Dan Janney (Chairman)
Alta Partners, Managing Director
Dan Janney has been investing in life sciences companies for more than 20 years. Mr. Janney joined Alta Partners at its founding and is a Managing Director. His focus on working with talented entrepreneurs to create companies around novel insights in biology and new approaches to drug discovery has led to the funding and development of 32 companies. Prior to Alta, he was a senior investment banker at Montgomery Securities where he advised life science companies on over $8 billion of equity and merger transactions. Mr. Janney is currently on the board of directors of several public and private companies, including Esperion Therapeutics, Evolve Biosystems, Prolacta Bioscience, Sutro Biopharma, and Viveve. In addition, he led Alta’s investments in Astex Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Supergen), Cellective (acquired by Medimmune), ChemGenex (acquired by Cephalon), CoTherix (acquired by Actelion), DeUnity Health (acquired by United Health), Dynavax, Endonetics (acquired by Medtronic), Ilex Oncology (acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals), InterMune (acquired by Roche), LJL Biosystems (acquired by Molecular Devices), Mako Surgical (acquired by Stryker) and Triangle Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Gilead).
In 2006 and 2007, Mr. Janney was listed in Forbes’ Midas 100 List of Top Tech Investors. He is a member of The President's Council of the J. David Gladstone Institutes and serves on the Board of Regents of Georgetown University. He holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Anderson School at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Robert Alexander, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Alexander has been involved in the formation and leadership of numerous biotechnology companies. Robert was CEO of ZS Pharma where he led the initial public offering and sale of ZS Pharma to AstraZeneca. Prior to ZS Pharma, Robert was a Director at Alta Partners, a venture capital firm, and was also Executive Chairman and interim CEO of SARcode Bioscience. During his time at Alta Partners, he led investments in SARcode Bioscience (acquired by Shire), Lumena Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Shire), ZS Pharma (acquired by AstraZeneca), and Allakos. Prior to Alta Partners, Robert was a Principal in MPM Capital’s BioEquities Fund. Robert joined MPM from Genentech, where he worked in the Business Development group.
Dr. Alexander is on the Board of Directors of Allena Pharmaceuticals. He holds a PhD in immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Miami University of Ohio.
Steven P. James
Executive Chairman and CEO, Pionyr Immunotherapeutics
Steven James has 25 years experience in the life sciences industry, including the creation and leadership of multiple companies. He is currently President and CEO of Pionyr Immunotherapeutics and was the President and CEO of Labrys Biologics from 2012 until it was acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals in 2014. Prior to joining Labrys, Steve was President and CEO of KAI Pharmaceuticals from 2004 until the company was acquired by Amgen in 2012. His previous positions have included Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations at Exelixis, Chief Business Officer at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals and VP of Business Development at Isis Pharmaceuticals (now Ionis). He began his career in new product planning at Eli Lilly.
Mr. James is Chairman of Antiva Biosciences, and a director of Chrono Therapeutics, and Cascadian Therapeutics (formerly, Oncothyrean, Inc.). He was a past director of Ocera Therapeutics (acquired by Mallinckrodt). Steve holds a Masters in Management from the Kellogg School of Northwestern University and an undergraduate degree from Brown University.
John McKearn, PhD
Managing Director, RiverVest Venture Partners
Dr. McKearn has over 25 years experience as a successful "drug hunter and developer" in both large and small biopharma, including a decade in small-cap and venture-backed companies. Joined RiverVest in 2008 as a Venture Partner and became a Managing Director in 2011. Prior to joining RiverVest, he was president and CEO of Kalypsys. Dr. McKearn worked as a scientist with Searle/Pharmacia, from 1987 to 2003, including head of discovery research from 1997 to 2003. Through his efforts, he helped establish the groundwork for new studies that led to the commercialization of several major products, including DayPro, Arthrotec, and most notably, Celebrex, one of the leading pharmaceuticals to treat arthritis. Prior to 1987, Dr. McKearn was a senior scientist at E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, a member of the Basel Institute for Immunology in Basel, Switzerland, and a research associate in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Washington University in St. Louis. Additionally, he has co-authored more than 70 published, peer-reviewed scientific papers. Dr. McKearn holds more than 50 patents and numerous patent applications, primarily in the areas of cancer treatment and inflammatory disease.
Dr. McKearn serves on the board of Otonomy and Allakos. He has served on the boards of IDM Pharma (acquired by Takeda), Epimmune, Keel Pharmaceuticals, Lumena Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Shire) and ZS Pharma (acquired by AstraZeneca). Dr. McKearn completed his PhD in immunology from the University of Chicago and his BS in biology from Northern Illinois University.
Paul Walker, CFA
NEW ENTERPRISE ASSOCIATES, PARTNER
Paul Walker has more than 20 years of life sciences investing experience. Mr. Walker has been a partner at New Enterprise Associates, an investment firm focused on venture capital and growth equity investments, since 2008. He focuses on later-stage biotechnology and life sciences investments. In 2001, Mr. Walker joined MPM Capital and was a General Partner with the MPM BioEquities Fund, where he specialized in public, PIPE and mezzanine-stage life sciences investing. Previously, he was a portfolio manager at Franklin Templeton Investments. Mr. Walker received a BS in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California at San Diego, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.