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

Leadership

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Curtis Ruegg, PH.D.
Chief Executive Officer and President

During more than 25 years in the biopharmaceutical industry, Curtis has built and managed several successful novel biologics development programs, from research through clinical development and resulting in health authority approval and commercialization. Prior to joining Amphivena, Curtis was President and CEO at Parvus Therapeutics developing a novel biologics platform targeting regulatory T cells for the treatment of autoimmune disease. Prior to Parvus, Curtis was Executive Vice President, Technical Operations at Revance where he established and managed the biologics development program to support the Company’s first IND spanning through Phase 3. Prior to Revance, Curtis led development efforts supporting commercialization of several products including Ventavis® (CoTherix), Esbriet® (Intermune) and Provenge® (Dendreon). Curtis earned his Ph.D. degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for research on retroviral mediated immunosuppression and performed research in immunology as a Cancer Research Institute Fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine.

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Victoria Smith, PH.D.
Chief Scientific Officer

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.

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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.

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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.

During more than 25 years in the biopharmaceutical industry, Curtis has built and managed several successful novel biologics development programs, from research through clinical development and resulting in health authority approval and commercialization. Prior to joining Amphivena, Curtis was President and CEO at Parvus Therapeutics developing a novel biologics platform targeting regulatory T cells for the treatment of autoimmune disease. Prior to Parvus, Curtis was Executive Vice President, Technical Operations at Revance where he established and managed the biologics development program to support the Company’s first IND spanning through Phase 3. Prior to Revance, Curtis led development efforts supporting commercialization of several products including Ventavis® (CoTherix), Esbriet® (Intermune) and Provenge® (Dendreon). Curtis earned his Ph.D. degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for research on retroviral mediated immunosuppression and performed research in immunology as a Cancer Research Institute Fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine.

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.

Board of Directors

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Peter Van Vlasselaer, PH.D.
Executive Chairman

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.

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Eric Moessinger
Nanodimension

Eric joined NanoDimension in 2008 and was the first employee of NanoDimension’s Silicon Valley office. He is focused on life sciences investments. Eric is currently board member of Emulate, SQZ Biotech, Serotiny, Amphivena and a board observer of Inscripta and Click Diagnostics. He previously observed on the board of ARMO (acquired by Lilly), Twist Bioscience (Nasdaq: TWST) and IonPath. Eric helped lead NanoDimension’s investments in Orca and Octant. Before joining NanoDimension, Eric was a consultant at Bain & Company in Zurich and San Francisco. While at Bain, Eric worked on strategy cases in healthcare, industrial goods and telecommunications and on the turn-around of an electrical component manufacturer. In addition, Eric spent eight months in Bain’s Private Equity Group. Eric has an MS.c. from the London School of Economics and a BS/BA from the University of Florida.

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Mark McDade
Qiming Venture Partners USA

Before joining Qiming in 2017, Mr. McDade was Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer at UCB. He led UCB’s worldwide Geographic Operations, Established Brands, Technical Operations and Business Development. He joined UCB’s Executive Committee in 2008. From 2002 until late 2007, Mr. McDade served as Chief Executive Officer and a director of PDL Biopharma, an antibody-based biopharma located in Redwood City, CA, USA. Prior to PDL, he served as CEO of Signature Bioscience, located in San Francisco, CA. Mark was founder and a director of Corixa Corporation, where he served as Chief Operating Officer from September 1994 to December 1998 and as President and Chief Operating Officer from January 1999 until his departure in late 2000 to join Signature. Before Corixa, Mark was COO of Boehringer Mannheim Therapeutics, the bio-pharmaceutical division of Corange, and prior to that held several positions at Sandoz Ltd. Including business development, product management and general management. Mr. McDade serves on the Board of directors of FivePrime Therapeutics (FPRX), Dermira (DERM) and Aimmune Therapeutics (AIMT), all publicly traded biotechs in the SF Bay Area. Mark received a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

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.

Eric joined NanoDimension in 2008 and was the first employee of NanoDimension’s Silicon Valley office. He is focused on life sciences investments. Eric is currently board member of Emulate, SQZ Biotech, Serotiny, Amphivena and a board observer of Inscripta and Click Diagnostics. He previously observed on the board of ARMO (acquired by Lilly), Twist Bioscience (Nasdaq: TWST) and IonPath. Eric helped lead NanoDimension’s investments in Orca and Octant. Before joining NanoDimension, Eric was a consultant at Bain & Company in Zurich and San Francisco. While at Bain, Eric worked on strategy cases in healthcare, industrial goods and telecommunications and on the turn-around of an electrical component manufacturer. In addition, Eric spent eight months in Bain’s Private Equity Group. Eric has an MS.c. from the London School of Economics and a BS/BA from the University of Florida.

Before joining Qiming in 2017, Mr. McDade was Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer at UCB. He led UCB’s worldwide Geographic Operations, Established Brands, Technical Operations and Business Development. He joined UCB’s Executive Committee in 2008. From 2002 until late 2007, Mr. McDade served as Chief Executive Officer and a director of PDL Biopharma, an antibody-based biopharma located in Redwood City, CA, USA. Prior to PDL, he served as CEO of Signature Bioscience, located in San Francisco, CA. Mark was founder and a director of Corixa Corporation, where he served as Chief Operating Officer from September 1994 to December 1998 and as President and Chief Operating Officer from January 1999 until his departure in late 2000 to join Signature. Before Corixa, Mark was COO of Boehringer Mannheim Therapeutics, the bio-pharmaceutical division of Corange, and prior to that held several positions at Sandoz Ltd. Including business development, product management and general management. Mr. McDade serves on the Board of directors of FivePrime Therapeutics (FPRX), Dermira (DERM) and Aimmune Therapeutics (AIMT), all publicly traded biotechs in the SF Bay Area. Mark received a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

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Vinay Bhaskar, PH.D.
MPM Capital

Dr. Vinay (Vin) Bhaskar brings extensive biotech experience to his current role at MPM where he is responsible for investment identification, due diligence and business development. He also serves as acting Chief Operating Officer for MPM portfolio company Werewolf Therapeutics. Vin is a board member of Werewolf and is a board observer for Naked Biome, all MPM portfolio companies.Prior to joining MPM, Vin led external R&D for the oncology therapeutic area at Amgen, where he was instrumental in forging collaborations with companies such as Kite Pharma, Merck and Xencor. During this time, he also led internal immuno-oncology strategy discussions and served as executive sponsor and/or board observer for several Amgen Ventures investments, including Surface Oncology, Precision BioSciences and Tizona Therapeutics, a company founded by MPM. He joined Amgen through its acquisition of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, where he led preclinical search, evaluation and diligence for licensing and acquisition opportunities on the Asset Acquisition Team. Prior to joining Onyx, Vin held a variety of roles of increasing responsibility in discovery research at Portola Pharmaceuticals, XOMA, PDL Biopharma and Eos Biotechnology. In these roles, he initiated and led multiple preclinical project teams and functional groups focused on biologies that spanned oncology, inflammation and cardiometabolic disease. Through these endeavors, he has gained broad expertise across all phases of drug discovery, early development and process sciences.Vin holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis.

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Christian Richard
Tekla Capital Management LLC

Christian Richard is an SVP, Research at Tekla Capital Management LLC, an advisor for four healthcare-focused closed-end investment funds since March of 2015. Previously, Mr. Richard was a Partner/Head of Research for Merlin Biomed Private Equity/Merlin Nexus for 12 years. Merlin Nexus is a cross-over life sciences fund focused on negotiated transactions in both late-stage private and public companies. Prior to Merlin Nexus, Mr. Richard spent five years in the Allergy/Immunology Group at the Schering-Plough Research Institute. He has a B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Purchase College and both an M.S. in Biochemistry and an M.B.A. in Finance from NYU. Mr. Richard is also on the board of Bioclin Therapeutics, Inc. and was formerly on the Board of Merus N.V. as an observer.

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Curtis Ruegg, PH.D.
Chief Executive Officer and President

During more than 25 years in the biopharmaceutical industry, Curtis has built and managed several successful novel biologics development programs, from research through clinical development and resulting in health authority approval and commercialization. Prior to joining Amphivena, Curtis was President and CEO at Parvus Therapeutics developing a novel biologics platform targeting regulatory T cells for the treatment of autoimmune disease. Prior to Parvus, Curtis was Executive Vice President, Technical Operations at Revance where he established and managed the biologics development program to support the Company’s first IND spanning through Phase 3. Prior to Revance, Curtis led development efforts supporting commercialization of several products including Ventavis® (CoTherix), Esbriet® (Intermune) and Provenge® (Dendreon). Curtis earned his Ph.D. degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for research on retroviral mediated immunosuppression and performed research in immunology as a Cancer Research Institute Fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Dr. Vinay (Vin) Bhaskar brings extensive biotech experience to his current role at MPM where he is responsible for investment identification, due diligence and business development. He also serves as acting Chief Operating Officer for MPM portfolio company Werewolf Therapeutics. Vin is a board member of Werewolf and is a board observer for Naked Biome, all MPM portfolio companies.Prior to joining MPM, Vin led external R&D for the oncology therapeutic area at Amgen, where he was instrumental in forging collaborations with companies such as Kite Pharma, Merck and Xencor. During this time, he also led internal immuno-oncology strategy discussions and served as executive sponsor and/or board observer for several Amgen Ventures investments, including Surface Oncology, Precision BioSciences and Tizona Therapeutics, a company founded by MPM. He joined Amgen through its acquisition of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, where he led preclinical search, evaluation and diligence for licensing and acquisition opportunities on the Asset Acquisition Team. Prior to joining Onyx, Vin held a variety of roles of increasing responsibility in discovery research at Portola Pharmaceuticals, XOMA, PDL Biopharma and Eos Biotechnology. In these roles, he initiated and led multiple preclinical project teams and functional groups focused on biologies that spanned oncology, inflammation and cardiometabolic disease. Through these endeavors, he has gained broad expertise across all phases of drug discovery, early development and process sciences.Vin holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis.

Christian Richard is an SVP, Research at Tekla Capital Management LLC, an advisor for four healthcare-focused closed-end investment funds since March of 2015. Previously, Mr. Richard was a Partner/Head of Research for Merlin Biomed Private Equity/Merlin Nexus for 12 years. Merlin Nexus is a cross-over life sciences fund focused on negotiated transactions in both late-stage private and public companies. Prior to Merlin Nexus, Mr. Richard spent five years in the Allergy/Immunology Group at the Schering-Plough Research Institute. He has a B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Purchase College and both an M.S. in Biochemistry and an M.B.A. in Finance from NYU. Mr. Richard is also on the board of Bioclin Therapeutics, Inc. and was formerly on the Board of Merus N.V. as an observer.

During more than 25 years in the biopharmaceutical industry, Curtis has built and managed several successful novel biologics development programs, from research through clinical development and resulting in health authority approval and commercialization. Prior to joining Amphivena, Curtis was President and CEO at Parvus Therapeutics developing a novel biologics platform targeting regulatory T cells for the treatment of autoimmune disease. Prior to Parvus, Curtis was Executive Vice President, Technical Operations at Revance where he established and managed the biologics development program to support the Company’s first IND spanning through Phase 3. Prior to Revance, Curtis led development efforts supporting commercialization of several products including Ventavis® (CoTherix), Esbriet® (Intermune) and Provenge® (Dendreon). Curtis earned his Ph.D. degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for research on retroviral mediated immunosuppression and performed research in immunology as a Cancer Research Institute Fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Investors