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Utah Life Sciences News & Events

Halia Therapeutics New Leadership Team

March 8, 2022

At Halia Therapeutics we are discovering and developing novel therapies to improve the lives of patients with inflammatory disorders and neurological diseases. We do this by advancing innovative medicines that target the immune system’s response to resolve chronic inflammation and eliminate the damage caused by aberrantly activated immune responses.

David J. Bearss, PhD has accepted the offer to lead Halia Therapeutics as President and CEO. David has a consistent and successful track record of drug discovery and development that spans the last 20 years in both academic and industrial settings. David is an expert in small molecule drug development and in the use of genetic model systems in drug discovery. David has deep experience in translational research focused on drug development and the use of genetic markers to predict drug sensitivity, has discovered 15 compounds that have INDs filed and moved forward in clinical development and has been a founder of 5 biotech companies. 

Jared Bearss, MBA directs Halia’s functions as the Chief Operations Officer. Jared co-founded Wasatch Scientific, a pre-clinical CRO focusing on in vivo cancer efficacy studies, both allogeneic (human cell models) and syngeneic (immunotherapy models).  Jared’s experience crosses both the academic setting as Sr. Research Analyst and Lab Manager at Huntsman Cancer Institute and industry setting as Associate Director Genomic Biology for Code Nutrition.   His education and expertise in genomics, neuropsychology/neurophysiology, cell biology, and molecular biology supports the dynamic discovery work that’s happening at Halia. 

Mike McCullar, PhD supports the company’s business development efforts as the Chief Business Officer. Mike has more than 20 years of pharmaceutical experience in strategic planning and development, drug discovery and operation, business development and commercial operation. Previously he served as Chief Operating Officer at Tolero Pharmaceuticals, where he oversaw drug discovery and development activities as well as corporate development, and commercial planning. 

Jeff Burton, CPA, directs the accounting, finance, and legal operations as Halia’s Chief Financial Officer. Prior to coming to Halia, Jeff helped guide Tolero Pharmaceuticals through several rounds of funding, the acquisition of Tolero by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma for $200M upfront and $500M in milestones and provided support for the successful filing of five INDs and completion of 9 clinical trials. Jeff’s experience with tech company, Fusion-io, includes helping the company through its IPO, the secondary offering, several acquisitions, key system implementations, and the eventual purchase of Fusion-io by SanDisk for just over $1.1B.