David Larwood is a founder, the CEO, and chief chemist for Valley Fever Solutions, running the manufacturing process for a novel antifungal headed for Phase 2a trials in 2022. In his role as BD lead, he is responsible for many aspects of the company’s planning and operations.
Valley Fever Solutions is a small startup working first on a new and improved treatment for Valley Fever (coccidioidomycosis), for which NikZ will transform the standard of care. NikZ shows promise against other important fungal diseases.
Mr. Larwood co-invented his first two commercial molecules before age 30. His PhD research at UC San Francisco established the foundation for PEGylated drugs widely used today. At UCSF he co-invented suitable PEGylated lipids to make the very first PEGylated liposomes. Earlier as a bench chemist, he was the first to make Iotrolan, a CT X-ray contrast agent, generic for decades, replaced in about 2005 by newer agents.
Moving to law, in leading law firms he advised major companies on patent matters. After 3 years as a patent lawyer at Apple Computer, he took a VP role at startup FormFactor, staying in an IP role, then became the first General Counsel for startup Verisity Design, taking them public in 2001, then ultimately through successful acquisition in 2005.
Mr. Larwood is the third of his family to be involved in Valley Fever. His father was a physician who developed an interest in the disease decades ago when the family moved to Bakersfield, California, a focal area for the disease. His mother started a foundation in 1998 and raised some $20M for research into vaccines against Valley Fever.