Denovo Biopharma

Wen Luo, Ph.D. - Chief Executive Officer/Chief Scientific Officer

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Dr. Wen Luo has 20 years of experience in biomedical research and industry including more than 10 years of experience in applying genomic technology in drug discovery and development. Prior to founding Denovo biopharma, Dr. Luo managed the genomic group and provided bioinformatic supports to a broad range of research projects across a number of therapeutic areas including oncology, hematology, inflammation and metabolic diseases at Ligand Pharmaceuticals. He was also responsible for developing clinical biomarkers for drugs in various stages of clinical trials. Before joining Ligand, he was senior bioinformatician at Incyte Genomic, where he managed one of the largest proteomic databases at the time, LifePro. He was also involved in discovering novel human genes and splice variants, and he was the co-inventor of patents covering 100s of novel genes derived from these findings. Prior to Incyte Genomics, he was a research scientist at Sugen, then Pharmacia, and working on drug target identification and validation for a number of novel kinases discovered at Sugen. Dr. Luo was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute post-doc fellow at UCSF, and received his Ph.D. in molecular biology and biochemistry from Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Luo received Pre-Med training at Peking University and medical training at Peking Union Medical College.

Ronald L. Shazer, M.D. - Chief Medical Officer

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Dr. Shazer has more than 10 years of clinical research experience, initially as an investigator on multiple clinical trials and subsequently leading the development of therapeutics in the biopharmaceutical industry. Dr. Shazer has served as Inspyr Therapeutics’ Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer since August 2016. Previously he served as Tracon Pharmaceutical’s Chief Medical Officer. Both Inspyr Therapeutics and Tracon Pharmaceuticals are clinical stage biopharmaceutical companies developing targeted therapies for cancer. Prior to Tracon Pharmaceuticals, he was Senior Director, Clinical Lead Oncology at Pfizer, where he led the clinical development of multiple oncology compounds including antibody drug conjugates, dual targeting T-cell engaging antibodies and immuno-oncology small molecules. Prior to Pfizer, he was Director, Clinical Research Oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb and served as the study lead on the registration study for elotuzumab (Empliciti™), a therapy for multiple myeloma that subsequently received FDA approval. He also served as Head of Clinical Development at Arena Pharmaceuticals during which time that company filed a new drug application (NDA) for lorcaserin (Belviq®). Dr. Shazer previously held academic positions in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He received his B.A. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego, M.D. from New York Medical College, and M.B.A. from the Anderson School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 2004.

Robert Little - Chief Business Officer

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Robert Little has over 30 years commercial experience in the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Device industries ,with many successes in Country Management, Global product Launches, and Business Development and Licensing. From 2006-2010, Mr. Little was VP and chief commericial officer at Halozyme, where he implemented a high performing commercial operations function at Halozyme including Business Development, Marketing, New Product Planning and Alliance Management, and helped to drove market cap from $100M to over $600M in four years. From 2003 -2006, Mr. Little was SVP at Neurocrine Biosciences, where he implemented a 200 strong commercial organization (Sales, Marketing, and New Product Planning) to initially co-promote Zoloft™ with Pfizer then eventually launch Indiplon for sleep disorders. Piror to 2003, Mr. Little was group vice president of global prescription business at Pharmacia after spending nearly 20 years at Pharmacia and Pharmacia & Upjohn. Mr. Little has had business experience working in 4 different countries, including many years working here in the US , and has deep experience in many therapeutic areas, particularly in Oncology, Endocrinology, Neuroscience, and Opthalmology. His additional successes include creating a global reimbursement and health outcomes function for a major Drug Company, as well as building ground up commercial organizations for three fledgling biotech companies. He has led successful licensing activities and over a 10 year period he created Licensing Agreements with an aggregate value of over 1 Billion dollars ( up front payments and milestones, excluding royalties).

Xiangming Fang, M.D., Ph.D. - Chief Operating Officer

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Dr. Fang has 26 years of experience in biomedical research and product development, including 18 years of biotech industry experience and 14 years of management experience. She has strong scientific background with integrated knowledge in medicine, molecular and cell biology, immunology, genomics and proteomics. She was also involved in several startup companies with hands on experience in team building and operation. Previously as the Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at GenWay Biotech, she is responsible for new technology and product development and production, as well as customer support and partnership coordination. Prior to GenWay, Dr. Fang served at GenStar Therapeutics, initially as the Director of the Cancer Program and the Director of Preclinical Studies, then as Vice President, Hemophilia and Vector Development. Dr. Fang's earlier experiences include gene therapy product development for hemophilia at Baxter Healthcare and GeneMedicine Inc. Dr. Fang obtained her Medical Degree from Zhejiang University Medical School and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Alabama . She completed her postdoctoral studies at the University of Texas , MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Fang was the President (2009-2010) of Sino-American Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Professionals Association (SABPA), San Diego chapter, and current Vice Chair of BOD.

Michael Haller, Ph.D. - Chief Financial Officer

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Dr. Haller has broad experience in finance, business development and alliance management, drug development, and corporate and product strategy, currently leading the Finance and Accounting team at Denovo Biopharma. Prior to Denovo, he was Chief Business Officer, responsible for business development and finance and accounting, at Peloton Therapeutics. As Vice President of Business Development and Alliance Management at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Haller was responsible for out-licensing activities and managing Ligand’s numerous alliances.  Prior to Ligand, he was Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Anaphore (now Bird Rock Bio). He joined Anaphore from Halozyme Therapeutics, which as an early employee he helped grow into a $1B market cap company, directed key alliances with Roche and Baxter Healthcare from deal signing and early preclinical and CMC activities through registration submissions, and headed the company’s drug delivery franchise.   Prior to Halozyme, Dr. Haller was a McKinsey & Company management consultant focusing on complex health care issues for a number of Fortune 500 companies. Dr. Haller has published several peer-reviewed articles, presented at numerous scientific conferences, and is co-inventor on multiple patents. Dr. Haller earned his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, his MS in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and his BS in Biomedical Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University.

Xiao-Xiong Lu, Ph.D. - Chief Technical Officer

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Dr. Xiao-Xiong Lu has over 30 years of experience in the US biotech and pharmaceutical as well as related industries including extensive experience in pharmaceutical CMC development, manufacturing and supply chain. He has also consulted for a number of biotech and pharmaceutical companies worldwide in the areas of CMC and business development. In Feb 2018, Dr. Lu joined Denovo Biopharma as Chief Technical Officer responsible for all aspects of pharmaceutical CMC development, manufacturing and supply chain. Since 2016, he has served as VP of Technical Operations at Balance Therapeutics also responsible for pharmaceutical CMC development, manufacturing and supply chain. From 2003 to 2015, he was with Arena Pharmaceuticals, most recently as Associate VP of CMC Technical Operations as well as Managing Director for Greater China. The Arena programs Dr. Lu led the CMC functions for or made significant contributions to included BELVIQ® (lorcaserin) for obesity, temanogrel for thrombosis, nelotanserin for sleep disorders, ralinepag for PAH, etrasimod for autoimmune diseases, and APD371 for pain. From 1990 to 2003, he worked at Monsanto Company and its spin-off Solutia Inc. with increasing responsibilities in R&D and manufacturing. He received his PhD from University of Birmingham in the UK and BSc from University of Petroleum in China, both in Chemical Engineering. He has also taken evening MBA courses at Louisiana State University early on during his industrial career.