Astrotide, LLC
Astrotide helps innovative scientists bring biomedical ventures to life
We offer both business development and operational expertise: strategy, fund-raising, team and SAB build-up, partnerships, preclinical and early-stage clinical program management.
Our forte is drug development startups.
Our involvement can range from an external advisor on specific topics to interim CEO to a Board member.
Askar Kuchumov,

I started as a scientist: I am a co-author in 20+ publications and 2 patent applications.

My entrepreneurial nature led me quickly onto the path of startups. In a small company environment, I learned a great deal about balancing business objectives on one hand and challenges of developing new biomedical technologies, on the other.

I stayed on the business side as I took on new roles within research tools and clinical diagnostics industries. And experimented with my own projects learning foundational things about business the hard way – through effort and failure.

My overarching vision has always been to build viable ventures based on science that help people live healthier lives.
For the last 10+ years, I was mostly focused on the fascinating - and very risky - world of innovative drug development, first as a member of a venture capital fund and interim CEO of portfolio companies, then as a Principal of Astrotide, LLC.

In the recent years, my passion has grown towards longevity research and CNS related projects, especially in mental health.
I am fascinated by the recent advances in the science of aging clearly demonstrating the possibility of not only slowing down the process but even reversing it.

I am always learning more and am eager to contribute my knowledge and skills to advancing this field.
Things I do best and enjoy:
Integrating ideas and disparate information into new concepts.
Bilingual: I can understand and speak both science and business.
Clearly communicating my ideas.
Human communications: high empathy, good verbal and written skills, easily crossing cultural barriers.
Be in touch with research process: I love the process of discovery and learning new things.
Thinking out-of-the-box.
For mental health treatments, I am a strong believer in the power of psychedelics in combination with psychotherapy.

I am driven by potential of these approaches to treat addiction, depression, anxiety and related disorders – most of which have no adequate treatment today.

I strive to contribute my knowledge and skills to enable further progress in this area.
My subject matter keywords:
Intellectual property
Technology transfer
Due diligence
Preclinical research
Clinical trials
Life sciences
Ph.D. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Wayne State University School of Medicine (Detroit, MI, USA)
B.Sc. Chemistry, Moscow State University (Russia)
Notable clients
Esperovax, Inc.
Oral mRNA and protein vaccine development

Esperovax is developing a novel yeast-based platform for production of oral vaccines and biologics with potential to provide off-the-shelf, painless, and cost-effective biological medicines that make a significant impact on global health.

In my engagement with Esperovax, I lead business development related efforts aimed at building relationships and forming corporate partnerships to support the company’s platform and pipeline development.
Lactocore, Inc.
Drug development

Lactocore, Inc. is a privately-funded biotech at preclinical stage that discovers and develops novel peptide-based, intranasally delivered therapeutics for CNS disorders starting with a proprietary in silico drug discovery engine.

The company is building a pipeline of five compounds targeted to key CNS receptors with activity in mood disorders, schizophrenia, and pain. The leading candidate is a novel inhibitor of an α2-δ subunit of VGCC, a clinically relevant target in psychiatry and neuropathic pain, with superior safety and distinctive activity profile compared to standards of care.

My contributions include many facets of the semi-virtual biotech startup leadership:
• strategic and financial planning
• business development: building relationships with potential strategic partners in pharma industry
• fund-raising: angels, family offices, institutional VCs, corporate venture arms
• managing preclinical drug development program
• assembling a team of consultants and collaborators
• developing collaborations with scientists in academia
• grant funding opportunities
Marlin Biotech, LLC
Drug development

Marlin Biotech is an early-stage company focused on developing adeno-associated virus (AAV) based therapy against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and other genetic diseases.

Notable contributions:
• company foundation and strategic direction
• sourcing of technologies to in-license
• collaboration with academic scientists globally
• setting up own manufacturing facility for antisense morpholino-based oligonucleotides
• establishing own discovery wet lab in Moscow, Russia
Astrotide, Inc
Drug development

Co-founded the company with Dr. Mikhail Kolonin

Negotiated an exclusive license agreement with University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston.

The company was focused on preclinical development of a newly discovered peptidomimetic to treat obesity and cancer based on targeted elimination of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells.

Raised private and grant funding to the total of $850K

Managed early-stage development efforts, fund-raising, business development, legal, patent prosecution. Established collaboration with Eli Lilly.

The company folded due to toxicity issues that we were not able to overcome within the limits of existing funding. The company’s name stayed on for my consulting business.
Temanik, Inc
Medical devices

Temanik is an innovative medical device startup with core expertise in applying external electromagnetic forces to solving many physiological issues ranging from acute pain to movement disorders.

Notable contributions include:
• Identification of the most suitable indication (niche) to focus the initial efforts in product development
• Assisting in negotiations between stakeholders
• Intellectual property management
• Assisting in fund raising, both private and grant opportunities
• Regulatory strategy and project development planning
• Building budgets and financial modeling
Celeste Daylight
Health and wellness

Celeste Daylight is a South African company that combines science and engineering solutions to bring emulated natural light inside the enclosed spaces in hospitals, schools, office buildings. The company’s mission is based on the established knowledge that natural light cycles and frequencies can improve a person’s mood, energy levels, stress adaptability and other health and wellness parameters.

Notable contributions:
• Co-founded the company and helped build a core team of engineers and project managers to enable company’s launch
• Assisted in government grant preparation
• Assisted in defining strategic direction for the company’s product development efforts
Nuveon Biosciences, LLC
Health and wellness

Nuveon Biosciences is focused on identification and commercialization of natural compounds with solid evidence of biological activity and potential to influence human’s health. The short-term strategy is to launch a line of nutraceuticals and grow organically. In parallel, a pharmaceutical drug development program is contemplated with the help of innovative formulations of natural compounds developed in-house or in-licensed.

Notable contributions:
• Co-founded the company and established initial strategic direction
• Directed literature and market research to identify first natural compounds to be launched
• Managed global sourcing of the ingredients and manufactured the first nutraceutical product
• Created a new brand and launched an e-commerce effort ( )
• Established collaborations with relevant academic experts globally to develop novel formulations for a potential pharmaceutical development
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