Team Members

Dale S. Dhanoa, PhD

Dr. Dhanoa is the CEO of Akaal Pharma. Previously he was the Managing Director and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Akaal Pharma. Dr. Dhanoa has nearly 20 years of experience in management and directing research and development in drug discovery and development with a proven track record of success. He is a co-inventor and co-author of over 100 patents and publications. He has held positions of increasing responsibilities at Merck, Synaptic Pharmaceuticals, Alanex Corporation, 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals, Pharmacore and Predix Pharmaceuticals. He was the founding Senior Vice President of R&D at Predix Pharmaceuticals, and later Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery at Predix Pharmaceuticals Holding Company after M&A of Predix with Physiome Sciences. He was the Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at PharmaCore, Executive Director of Drug Discovery at 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals (dddp/nasdaq, acquired by Johnson & Johnson), Director of Chemistry at Alanex (acquired by Agouron, now Pfizer), Associate Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Synaptic Pharmaceuticals (snap/nasdaq, acquired by H. Lundbeck A/S). Under Dr. Dhanoa’s R&D direction and management at Predix Pharmaceuticals, several new small molecule drug candidates were discovered in an unprecedented short period of less than three years. Four of these novel clinical product candidates advanced through Phase I, II and III clinical trials. PRX-03140, a novel drug candidate for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease, was partnered with GlaxoSmithKline(GSK) for $1.2 Billion. The pipeline of new and innovative drug candidates created by Dr. Dhanoa and his team at Predix resulted in raising significant venture capital prior to its M&A with Epix Pharma (epix/nasdaq).

B. S. Sandhu

Mr. Sandhu is the chairman, co-founder and the Principal Investor of Akaal Pharma. He is an accomplished investor and entrepreneur with over 30 years experience in starting and financing businesses in various sectors. By capitalizing on his acute business acumen, technical expertise and strategic mind-set, Mr. Sandhu was successful in penetrating new markets and achieving unprecedented growth for his companies. He is dedicated to the success and growth of Akaal Pharma.

Damian W Grobelny, PhD

Dr. Grobelny is a co-founder and Senior Scientist at Akaal Pharma. He has over 35 years of experience in organic and medicinal chemistry both in a pharma/biotech and academic institutes of Europe, North America and Australia. Dr. Grobelny has authored/invented and co-authored/co-invented over 80 significant publications and patents in organic and medicinal chemistry. Prior to joining Akaal Pharma, he was the Head of Research of Narhex Life Sciences and Head of Medicinal Chemistry of Bionomics Limited.

Gurmit S. Gill, PhD

Dr. Gill is co-founder and VP R&D of Akaal Pharma. He has more than 15 years of experience in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery of novel therapeutics both in academic and industry. He was a post doctoral fellow at the University of Otago, New Zealand and worked on the medicinal chemistry/drug discovery project in immune modulators. Dr. Gill started his carrier in medicinal chemistry with Crystal Genomics Inc. and later he worked on various drug discovery projects at Iliad Chemicals and Bionomics Ltd. He has experience on drug discovery projects related to cancer, immune mediated and central nervous system diseases. Dr. Gill is author and inventor of over 25 patents/applications and publications.

Nick Hoogenraad, PhD

Prof Hoogenraad is former Head of Biochemistry and School of Molecular Sciences (Departments of Biochemistry, Chemistry, Genetics and Pharmacy). He is internationally known for his work on mitochondrial research. He has served on the Boards of the CRC for Diagnostic Technologies, CRC for Diagnostics and the CRC for Vaccine Technologies and TransBio Ltd (CRC for Biomarker Translation). He has been active in translational research and his team was awarded $30.7 million funding to create the CRC for Biomarker Translation funding for the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Diagnostic Technologies.

He was President of ASBMB (1997-1998). He was a foundation editor of Today’s Life Science (1989) and established the Australian Biochemist in 1998. He has been active on ARC, ERA panels and NHMRC panels. He has won many major awards for his research, including the ASBMB Lemberg Medal (2004) and AMRAD/Pharmacia Biotechnology Medal (1994); Leach Protein Chemistry Medal (1997). In 2011 he was made an Honorary Life Members of the ASBMB. In 2014 he was awarded an AO for his contributions to science education and research.

In 2009 he led a successful bid for an EIF application for $64.1 million for the creation of the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS; completed Nov., 2012) where he took on the additional role as Executive Director of LIMS. In 2010 he was awarded a Charles La Trobe Distinguished chair in Biochemistry for his sustained contribution to La Trobe University.

Since 2008 his interests became increasingly focused on the cause of cancer cachexia leading to the discovery of the Fn14 receptor as the cause of this condition. He and his team developed monoclonal antibodies against the receptor which have proven to be therapeutic in preclinical.

Inderjit Singh, PhD

Professor Singh is a Distinguished University Professor, Sherman Financial Group Endowed Chair and Scientific Director of the Darby Children’s Research Institute at Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston. He served as a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine at Baltimore, MD. Professor Singh received his Ph.D. degree from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa and did postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School at Boston, MA. Prof. Singh has 35 year of experience in pre-clinical and clinical research related to inflammatory/autoimmune and central nervous system diseases. He has published over 270 research papers in peer reviewed journals and was speaker of international and national scientific conference with over 200 presentations.His research program has been continuously supported by several grants funding from multiple agencies including National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Spinal Research Foundation and Leukodystrophy Foundation. Based on the scientific achievements, Dr. Singh has received many meritorious awards including Jacob Javits Award from National Institutes of Health given for meritorious research in the field of neuroscience.

Clive Trist, MBA

Mr. Clive has over 30 years’ experience as a Director and Principal within investment banking and corporate advisory firms. His experience covers corporate turnaround and restructuring, M&A, debt and equity fund raisings, IPO’s on the ASX and LSE and company start-ups. Between 1991 and 1995 he was a founding partner in the international investment banking firm MACC Partners Australia and prior to that he was a founding director of the Corporate Services division of Australian merchant bank Spedley Limited. Prior to Spedley, as Manager, Turnaround Consulting at Chartered Accountants Touche Ross, he undertook assignments across a broad segment of the firm’s corporate clients.

In 1996 he founded Hanbury Capital Limited, an unlisted corporate advisory, M&A and capital markets firm operated in association with corporate advisory and investment banking professionals. He has been involved in multiple Capital Markets, Corporate Advisory and Investment Banking transactions in the mining, natural resources, energy, communications, life sciences, transport and manufacturing sectors. He is also a professional company director and has held various local and international directorships including Chairman, for 10 years of a successful UK engineering group operating in Europe, North America and S.E. Asia.

Clive holds a Bachelors Degree in Engineering, a Masters Degree in Business Administration and a Certificate in Industrial Law. He is a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy holding Chartered Professional status and a Member of the Australian Institute of Energy.