Graham S. Timmins, Ph.D.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
The University of New Mexico
2013 STC.UNM INNOVATION FELLOW
As the 2013 STC Innovation Fellow, Dr. Timmins is recognized for his dedication to improving the diagnosis and treatment of lung diseases that affect the young, the elderly, and disadvantaged populations around the world. He develops stable isotope-labeled compounds as drugs and diagnostics to detect bacteria in the lung, determine drug sensitivity, and monitor treatment.
His breath-test technology for early detection and treatment of lung infection spurred the formation of STC startup company, Avisa Pharma in 2011, which has matured to become a clinical stage company. Avisa, derived from the Spanish word avisar, “to warn,” is developing a range of these tests for commercialization.
The company is developing a rapid, 10-minute, point-of-care biomarker breath test for the detection and monitoring of pulmonary infections. The Avisa BreathTest™ (ABT) is a drug/device combination that guides appropriate use and selection of antibiotics to combat their widespread overuse, which has fueled the rise of antibiotic resistant infections—the superbugs we live with today. ABT has demonstrated clinical success in three preclinical and human pilot studies across a number of pulmonary indications, including pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, and tuberculosis. The company is currently enrolling patients in a phase-II, clinical pneumonia study in the emergency departments at Henry Ford Hospital and the University of New Mexico.
In 2016, Dr. Timmins spun out a second startup, SpinCeutica, a preclinical company developing stable isotope-labeled versions of existing antimycobacterial drugs to overcome resistance and increase therapeutic potency in non-tuberculous mycobacteria and tuberculosis infections, on the rise in the U.S. and abroad.