Aciont
Envisioning the Future of Ocular Therapeutics
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About Us

Management Team

John W. Higuchi, MBA, MSIS
CEO
John Higuchi is CEO of Aciont. Higuchi is a former VP of Business Development and Corporate Treasurer for Lipocine (Nasdaq: LPCN) and currently serves on its Board. Lipocine is a late clinical staged, oral drug delivery company that has filed an NDA for the first oral drug to treat hypogonadism in men and it has an oral drug for the prevention of pre-term birth entering late stage clinical development. Higuchi also is a co-founder and Board member of Spriaso, LLC, which has an FDA approved combination drug product for respiratory therapy and has other primary care products under development. He received his BS degree in Chemistry at Hope College and his MBA and MS in Information Systems from The George Washington University.
Balbir  Brar, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Research and Development
Dr. Brar has 25 years of drug development experience working with major pharmaceutical companies. This included 16 years at Allergan (NYSE:AGN) as VP Drug Safety, Metabolism, Pharmacokinetics, Life Sciences and Drug Candidate Optimization where he was responsible for building a new R&D facility at a cost of $75 million; staffing the facility with 100 scientists, and managing over 20 projects in all major therapeutic areas with an annual budget in excess of $20 million. His tenure at Allergan resulted in regulatory submission of 50 IND's/510K's and world-wide approval of 8 major NDA's that later became very successful drugs currently on the market, including: Alphagan, Lumigan, Tazarotene and Botox. During this period he developed strong contacts with world-wide regulatory agencies and contract research organizations. Through strong technical strengths and negotiations he reduced the drug approval time by a number of years, for an early entry to the market, thus changing Allergan from a small operation to a major pharmaceutical of over $2 billion annual sales. Prior experience includes SmithKline & Beckman (NYSE: GSK) as a Sr. Director of Drug Safety, where he participated in the early stage development and regulatory submission of a number of IND's. As a Sr. Scientist at Lederle /Wyeth (NYSE: WYE) he developed Azmacort for asthma and topical Aristocort, both multimillion dollar products currently on the market. Dr. Brar obtained his Ph.D. in Toxicology/Pathology from Rutgers and holds a DVM from India.
William I. Higuchi, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Board and CTO
Dr. Higuchi is a Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutics in the Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Utah. He received a B.A. from San Jose University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. Along with graduating more than 100 Ph.D. students, Higuchi has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters in the area of pharmaceutics and is a world-renowned leader in the field of drug delivery. Dr. Higuchi is co-founder and Chairman of Lipocine Inc., a lipid based drug delivery company located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Dr. Higuchi was a co-founder of TheraTech, Inc., and served as Chairman, which is now a subsidiary of Watson Pharmaceuticals. Higuchi has had over 40 years of experience in the research and development of non-invasive therapeutics and medical devices, including over 15 years experience pioneering iontophoretic theories. Dr. Higuchi served as the editor for the International Journal of Pharmaceutics and as the editor of The Journal of Pharmaceutical
Kongnara  Papangkorn, Ph.D.
Vice President, Product Development
Dr. Papangkorn is leading Aciontís preclinical studies. He is a registered pharmacist in Thailand and worked for Merck in Thailand two years prior to earning his graduate degree. Dr. Papangkorn graduated with honors from Chulalongkorn University (Thailand) with a B.S. in Pharmaceutical Science and later earned his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Utah. Dr. Papangkorn was introduced to ocular drug delivery research by his Ph.D. advisor, Dr. William I. Higuchi in 2006.