Jon L. Collins, a seasoned research and development executive with more than 20 years in the pharmaceuticals industry, has joined Pinnacle Hill, LLC, as chief scientific officer. Dr. Collins joins Pinnacle Hill from GlaxoSmithKline, where he led drug discovery research teams focused on the scientific evaluation of novel protein targets, identification of clinical candidate molecules, and design of proof of concept clinical studies.
Pinnacle Hill, a company seeking to discover new medicines to address the significant unmet needs of our times, was developed through a partnership between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Deerfield Management, a health care investment firm.
At Pinnacle Hill, Collins will lead the company’s innovative drug discovery and development initiatives. Pinnacle Hill focuses on drug research projects that are approved and directed by a joint steering committee comprised of members from UNC‐Chapel Hill and Deerfield leadership teams. Each selected project receives funding to support investigational new drug-enabling studies.
“We are delighted that Dr. Collins is joining the Pinnacle Hill team,” said Dhiren Thakker, Ph.D., interim dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Pinnacle Hill Joint Steering Committee member. “His extensive knowledge and experience in the areas of drug discovery and development will play an important and critical role in driving the projects accepted for development within Pinnacle Hill and success of the University’s partnership with Deerfield.”
“I’m thrilled to be joining Pinnacle Hill as chief scientific officer to execute the strategy that was created during the formation of the UNC-Deerfield partnership,” Collins said. “I am a strong believer that combining world-class research and researchers at UNC with Deerfield’s drug development expertise and resources offers tremendous opportunities to discover transformational medicines to treat patients with unmet medical needs.”
Throughout his scientific career, Collins has collaborated extensively with academia, including in his role within GlaxoSmithKline’s Discovery Partnerships with Academia team, created to launch joint academic-GlaxoSmithKline drug discovery alliances in the U.S.
He pursued his postdoctoral training at Harvard University in the labs of Professor Stuart Schreiber, Ph.D., and earned his doctorate in organic chemistry at Indiana University at Bloomington. Earlier, he received his bachelor’s in chemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Collins has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and holds 16 patents.