Thomas G. Heffner, Ph.D., Former Pfizer Executive, Joins Akelos Inc. as a Strategic Advisor; Akelos Inc. is a Biotechnology Company Developing Opioid Alternatives

Written by: Mike Wood
Published on: 19 Nov 2019

NEW YORK, November 18, 2019 ( - ​​​​​​​​​Akelos Inc., a biotechnology company currently developing and commercializing a novel, non-opioid anti-hyperalgesic drug to treat chronic and neuropathic pain, adds Dr. Heffner, the former Executive Director of Neuroscience and Pain Business Development at Pfizer, as a Strategic Advisor. Dr. Heffner joins a prestigious group of advisors at Akelos Inc., which includes Thomas Daschle – Former Senate Majority Leader and Michael Levitt Ph.D. – a former Nobel prize winner in chemistry, among several others.

Dr. Heffner recently retired from Pfizer after 35 years in the pharmaceutical industry. Most recently he was Executive Director of Neuroscience and Pain Business Development at Pfizer New York, where he led teams responsible for the scientific and business evaluation of collaborations and acquisitions. Prior to this, he was Head of Parke-Davis Neuroscience Discovery Ann Arbor, MI, and Cambridge, UK, and led groups that discovered multiple drug candidates including Lyrica (pregabalin) for Neuropathic Pain. After Pfizer acquired Parke-Davis, he co-led Pfizer Neuroscience Discovery and later was appointed Vice President and head of Pfizer Discovery Research in Japan. Before he joined Parke-Davis, Dr. Heffner was a faculty member in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Chicago. He obtained a Ph.D. in Biology at The University of Pittsburgh. He has been a member of the editorial boards of Psychopharmacology and The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and is a past president of the New York Pharma Forum.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Heffner joining our team as an advisor. His 35-year track record of developing and acquiring drugs focused on neuropathic pain space is unparalleled. We believe that his involvement will elevate our team and raise awareness around the importance of what Akelos is trying to achieve,” said Akelos Founder, Dr. Steven Fox.

He continued, “We will be relentless until we have commercialized a novel, non-opioid drug to treat chronic and neuropathic pain. Dr. Heffner’s involvement marks an important next step in achieving this near-term goal.

Akelos Inc. is in a research collaboration with Weill Cornell Medicine to develop and commercialize a novel, non-opioid anti-hyperalgesic drug to treat chronic and neuropathic pain.

For more information, please contact:

Akelos Inc.

Dr. Steven Fox, CEO

About Akelos Inc.

Akelos Inc. is a biopharmaceutical clinical company focused on the translation of innovative science into treatment. The company currently is developing novel non-narcotic drugs for the treatment of neuropathic pain. The goal of Akelos is to address some of today’s most pressing areas of unmet needs.

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s expectations and are subject to certain factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, outcomes of events, timing and performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These statements include, among others, those related to: the results of research and development activities, uncertainties relating to preclinical and clinical testing, the cost, timing and outcome of the regulatory development and approval process, our  budgets, expenditures and financing plans, our need for substantial additional funds, patent and intellectual property matters, our dependence on third parties, including contract research and contract clinical trial organizations, and market opportunity and competition.

The information contained in this press release is believed to be current as of the date of original issue.  Akelos, Inc. expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in our expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based.

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