Board of Directors
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Daniel Burgess, MBA
Laia Crespo, Ph.D., MBA
Laurence Barker, Ph.D., MBA
Michael Ross, Ph.D.
Olga Danilchanka, Ph.D.
Frank D. Lee, MBA
With over 25 years of global experience in product development and commercial leadership both in small biotech and large pharma, Mr. Lee served as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Forma Therapeutics (FMTX) from March 2019 until its acquisition by Novo Nordisk for $1.1Billion in October 2022.
During his tenure at Forma, Mr. Lee transformed Forma from an early-stage drug discovery company into one focused on the clinical development of lead assets in rare hematologic disorders and cancer. Mr. Lee led three equity financings and built a patient centered organization.
Prior to Forma, Mr. Lee served as Senior Vice President, global product strategy and therapeutic area head for the immunology, ophthalmology and infectious diseases at Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. He was responsible for driving global development and commercialization strategy for the late-stage portfolio and for global in-line product sales of $11 billion. Mr. Lee’s 13-year career path at Genentech included leadership positions of increasing scope and responsibility for delivering transformative medicines to patients and for driving the growth of multiple products to blockbuster / multi-blockbuster status including Xolair, Lucentis, Herceptin, Perjeta, Kadcyla, Tarceva, Tamiflu, Actemra and Esbriet.
Prior to joining Genentech, Mr. Lee spent approximately 13 years across Novartis, Janssen and Eli Lilly.
Mr. Lee received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from the Wharton Graduate School of Business.
He currently serves as Chairman of Catamaran Bio (private ) Board of Directors and as a member of the Board of Directors of Bolt Biotherapeutics, Inc. (BOLT). Previously, he served on the Board of Directors of the Genentech Foundation.
Houman Ashrafian, BM BCh, DPhil
Dr. Ashrafian a Managing Partner at SV and he co–leads SV’s Biotech franchise, which has a long history of building high value, successful new companies and bringing transformational drugs from discovery to market. He joined SV in 2016 as a Venture Partner, was promoted to Partner in 2017 and became a Managing Partner in 2018. He has founded six SV companies – Sitryx, Enara Bio, Mestag, TrexBio, Alchemab and Catamaran Bio. He also serves on the boards of Therini, Imbria, Quell and Prilenia and is the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) Investment Committee.
Previously, Dr. Ashrafian co–founded the services company Cardiac Report in 2003, as well as Heart Metabolics in 2008. Heart Metabolics successfully repositioned perhexiline as a treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Perhexiline is now in advanced clinical trials and has orphan drug designation. He went on to become Vice President and Head of the Clinical Science Group at UCB Pharma.
Outside of SV, following completion of his cardiology training, Dr. Ashrafian was appointed as an Honorary Consultant Cardiologist in 2011 at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. He is Visiting Professor and head of Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Oxford. Additionally, Dr. Ashrafian is co–founder and Chairman of Weatherden, a boutique clinical development company. Dr. Ashrafian received his undergraduate degree from the University of Cambridge and his BM BCh, DPhil from the University of Oxford.
Mike Ross, Ph.D.
Mike Ross’ career spans 21 years in venture capital, which followed 21 years in senior operating executive roles for leading biotechnology companies. He joined SV Health Investors as a Venture Partner in 2001 and became a Managing Partner in 2002. Mike was the tenth employee at Genentech, where he worked for 13 years. He served as Genentech team leader for the Humulin® Roferon®, Protropin® programs and was Vice President of Development during the development of Activase®, Nutropin® and Pulmozyme®. He then started Genentech’s antibody engineering, protein engineering and small molecule discovery effort as Vice President of Medicinal and Biomolecular Chemistry. Mike was the Founding CEO of Arris Pharmaceutical, MetaXen, ExSAR and CyThera (now Viacyte).
Mike received his PhD in Chemistry from Caltech and went on to do his post-doctoral work at Harvard. He serves on the Board of the Thayer School of Engineering (Dartmouth College). Mike has served on numerous venture and public biotech boards.
Michael Quigley, Ph.D.
Dr. Quigley is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Therini Bio, having joined the company in August 2021 as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Development.Dr. Quigley has spent his entire career focused on drug discovery in inflammation and oncology, both on the preclinical and translational fronts of the fields. He is currently a venture partner at SV Health Investorsand prior to joining TheriniBio served as Senior Vice President and Head of Biology at Gilead Sciences, overseeing the company’s biology teams and preclinical programs as well as protein biotherapeutics and computational biology and bioinformatics efforts across all therapeutic areas. Prior to that, Dr. Quigley was Vice President and Head, Tumor Microenvironment Modulation Thematic Research Center at Bristol–Myers Squibb and site head of the company’s Redwood City, California location where he was focused on developing new therapies at the intersection of tumor, stromal and immune biology within the tumor microenvironment. He previously worked in oncology discovery at MedImmune and Janssen. Dr. Quigley earned his Ph.D. degree in Immunology from Duke University and conducted post–doctoral research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Pediatric Oncology.
Mr. Burgess has served as a director since Therini’s original Seed financing in 2019 and was Acting CEO of the Company until December 2021. He is currently Chairman and CEO of Pulmocide, Ltd., a private biotechnology company. Mr. Burgess is also a Venture Partner with SV Health Investors and serves as Chairman of Cidara Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CDTX), Nabriva Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NBRV) and as a director of Arbutus (Nasdaq: ABUS) and several private biotechnology companies. Previously he was President & CEO of Rempex Pharmaceuticals, a company he co-founded and sold to The Medicines Company (now Novartis) and Mpex Pharmaceuticals which was sold to Aptalis Pharma (now AbbVie). Earlier in his career he held executive level positions in a number of other public biotechnology companies. He is also a Chairman Emeritus of Biocom California, the largest life science trade association in California, with more than 1500 member companies. Mr. Burgess holds a BA in economics from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Katerina Akassoglou, Ph.D.
Katerina Akassoglou, Ph.D. is the Director of the Center for Neurovascular Brain Immunology and Professor of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco and Gladstone Institutes, and the scientific founder of Therini Bio. Dr. Akassoglou’s laboratory discovered neurovascular and neuroimmune mechanisms of disease, and in particular the causal role of fibrin in neurological diseases. Dr. Akassoglou leveraged this knowledge to develop fibrin-targeting therapeutics to block its deleterious effects in inflammation and repair. Dr. Akassoglou is a leader in neuroscience and immunology, has published over 100 papers and book chapters and holds 20 issued and pending patents. Dr. Akassoglou is a Fellow of the American Neurological Association, recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by the White House, the John J. Abel Award by ASPET and Eli Lilly, the Dana Foundation Award, the Vilcek Prize in Creative Promise honor, The Marilyn Hilton Award for Innovation in MS Research, the NIH R35 Research Program and EUREKA Awards, the Greek TopWomen Award, the Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research, and was named by the San Francisco Business Times in 2021 Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business.
Laurence Barker, Ph.D., MBA
Laurence is a Partner in the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) and has supported the funding and formation of numerous DDF companies developing transformational new medicines for dementia. He joined SV Health Investors in 2016 having played an active role in setting up DDF. Prior to joining the DDF, Laurence was Head of Investment Management in Worldwide Business Development at GSK where he was responsible for managing GSK’s venture investment portfolio, covering both direct equity positions as well as a venture fund-of-funds portfolio. In addition, he led licensing transactions for the pharma R&D business. Prior to GSK, Laurence worked in business development at biotech companies Syntaxin and MorphoSys. Laurence received his Masters degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Tübingen, Germany, and an MBA from Cambridge.
Olga Danilchanka, Ph.D.
Principal at MRL Ventures Fund (MRLV)
Olga focuses on investing in preclinical stage companies translating novel biology into human medicines across therapeutics areas of high unmet need. Currently she serves as a Director on the board of Therini Bio and an Observer on the boards of Ambagon Therapeutics, Caraway Therapeutics, PAQ Therapeutics. Prior to joining MRLV in 2018, Olga coordinated the microbiome discovery efforts at the MRL Cambridge Exploratory Science Center, a subsidiary of Merck & Co, and was responsible for identifying immunological pathways through which the microbiome may contribute to disease progression. Prior to joining Merck, Olga was at Epiva Biosciences, a startup founded by Flagship Pioneering (merged with Evelo Biosciences). At Epiva, she helped define the company’s overall strategy and established a microbiology group that identified gut bacteria species that can be used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Olga earned her doctorate in microbiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and did her postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School.
David Dolby, MBA
David Dolby is an active technology investor and philanthropist based in San Francisco. Under
Ray Dolby’s mentorship, David has developed a strong skill set to identify tough problems worth
solving and ways to change the world through technology and media.
David oversees a portfolio of family investments across a wide range of asset classes that
include private equity, venture capital and real estate. He directly manages a portfolio of over 20
venture investments ranging across Internet technology, aerospace, digital marketing and retail
platforms, Alzheimer’s drug discovery, cognitive health, medical diagnostics, security and
cryptography, 3D printing, virtual reality media platforms, independent film impact investments,
and consumer products.
David serves as a director of Dolby Laboratories and is a member of the technology strategy
committee focused on long-term growth opportunities. David is also a director of Cogstate
Limited, where he serves on the audit, nominating and governance, and compensation
committees. David is also the CFO of the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund, supporting a
variety of not-for-profit initiatives in academic and research institutions, and other social impact
sectors. David serves as a board member of Tipping Point focused on addressing root causes of
poverty in the Bay Area.
David has a BSE in Civil Engineering from Duke University and an MBA from the Stanford
Graduate School of Business. David has studied overseas in Salamanca, Spain; Oxford, England;
and Erlangen, Germany. David completed a year-long program at the Philanthropy Workshop
West with a focus on impact investing. David has been a guest speaker at the Milken Global
Conference and various impact investment and philanthropy conferences. David participates
regularly in public company directors’ programs, including Stanford University’s Rock Center for
Corporate Governance and Harvard Business School.
Laia Crespo, Ph.D., MBA
Laia joined Sanofi Ventures in 2018 as a Partner. She focuses on biotech investments and company creation. Prior to Sanofi, she served as Investment Director for Ysios Capital, where she led investments and served on the board of multiple early-stage biotech companies. Earlier in her career, Laia was part of the European New Business Development team of Janssen-Cilag, a pharmaceutical company part of the Johnson & Johnson group, where she assessed commercial and scientific licensing opportunities. Previously she worked as a researcher in the UK in companies such as Spirogen (now AstraZeneca), Medivir and UCB-Celltech.
Laia’s active investments include Eligo Bioscience, Muna Therapeutics, NodThera, OMass Therapeutics, QurAlis, T-Therapeutics and Therini Bio. Previous investments and board roles include Lava Therapeutics (LVTX).
Laia graduated in Chemistry from the University of Barcelona, where she also completed a Master in Science and a Ph.D. with honors. Laia holds an M.B.A. from Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, where she focused on biotechnology, healthcare and finance.