Team

Leadership

Polvino

William J. Polvino, M.D.

Chief Executive Officer and Director

Dr. Polvino is a pharmaceutical entrepreneur with more than 26 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare arena. Most recently, Dr. Polvino was president and chief executive officer of Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S (NASDAQ: VELO), a public biotechnology company that deploys proprietary formulation technology to develop and commercialize innovative oral drug products. Prior to Veloxis, Dr. Polvino held positions at Helsinn Therapeutics (formerly Sapphire Therapeutics), where he also served as the company’s president and CEO. During his tenure at Helsinn, he advanced novel in-licensed, preclinical stage, new chemical entities into late-stage clinical development and registration in the supportive oncology space. Dr. Polvino has also held executive and senior level positions within drug development at Merck, Wyeth and Theravance. Dr. Polvino earned a medical degree from Rutgers Medical School and a B.S. in Biology from Boston College. He was also a fellow in clinical pharmacology at the National Institute of Health and trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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Carl Goldfischer, MD

Executive Chairman

Carl is a Managing Director of Bay City Capital, and has been with the firm since 2000. He has invested across all subsectors within the life sciences industry and his expertise spans both private and public markets. In addition, he brings deep operational experience in finance, clinical trial development, and clinical medicine. Prior to joining Bay City Capital, Dr. Goldfischer was Chief Financial Officer of publicly traded biotech company ImClone Systems where he oversaw financial operations and strategic planning. Previously, he was a Health Care Research Analyst with the Reliance Insurance Company and was a Director of Research at D. Blech & Co. He began his career as a radiation oncologist at Montefiore Hospital, part of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Goldfischer received an MD with honors in Scientific Research from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College.

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Tony Evnin

Director

Tony is a Partner at Venrock, which he joined in 1974 and built the firm’s healthcare franchise, helping to shape the modern biotechnology industry. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of public companies Juno Therapeutics (NASDAQ: JUNO), AVEO Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AVEO), and Infinity Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INFI), as well as on the Board of Directors of Constellation Pharmaceuticals, a private company. Tony started his career as a Research Scientist and Group Leader in Organic Chemistry at Union Carbide and as Director of Product Development at Story Chemical. He serves as a Trustee of The Rockefeller University, as a Trustee of The Jackson Laboratory, as a Member of the Boards of Overseers and Managers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, as a Director of the New York Genome Center, as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, and as a Trustee Emeritus of Princeton University. Tony is focused on building valuable companies that address important medical needs of the world, while providing strong returns for investors. Tony received his A.B. in Chemistry from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Juan Harrison

Director

Juan serves as Vice President, Center for External Innovation at Takeda Pharmaceuticals International since 2015. He heads efforts to establish and operate strategic academic alliances for the company. Prior to his current position Mr. Harrison served as Vice President, New Frontier Science where he helped establish Takeda’s participation in the Tri-I TDI, and before that was Vice President, Takeda Ventures where his mission was to seek early stage investment opportunities that complimented Takeda’s areas of therapeutic interest.

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William Slattery

Director

Bill is a Partner on the Private Transactions team at Deerfield, which he joined in 2000. He began his professional career studying immune system complications associated with End Stage Renal Disease. Prior to joining Deerfield, Bill was a senior healthcare analyst between 1990 and 2000 at Amerindo Investment Advisors overseeing biotechnology investments. Bill has a degree in Biology and Chemistry from State University of New York at Albany and attended Graduate School-New Brunswick, Rutgers University with a focus in Immunology. Bill currently sits on the Board of Directors of Blade Therapeutics and Kolltan Pharmaceuticals.

Scientific Advisory Board

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Kathleen Metters, PhD

Scientific Advisory
Board Chair

Kathleen is the Interim Chief Executive Officer of Bridge Medicines and brings more than 30 years of pharmaceutical discovery and development experience. Prior to joining Bridge Medicines, Kathleen was Chief Executive Officer of Lycera Corp., a private biopharmaceutical company. Previously, Kathleen spent more than 20 years at Merck where she held multiple leadership roles of increasing responsibility. Most recently, she served as senior vice president of external discovery and preclinical sciences, where she was responsible for expanding the company’s global scientific network to the greater research community. Prior to this role, Kathleen served as Merck’s senior vice president and head of worldwide basic research. In this position, she managed all research activities at major sites around the globe, across all therapeutic modalities and all therapeutic areas. Earlier in her career at Merck Frosst Canada Inc., Kathleen’s research focused on the arachidonic acid cascade, which resulted in the discovery of SINGULAIR®. She holds a B.Sc. in biochemistry from the University of Manchester Institute for Science and Technology, and received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Imperial College of Science and Technology, London. Kathleen completed her post-doctoral training at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France, and at the Clinical Research Institute of Montréal, Canada.

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David Scheinberg, MD, PhD

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Scheinberg is a physician-scientist who specializes in the care of patients with leukemia and is also investigating new therapeutic approaches to cancer, both in the clinic and in the laboratory. His research is focused on discovering and developing novel, specific immunotherapeutic agents. Eight different therapeutic agents developed by Dr. Scheinberg in his laboratory have reached human clinical trials, including the first humanized antibodies to treat acute leukemia, the first targeted alpha particle therapies and alpha generators, and the first tumor-specific fusion oncogene product vaccines. His laboratory is also investigating cellular resistance mechanisms to these agents. Dr. Scheinberg has published more than 250 papers, chapters, and books in these fields.

Dr. Scheinberg currently holds the Vincent Astor Chair at Memorial Sloan Kettering and is Chair of the Molecular Pharmacology Program in the Sloan Kettering Institute. He also founded and chairs the Experimental Therapeutics and the Nanotechnology Centers at Memorial Sloan Kettering. He is a professor of medicine and pharmacology and co-chair of the pharmacology graduate program at Weill-Cornell Medical College and a professor at the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School.

From 1992 until 2003, Dr. Scheinberg was Chief of the Leukemia Service in Memorial Hospital. He has been elected into the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the American Association of Physicians, and the Interurban Club. His other awards include the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Science Professorship, the Lucille P. Markey Scholarship, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Translational Investigator Awards, and CapCure Awards. He is an advisor to charitable foundations, cancer centers, and biotech companies.

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Mervyn Turner, PhD

Advisor

Dr. Mervyn Turner has over 30 years of experience in pharmaceuticals drug discovery, research and development, licensing and business development, emerging markets, strategy development and implementation. He is recognized for his deep industry perspective and for his global connections within the pharmaceuticals sector, biotech, and venture capital. In his last role prior to his retirement from Merck & Co. Inc., he was the company’s first Chief Strategy Officer, and drove strategy planning and resource planning discussions. He also worked with the research division, the commercial organization and the manufacturing division to develop a coherent, overarching strategy for Merck & Co. Inc.’s investments in the emerging markets. Prior to that, he led the transformation of Merck & Co., Inc. from an inward-facing to an outward looking organization as head of World Wide Licensing & External Research. He was personally involved in more than 200 strategic transactions, including mergers and acquisitions. Before that, he was the Site Head for both Merck & Co. Inc.’s largest R&D facility (Rahway, NJ), and it’s most productive labs (Merck Frosst, Canada). In that role, he oversaw the introduction of multiple development candidates. Dr. Turner has published over 80 articles in peer reviewed journals.

cnathan-bio

Carl Nathan, MD

Scientific Advisor

Carl Nathan, MD is R.A. Rees Pritchett Professor and chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College and co-chair of the Program in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis at Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University. After graduation from Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, he trained in internal medicine and oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, the National Cancer Institute and Yale before joining the faculty of The Rockefeller University from 1977-1986. At Cornell since 1986, he has served as Stanton Griffis Distinguished Professor of Medicine, founding director of the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program, senior associate dean for research, acting dean, and leader of the planning team for and member of the Board of Directors of the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute, a not-for-profit corporation owned by Weill Cornell Medical College, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and The Rockefeller University. Nathan is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, associate scientific director of the Cancer Research Institute, a governor of the Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation and on the scientific advisory boards of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, the American Asthma Foundation and the Rita Allen Foundation. He is a member of the national Pfizer Therapeutic Areas Scientific Advisory Panel and the Lurie Prize jury. He served for ten years on the SAB of the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research and the Board of Trustees of the Hospital for Special Surgery, where he chaired the Research Committee. He has been an editor of the Journal of Experimental Medicine since 1981 and presently serves as co-chair of its editorial board as well as on the editorial boards of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Science Translational Medicine. He was awarded the Robert Koch Prize in 2009 for his work on tuberculosis and the Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine in 2013.

 

Nathan is a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s TB Drug Accelerator and Principal Investigator of the NIH-funded Tri-Institutional TB Research Unit. His research deals with the immunological and biochemical basis of host defense. He established that lymphocyte products activate macrophages, that interferon-gamma is a major macrophage activating factor, and that mechanisms of macrophage antimicrobial activity include induction of the respiratory burst and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). He and his colleagues purified, cloned, knocked out and characterized iNOS biochemically and functionally, discovered the cofactor role of tetrahydrobiopterin in NOS’s and introduced iNOS as a therapeutic target. Although iNOS helps the host control Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the leading cause of death from bacterial infection, Mtb resists sterilization by host immunity. Nathan’s lab now focuses on the biochemical basis of this resistance. Genetic and chemical screens have identified enzymes that Mtb requires to survive during non-replicative states, including the mycobacterial proteasome. His group is identifying compounds that kill non-replicating bacteria while exploring new collaborative models between academia and industry to help invigorate antibiotic research and development.

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Barry Coller, MD

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Coller serves as the David Rockefeller Professor of Medicine, the Vice President for Medical Affairs, and the Head of the Allen and Frances Adler Laboratory of Blood and Vascular Biology at Rockefeller University in New York, as well as Physician-in-Chief of the Rockefeller University Hospital. Dr. Coller studies the basic molecular interactions between blood cells and blood vessels, and works to develop new therapies for diseases such as heart attack and stroke. His lab focuses on the role of blood platelets and the mechanisms of blood cell adhesion in vascular disease.

 

Platelets play a vital role in blood coagulation. Deficiencies in their numbers or function can cause excessive bleeding, but when they adhere to and aggregate on blood vessels narrowed by atherosclerosis, they can close off the vessels and cause a heart attack or stroke. Dr. Coller identified a receptor responsible for this build up, platelet αIIbβ3, as an important target for antithrombotic therapy. Using monoclonal antibodies to that receptor to inhibit platelet aggregation, he helped to develop the drug abciximab, which is used during or after procedures such as stent placement or angioplasty to prevent blood clots. More than five million patients worldwide have been treated with abciximab since its approval in 1994.

 

Current research in Dr. Coller’s lab focuses on multiple areas of blood and platelet physiology, including study of the genetic disorder Glanzmann thrombasthenia, which produces hemorrhage as a result of an abnormality of platelet αIIbβ3. Dr. Coller’s group is investigating the precise genetic and protein abnormalities responsible for this rare disease.

 

Dr. Coller received his M.D. from New York University School of Medicine in 1970. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Bellevue Hospital and received advanced training in hematology and clinical pathology at the National Institutes of Health. Before joining Rockefeller in 2001, Dr. Coller served on the faculties of State University of New York at Stony Brook and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is the director of both the Center for Basic and Translational Research on Disorders of the Digestive System and the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at Rockefeller. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Coller received the Pasarow Award in 2005, the Karl Landsteiner Memorial Award in 2013, and the Gill Award from the University of Kentucky Gill Heart Institute in 2016, among other honors.

Donavon McConn, PhD

Donavon McConn, PhD

Scientific Advisor

Donavon currently leads the early scientific liaisons for Takeda’s external research collaborations. In this capacity, Donavon has a dedicated role to work with Takeda’s academic, biotech and consortium partners to facilitate and ensure maximal success out of the partnerships. Prior to his current position, Donavon served as Senior Director and San Diego Site Head for Drug Metabolism/Pharmacokinetics (DMPK), Analytical Sciences and Early Translational Sciences. Prior to Takeda, Donavon spent 12 years at GSK and Theravance, where he held positions of increasing responsibility. His research interests involve cutting-edge modeling and translational tools to aid in target validation highly focused clinical trials. Donavon obtained his BS in Biological Sciences from UC Davis and his PhD in Pharmaceutics from the University of Washington.

Lutz B. Giebel, PhD

Lutz B. Giebel, PhD

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Lutz Giebel is a Biotech Entrepreneur based in San Francisco Bay Area. He is currently co-founder and Chairman of Relinia Inc. Previously Lutz was co-founder and Director of Delinia Inc. In January 2017 the company was acquired by Celgene for $775 million, four months after the company announced its Series A financing. Prior to that Lutz was a Managing Partner at SV Life Sciences, an international healthcare focused Venture Capital firm. Before that, he was a Managing Partner of Didyma LLC, a biotechnology management consulting firm. Lutz was Founder, President and CEO of CyThera Inc., now ViaCyte and Founder and Chief Operating Officer of ExSAR. He was Founder and Vice President of Research at MetaXen, LLC, which was sold to Exelixis. He joined Axys Pharmaceutical, sold to Celera, as the first biologist and subsequently held various management positions, including Senior Director of Molecular Biology.

 

Lutz served on the boards of Alba, Allocure, Avera, Cyterix, Delinia, Good Start Genetics, Logical Therapeutics, Lux Biosciences, Neurotech, Ophthotech, Panoptica, Sapphire, Delinia and Relinia.

 

Lutz received his PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany and did his Post Doctoral studies in Human Genetics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Joel C. Scherer, MD FACC

Joel C. Scherer, MD FACC

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Joel Scherer is currently Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Boston Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, Massachusetts. From 2008 to 2013 he was Managing Director and Chief Medical Officer, Chorus, Eli Lilly and Co. The Chorus group is recognized as a leader in developing an alternative lean approach to early phase development in which data to drive investment decisions can be generated on average a year earlier and at half the cost of traditional development. During his 5-year tenure, Chorus delivered three molecules to late phase development at Lilly. Also during his tenure, Dr. Scherer was instrumental in the formation of Lilly’s Mirror Funds with two VC partners. He also led the Chorus collaboration with Atlas Ventures and Orbimed in the development of Lilly’s CGRP antibody for migraine prevention. This asset was reacquired by Lilly after POC, advanced through Phase III and is now awaiting review at FDA for migraine prevention. Previous roles at Lilly included Sr. Director of the Cardiovascular Therapeutic Area, Director of R&D Strategy and Medical Director of the Abciximab Product Team. Before coming to Lilly, Dr. Scherer practiced invasive cardiology in San Diego, California.

 

Dr. Scherer serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Tri-I TDI and Bridge Medicines in NYC. His major interests lie inefficient drug development, strategic planning, and advancing transformational pharmaceutical development and business models.

 

Dr. Scherer earned his BS in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and his MD from Stanford University. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease.

Catherine D. Strader, PhD

Catherine D. Strader, PhD

Scientific Advisor

Catherine D. Strader, PhD has more than 30 years of pharmaceutical R&D experience, and has guided more than 50 compounds through drug discovery and development during her career. She has held executive leadership positions at both Schering-Plough and Merck, most recently as Chief Scientific Officer at Schering-Plough and as VP of External Discovery at Merck.

 

In 2014, Catherine co-founded Synergy Partners, a consulting network that integrates the depth and breadth of experience required to effectively bring new discoveries to clinical proof of concept and beyond. She consults with biopharmaceutical and venture-backed companies on both the strategic and technical aspects of building and maintaining a pipeline, including translation of compounds through discovery and development, realization of an appropriate risk profile for the portfolio, and design of productive multi-partner collaborations.

 

Catherine received her BS in Chemistry from the University of Virginia and her PhD in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, followed by postdoctoral training at Duke University. She is the author of more than 150 scientific publications and currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of several biopharmaceutical companies.