BOSTON, Ma. --- Cocoon Biotech, Inc. a biotechnology company focused on the development of osteoarthritis and other drug-delivery therapies based on its silk protein technology, has announced the appointment of Peter Mitchell, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Mitchell brings to the position 25 years of commercial pharmaceutical leadership focused on arthritis and inflammation.
"We are delighted to add Peter to lead our team of scientists dedicated to providing freedom from serious, chronic diseases that impede the quality of life for millions of people," said Dr. Ailis Tweed-Kent, Cocoon Biotech, Inc. founder and CEO. "I am confident that we have a great team and a great opportunity to develop products that will help people living with osteoarthritis," Dr. Mitchell added.
Cocoon Biotech was founded in 2013 to bring treatments for arthritis and other debilitating diseases to market. Cocoon Biotech's platform technology is a biocompatible silk protein that can be injected into joints to provide effective, long- lasting pain relief and potentially delay the progression of disease. This platform will leverage several unique properties of the silk protein fibroin, including strength, lubrication, and biocompatibility.
Dr. Mitchell is especially interested in the potential of the technology to deliver long-acting therapeutics to the intraarticular space for the treatment of osteoarthritis and other joint disorders. He has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications in areas encompassing analytical chemistry, cell biology, biomarkers, pharmacology, osteoarthritis and inflammation.
He obtained an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand and then attended graduate school at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces New Mexico, where he obtained a PhD. in analytical chemistry in 1986. Following his graduate work, Dr. Mitchell completed post-doctoral research in cancer cell biology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and then went on to perform rheumatology research for three years at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In 1991, Dr. Mitchell joined Pfizer in Groton, Connecticut, where he performed basic research in cartilage biology and led drug discovery projects on focused on arthritis and inflammation. During this time, three of Dr. Mitchell's drug discovery projects reached the stage of selecting molecules for clinical development.
In 2003, Dr. Mitchell joined Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, where for seven years he led a group performing preclinical drug discovery research focused on identifying molecules with efficacy vs. pain, inflammation and structural progression in osteoarthritis. Several molecules from Dr. Mitchell's group reached the milestone of becoming candidates for clinical development. In 2010, Dr. Mitchell assumed the position of Senior Director in the Translational Sciences Department at Eli Lilly, with responsibility for musculoskeletal diseases, cardiovascular diseases, chronic kidney disease and autoimmune diseases. The work in his group encompassed areas diversely from target validation to the discovery/and characterization of biomarkers, and to patient tailoring. In 2012, the department became Tailored Therapeutics and Dr. Mitchell's team focused on how to enable the company's vision to provide tailored therapeutics in the areas of autoimmune and musculoskeletal diseases.