Shreema Merchant, PhD, MSc, BSc - Director

President and Co-Founder

Shreema is a Molecular Biologist with international experience in tech development, transfer and commercialization. Previously, she has held leadership positions within the industry and academia in Canada, India and Australia. She has played key roles in research and development of rapid diagnostic techniques and tech commercialization and curriculum development for Life Science programs.

She is leading Akseera’s biosynthesis of cannabinoids project from the industry end.

Manit Patel, MBA, BPharm – Director

Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder

With over 10 years of work experience in highly regulated health industry- medical devices, food and pharmaceuticals including leadership in medical marijuana research, Manit brings his broad business networks in India and North America in the the pharmaceutical and medical device space. He has successfully researched, developed and launched novel formulations.

Manit leads the Akseera team providing strategic direction to the company and executing the research plan.

Neepa Patel, MD - Director

Senior Physician (Neurology), Henry Ford Hospital

Dr. Patel has over 10 years of experience in Neurology with specialization in Neurophysiology and Movement disorders. She has been involved with a number of clinical trials for Parkinsons Disease, dystonia and movement disorders and clinical activities like deep brain stimulation surgical programs.

She graduated with honors from Wayne State University School of Medicine with a residency in Neurology at the Boston Medical Center, MA and Movement Disorders Fellowship at the Baylor College of Medicine, TX.

Dr. Patel brings to the team her expertise on conducting clinical trials for the Akseera product pipeline.

Vishal Jadhav, PhD, MPharm, BPharm

Chief Scientific Officer - India

Dr. Jadhav has over 14 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical R&D, with 5 years at Senior Management level and has delivered more than 40 US generics that include a First To File generic and more than 20 EU generics. He has a doctorate in Pharmaceutical Technology and has also studied Patent Law.
Dr. Jadhav brings to the team his experience with the various Regulatory bodies and will help Akseera launch its products in India, Canada and USA.

Prajakta Dandekar-Jain, PhD, MTech, BPharm - Researcher

Assistant Professor in Engineering Sciences and Ramanujan Fellow at Institute of Chemical Technology

Dr. Dandekar-Jain’s expertise lie in developing methods for the fabrication of polymeric nanoparticles and drug targets ; drug characterization, in in vivo toxicity studies, pharmacodynamic evaluations and cell culturing and assays. She completed the Post Doctoral Fellowship in Macromolecular Organic Chemistry from the University of Saarland and her PhD (Bioprocess Technology) from the Institute of Chemical Technology, India. Dr. Dandekar-Jain is the first female scientist from India to be awarded the European Respiratory Society-Marie Curie. She was also the recipient of the Joint Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Saarbrucken, Germany.

At Akseera, Dr. Dandekar-Jain will be supervising the characterization and isolation of the pharmaceutical targets from cannabis extract

Ratnesh Jain, PhD, MTech, BPharm - Researcher

Assistant Professor in Engineering Sciences and Ramalingaswami Fellow

As the Assistant Professor in Engineering Sciences at Institute of Chemical Technology, Dr. Jain’s expertise lies in the development of pharmaceutical formulations and characterization of drug delivery systems, drug targeting, conducting toxicity studies and efficacy studies in animal models.
In addition, polymeric nanoparticles, vaccines, drug delivery devices and imaging for preclinical research are among his other research interests.
He has a PhD from ICT with a Fellowship from Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India and completed a Post-Doctorate Fellowship, Saarland University, Germany. He has also completed the associated research at the Department of Drug Delivery, Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Saarbrucken, Germany.
At Akseera, Dr. Jain will be spearheading the development of formulations from the Cannabis extract and supporting clinical trails

Prachi Padte, MSc, BSc - Researcher

PhD Candidate at Institute of Chemical Technology

Biotech Researcher with research experience in field of molecular biology and cell line development; contributing effectively to the progress of Akseera.

Shailesh Patel MSc, BSc - Advisory Board

Pharmaceutical manufacturing and QA specialist

Mr. Patel has 26 years of Quality Assurance and Quality Control experience, in the Pharmaceutical Industry and 15 at the Senior Management level. His expertise lies in tech validation, launching new projects, new software implementation and R&D- Developmental QA for various formulation types Oral Solid Dosage (OSD), Injectable, Ophthalmic and liquid formulations. He has extensive and successful experience of audits from a number of different health authorities such as United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), Health Canada, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Medicines Control Council (MCC), World Health Organization (WHO), Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA) to name a few.

He will bring to the table his expertise in building a manufacturing plant to meet the requirements of health authorities and quality assurance of the protocols and products developed at Akseera.

Peter Payne, PhD - Advisory Board

Executive in Residence, Innovate BC

Peter has founded/co-founded eight companies in diverse sectors, from electronic publishing to medical devices. Those companies sold products in Canada, USA, Europe and Asia. He has been involved with government organizations, private and public companies, reverse take-overs, venture capital corporations and not-for-profit groups. Peter earned a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and was active with the Problem Based Learning program. He was a member of the UBC Faculty of Medicine and is currently on Faculty with Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business. Peter has been an invited speaker at international conferences, holds a number of patents and has received several awards for academic and business activities. Peter often speaks about the application of the scientific method to innovation challenges.

Enna Aujla, Pharmacist - Advisory Board

Regional Director, Western Canada, Remedy'sRx Specialty Pharmacy

Enna is an innovative and high performing leader with a strong clinical background and always drives for continuous quality improvement. She has a talent for cultivating health leadership in multi-site operations.
As a licensed pharmacist in BC for 25 years, she has the extensive experience in both community pharmacy, leading flagship locations for national pharmacy chains, and specialty pharmacy with clinical expertise in geriatrics and mental health. Success in her role can be direct attributed to her talent as a relationship builder across a diverse group of stake holders.

Raj Klair, MD - Advisory Board

Physician and Medical Director, Veralife Health Centre

Dr. Klair is the owner and Medical Director of Veralife Health Centre in Surrey, British Columbia which is comprised of two clinics with a total of eight physicians providing team based care in the community including low barrier opioid agonist therapy. He has been practicing for 8 years and has 6 years of experience in Addictions Medicine with a special interest in the treatment of opioid use disorder particularly in the South Asian community.

He graduated with from American University of the Caribbean and completed his residency in Family Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital at the University of Toronto. He is currently a clinical instructor within the department of Family Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Klair is very involved in the teaching of residents and medical students.

Sharon Bhachu, Registered Nurse - Advisory Board

Registered Nurse, Fraser Health Authority

Sharon is a Registered Nurse at the Fraser Health Authority with 8+ years of professional experience specializing in Pain Management and Palliative Care. In addition, she has experience with administration of narcotics and their antidotes and managing addiction patients in clinical settings. Sharon has also been mentoring future Registered Nurses since 2013.

She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Douglas College and a Residential Care Aide Certificate from Vancouver Career College, Canada. She has completed several specialized courses in Nursing including Pain Management focus in Hospice Palliative Clinical Care, Medical Assistance in dying (MAiD) and Mentorship Certificate from Fraser Health.

At Akseera, she will be providing clinician’s perspectives on designing a dosage formulation that is safe, easy to administer and enhances patient compliance.