Dr. McKearn has three decades of drug development and investing experience in life sciences. John joined RiverVest in 2008 focusing on early-stage biotechnology start-ups. Prior to this, Dr. McKearn was President and CEO of Kalypsys. Before Kalypsys, he held positions of increasing responsibility, which included Global Head of Research at Searle/Pharmacia (1987-2003). Prior to 1987, Dr. McKearn was a senior scientist at DuPont, a member of the Basel Institute for Immunology and a research associate at Washington University in St Louis. Currently, Dr. McKearn serves on the boards of Allakos (NASDAQ: ALLK), OncoResponse, Good Therapeutics, Arch Oncology, Adarza BioSystems and OxaluRx. He previously served on the boards of Lumena Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Shire), Otonomy (NASDAQ: OTIC) and ZS Pharma (NASDAQ: ZSPH; acquired by AstraZeneca).
Dr. McKearn holds a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology from the Northern Illinois University. He has co-authored more than 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers and holds more than 50 patents and numerous patent applications, primarily in the areas of cancer treatment and inflammatory disease.
Dr. Kemp has over two decades of pharma R&D experience at Novartis, Merck and most recently Takeda, leading multiple drug discovery programs and establishing a track record in business development comprising an array of buy- and sell-side transactions, including NewCo creations and M&A deals.
During his tenure at Takeda, Dr. Kemp was a formative member of the company’s oncology cell therapy leadership team where he transacted a series of cornerstone collaborations that established a pipeline of CAR-NK, CAR-T and ɣδT cell programs. Notably, Dan spearheaded the in-licensing of Takeda’s flagship allogeneic NK cell program from MD Anderson Cancer Center in late 2019, which consolidated the emergence of NK cell therapies as an important therapeutic platform in the immuno-oncology space. He served on the Boards of GammaDelta Therapeutics and Adaptate Biotherapeutics, both companies that he was instrumental in creating in 2017 and 2019, respectively. Previously, Dr. Kemp was Senior Vice President at Beryllium (acquired by UCB) where he was responsible for directing drug discovery partnerships, and prior to that he directed drug discovery programs at Merck Research Labs ranging from target validation to clinical proof of concept. At Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, he led an early discovery team in diabetes and metabolic diseases.
Dr. Kemp received his BSc and PhD in molecular pharmacology from the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. He was awarded an HHMI Fellowship at Harvard Medical School and carried out his postdoc research on pancreatic beta cell biology at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Drew Dennison is Managing Director at Lightchain Capital, LLC, the family office for Scottrade Founder and former Chief Executive Officer Rodger Riney. At Lightchain, Mr. Dennison is responsible for venture capital investments in the life science and technology sectors. He also assists the Riney Foundations with their philanthropic endeavors. Previously, Mr. Dennison served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Scottrade Financial Services, Inc. He led the Company’s operations, technology, operations, finance, and strategic planning functions and worked at the Company for over a decade. Mr. Dennison led the sale of Scottrade to TD Ameritrade, then co-led the integration project, successfully combining the two companies. In addition, Mr. Dennison serves as Chairman of the Board of CareVet Holdings and as a Board Member of FinTech Studios.
Drew Dennison received his BBA in accounting from University of Iowa – Henry B. Tippie College of Business where he graduated Cum Laude. He also is a graduate of the Wharton School’s Securities Industries Institute Executive Education Program.
Kevin Li is a Managing Partner at LYZZ Capital, a healthcare-focused venture capital/PE fund investing globally in leading biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Kevin has been an active biotech investor in the US and China for more than 15 years. Prior to co-founding LYZZ, he was a partner at DT Capital and HBM BioMed China. Earlier in his career, Kevin was involved in the building and management of several successful biotech companies, including GenoSpectra, Fountain Medical Development, and Amazin Biotech. Dr. Li received his Ph.D. in Biology from Indiana University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Dr. Li has been an investor and board member of a number of successful biomedical companies in China and the US, such as Nuokang Biopharma, Cathay Industrial Biotech, Xili Pharma, Wuhan Hiteck Biopharma, Chipscreen, Alpha Biopharma, Neurelis, Qpex, iGenomX, and Jumpcode, among others.
Dr. Muralidhar is a Managing Partner at Abingworth, a leading transatlantic life sciences investment firm. He has 15 years professional experience in healthcare across a range of functions including venture investing, R&D, clinical practice and teaching. He works with the Abingworth team in the London, Boston and Menlo Park offices to source and evaluate new investment opportunities and support existing venture investments through to exit. He represents Abingworth on the boards of Exicure Inc. (XCUR), NuCana (NCNA), Spruce Biosciences (SPRB), Reneo Pharmaceuticals (RPHM), Glycomine and Gynesonics.
Prior to joining Abingworth, Bali was a senior partner at MVM Partners LLP in London where he completed investments in and served on the boards of several companies, both public and private. Two of these were Wilson Therapeutics and Valneva, both also Abingworth portfolio companies. In 2018, Bali was named among Financial News’ Rising Stars in Private Equity, which celebrated 25 men and women under the age of 40 standing out in the European private equity industry. Before MVM, Bali was a member of Bain Capital’s healthcare deal team.
Dr. Muralidhar obtained a degree in clinical medicine from the University of Oxford and practiced general surgery at the John Radcliffe and Addenbrooke’s Hospitals in Oxford and Cambridge, respectively. He has a PhD in translational cancer research from the MRC Cancer Cell Unit, University of Cambridge, and has published over a dozen peer reviewed papers. He was also a Bye-Fellow in Medical Sciences at Downing College, Cambridge where he taught pathology, surgery and medicine.
Mr. Hau currently is a managing director and co-head of private investments at Tybourne Capital Management, a Hong Kong based global public and private equity investment management firm. Previously, Mr. Hau served as a managing director and partner at Sailing Capital, a Hong Kong and Shanghai based global private equity firm. Mr. Hau also has served as a partner of MVM Partners LLP, a Boston and London based healthcare investment firm, as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company in Southeast Asia, and as an early stage biotechnology investor with S.R. One Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline’s corporate venture group. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hau served as an equity research analyst covering the medical device and pharmaceutical industries for Prudential Securities, Inc. and JP Morgan Securities, Inc. Mr. Hau started his career in sales and marketing at Eli Lilly & Company.
Mr. Hau currently is a member of the boards of directors of Exicure, Inc., and of several private life sciences, fintech, consumer, and TMT companies. Mr. Hau has served as a director or observer to more than 20 publicly listed and private companies. Mr. Hau also is a Board Overseer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, a major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, and a Leadership Fellow of The Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Hau received a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology, a B.S.H.S. in Physiological Sciences and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona, an M.Sc. in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A in Finance and Health Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Kiener is currently a Venture Partner at ICG Life Sciences. Peter is an industry veteran with extensive experience in both biologics and immunotherapy, and across the entire value chain of biopharmaceutical research and development. Peter was the former Chief Scientific Officer at Sucampo, until the company’s acquisition by Mallinckrodt in February 2018 . Prior to joining Sucampo, he served as CSO of Ambrx Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of antibody-drug conjugates. Prior to Ambrx, Dr. Kiener was President and Co-founder of Zyngenia Inc., an early-stage biopharmaceutical company. He also held executive leadership roles at MedImmune LLC, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, including Executive Vice President and Global Head of Biologics Research and Development, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Research, and Vice President of Research. He also worked on biologics for Bristol-Myers Squibb prior to his work at MedImmune. Peter has led or contributed to the development and approval of multiple drugs including antibodies, fusion proteins and vaccines. Dr. Kiener is a member of the Board of Directors of Cue Biopharma and Pieris.
Dr. Kiener earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Lancaster, UK and a doctorate of philosophy in biochemistry from the University of Oxford. He has published more than 120 papers in peer-reviewed journals and is an inventor on more than 40 patents and patent applications.
Ms. Seltzer joined Aisling in 2008 and serves as a Partner. Prior to Aisling, Ms. Seltzer was at Schering-Plough, where she held roles of increasing responsibility. Prior to Schering-Plough, Ms. Seltzer was the Director of Business Development for Akceli, a biotechnology company developing cell-based microarrays. Ms. Seltzer began her career as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company.
Ms. Seltzer currently serves on the board of Reneo Pharmaceuticals and as a board observer of Prolacta Bioscience and Spruce Biosciences. Her prior board service includes Agile Therapeutics, Aimmune Therapeutics (acquired by Nestle Health Sciences), AVROBIO, Durata Therapeutics (acquired by Actavis), Miramar Labs (acquired by Sientra), Promentis Pharmaceuticals and ZELTIQ Aesthetics (acquired by Allergan). She also acted as the Aisling representative for its investment in PreCision Dermatology (acquired by Valeant). Ms. Seltzer serves on the Life Science Council for Springboard Enterprises and the Investment Advisory Board of the Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale.
Ms. Seltzer received her MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a Palmer Scholar, and her M.S. and B.S. in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University, awarded cum laude.
Court Turner is cofounder and Executive Chair of Onchilles and a partner of LYZZ Capital. Mr. Turner has more than 20 years of experience in founding, operating, fundraising for, and exiting life science companies.
Before joining Onchilles, Court Turner was a venture partner at Avalon Ventures. During his time at Avalon, he served as the founding CEO and director of both Synthorx, Inc. (acquired by Sanofi) and Cellular Approaches, Inc. Prior to those roles, he was the founding chairman and CEO of RQx Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Genentech). He also served as a member of the executive management teams at both Kalypsys, Inc. and Aurora Biosciences (acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals).
Court Turner received his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law and a B.S. in psychology from San Diego State University.
Dave Johnson is currently a General Partner at Velosity Capital and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and founder of Solve Therapeutics an oncology focused biologics company. In his most recent previous executive role, Dave was CEO of VelosBio. Velos, an oncology- focused clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, focused on novel antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) and bispecific antibodies (BiAbs) targeting the oncofetal antigen ROR1 utilizing technology licensed from Tom Kipps, MD PhD and UC San Diego. Dave founded Velos in 2017, built a world-class leadership team, and raised approximately $200M in capital from a top-tier syndicate of life science investors to advance the company’s programs. Under his leadership the company filed an IND for its lead ROR1-directed ADC VLS-101 in Q4 2018, started enrolling patients in the Phase 1 first-in-human clinical trial in Q1 2019 and in December 2020 the company was acquired by Merck for $2.75B.
Prior to VelosBio, Dave was CEO at Acerta Pharma, where he led the company through a critical phase of growth from approximately 40 to 150+ employees and from a signal-seeking first-in-human trial for acalabrutinib to more than 20 active clinical studies. Dave’s tenure included the regulatory negotiation and launch of three registration-directed trials, including two global Phase 3 trials for acalabrutinib, and culminated in the execution of a strategic transaction with AstraZeneca valued at up to $7B. Dave’s early experience spans from pre-clinical development to all phases of clinical development through product launch. He has extensive experience in fundraising and deal making and has made significant contributions to drugs ultimately garnering NDA/sNDA approval including acalabrutinib, idelalisib, romidepsin, and bortezomib. Dave is a co-author on numerous publications and holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.
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