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Avenzoar Pharmaceuticals is a start-up pharmaceutical company founded in 2016. Avenzoar is specialized in developing cancer drugs aiming at targeting and inhibiting mechanisms of metastasis and drug resistance.

Avenzoar has 3 drugs in the pipeline so far. The lead drug is AP-001 (aka Metavert), which is expected to be tested in pancreatic cancer patients in 2024/2025.   

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Committed to fight cancer

Avenzoar's management team:

Terrance Bruggeman, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, has served as Executive Chairman and as Chief Executive Officer of a number of life sciences including Diversa (1992-2000) (IPO), Provasis Therapeutics (2000-2002) which was sold to Boston Scientific, Somanta Pharmaceuticals (2004-2008) reverse merger and IPO and BioTork (2009-2016).

Stephen Pandol, MD, Director, Founder,  and Chief Medical Officer, is the Director of Basic and Translational Pancreas Research at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Professor of Medicine, UCLA. He authored over 250 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He is an international authority on pancreatic diseases and is a reviewer, editorial board member and editor of a number journals.

Mouad Edderkaoui, PhD, Founder, and Chief Scientific Officer, is a Research Scientist and Adjunct Associate Professor at UCLA. He authored over 40 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and he is member of the editorial board and review committees of a number of journals and research organizations.

Linda Strause, PhD, VP Clinical Affairs, is the Principal and Founder of Strategic Clinical Consultants. Previously she has lead the clinical operations of Leading Biosciences, Vical, Cancervax, and Quintiles. She is an Adjunct Professor at UC San Diego.


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World Class Standards

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Our strategy is based on developing small molecule therapeutics that simultaneously target multiple cancer promoting pathways to treat recalcitrant cancers including pancreatic and liver cancer with a focus on targeting metastasis and chemo-resistance pathways.

In addition to the management team we have build a world class team of consultants and an advisory board that will work together to assure the success of  Avenzoar’s drug development strategy.

Stephen Pandol, MD


Grace Furman, PhD, Toxicology Consultant, is the President of Paracelsus, Inc. Previously she has lead the toxicology and regulatory safety assessments at Pfizer Global R&D, DepoTech, and Procter & Gamble. Her undergraduate degree and PhD in Toxicology are from Northeastern University, She holds a Diplomate from the American Board of Toxicology.

David Ryckman, PhD, CMC Consultant, is an independent consultant. He was previously VP of Chemistry and pharmaceutical Operations for a number of drug discovery companies including Senhwa, Cyclene, Myogen/Gilead, Pathogenesis, Gensia and SmithKline Beecham. His undergraduate degree in Chemistry is from UCLA, Master degree from California State University, Northridge and PhD in Chemistry from UCLA.

Fred Kohn, PhD, Pharmacology and PK Consultant, is an independent consultant with more than 20 years’ experience in pharmacology, pharmacokinetics/ADME. Previously he was with Paramount Bioscience, Pfizer, MicroIslet and SkyePharma. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Illinois.

Scientific Advisory Board:

David Brenner, MD is Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at the UC San Diego. In this role, Dr. Brenner leads the UC San Diego School of Medicine, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, UCSD Medical Center, and UCSD Medical Group. He has oversight of over 900 faculty physicians, pharmacists and scientists; 7,500 staff; over 600 medical and pharmacy students, and a health system that cares for approximately 135,000 patients annually.

Dr. Brenner is a leader in the field of gastroenterological research, specializing in diseases of the liver. He is widely respected as a translational scientist whose work bridges the laboratory and clinical settings. He has focused on understanding the molecular pathogenesis of fibrotic liver disease and the genetic basis of liver disorders as the foundation for improving prevention and treatment of liver disease. He received his BS in Biology and MD from Yale University.

Ramachandran Murali, PhD is Director of Molecular Therapeutics Core and Associate Professor at CSMC. He has focused on the molecular basis of cancer metastasis and identification of therapeutic strategies to limit the recurrence of cancer. His PhD is from the University of Madras.

Aida Habtezion, MD, is Associate Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology and Hepatology) at Stanford University. Her research interests include gastroenterology and inflammatory bowel disease. She received her MD from McMaster University. 

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We are specialized in developing small molecules therapeutics for cancer.

The lead drug in our pipeline is a dual inhibitor small molecule that prevents growth and metastasis of the cancer cells. The drug is called Metavert.

  • Metavert is an anti-cancer drug developed by Avenzoar.

  • Metavert is a small molecular dual inhibitor that targets two pro-cancer pathways at the same time. Pre-clinical results show strong prevention of pancreatic cancer growth and metastasis with no significant toxicity.

Metavert will be tested in pancreatic cancer patients in 2024/2025. Lung and liver cancer patients will be considered for clinical trials as the pre-clinical results show that Metavert affects lung and liver cancer cells.

Interested in learning more about our products? Feel free to get in touch.

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662 Encinitas Blvd, Ste 248
Encinitas, CA 92024


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