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Zharko Pharma Completes Seed Funding Round and Brings on Key Officers

OLYMPIA, Washington, USA – ZHARKO PHARMA, Inc., announces it has completed the seed funding round and brought on William Schmidt and Michael Donovan as its key officers. With the acquired talent and funding, ZHARKO PHARMA is well positioned to timely reach the next milestone.

ZHARKO PHARMA is proud to announce that it has raised the targeted amount of $0.1M and closed its seed funding round. The unusual aspect of ZHARKO’s funding is that biomedical scientists contributed the entire investment. Among ZHARKO’s shareholders are basic and clinical researchers, including retired and current Full Professors of major US universities and healthcare organizations. Among these scientists, there are a drug developer with a track record of bringing drugs to the market, an internationally renowned pharmacologist, and a recognized expert in thermoregulation. Hence, ZHARKO PHARMA is a unique pharmaceutical startup: its investors constitute a pool of experts from which the company can draw scientific and business expertise.

“The fact that several scientists, including the founder, put their personal money at stake,” says Andrej Romanovsky, MD, PhD, ZHARKO’s founder, “will be noticed by future investors – when ZHARKO will be looking for much larger funding to support clinical trials. Allegedly, Warren Buffet said that if you want someone to make efficient choices, they have to have a little skin in the game. Our scientist investors have skin in the game, and – compared to scientists’ typical salaries – they are risking more than just a finger nail.”

ZHARKO PHARMA is also proud to introduce its two new officers: William K. Schmidt, PhD, and Michael J. Donovan, PhD, JD.

Dr. Schmidt has accepted the position of Executive Liaison Officer and is now leading ZHARKO’S negotiations with potential commercialization partners. He has experience in founding pharmaceutical startups and has served in executive positions with NorthStar Consulting, Catalina Pharma, Ensysce Biosciences, EicOsis Human Health, and other national and international pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Throughout his career, he has been instrumental in building numerous business partnerships and helped bring six drugs to the market. Especially relevant to ZHARKO’S business plan, Dr. Schmidt is experienced in drug repurposing: he was a key member of the team leading to the clinical development and FDA approval of Entereg (alvimopan), a peripherally-acting opioid antagonist repurposed for the treatment of postoperative ileus. “I’m thrilled to be working with ZHARKO PHARMA to advance the development of a novel non-hormonal therapy to treat menopausal hot flashes,” Dr. Schmidt says, “I expect it will take us much less time and money to accomplish this goal than normally required for traditional therapies. This is because ZHARKO plans to work with a compound that has already successfully passed initial drug safety and clinical development work.”

Dr. Donovan has joined ZHARKO as Intellectual Property (IP) and Legal Affairs Officer. He previously worked as an IP attorney for two large law firms, IP counsel for the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), and IP Director at Dignity Health (now a part of CommonSpirit Health) – the creator of the IP that is now licensed to ZHARKO. At TGen and Dignity Health, Dr. Donovan’s job included negotiating business and legal terms for a variety of licensing arrangements. Hence, he is bringing to ZHARKO expansive experience in identification, commercialization, marketing, and protection of IP, as well as the valuable knowledge of how to structure agreements with commercialization partners. “I am excited to be part of the ZHARKO team,” says Dr. Donovan, “There is such a need to help many experiencing hot flashes, and ZHARKO has the scientific and business leadership to deliver a safe and effective therapeutic.”

“I am really happy,” Dr. Romanovsky concludes, “that four scientists, in addition to me, believed in ZHARKO’s plan to create a novel non-hormonal drug for treating hot flashes and helped to finance ZHARKO PHARMA’s work. And it fills me with confidence that Drs. Schmidt and Donovan joined ZHARKO as its officers. The newly obtained funding and the acquired expertize put us in a great position to make a drug.”

About Zharko Pharma

ZHARKO PHARMA is a pharmaceutical startup (“micro-pharma”) based in Olympia, Washington. It is working on developing a novel non-hormonal treatment for hot flashes. ZHARKO PHARMA has a world-wide exclusive IP license from CommonSpirit Health for the use of a new technology for treating the deleterious feeling of heat discomfort associated with hot flashes. ZHARKO PHARMA is using the accelerated drug development model by repurposing previously developed compounds.


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