About Us

AGADA Biosciences is a privately owned company that incorporated in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2013. Its offices and laboratories are located in the state-of-the-art laboratory facilities at the newly complete Innovacorp building in Halifax, Nova Scotia.   The Summer St. labs are shared with Dalhousie University, and the new murine facilities maintained by expert Dalhousie University staff.

 

AGADA's mission is to meet a rapidly growing need for services that accelerate drug development for orphan diseases, with specific expertise in murine models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and other muscle disease.

 

AGADA facilitates orphan drug development for industry, non-profits, and academic-based groups. Services offered by AGADA include preclinical testing and research in murine models (in vivo efficacy), cell-based assays (in vitro ), and surrogate biomarker discovery and applications.  Drs. Nagaraju and Hoffman, the co-founders of AGADA, are key opinion leaders for preclinical efficacy studies and have helped lead international efforts to develop standard operating procedures for pre-clinical outcome measures in muscular dystrophy mouse models with the trans-EU TREAT-NMD group.

 

Drs. Nagaraju and Hoffman work closely with Dalhousie University animal facility staff and research faculty.  They hold Adjunct Faculty appointments in the Department of Pharmacology at Dalhousie University.

 

Team

Professor Kanneboyina Nagaraju, PhD, DVM

Founder, President of AGADA Biosciences

Phone: (902) 442-4011

Email: KNagaraju64@gmail.com

 

Dr. Nagaraju is a veterinarian and immunologist with expertise in the molecular pathogenesis of autoimmune and genetic muscle diseases. He is a tenured Professor of Integrative Systems Biology and Pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Associate Director of the Center for Genetic Medicine Research.  He established and directed the preclinical drug testing facility at the Children’s National Medical Center, which has now been transferred to AGADA Biosciences. Before joining CNMC in 2005, he was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Nagaraju’s research led to the identification of novel anti-inflammatory and membrane-stabilizing compounds that show efficacy in muscular dystrophy as well as inflammatory disease models. He has led international efforts on the development of standard operating procedures for preclinical efficacy studies. He currently serves as a preclinical expert on the TREAT-NMD Advisory Committee for Therapeutics (TACT) and as a member of the Medical Advisory Committee of Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Scientific Advisory Committee of Cure Duchenne. He also co-founded ReveraGen Biopharma, a biotech company engaged in developing therapeutics for neuromuscular and inflammatory diseases. He currently serves as a consultant for several biotech companies. Dr. Nagaraju has over 100 publications and holds several federal and non-federal grants for translational research on neuromuscular diseases. 


Professor Eric P Hoffman, PhD

Founder, Vice-president of AGADA Biosciences

Phone: (902) 442-4011

Email: ericphoffman@gmail.com

  

Dr. Hoffman is a human molecular geneticist with extensive experience in translational therapeutics in the muscular dystrophies. Working with Louis Kunkel at Boston Children’s Hospital, Dr. Hoffman helped clone the Duchenne muscular dystrophy gene. He then identified dystrophin and its deficiency as the cause of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He is a world renowned leader who has made key contributions to the genetics, genomics, and molecular diagnostics of many types of neuromuscular disease. He currently holds the A. James Clark Chair in Molecular Medicine at Children’s National Medical Center, where he leads the Center for Genetic Medicine Research. He is Professor and Chair of the Department of Integrative Systems Biology at George Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Hoffman serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Foundation to Eradicate Duchenne, CureDuchenne, Save Our Sons, and C3 Foundation. He is Chairman-elect of the TREAT-NMD Executive Committee and Scientific Director of the Cooperative International Neuromuscular Disease Research Group (CINRG).  He is also the CEO and a co-founder of ReveraGen Biopharma. He has over 500 publications and holds 7 patents.


Dr. Kitipong Uaesoontrachoon, PhD

Senior Director of Research

Phone: (902) 442-4011

Email: KUaesoon@agadabio.com

  

Dr. Uaesoontrachoon is a muscle biologist with more than 8 years of experience working with muscular dystrophies. He received his PhD in muscle biology from the University of Melbourne, Australia and post-doctoral training in the laboratories of Drs. Nagaraju and Hoffman at Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC. He specializes in the pathogenesis of muscular dystrophies and has carried out several preclinical phenotyping, drug efficacy, and surrogate biomarker studies in multiple animal models of neuromuscular diseases at Children’s National Medical Center. Dr. Uaesoontrachoon also previously worked at Cortical, Pty Ltd (Australia), a company engaged in research and development of small-molecule solutions for inflammatory diseases. He also received training in Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) for Pre-Clinical Testing. Dr. Uaesoontrachoon will oversee and manage all the preclinical operations at AGADA Biosciences and will assist in the implementation of the surrogate biomarker program.  

 

Amanda Mullen, B.Sc

Director of Operations

Phone: (902) 442-4011

Email: AMullen@agadabio.com

 

Ms. Mullen received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a minor in business from Dalhousie University. During her undergraduate studies she worked as a Research Assistant at ReveraGen BioPharma Inc. in the Children's National Medical Center (CNMC). During her time there, she studied the effects of corticosteroids on skeletal muscle cells. She also studied the effects of anti-inflammatory compounds on the resorption rate of human osteoblasts. While working with ReveraGen, she participated in preclinical studies in muscular dystrophy mouse models. Ms. Mullen received training in Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) for Pre-Clinical Testing in 2013 and Pharmaceutical and BioPharmaceutical Quality Control Laboratories in 2014, through the CfPIE. Ms. Mullen began working with AGADA Biosciences in 2013 and will continue to use her science and business background to manage business operations and assist with the preclinical trial program.

 

Sadish Srinivassane, B.V.Sc, MVPH, MSc 

Senior Research Associate

Phone: (902) 442-4011

Email: SSriniv@agadabio.com

   

Mr. Srinivassane received his Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree from Pondicherry University (India), Master of Veterinary Public Health degree from Calcutta University (India), and Master of Animal Science degree from Dalhousie University (Canada). He has worked in various research institutes and universities as a research assistant and research fellow, where he acquired an impressive number of skills and techniques related to animal studies, immunology and molecular biology. Mr. Srinivassane has previously worked at Performance Genomics Inc. (Canada), maintaining a breeding colony of mice for research on the reproductive longevity of animals. As a veterinarian, he also has a vast amount of experience in animal work, a quality that is essential for preclinical trials and AGADA Biosciences. At AGADA, Mr. Srinivassane manages laboratory equipment and supplies to ensure effectiveness, regular maintenance and calibration. He has extensive experience with in vivo functional testing such as, echocardiography, plethysmography and grip strength and he uses these skills to assist in the preclinical testing program.

 

 

Marina Filipovic, B.Sc

Quality Assurance & Training Manager

Phone: (902) 442-4011

Email: MMoraca@agadabio.com

  

Ms. Filipovic received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from University of New Brunswick in Frederiction. She worked for a number of years in the agricultural sector before joining AGADA Biosciences. As the Quality Assurance and Training Manager at AGADA, Marina develops, implements and maintains the QA program. She oversees document control, analysis of quality data, corrective and preventive actions and conducts or hosts audits. Additionally, Marina manages the employee training program at AGADA. By planning, organizing and directing training activities, she ensures all employees are properly equipped to carry out quality work.

 

Christina Bell, B.Sc

Research Associate

Phone: (902) 442-4011

Email: CBell@agadabio.com

  

Ms. Bell received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Previous work in a veterinary hospital as kennel assistant has provided her with hands-on animal experience in a clinical setting. During the course of her education, Ms. Bell developed an avid interest in the fundamentals of histology, acquiring skills advantageous to immunohistochemical techniques and histopathological quantification. At AGADA, Christina manages animal orders, specializes in various methods of drug administration and blood collection and carefully monitors the health status of animals within the preclinical trial program. She also assists with in vivo functional testing and histological analysis for preclinical studies.

 

Alexandra MacKinnon B.Sc

Research Coordinator

Phone: (902) 442-4011

Email: AMacKinnon@agadabio.com

 

Ms. MacKinnon received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. During her undergraduate degree, she worked on several research projects studying the dispersal patterns of overwintered Colorado potato beetles for Agriculture Canada as well as worked on a study for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada studying the effects of shellfish aquaculture on seagrass populations. After graduating she worked for several years as an assistant manager for a biotechnology company focusing on the development of environmentally safe and efficacious baculovirus products for integrated pest management programs in North America. At AGADA Biosciences, Ms. MacKinnon will use her management background to work on preclinical contracts and her in vivo testing background to assist in the preclinical trial testing program. 

 

William Ross B.Sc

Research Associate

Phone: (902) 442-4011

Email: WRoss@agadabio.com

 

Mr. Ross received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Acadia University, located in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Over the course of his program, he developed a keen interest in molecular sciences. In conjunction with his honours research project in freshwater aquatic ecology, conducting biomass and population estimates of local fish populations, he also worked as a field technician for the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation studying American Eels in Lunenburg County. At AGADA, Mr. Ross has been extensively trained in performing in vivo functional assays such as plethysmography, and has also been trained to perform RT-PCR and histological analysis. He will use these skills to assist in the preclinical trial testing program. 

 

Maja Malbasic B.Sc

Research Associate

Phone: (902) 442-4011

Email: MMalbasic@agadabio.com

 

Ms. Malbasic received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology, with a minor in chemistry and mathematics from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, NS. During her undergraduate degree, she focused on animal behaviour and physiology. After graduation, her professional employment provided hands on experience in a laboratory environment in addition to project management skills. Her most recent experience in a regulated GMP laboratory for rapid diagnostic tests, included over four years in a regulatory and quality assurance environment. As a quality assurance research associate, Ms. Malbasic helped maintain the quality system and performed internal audits to ensure that quality standards were achieved by all of the company's products. Ms. Malbasic will use her professional background to assist with the preclinical testing and quality assurance programs at AGADA.

 

Joyce Rowsell B.Sc

Research Associate

Phone: (902) 442-4011

Email: JRowsell@agadabio.com

 

Ms. Rowsell received her Bachelor of Science degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. During her undergraduate degree, she specialized and majored in Marine Biology. Through the co-op program she did two internships working as an animal care technician and became familiar with the medical research industry. After graduation she spent a few years working for the department of Fisheries and Oceans on a number of projects involving flora and fauna from near shore as well as deep sea locations. Her work included spending weeks working at sea aboard large research vessels and observing the commercial crab fishery on small fishing boats. At AGADA, Ms. Rowsell will use her background in animal care to help manage breeding. She will also work to maintain the safety program and assist with the preclinical trial program.

 

Molly Barkhouse B.Sc

Research Associate

Phone: (902) 442-4011

Email: MBarkhouse@agadabio.com

 

Ms. Barkhouse received her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics with a minor in chemistry and biology from Acadia University and Mount Saint Vincent University. During her undergraduate program she worked with Capital Health as a mathematical consultant for a research project on predicting Influenza in hospitalized patients. After graduation she was recruited by an international hedge fund company to work as a risk and compliance analyst. Molly applied her skills in programming, mathematical modelling and report writing to meet the needs of her clients. Her initial passion to pursue research resulted in her joining the team at AGADA. Ms. Barkhouse will apply her chemistry, biology and statistical background to assist with the preclinical testing program. 

 

 

Angela Daurie, M.Sc

Research Associate

Phone: (902) 442-4011

Email: ADaurie@agadabio.com

 

Ms. Daurie received her Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. During her undergraduate degree Ms. Daurie majored in microbiology, immunology and biology. She also did several internships working as an animal care technician and in microbiology labs. During her Masters degree, Ms. Daurie investigated animal models for intestinal bacterial infection, focusing on variation in disease susceptibility between mouse strains and effects of specific bacterial effectors during infection. Through this degree she gained extensive experience with mouse handling, assessing animal health and behavior, dissections and histological analysis of internal organs. Ms. Daurie has received extensive training to perform in vitro force measurements on isolated muscles. She will use this training and her background with molecular techniques and in vivo murine models to assist with the preclinical testing program and AGADA.  

 

CO-OP students

James Bagley
Research Technician
Phone: (902) 442-4011
Email: JBagley@agadabio.com

 

Mr. Bagley is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. At AGADA, Mr. Bagley has been extensively trained in eMHC and Picro-sirius red staining and image analysis for regenerating fibers and fibrosis in mouse skeletal muscles and heart. He also has been trained to perform dissections and collect and store frozen tissues. He will use these new skills to assist in the preclinical testing program at AGADA.

Ashleigh Dunphy

Research Technician

Phone: (902) 442-4011

Email: ADunphy@agadabio.com

 

Ms. Dunphy is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Biology at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. She previously worked for the department of agriculture in Fredericton, New Brunswick, looking at the pathology of strawberry plants to monitor and suggest methods in which farmers could prevent their crops from Strawberry Decline Disease. During her studies and through working for AGADA, she has gained a strong interest in histology and immunology. She has also been trained to assist with preclinical functional testing methods such as grip strength measurements and plethysmography. She will use these new skills to assist in the preclinical testing program at AGADA.

 

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