Dennis C. Liotta, Ph.D
Executive Director, Emory Institute for Drug Development
Over the past two and a half decades Dr. Dennis Liotta’s research has focused on the discovery and development of novel antiviral, anticancer and anti-inflammatory therapeutic agents. 0He is recognized as one of the premier discoverers of novel therapeutics, having been one of the inventors associated with ten FDA approved therapeutics including Epivir, Combivir, Trizivir, Epzicom, Epivir-HBV, Emtriva, Truvada, Atripla, Complera and Stribid. In addition, he is the inventor of record for several clinically important antivirals, including Epivir, Reverset, Racivir and Elvucitabine. He is also the lead inventor of Q-122 (formerly known as MSX-122), a safe, orally available clinical agent for controlling hot flashes in post-menopausal women. In the preclinical arena his research group has recently discovered the first potent, dual tropic (CCR5/CXCR4) HIV entry inhibitor. In addition, in his current role as Executive Director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development, Dennis oversaw the discovery and development of a novel nucleoside analogue, EIDD-2023, for treating hepatitis C infections.
Dennis has authored approximately 250 peer reviewed publications and is an inventor on 75 issued US patents. A company he founded, Pharmasset (acquired by Gilead Sciences) developed Sofosbuvir, which has become the first line therapy for treating (and perhaps curing) hepatitis C. In addition, he has founded numerous other companies including, inter alia: (a) Altiris (drugs for stem cell mobilization and as potential treatments for a variety of cancers); (b) Triangle Pharmaceuticals (developed emtricitabine and was subsequently acquired by Gilead Science); (c) NeurOp (therapies for treating ischemic conditions, such as stroke); (d) QUE Oncology, a joint venture owned by the University of Queensland and Emory, that is carrying out the Q-122 clinical trials (vide supra); and (h) DRIVE (Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory, a non-profit drug development company focused on the development of therapies for treating single stranded RNA virus infections, such as Dengue Fever, hepatitis C, influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus and various equine encephalitis viruses). DRIVE utilizes an innovative model that seeks to extract maximum value from therapeutic innovations discovered at Emory or elsewhere by efficiently advancing them into clinical trials.