About Us 3

About Amphivena Therapeutics

Amphivena Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately held, clinical-stage, immuno-oncology company that is developing a novel platform of dual-function biologics that relieve immune suppression and drive T-cell activation and polarization to restore anti-cancer immunity in patients



Peter Van Vlasselaer, PH.D.

Executive Chairman


Victoria Smith, PH.D.

Chief Scientific Officer


Patrick Chun, M.D.

Vice President Clinical Development


Amy Penticoff, MBA

Vice President Technical Operations

Peter has over 20 years of experience in the biotech industry. He was most recently the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of ARMO Biosciences, which shortly after its public offering (ARMO) was acquired by Eli Lilly. Before that he was President and Chief Executive Officer of iPierian (acquired by BMS), ARRESTO (acquired by Gilead) and AVIDIA (acquired by AMGEN). In addition to founding ARMO, Dr. Van Vlasselaer was the founder of ARRESTO, co-founder of TrueNorth (acquired by Bioverativ) and he was a member of the start-up teams of InterMune (ITMN) and Dendreon (DNDN). He currently serves on the boards of BLADE Therapeutics, Comet Therapeutics and RGENIX. Dr. Van Vlasselaer has a degree in Zoology and a PhD in Immunology from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology at Stanford University Medical School and DNAX Research Institute. Dr. Van Vlasselaer has authored several peer reviewed scientific publications and book chapters and he is an inventor on multiple patents.
Victoria Smith Ph.D. 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. 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 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.