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.
Adam Tomasi, PhD
Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer
Prior to joining Allakos, Dr. Tomasi was CSO and Head of Corporate Development at ZS Pharma where he led scientific, business development, and investor relation functions through the company’s initial public offering and sale to AstraZeneca. Before joining ZS Pharma, Dr. Tomasi was a Principal at Alta Partners where he contributed to investments in ZS Pharma (acquired by AstraZeneca), Lumena Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Shire), Excaliard (acquired by Pfizer), ChemGenex (acquired by Cephalon), Achaogen, Immune Design and Allakos. Dr. Tomasi served as a drug discovery scientist with Gilead Sciences and Cytokinetics.
Dr. Tomasi holds an MBA from the Harvard-MIT Biomedical Enterprise Program, a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD in chemistry from the University of California, Irvine.
Henrik Rasmussen, MD, PhD
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Rasmussen has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Prior to joining Allakos, Dr. Rasmussen was the CMO at ZS Pharma, where he worked from 2010 to 2016. Prior to joining ZS Pharma, he was the President and CEO of Rasmussen Biotech & Pharma Consulting. Dr. Rasmussen has held the positions of Corporate Vice President, Head of Clinical Development, Medical & Regulatory Affairs at Novo Nordisk, and CMO, for Nabi Biopharmaceuticals and GenVec. He was the Senior Vice President for Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs at British Biotech and Global Study Director for Cardiovascular Drug Development at Pfizer Central Research. Dr. Rasmussen has led numerous global development programs and regulatory filings worldwide, including INDs, clinical trial applications (CTAs), NDAs, supplemental new drug applications (sNDAs), biologic license applications (BLAs), and MMA filings. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers in the therapeutic areas of nephrology, cardiology, ophthalmology, gastroenterology and diabetes.
Dr. Rasmussen received his MD and PhD from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and is trained in internal medicine and cardiology.
Simon Greenwood PhD
Chief Business Officer
Dr. Greenwood has over 20 years of experience in the heathcare industry. Prior to joining Allakos, Dr. Greenwood was Investment Director for the Roche Venture Fund, where he led investments in 23andMe, Allakos, Biodesy, CytomX (NASDQ: CYMX), DVS (acquired by Fluidigm), Epic Sciences, Horizon Discovery (AIM: HZD), Maculogix, ProActa and Stratos. Prior to his role at the Roche Venture Fund, Dr. Greenwood was the head of GenenFund, Genentech’s corporate venture fund, and he also held roles in research and business development at Genentech.
Dr. Greenwood holds a PhD in Genetics and Development from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.
Chief Commercial Officer
Mr. Varacek has almost three decades of experience in biopharmaceutical sales, account management and commercial and operational leadership. Most recently, Mr. Varacek was the Senior Vice President, Sales and Commercial Operations at ZS Pharma (acquired by AstraZeneca). Prior to ZS Pharma, he held a variety of commercial executive and management level roles at InterMune (acquired by Roche), where he was responsible for building a 90-person U.S. sales team for a new orphan drug therapy, Esbriet, to treat patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. This included sales force design, recruitment, hiring and training, as well as strategic oversight of field infrastructure support, operations, resource requirements, compensation structure and field deployment. Mr Varacek also has experience across a wide range of specialty and non-specialty products, including Vivitrol, Omontys, Epogen and Neupogen while at Alkermes, Affymax and Amgen.
Mr. Varacek has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from SUNY Binghamton.
Christopher Bebbington, DPhil
Chief Scientific Officer and Co-founder of Allakos
Dr. Bebbington co-founded Allakos in 2012. He has more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and has held various scientific and leadership roles. At Celltech Ltd, as the Head of Mammalian Expression and Team leader in Immunomodulation, he developed expression systems for recombinant antibodies, including the GS-System™, currently used in the manufacture of several approved antibody products, and conducted research into T-cell activation and chimeric antigen receptors. He was Director of Molecular Immunology at Coulter Pharmaceutical Inc., Senior Director of Research at Corixa Corp. and led a team that transferred to Medarex upon Medarex’s acquisition of antibody-drug conjugate technology and assets from Corixa. In 2003, Dr Bebbington was a co-founder of Celscia Therapeutics, a therapeutic antibody development company which merged in 2004 to form KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc. At KaloBios he was Vice President of Research, leading a team that developed a novel antibody humanization technology, “Antibody Humaneering™”, out-licensed to multiple partners, and entered four antibodies into clinical trials.
Dr. Bebbington has a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Science from the University of Oxford, U.K. and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy also from the University of Oxford.
Ruby Casareno, PhD
VICE PRESIDENT MANUFACTURING
Dr. Casareno has more than 17 years of biopharmaceutical experience in biologics process development, scale up, technology transfer, and contract manufacturing oversight. She contributed to 3 commercial and over 18 pre-clinical and clinical development programs. She was Director, Outsourced Manufacturing & Manufacturing Sciences and Technology at Portola Pharmaceuticals and led the biologics team in addressing BLA drug substance manufacturing-related regulatory questions. As Director of Process Development and Manufacturing at Oncomed Pharmaceuticals, she was responsible for biologics process development and ensuring GMP adherence for 9 clinical development programs. She held various scientific and leadership positions at Seattle Genetics, Maxygen, Johnson and Johnson (Scios), Xoma and Bio-Rad Laboratories.
Dr. Casareno has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of the Philippines and received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from The Ohio State University. She completed postdoctoral trainings at Washington University Medical School and at the University of California, San Francisco.
Sally Bolmer PhD RAC
Vice President Regulatory Affairs and Drug Development
Dr. Bolmer has more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. She was the Senior Vice President of Development and Regulatory Affairs at Human Genome Sciences with responsibility for formulation and implementation of global regulatory and drug development strategies. Prior to Human Genome Sciences, Dr. Bolmer held various scientific and leadership roles at Centocor including Executive Director for Regulatory Affairs. While at Centocor, she was responsible for preclinical, clinical and manufacturing strategy and submissions for INDs and Marketing Applications for cardiovascular, immunology, oncology and infectious disease products. During her career, she has secured approval for five first-in-class biologics, initiated INDs for over 50 indications, and submitted over 6 BLAs for products including murine, chimeric and human antibodies; radioconjugates; antibody fragments; and fusion proteins.
Dr. Bolmer received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Brown University and a PhD in Biological Chemistry from the Hershey Medical Center of Penn State University. She had a post-doctorate appointment at MIT in the Applied Biological Science and was an Assistant Research Professor at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City studying glycoprotein synthesis.
Nenad Tomasevic PhD
Vice President Research and Co-founder of Allakos
Dr. Tomasevic co-founded Allakos in 2012. Prior to Allakos, Dr. Tomasevic was director of Protein biochemistry at KaloBios where his team supported preclinical and clinical activities for three clinical-stage antibodies.. Dr Tomasevic has also held positions at Nuvelo, where he led a protein biochemistry group , and at Cytokinetics where he led a team that identifying small molecule inhibitors cell motility proteins
Dr. Tomasevic received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, a Master of Science and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia. He completed postdoctoral training at National Institutes of Health (NIDDK, Genetics and Biochemistry Branch) in Bethesda, Maryland in the laboratory of Dr. Brenda Peculis. During this time, he discovered two previously uncharacterized proteins.