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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).

To expand its 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 2013, Genisphere and The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai announced their agreement to jointly develop a new allergy test to quickly and effectively characterize patients’ food allergies. This collaboration led to AllerGenis LLC, spun out of Genisphere in 2017, to develop precision, data-driven diagnostics to help healthcare providers more accurately and safely diagnose, assess and monitor patients with food allergies. AllerGenis is creating the largest food allergy knowledge base populated by individual patient epitope signatures derived from epitope mapping, clinical history, and patient-reported outcomes to gain clinical insights.

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 with Dr. Muro at the University of Maryland and published this work. 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, 2019).

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

Robert C. Getts, Ph.D.

Dr. Getts is the Chief Science Officer at Genisphere and acting CEO. Since joining the Company in 1994, 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 also an Associate Clinical Preceptor of Pharmacy and Therapeutics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, serves on the Rowan University Biomedical Engineering Industrial and Medical Advisory Board, and is a graduate program advisor at Thomas Jefferson University and The University of Maryland. Dr. Getts is a chemistry department trained biochemist. During his undergraduate and graduate training, 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 25 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 30 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.

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. Dr. Getts' primary function is directing the Preclinical Program and Process Development efforts, leveraging her graduate school training and oncology experience. Prior to Genisphere’s pivot to therapeutics, she directed the Manufacturing, QC, and QA of all products including Genisphere’s legacy product lines, FlashTag, UltraAmp, and RNA Amplification kits. 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 external 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.

Lou Casta, Ph.D.

Dr. Casta leads the team that performs the chemical conjugation efforts in Genisphere’s Research and Development department. He is responsible for the synthesis and purification of oligonucleotide conjugates for use with Genisphere’s 3DNA nanotechnology. Under his leadership, Genisphere has internalized certain conjugation and purification methods and techniques previously provided by outside vendors, thus removing the dependence on those vendors and recapturing the cost. He and his team use a variety of chemical techniques to conjugate targeting molecules and small drugs to DNA, and advise or perform characterization and in vitro testing of the resulting bioconjugates. Lou and his team support the efforts of academic collaborators as well as pharmaceutical partners. Lou obtained his Ph.D. at Thomas Jefferson University and has worked in the vaccine development and purification space prior to his tenure at Genisphere. While at Genisphere, Lou has been the co-author of a paper and is co-inventor of two patents.

Jessica Bowers

Jessica graduated from Drexel University and joined Genisphere in 2002 as an R&D scientist, working to develop and launch 3DNA kits for gene expression microarrays. Her success in technical support led to inside sales, supporting a global base of customers. She managed collaborations with both customers and companies for unique applications of 3DNA technology, and was instrumental as product manager to support OEM relationships with Invitrogen and Affymetrix. Her customer advocacy and communication skills continued during project management of custom 3DNA requests for diagnostic applications as well as the pioneering applications in cellular targeting and delivery. Currently Jessica leads all of Genisphere’s collaborations with academic institutions for targeted therapeutics powered by 3DNA. As director of marketing communications, she ensures technical accuracy and clarity of press releases, advertisements, posters and manuscripts, from initial draft to final publication. While at Genisphere she has been named a co-author on dozens of scientific publications and one patent.

Kelly Rhodes

Mrs. Rhodes is a Senior Research Scientist and Project Coordinator at Genisphere. She started at Genisphere as an Intern in 2002. Upon graduation from Lebanon Valley College with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2004, she accepted a full time position in the Research and Development group. Mrs. Rhodes played a key role in the development and launch of the RampUP (2006) and Sensation (2011) RNA amplification products. When the company turned its initiatives to targeted drug delivery, she concentrated primarily on targeted delivery of nucleic acids, namely siRNA and plasmid DNA. In 2012 she worked to develop a method for the modification of plasmid DNA to enable hybridization to 3DNA for targeted cellular delivery. She continues to focus mainly on the delivery of nucleic acids by managing the in vitro work done at Genisphere and supporting collaborations established to study 3DNA reagents in vivo.

Board of Directors

Brian P. McVeigh

Brian McVeigh is the Chief Business Officer of Zafgen, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapies for patients affected by a range of metabolic diseases. In this capacity he leads Zafgen’s corporate strategy, business development, portfolio management, new product planning, commercial strategy, competitive intelligence corporate communications, and alliance management activities. Brian is the Board Chairman of Genisphere, and additionally serves as a Strategic Advisor to The IP Group, a venture capital investor that focuses on identifying and spinning out innovative scientific research from academic research institutions. Before transitioning into biotech in 2017, Brian enjoyed 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. While with GSK he most recently served as the Vice President of Worldwide Business Development Transactions and Investment Management, and during his 15-year tenure in the Worldwide Business Development organization he personally led the assessment, negotiation, and execution of over two-dozen significant business development transactions and directed a global team that delivered on the execution of over 100 business development transactions. He also managed GSK’s equity investments in R&D collaboration partners and GSK’s Limited Partner investments in venture capital funds, a portfolio totaling >$500 million of invested & committed capital which created >$850 million in value and delivered >$650 million of realized financial returns while under his leadership. Prior to joining Zafgen he was most recently the Chief Executive Officer and a Board Director of KBP Biosciences, a multinational clinical stage biotechnology company. Brian holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Accounting and Finance from LaSalle University, an MBA with a Concentration in Finance from Villanova University, 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.

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.

John C. Simons

Mr. Simons is 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.

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 and medical device industry. He is currently Vice President Clinical/Regulatory/Quality at InnFocus Inc. Prior to that role, he held a variety of positions including Senior Vice President, Regulatory/Clinical/Quality Affairs and General Counsel at PowerVision Inc., Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Counsel at Datascope Corp. 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.