Michael Lark, PhD
Dr. Lark is the President of Lark Pharma Consulting where he works with biotech and pharmaceutical companies focused on novel therapeutic discovery and development. In addition, Dr. Lark is an Entrepreneur in Residence at BioAdvance, a mid-Atlantic early stage investment company, and CSO at Mirata Pharmaceuticals, a start-up biotech company focused on the development of a novel analgesic. He is also a member of the Startup Leadership Network at The Pennsylvania State University where he advises Penn State entrepreneurs on how to transition academic science into early stage biotech start-ups. Up until late 2017, he was CSO and Sr. Vice President of Research at Trevena Inc., which is a commercial stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of G protein coupled receptor targeted therapeutics. Dr. Lark was a member of the executive team and was functionally responsible for the discovery and non-clinical development activities within the company. Under his leadership, Trevena’s research labs discovered and delivered 4 differentiated drug candidates into clinical testing. Dr. Lark played a leadership role on the team that discovered, developed and filed the New Drug Application for oliceridine which is an iv mu-opioid G protein biased ligand to manage moderate to severe pain. Prior to joining Trevena in early 2008, he was Vice President of Biology at Centocor R&D where he was responsible for the therapeutic discovery strategy and execution in immunology, oncology, tissue remodeling and biomarkers. In this role, Dr. Lark managed a portfolio of approximately 15 drug discovery projects as well as supported the development of 14 new molecular entities (two in late stage clinical development) and one product. Prior to joining Centocor in 2002, Dr. Lark was Director of Musculoskeletal Diseases at GlaxoSmithKline, where he managed a portfolio of drug discovery projects targeting osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Before joining SmithKline Beecham in 1996, Dr. Lark was a Senior Investigator at Merck Research laboratories, where he led a drug discovery team targeting matrix metalloproteinase-3 for the treatment of osteoarthritis. He has published over 130 peer reviewed papers, reviews and book chapters and is a co-inventor on 11 patents. Dr. Lark received his B.S. in Microbiology from the Pennsylvania State University and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Microbiology from the Case Western Reserve University Medical School. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Pathology at The University of Washington.