he held a variety of positions at Datascope Corp. including Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Counsel, and was concurrently General Manager of Genisphere Inc., then a Datascope subsidiary, from its inception in 1998 until 2007. Mr. Zak holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Yeshiva University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.

John C. Simons

Mr. Simons is a Chairman of Genisphere and a Partner with Corporate Fuel and has spent 27 years as a banker to small and mid-size businesses and the families that own them. Mr. Simons was formerly an Executive Vice President for Bank of America (formerly Fleet National Bank) in the Regional Commercial Services Group, responsible for small business, middle market and corporate banking in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey and the Hudson Valley area. He was also Market Executive for FleetBoston Financial's activities in New York City. Prior to joining Fleet, Mr. Simons was a Senior Vice President with Chase Manhattan Bank. He began his career with Chemical Bank in 1983. Mr. Simons is a Director of The United Hospital Fund, The Foundation for Aids Research, The Greater Jamaica Capital Corporation, and a former Trustee of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Mr. Simons is also former Chairman of the Lincoln Center Business Council and the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund. Mr. Simons was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg in 2003 to be a member of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. Mr. Simons has a bachelor's degree from Trinity College.

Charles S. Lachman

Mr. Lachman is a Partner with Corporate Fuel and has spent over thirty years in management and financial positions in both large and small business environments, and he has been a principal equity investor and key management participant in a number of middle market operating companies and strategic investments. In addition to his financial background, he served as Chairman of a manufacturing company and a specialty retail chain. Since 1997, Mr. Lachman was the founding partner of Corporate Investment Partners, a middle market investment banking and financial advisory firm that merged with Corporate Fuel in 2005. He was also a Partner and Managing Director of an international consulting firm; a senior executive with American Can Company; and a lending officer at J.P. Morgan. Mr. Lachman received a Bachelor's degree from Amherst College and attended Oxford University in England following his graduation, on a fellowship in history. He also attended the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School.

Russ Fein

Mr. Fein is Genisphere’s Chief Financial Officer and is also a Partner with Corporate Fuel, the middle-market private equity group based in New York City. He is an executive with presence, integrity, solid business sense, and commercial instincts. He is recognized for translating vision into clear-cut corporate goals and objectives, and completing highly complex negotiations. Mr. Fein has been deeply involved with Genisphere since helping execute the management buyout in 2009. In addition to managing the Affymetrix Licensing transactions which partnered Genisphere’s legacy business in signal amplification, Mr. Fein executed the reorganization and subsequent spin-off of Genisphere’s joint venture with Mount Sinai into AllerGenis. Mr. Fein’s specialties include: completing transactions; complex negotiations; organizational restructuring; international operations; business development; team building; private equity. Mr. Fein holds a MBA in Finance and Accounting from The University of Chicago and a BA with Honors in Managerial Economics from Union College.

Brian P. McVeigh

Mr. McVeigh has had a 25-year career with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), where he held multiple senior-level positions within the global Business Development, Finance, Marketing, Corporate, and R&D organizations, including over 15 years in the Worldwide Business Development organization where he most recently served as the Vice President of Worldwide Business Development Transactions and Investment Management. In that capacity Mr. McVeigh oversaw the execution of over 100 business development transactions spanning the entirety of the R&D pipeline, and he managed GSK’s portfolio of equity investments in biotech partners deploying more than $500 million in R&D and early stage biotech investments. Since leaving GSK Mr. McVeigh has held C-level roles in both privately held and publicly traded biotech companies and is currently the Chief Business Officer of Zafgen, Inc. Mr. McVeigh graduated from LaSalle University with a BS in Accounting and Finance and completed his MBA with a Concentration in Finance at Villanova University. He holds a Post-MBA Certificate in Pharmaceutical Marketing from Saint Joseph's University and a Certificate of Professional Development from the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Licensing Executives Society and is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and a Certified Licensing Professional.