scientific advisors

Michael Hunter, PhD, Founder & Advisor 

Dr Hunter is an experienced Pharmaceutical/Biotech executive with over 29 years experience of taking projects in small molecules and biologics from concept to human proof of concept. He is experienced in the management of the drug discovery and development process covering all aspects of non clinical and clinical development.

He has served as CSO and Director of Development at Atopix Therapeutics and Oxagen Ltd where he has managed the CRTH2 antagonist program from concept to Phase IIb clinical trials covering all discovery and development. He was involved in transitioning Oxagen from a platform genetics company to a drug development company and has been involved in multiple VC financing rounds and Pharma due diligence processes. He is experienced at board level.

Dr Hunter has also held positions at British Biotech Pharmaceuticals (now Vernalis PLC) and at GD Searle Pharmaceuticals Ltd. He received his BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Leeds and a PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Nottingham.


Roy Pettipher, PhD, Founder & Advisor 

Dr Pettipher has over 25 years’ experience in anti-inflammatory drug discovery having previously worked at Pfizer and Wellcome Laboratories. At Oxagen Ltd, he was involved in the initiation and management of its anti-inflammatory CRTH2 antagonist program which has yielded a clinical candidate, currently in Phase IIb trials.

He has extensive experience in drug discovery and non-clinical and clinical development, most recently in asthma and related allergic conditions. He holds a degree in Pharmacology from the University of Bath, a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of London and an MBA from Imperial College, London.


Dan Littman, PhD, Founder & Advisor 

Professor Littman is a Professor of Molecular Immunology at NYU School of Medicine and an HHMI Investigator. His research and clinical interests are focused on the transcriptional regulation of differentiation of T lymphocytes. Dr Littman is well known for his discovery of the CCR5 HIV receptor. He is currently on sabbatical at Oxford University, working closely with Orca's network of Oxford academic collaborators.

Professor Littman’s lab provides unique access to information on endogenous ligand interactions with RORγt, endogenous regulation of RORγt function, and the “signature” pathways induced by RORγt activation.


Jun Huh, PhD, Founder & Advisor 

Jun R. Huh is currently an assistant professor in the Division of Infectious disease and Immunology at University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA. When he was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dan Littman, he identified plant derived and synthetic small molecules that inhibit the function of pro-inflammatory immune cells. Dr Huh is currently investigating the role of small molecules generated by gut-residing bacteria as potential modulators of the host immune response.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University and his PhD from Caltech, where he studied with Bruce Hay


Fraydoon Rastinejad, pHd, Advisor 

Dr Rastinejad is an expert in the structural biology and physical chemistry of nuclear receptors, and his laboratory has made major contributions to understanding of receptor architectures in their functional complexes with ligands and DNA. Dr. Rastinejad is a Professor of Metabolic Signaling and Disease at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (SBMRI) in Lake Nona, Florida and also serves on the editorial board of Molecular & Cellular Biology. He is providing Orca with structural information on ligand binding to RORγt.

Dr Rastinejad received his PhD in Biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania.