Jeanmarie Guenot, Ph.D.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Jeanmarie Guenot, Ph.D. has 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. She has worked at both public and private companies, and across research and development, corporate development and venture capital. Among her achievements are several noteworthy bio-pharma mergers/acquisitions and licensing deals. Her experience spans small molecules and proteins and a variety of therapeutic areas including inflammation, autoimmune disease, oncology, cardiology, metabolic diseases, ophthalmology and neurology. She has more recently focused in immuno-oncology and specifically, in T cell engagement and bi-specific antibody drug development. Since 2013, Dr. Guenot has been the President & CEO of Amphivena Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical stage company developing a novel CD33 x CD3 bispecific antibody therapeutic for acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome. She also co-founded Harpoon Therapeutics in 2015 and was its founding CEO and President. She co-founded Maverick Therapeutics in 2016, a spinout of Harpoon, and executed a build-to-buy deal with Takeda in January 2017 which comprised $125 million in funding including R&D support, option fee and equity investment.
Prior to her current role, Dr. Guenot co- founded, built and ran SKS Ocular, a start-up ophthalmic company incubator, focused on dry AMD, sustained release ocular drug delivery technologies and therapeutics for glaucoma, macular degeneration and ocular inflammation. She was a business advisor for Hoffmann-La Roche in Basel and Shanghai, and she was Vice President of Corporate & Business Development at PDL BioPharma, where she led licensing, mergers and acquisitions and alliance management for PDL’s R&D and commercial product portfolios. She led and negotiated the Biogen Idec-PDL 50:50 co-development and co-commercialization strategic collaboration, which involved three Phase 2 cancer and autoimmune disease drug candidates. This $800 M transaction included a $100 M equity investment in PDL and a therapeutic candidate with indications split between Biogen Idec/PDL and Hoffmann-La Roche. She also licensed the ophthalmic indication for the oncology drug to Ophthotech. She has portfolio, project and alliance management experience in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, neurology and ophthalmic diseases.
Dr. Guenot started her business career at Atlas Venture, where she managed venture capital investments and built life science companies. She started her scientific career as a principal scientist in Preclinical R&D at Hoffmann-La Roche, discovering and developing drugs for metabolic diseases, inflammation, autoimmune diseases and oncology. Dr. Guenot trained in physical and medicinal chemistry, with a focus in quantum mechanical and semi-empirical methods for molecular dynamics, protein structure prediction, X-ray and NMR refinement and drug design. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco and her MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Victoria Smith, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Victoria Smith PhD brings over 23 years of experience in biologics drug discovery and development to Amphivena. She began her career in Biotechnology at Genentech Inc, where she applied her research background in genomics to both target discovery and for the characterization and development of antibody drug conjugates for solid tumors. Dr Smith then joined Arresto Biosciences at its inception, taking on roles of increasing responsibility with the growth of the company, to become Vice President of Research and Preclinical Development. At Arresto, Dr Smith led the translation of novel mechanisms for targeting the tumor microenvironment, fibrosis and inflammatory disease to clinical development candidates. Upon the acquisition of Arresto by Gilead Sciences in 2011, Dr Smith led biologics research and translational studies as the Senior Director of Biologics and Target Biology. In the course of her role at Gilead, Dr Smith built an antibody engineering group, initiated new research projects, provided cross functional Research project support and oversight, supported clinical development for biologics projects from phases 1-3, and continued to deepen her expertise in oncology and immune oncology while also expanding her knowledge in new areas such as virology. Dr Smith has a B.S. from the University of Western Australia and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University, UK, and she was a Research and Post-Doctoral Fellow at Stanford University in the Departments of Biochemistry and Genetics. She is an author on numerous peer reviewed scientific publications and patents and has received multiple scientific awards.
Patrick Chun, M.D.
Vice President, Clinical Development
Patrick Chun, M.D. is a board-certified Hematologist and Oncologist with drug development experience in both large pharma and small biotech. Patrick began his career at Merck & Co., where he was charged with the development of a small-molecule ERK-inhibitor, as well as running early- and late-stage studies in melanoma indications for pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA), which was the first PD-1 inhibitor to be approved by the FDA. He then moved on to Gilead Sciences, where he led the clinical development of the bromodomain-inhibitor program (GS-5829) across oncology indications, as well as supporting the clinical development of antibodies against novel tumor microenvironment targets. Immediately prior to joining Amphivena, Patrick was head of clinical development at a small privately held biotechnology company located in San Diego, where he led the first clinical programs from pre-IND through Phase 1 in multiple oncology indications. Patrick holds a B.S. (Chemistry) and M.D. from Michigan State University, trained in Internal Medicine at Brown University, and completed his fellowship in hematology and oncology at UCLA.
Amy Penticoff, MBA
Vice President, Technical Operations
Amy brings 30 years of product development, manufacturing, quality control, regulatory strategy and supply chain of small molecule and biologic drugs to Amphivena. Most recently she was a senior member of the Technical Operations team at ARMO BioSciences (now Eli Lilly), where she was responsible for Pegilodecakin and anti-PD-1 mAb drug product manufacture in support of the company’s clinical trials, as well as the development of the Pegilodecakin prefilled syringe. Following ARMO’s acquisition, Ms Penticoff oversaw the transfer of the product manufacturing technology from ARMO to Eli Lilly. Prior to ARMO, she served as Sr. Director of supply chain at Intarcia Therapeutics where she worked on a peptide based implantable product for the treatment of diabetes and development of a sterile implantation kit intended for commercialization. Before that, she was Director of Pharmaceutical Sciences at NeurogesX, Inc., supporting the development and commercialization of the QUTENZA® Dermal Patch. She also held various technical and managerial roles at SRI International, AP Pharma (now Heron Therapeutics), Oral-B Laboratories (now Gillette), Clorox and Dow Corning (now DowDupont). Ms. Penticoff holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Pepperdine University, CA and holds patents in formulation and manufacturing.