John began his career at Morgan Stanley in New York in 1982, where he co-founded the Healthcare Group in the Corporate Finance Department and was later the original healthcare partner at Morgan Stanley Ventures. He then spent six years at Acuson Corporation (an NYSE-traded company that is now part of Siemens), where he was Executive Vice President, ran Marketing and led the cross-functional management of the company’s product introductions. In 1995, he licensed the technology that served as the core of Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG), co-founded Intuitive and raised its initial venture capital. He then spent two years as the West Coast partner in the Private Equity group of Chancellor Capital Management (now INVESCO), before founding Skyline Ventures in 1997. He has experience with most of the major sectors of the healthcare investment market including small molecule and protein therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics and biotech tools, at stages from start-up to public company investing. He received a BA from Harvard College, an MD from Harvard Medical School, and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar and won the Loeb Fellowship in Finance. He is on the Board of Directors of Mako Surgical (MAKO), XenoPort (XNPT), and Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals (TTPH). He is also on the board of several of our private companies, which include Advion BioSciences, Inc., Crescendo Bioscience, DiscoveRx Corporation, and SI Bone, Inc. He is a director of three mutual funds managed by Capital Research and Management: Fundamental Investors, the Growth Fund of America and the SMALLCAP World Fund. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Harvard Business School Healthcare Initiative, and is a member of the Therapeutics Advisory Council of Harvard Medical School. He was the co-author of The Official MBA Handbook, which spent 16 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list in 1982. He loves golf, tennis, and the New York Yankees.
John G. Freund, M.D.
Managing Director, Skyline Ventures
Managing Director, Alta Partners
Dan joined Alta immediately following the firm’s founding in 1996, and was a co-founder of the Alta BioPharma effort. Dan focuses on investments in biopharmaceutical products and therapeutics. He has been directly involved in the funding and development of over 25 life sciences companies. Dan is currently on the board of directors of a number of companies, including Alba Therapeutics, Esperion Therapeutics, Lithera, Prolacta Bioscience and ViroBay. In addition, he led Alta’s investments in ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals, CoTherix, Definity Health, DiscoveRx, Dynavax, Endonetics, Ilex Oncology, InterMune, LJL Biosystems and Mako Surgical. Prior to joining Alta, he was a senior investment banker at Montgomery Securities, focusing on life sciences companies. Dan is also a member of The President’s Council of the Gladstone Institutes. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Georgetown University and a Master of Business Administration from the Anderson School at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Bryan Lawlis, Ph.D.
Chairman, CEO, Itero Biopharmaceuticals
Dr. Lawlis, a 27-year biotech industry veteran, brings his broad experience in therapeutic protein development and manufacturing. Bryan is currently Chief Executive Officer of Itero Biopharmaceuticals, a privately held developer of value-added follow-on and novel therapeutic proteins and antibodies. Prior to joining Itero in 2008, he was employed by Aradigm, where he served as President and CEO from August 2004 until his departure, as President and Chief Operating Officer from June 2003 to August 2004, and as COO from November 2001 to June 2003. Previously, Bryan founded Covance Biotechnology Services, a contract biopharmaceutical manufacturing operation, and served as its President and CEO from 1996 to 1999, and as Chairman 1999 to 2001, when it was sold to Diosynth, a division of Akzo Nobel. From 1981 to 1996, he was employed at Genencor, Inc., and Genentech, Inc. His last position at Genentech was Vice President of Process Sciences.
Daniel H. Petree
Mr. Petree is a founder and member of P2 Partners, LLC of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, a boutique investment bank specializing in life sciences companies. Mr. Petree is the former President and Chief Operating Officer of Axys Pharmaceuticals, a structure-based drug design company based in South San Francisco. He also held successive positions at Axys (and its predecessor, Arris Pharmaceuticals) as Executive Vice President of Business Development and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to Axys, Mr. Petree was Vice President of Business Development at TSI Corporation, a clinical research organization in Worcester, MA, with an M&A-roll up driven strategy. Mr. Petree’s operating management experience was preceded by five years in investment banking at Montgomery Securities. Mr. Petree’s career began in the practice of law. He was a corporate and securities lawyer with Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe in Palo Alto, CA. Mr. Petree currently sits on the Boards of Directors of Cypress Bioscience, Inc., and Lpath, Inc., both California biotechnology companies and Koronis Pharmaceuticals, a private Washington biotechnology company.
William J. Newell
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Newell has over 15 years of senior management experience in the biotechnology industry. He joined Sutro Biopharma as CEO in January 2009. Previously, he served as the President of Aerovance, Inc., a venture-backed company developing clinical assets for respiratory diseases. Mr. Newell also was Chief Business Officer and Senior Vice President at publicly-traded QLT, Inc. and served in several senior management positions at public-traded Axys Pharmaceuticals, Inc, where he ultimately served as Senior Vice President, Corporate and Business Development prior to Celera Genomicsís acquisition of Axys. For the 15 years prior to joining Axys, Mr. Newell practiced law at the law firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP.
Armen Shanafelt, Ph.D.
Venture Partner, Lilly Ventures
Dr. Shanafelt is a Venture Partner at Lilly Ventures, with over 22 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostic businesses. Previously, he was CSO responsible for the generation of the early biotherapeutic pipeline for Eli Lilly and Company, spanning the therapeutic areas of oncology, endocrine, and neuroscience; prior to this he held leadership positions at Roche Diagnostics and Bayer. He currently is a director of HemaQuest Pharmaceuticals and Protagonist Therapeutics, a board observer of Receptos, Inc., and a member of Kauffman Fellows Class 14. He received a BS in chemistry and physics from Pacific Lutheran University, his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and completed his postdoctoral work at DNAX Research Institute, where he studied the structure-function relationships of cytokines and their receptors. He is an inventor on patents for biotherapeutics and diagnostic technologies, and has authored a range of publications including the strategic application of protein optimization to therapeutic protein development.
Joseph M. Lobacki
CEO/COO Crestovo LLC
Mr. Lobacki has over 30 year’s of experience in biotech industry including in positions of Commercial, Manufacturing, Operations, Clinical and Medical and General Management. Currently he serves as CEO/COO for Crestovo a privately held company developing products in the area of the microbiome. Prior to his current position, Mr. Lobacki was chief commercial officer at Medivation which was acquired by Pfizer in Sept 2016. Additionally, Mr. Lobacki served as the general manager of the oncology business at Idera Pharmaceuticals, senior vice president and chief commercial officer at Micromet Inc., senior vice president and general manager of transplant and oncology at Genzyme Corporation, vice president of North American marketing at SangStat Medical Corporation and vice president of operations of Cell Pathways, Inc. Mr. Lobacki also served on the Board of Directors for Celator Pharmaceuticals which was acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals in 2016. Mr. Lobacki holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Boston College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy.
Michael Ross, Ph.D.
Director, SV Life Sciences
Dr. Ross joined SV Life Sciences in 2001, became a Managing Partner in 2002 and is based in San Francisco. Michael was the tenth employee at Genentech where he worked for 13 years. He served as Genentech team leader for Humulin® (human insulin-Lilly), Roferon® (Interferon alpha -Roche), and Protropin® (hGH- Genentech). He was Vice President of Development during the development of Activase®, Nutropin®, Actimmune® and Pulmozyme®. Michael then started Genentech’s protein engineering and small molecule discovery effort as VP of Medicinal and Biomolecular Chemistry. He was the Founding Chief Executive Officer of Arris Pharmaceutical, (now part of Celera), MetaXen, (now part of Exelixis), CyThera (now part of Novocell) and ExSAR. Prior to joining SVLS, Michael was most recently Managing Partner in Didyma, LLC, a biotechnology management consulting firm. He received his AB from Dartmouth College, his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Caltech, and completed an NIH Post Doctoral Fellowship in Molecular Biology at Harvard.