Robert Alexander, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Alexander has been involved in the formation and leadership of numerous biotechnology companies. Dr. Alexander was CEO of ZS Pharma where he led the initial public offering and sale of ZS Pharma to AstraZeneca. Prior to ZS Pharma, Dr. Alexander 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, Dr. Alexander 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 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Miami University of Ohio.
CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER, GENERAL COUNSEL
Mr. Asbury joined Allakos in November 2018 as Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel and has more than 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry at various size companies. Since 2016, Mr. Asbury was General Counsel at Samsara BioCapital, a science-driven venture capital firm. From 2014 to 2016, Mr. Asbury was Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel at ZS Pharma (acquired by AstraZeneca) where he was responsible for all legal aspects of the organization, including intellectual property, SEC matters and strategic transactions. Prior to ZS Pharma, he was the Vice President and General Counsel of Pharmacyclics where he helped the company negotiate a $975 million deal with Johnson & Johnson for ibrutinib, its Phase 2 molecule. Prior to that, Mr. Asbury held a variety of positions at Genentech, most recently as Associate General Counsel and Senior Director of Transactional Law. Prior to joining Genentech, he worked for the law firm of Shearman & Sterling, where he specialized in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and commercial debt financings.
Mr. Asbury has a BA in Soviet studies from Vanderbilt University and a JD from Stanford Law School.
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.
Adam Tomasi, PhD
President and Chief Operating Officer
Prior to joining Allakos, Dr. Tomasi was Chief Scientific Officer 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 a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, an MBA from MIT and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine.
Chief Commercial Officer
Mr. Varacek has 30 years of experience in biopharmaceutical sales, account management, marketing and commercial operations 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 executive and management-level roles at InterMune (acquired by Roche AG), Affymax, Amgen and BMS. In his commercial leadership roles, Mr. Varacek has launch expertise with specialty, non-specialty, orphan disease products including both biologics and small molecule compounds.
Mr. Varacek has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from SUNY Binghamton.
Sally Bolmer PhD RAC
Senior 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.
Ruby Casareno, PhD
Senior Vice President, Technical Operations
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 PhD in Chemistry from The Ohio State University. She completed postdoctoral trainings at Washington University Medical School and at the University of California, San Francisco.