Avaliv Therapeutics is a drug discovery company focused on the development of novel small molecule therapeutics targeting inflammation and fibrosis related disorders.

Our lead program is a first-in-class small molecule inhibitor for lysosomal proteases as a novel therapeutic intervention for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) via an unexplored mechanistic pathway.


Mr. Arun B Papaiah

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

  • Arun is the Founder and CEO at Avaliv Therapeutics. He previously co-founded Aten Porus Lifesciences and Oraxion Therapeutics, both R&D companies focused on drug discovery. Arun was instrumental in the licensing of Oraxion’s technology platform to a US based biotech company for $125 MM. Arun holds an MBA from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Australia), and a Bachelor of Science degree from Christ University (India). Arun has over 10 years of experience as an entrepreneur in various aspects of business including Finance, Operations, Technology transfer and Business development.

Dr. Aditya Kulkarni

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

  • Aditya is the Founder and CSO at Avaliv Therapeutics. He previously co-founded Aten Porus Lifesciences and Oraxion Therapeutics, both R&D companies focused on drug discovery. Aditya is the inventor of Oraxion’s technology platform that was eventually licensed to a US based biotech company for $125 MM. He has co-authored >15 papers and filed several international patents in the areas of nucleic acid delivery, Niemann-Pick Type C therapeutics, and drug discovery. He has been a recipient of scholarships during his Masters and PhD and was also awarded the H. C. Brown Award for Outstanding Organic Research at Purdue University in June 2012. Aditya has a PhD in Bioorganic Chemistry from Purdue University (USA), MS in Chemical Biology from Leeds University (UK), and B.Sc in Chemistry from Christ University (India).

Dr. Srinivasan Namala

Founder and Director

  • Srinivasan is the Founder and Director at Avaliv Therapeutics. He previously co-founded Aten Porus Lifesciences and Oraxion Therapeutics, both R&D companies focused on drug discovery. He is currently serving as the CEO of Porus Labs, a chemical manufacturing conglomerate serving customers across India, US, and Europe. Srinivasan has over 10 years of experience in varied aspects of business including technology transfer, SCM, Business Development and Finance. Srinivasan has an MS in Pharmaceutics from Northeastern University (USA), and B.Pharm from BITS Pilani (India).

Mr. Tom Johnston

Chief Business Officer

  • Tom serves as the CBO at Avaliv Therapeutics. Tom was also CBO at Oraxion Therapeutics and instrumental in the licensing of its technology platform to a US based biotech company for $125 MM. He previously served as the CEO of Mucosis, a leading vaccine development company, having joined from Novavax (NASDAQ) where as Vice President of Strategy he developed and executed a regional partnership strategy with deals in India, Mexico, and South Korea. Prior to Novavax, Tom has previously served as an executive-level strategic consultant in a number of industries including biotech, and held various senior-level positions with a number of world-class organizations such as Comcast, Microsoft, and Schlumberger. Tom holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton Business School and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Arcadia University (USA).


  • Dr. Scott L. Friedman

    Dr. Scott L. Friedman is the Dean for Therapeutic Discovery and Chief of the Division of Liver Diseases, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He has performed pioneering research into the underlying causes of scarring, or fibrosis associated with chronic liver disease, affecting millions worldwide. Dr. Friedman was among the first to isolate and characterize the hepatic stellate cell, the key cell type responsible for scar production in liver. His work has spawned an entire field that is now realizing its translational and therapeutic potential, with new anti-fibrotic therapies for liver disease reaching clinical trials. Dr. Friedman’s work has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1985.

    Dr. Friedman has been a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation since 1995, the Association of American Physicians since 2004, and was elected as a Fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association in 2008, the Am. College of Physicians in 2013, the American Assn. for the Study of Liver Diseases in 2014 and the American Association for the Advancement for Science in 2015.

  • Prof. Colin Fishwick

    Colin Fishwick received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Liverpool, graduating with First Class Honours in 1982. He went on to carry out his PhD there from 1982-1985 before joining the staff at University of Leeds in 1985. He was appointed to a Chair in Medicinal Chemistry in 2009. He is currently Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Leeds and Honorary Visiting Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Bradford, Institute of Cancer Therapeutics and at the University of Sheffield. He has authored more than 100 publications. In 2013 he took up the post of head of organic chemistry at Leeds.

  • Prof. Ronit Shiri-Sverdlov

    Ronit Shiri-Sverdlov studied Biology in Tel-Aviv University (Israel), where she received her PhD degree in 2002 on the basis of defining the spectrum of genetic mutations related to breast and ovarian cancer. In 2002 she moved to Maastricht University and worked as postdoctoral fellow at the department of Molecular Genetics. Shortly after her transition to Maastricht, she received a VENI NWO ZonMw fellowship that she used to in order to establish her work on non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In addition to several other grants she received a VIDI NWO ZonMw fellowship in 2012 and subsequently became an associate professor within Maastricht University. She is currently Professor of Hepatic Inflammation and Metabolic Health at Maastricht University.


Published work from the lab of Prof. Ronit Shiri-Sverdlov has demonstrated that patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS) and especially NASH have elevated plasma Cathepsin D levels. This can be attributed to high levels of circulating oxLDL present in the patients which can accumulate in the lysosomes thereby causing disturbances in the life cycle of lysosomal enzymes such as Cathepsin D.

The role of Cathepsin D has been demonstrated in regulating lipids and inflammation hence suggesting that its exocytosis is an initial causal event in the development of NASH. Other studies have also demonstrated that Cathepsin D is involved in the activation of quiescent hepatic stellate cells and fibrogenesis. The inhibition of Cathepsin D is a novel and potentially powerful strategy to resolve inflammation and fibrosis. Avaliv is developing first-in-class small molecule inhibitors for Cathepsin D for the treatment of NASH.


Avaliv Therapeutics, INC.

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