MANAGEMENT TEAM BIOGRAPHIES
Dr. Josefino B. Tunac, President & Chairman
Dr. Joe Tunac is a medical scientist specializing in the discovery and development of drugs. He studies the biochemistry and physiology of the human body and designs drugs to target dysfunctional mechanisms. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of the
Philippines then graduate studies at South Dakota State, Penn State and a doctorate degree at Rutgers University, NJ (at The Waksman Institute: known as the birthplace of antibiotics); Dr. Tunac discovered his first drug (Hydroheptin) at the Waksman Institute. This feat prompted Merck to hire Dr. Tunac as a senior scientist and became instrumental in the discovery and development of multi-billion dollar drugs, including antiparasitic agent (Avermectin , Ivomec ® Heartgard ®); and antibacterial antibiotic (Primaxin®). Avermectin was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in medicine.
Dr. Tunac was recruited to Detroit by Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis (later bought by Pfizer) as a Director of Antibiotics and Chemotherapy where he was responsible for the development of Pentostatin (Nipent®, an anti-cancer drug), Vidarabine (Vira-A®, an anti-viral drug), and Daunomycin (Daunorubicin®, an anti-cancer drug) and the discovery of a number of experimental anti-cancer drugs.
Dr. Tunac left Parke-Davis and founded Fermical, Inc. (Ferndale, MI), a biopharmaceutical company. Discoveries from this lab were parlayed into the start-up of other companies including: Tunair Labware (Detroit, MI) biotech equipment (Tunair™ Culture Flask, sold world-wide); SuperGen, Inc (Dublin, CA), anti-cancer drugs; JJ Pharma, Inc., (San Ramon, CA), cholesterol-modifying and arthritic drugs; Acea Biotech, Inc. (San Francisco, CA), Corifungin™ to treat fungal, amoebic and protozoal infections (FDA has granted the orphan-drug status for Leishmaniasis, and the deadly brain-eating amoeba Naegleria). Another company he founded was Farmaceutix, LLC, involved in the manufacturing of the anti-cancer drug Mitomycin and in 2012, research and development of the diagnostic tool, GlycoCardia (utilizing the surrogate blood marker designed in the discovery of Embotricin) and other novel synthetic compounds, that in combination were designed to be preventative and curative of chronic diseases, with the early focus on CVD.
Dr. Tunac has more than 40 years of drug development experience , at least 30 patents and patents pending and more than 35 scientific publications. He was awarded “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Metropolitan Center for High Technology, Detroit, MI. He lives in Oxford, MI.
Michael Brennan, Chief Executive Officer
30 years leading new ventures w/ 7 start-ups. 15 years in the graphic arts business, 86-99; plant manager and outside sales. Won international Innovation Award; Detroit Veterans Hospital design. Led all sales final 8 years. First start-up in 99, a novel by-owner, full service real estate,
title and mortgage company - grew nationally, sold in 07. Started Business Growth Sciences to provide coaching, growth and capital strategies and a Michigan-broker dealer and advisory providing business planning, venture and public offering consultation in 07. In 2010 merged with Brennan International dba AmerAdvise, to continue coaching and capital strategies while providing same for the Mac-OU and OU Incubators, Oakland County's One Stop and Medical Main Street BoD. Led statewide incubators 011-17 in grant awards for clients, while adding 75M in new equities and convertible debenture financing, often a combination of grant, angel and venture, as well as structurng partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, 100+ clients served via private practice 012-17. Entrepreneur in Residence Chase/MCC Innovation Fund 015-Sep17. Excited and honored to join Arterez, Inc. as CEO in January 018.
Private and 501C3 boards, community work including: Detroit-based start-up advisory, public speaking for students, tech-entrepreneurs and small businesses and the Michigan Children's Leukemia Foundation.
Ed/Certs: UofD Jesuit 82, WMU Psychology/Business 82-85, UofD-Mercy Cad Design 85-86, UofM Entrepreneurial Development 99-00, Science of Selling 94, 98, 99.
Brett Homovec, Chief Financial Officer
Brett Homovec is the Managing Partner, founder and President of Peak Blue Ventures Inc., a consulting firm serving entrepreneurs and business owners with strategy and implementation of business development plans, corporate finance and capital raising
activities, and mergers and acquisition advisory services. Brett also formed Company Connections of Southeast Michigan to join the Company Connections network for M&A services. He also provides corporate finance services to Company Connection clients when consensus is reached that acquisition or growth funding will best serve our client.
Brett served as President and COO of Enercorp, Inc., a closed-end Investment Company and business development company. At Enercorp, Brett was responsible for originating investment opportunities and providing on-going assistance and advice to investee companies, including corporate finance transactions, strategic acquisitions and divestitures. Prior to Enercorp, Brett served as a Principal and General Manager to a group of privately-owned luxury automotive retail centers, helping expand from a single location to four exclusive dealerships. He directed corporate affairs for companies with over $120 million in sales, including finance, accounting, insurance, regulatory compliance and corporate litigation. Brett also served as Vice President of Corporate Development and Franchise Operations for Sterling Optical Corporation, the nation's fourth largest optical retailer.
Brett gained his Corporate Finance/Mergers and Acquisitions experience as a Vice President in the Investment Banking Group for Rodman & Renshaw Inc. in New York and Chicago, where he advised business owners, corporate clients and financial buyers on business valuations, M&A and private placements. He also served as a Senior Associate in the Dean Witter Reynolds Corporate Finance Group and as an audit professional for Touche Ross & Co. in New York.
Brett graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Economics and received his MBA in Finance from New York University - Stern School of Business.
Jim Smith, Chief Science Officer
Dr. Smith brings 29 years of biomedical research and business experience in academic, pharmaceutical, and biotech arenas. He attended Eastern Michigan University and completed his doctoral studies at the University of Texas Southwestern with post-doctoral training at the University of Arizona. Dr. Smith has served on faculty at the UM Medical
school with a joint appointment in Anesthesiology and Pharmacology. He moved to Pfizer as a clinical scientist and moved up to the post of director. He was most recently a Managing Director for a venture capital fund focusing on development of bio pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostic equipment.
Jim served as chairman of a Hospital board of directors, member of the hospital IRB, and is a graduate of the Michigan Hospital Association’s Fellowship in Hospital Governance. He represents several bio executive committees and advisory councils