Leadership

Paul E. Hopper is our Co-Chairman and a director. Mr. Hopper is a highly accomplished biotechnology and biopharmaceutical investor and entrepreneur. Mr. Hopper is also currently Executive Chairman of Imugene Limited, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company publicly-traded on the Australian Securities Exchange, or ASX (ASX: “IMU”). Previously, Mr. Hopper was Executive Chairman of Viralytics Ltd., an immuno-oncology company targeting treatments for metastatic melanoma and other cancers, which was publicly-traded on the ASX prior to the company’s sale to Merck & Co. (NYSE: “MRK”) in 2018 for A$502 million (or approximately US$394 million at the time of sale). Mr. Hopper is Chairman of the Life Sciences Portfolio Managers Trust.

Mr. Hopper received a B.A. from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and has completed several Advanced Management Programs at Harvard Business School.

Joshua R. Lamstein is our Co-Chairman and a director. Mr. Lamstein is also Vice Chairman of HCFP and Co-Chairman and Co-Managing Partner of HCFP/Capital Partners. HCFP/Capital Partners is a co-founder of Scopus. Mr. Lamstein is also a senior officer and/or director of other portfolio companies of HCFP and a Venture Partner of an approximately $100 million seed-stage venture fund. Mr. Lamstein has worked in venture capital and private equity for over 20 years, including as a Managing Director of GF Capital Private Equity Fund, a $240 million middle market private equity fund, and as a Partner of LMS Capital, a FTSE 250 London Stock Exchange-listed investment trust. Mr. Lamstein initiated the trust’s presence in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. He began his career in private equity at Apollo Advisors, a global alternative investment manager now known as Apollo Global Management, Inc. Prior thereto he was an investment banker in New York and London at Lehman Brothers. 

Mr. Lamstein is also a Senior Advisor to John Snow, Inc. and JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., a non-profit global public health management consulting and research organization dedicated to improving the health of individuals and communities throughout the world. Mr. Lamstein is also on the Board of Trustees of World Education, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides training and technical assistance in literacy, health and HIV and AIDS education around the world.

Mr. Lamstein received his B.A., with honors, from Colgate University and his M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Robert J. Gibson, CFA is our Vice Chairman and a director. Mr. Gibson is also Executive Vice President of HCFP and Co-Chairman of HCFP/Capital Markets LLC, a middle-market investment bank. Mr. Gibson is highly experienced in investment banking and private equity, with a particular emphasis on biopharmaceutical, biotechnology, specialty pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies. Previously Mr. Gibson was a Senior Vice President – Investment Banking at CRT Capital Group LLC, a middle market investment bank, and a Senior Vice President at Balance Point Capital Partners, a middle market private equity fund. Mr. Gibson began his career in healthcare investment banking at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc.

Mr. Gibson is a Chartered Financial Analyst. Mr. Gibson received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Amherst College.

Ashish P. Sanghrajka is our President and a director. For more than 25 years prior to joining us, Mr. Sanghrajka was an investment banker across multiple sectors, with a particular concentration in biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals and pharmaceuticals. Most recently, Mr. Sanghrajka was Managing Director — Equity Capital Markets, at Mizuho Securities USA LLC, the U.S. capital markets affiliate of one of the world’s largest financial institutions. Previously, Mr. Sanghrajka was the Managing Partner of BIO-IB, a boutique investment bank specializing in licensing/partnering and mergers and acquisitions for emerging private and publicly-held healthcare companies. Mr. Sanghrajka began his career as an investment banker specializing in healthcare and other growth sectors at ABN Amro Rothschild (including predecessors ING Barings and Furman Selz).

Mr. Sanghrajka has served as a board member of numerous private and public companies and non-profit organizations.

Mr. Sanghrajka received his B.S. in Engineering and Applied Sciences from the University of Rochester and his Certificate in Finance from the University Rochester Simon Business School.

Aharon Schwartz, Ph.D. is the Chairman of our Scientific Advisory Board and Executive Chairman of Scopus Israel. Since 2004, Dr. Schwartz has been the Chairman of the Board of BioLineRx Ltd. (Nasdaq: “BLRX”), and is also currently a director of Protalix BioTherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE American: “PLX”). From 1975 to 2011, Dr. Schwartz served in various management positions at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (NYSE: “TEVA”), most recently as Vice President — Head of Teva Innovative Ventures. Dr. Schwartz’s prior positions at Teva included Vice President — Strategic Business Planning and New Ventures; Vice President — Global Products Division; Vice President — Copaxone Division; Vice President — Business Development; and Head of the Pharmaceuticals Division.

Dr. Schwartz received his B.Sc. in Chemistry and Physics from Hebrew University, his M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry from the Technion and his Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science. Dr. Schwartz also holds an additional Ph.D. in history and philosophy of science from Hebrew University.

Morris C. Laster, M.D. is a member of our Scientific Advisory Board and a Senior Medical Advisor and director of Scopus Israel. Dr. Laster is a co-founder of the company. Dr. Laster has been a founder, founding senior officer, director and/or scientific advisor of numerous publicly-traded biotechnology and other medical technology companies. Since 2013, Dr. Laster has been a Medical Venture Partner of OurCrowd, a global equity investment and crowdfunding platform, a capacity in which he has led investments of approximately $80 million in 23 early-stage biopharmaceutical, biotechnology and other medical technology companies. Dr. Laster is also Co-Managing Partner of the OurCrowd Pandemic Innovation Fund. Dr. Laster is currently a director of several OurCrowd healthcare portfolio companies, and is also Chairman of OncoHost, a private, clinical-stage precision oncology company. Dr. Laster was the founding chief executive officer of BioLineRx Ltd. (Nasdaq: “BLRX”) and a co-founder of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a public company on Nasdaq which completed a merger in December 2018 with Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: “AKBA”); and Kitov Pharma Ltd. (Nasdaq: “KTOV”). Dr. Laster was a practicing physician prior to beginning his career in biotechnology investing and entrepreneurship as a Vice President — Medical Venture Capital at Paramount Capital Investments LLC. 

Dr. Laster received his B.S., magna cum laude, in Biology from the University at Albany, New York and his M.D. from Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Hua E. Yu, Ph.D. is a member of our Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Yu is the Billy and Audrey L. Wilder Professor in Tumor Immunotherapy at City of Hope, Co-leader of the Cancer Immunotherapeutics Program, Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Associate Chair and Professor in the Department of Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope. Previously, Dr. Yu was Associate Professor, Immunology Program, at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute. 

Dr. Yu’s laboratory was the first to validate STAT3, a critical regulator of tumor cell survival and proliferation, as a molecular target for cancer therapy in animal models. Dr. Yu’s team also unraveled a critical role of STAT3 in tumor angiogenesis and tumor immune evasion. Prior to joining Moffitt, Dr. Yu was a postdoctoral research scientist in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Yu received her B.A. in Biology and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Columbia University, New York, New York.

Marcin Kortylewski, Ph.D. is a member of our Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Kortylewski is Associate Professor in the Department of Immuno-Oncology at City of Hope. Dr. Kortylewski’s laboratory focuses on the development of novel oligonucleotide therapeutics for cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Kortylewski’s two-step immunotherapeutic strategy is first to disarm tumor defense systems and then to activate immune attack from within using a single oligonucleotide molecule. Previously, Dr. Kortylewski was a research scientist in the Immunology Program at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.

Dr. Kortylewski received his M.S. in Biotechnology from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University School of Medical Sciences in Poznan, Poland.

Paul E. Hopper joined us as Co-Chairman and a director upon the closing of the Transactions, immediately prior to which Mr. Hopper was Executive Chairman of Bioscience Oncology Pty., Ltd. Mr. Hopper is a highly accomplished biotechnology and biopharmaceutical investor and entrepreneur. Mr. Hopper has been a founder, chairman, senior officer and/or director of numerous private and publicly-traded biotechnology, biopharmaceutical and other healthcare-related companies in the United States and Australia, including: Imugene Limited, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company publicly-traded on the Australian Securities Exchange, or ASX (ASX: “IMU”); Viralytics Ltd., an immuno-oncology company targeting treatments for metastatic melanoma and other cancers, which was publicly-traded on the ASX prior to the company’s sale to Merck & Co. (NYSE: “MRK”) in 2018 for A$502 million (or approximately US$394 million at the time of sale); and Polynoma LLC, an immuno-oncology company developing a novel polyvalent antigen therapy for the treatment of melanoma, in which a controlling stake was sold to CK Life Sciences International (Holdings) Inc., a publicly-traded company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HK: “0775”) and a subsidiary of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited, a Hong Kong multinational conglomerate now part of CK Hutchinson Holdings Limited, the Chairman of which was Li Ka-shing. Mr. Hopper is Chairman of the Life Sciences Portfolio Managers Trust.

Mr. Hopper received a B.A. from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and has completed several Advanced Management Programs at Harvard Business School.

Robert J. Gibson, CFA has been Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer and a director since our inception. Since May 2016, Mr. Gibson also has been an Executive Vice President of HCFP and Co-Chairman of HCFP/Capital Markets LLC, a middle-market investment bank. Until joining HCFP, Mr. Gibson was Senior Vice President – Investment Banking, specializing in biotechnology, biopharmaceutical and specialty pharmaceutical companies, at CRT Capital Group LLC, a middle market investment bank. Mr. Gibson rejoined CRT in 2014 after having been previously employed at such firm from 2003 to 2008, most recently as a Vice President – Investment Banking, specializing in healthcare. Mr. Gibson began his career in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. From 2009 to 2014, Mr. Gibson was Senior Vice President, overseeing healthcare investments, at Balance Point Capital Partners, L.P., a middle market private equity fund, which, together with a related fund, then had approximately $150 million of assets under management.

Mr. Gibson is a Chartered Financial Analyst, or CFA. Mr. Gibson received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Amherst College.

Ashish P. Sanghrajka has been our President since August 2019 and became a director in June 2020. For more than 25 years prior to joining us, Mr. Sanghrajka was an investment banker across multiple sectors, with a particular concentration in biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals and pharmaceuticals. Most recently, Mr. Sanghrajka was Managing Director — Equity Capital Markets, at Mizuho Securities USA LLC, the U.S. capital markets affiliate of one of the world’s largest financial institutions. Prior to joining Mizuho in 2011, Mr. Sanghrajka was a Managing Director in the United States for Collins Stewart, a leading U.K.-based growth company investment bank, which acquired C.E. Unterberg, Towbin and subsequently was acquired by Canaccord Financial Inc. From 2002 to 2010, Mr. Sanghrajka was the Managing Partner of BIO-IB, a boutique investment bank specializing in licensing/partnering and mergers and acquisitions for emerging private and publicly-held healthcare companies, with an emphasis on biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals and pharmaceuticals. From 1994 to 2002, Mr. Sanghrajka was an investment banker specializing in healthcare and other growth sectors at ABN Amro Rothschild (including predecessors ING Barings and Furman Selz).

Mr. Sanghrajka has served as a board member of numerous private and public companies and non-profit organizations, including the Lung Cancer Research Foundation.

Mr. Sanghrajka received his B.S. in Engineering and Applied Sciences from the University of Rochester and his Certificate in Finance from the University Rochester Simon Business School.

Lesley Russell, MB.Ch.B, MRCP (UK) is joining us as a member of our board of directors in connection with this offering. Dr. Russell currently serves as a Medical Advisor to BioSpecifics Technologies Corp. (Nasdaq: “BSTC”), a publicly-traded biotechnology company. From 2013 to November 2017, Dr. Russell served as Chief Medical Officer for Innocall Holdings plc and TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals Corporation, which were, during Dr. Russell’s tenures, Nasdaq-listed public biotechnology/biopharmaceutical companies. Until 2012, Dr. Russell was Senior Vice President and Global Head, Research and Development, Global Branded Products of Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (NYSE: “TEVA”), a global pharmaceutical company. Dr. Russell assumed this position upon the acquisition in 2011 by Teva of Cephalon, Inc., which previously was a leading independent biopharmaceutical company publicly-traded on Nasdaq. Dr. Russell was at Cephalon from 2000 to 2011, serving in positions of increasing responsibility and seniority. Dr. Russell was Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer from 2006 to 2011. Prior to joining Cephalon, Dr. Russell was Vice President — Clinical Research of MedImmune Inc., the same position she held at U.S. Bioscience, Inc., which was acquired by MedImmune in 1999. Dr. Russell joined U.S. Bioscience in 1996 and previously was Senior Director of Clinical Research and Director of Clinical Research. MedImmune and U.S. Bioscience were then leading biopharmaceutical companies publicly-traded on Nasdaq and the American Stock Exchange, respectively. MedImmune was subsequently acquired by AstraZeneca PLC. Dr. Russell was previously held medical and clinical research positions at Eli Lilly (UK) and Amgen (UK).

Dr. Russell received her MB.Ch.B from the University of Edinburgh Faculty of Medicine. She is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and is registered with the General Medical Council.

Aharon Schwartz, Ph.D. has been our Scientific Advisory Board Chairman and in 2020 also assumed the position of Executive Chairman of Scopus Israel. Since 2004, Dr. Schwartz has been the Chairman of the Board of BioLineRx Ltd. (Nasdaq: “BLRX”), and a director of Foamix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Nasdaq: “FOMX”) and Protalix BioTherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE American: “PLX”), all publicly-traded biopharmaceutical/specialty pharmaceutical companies. From 1975 to 2011, Dr. Schwartz served in various management positions at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (NYSE: “TEVA”), most recently as Vice President — Head of Teva Innovative Ventures. Dr. Schwartz’s prior positions at Teva included Vice President — Strategic Business Planning and New Ventures; Vice President — Global Products Division; Vice President — Copaxone Division; Vice President — Business Development; and Head of the Pharmaceuticals Division.

Dr. Schwartz received his B.Sc. in Chemistry and Physics from Hebrew University, his M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry from the Technion and his Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science. Dr. Schwartz also holds an additional Ph.D. in history and philosophy of science from Hebrew University.

Morris C. Laster, M.D. is a Scientific Advisory Board member and a Senior Medical Advisor and director of Scopus Israel. From our inception until June 2020, Dr. Laster was a director and provided executive services to us pursuant to the Clil MSA. Dr. Laster is a co-founder of the company and identified and initiated licensing negotiations with the NIH for MRI-1867. In connection with and as contemplated by the Transactions, Mr. Hopper replaced Dr. Laster as a director and as our Co-Chairman. The pre-existing Clil MSA is being replaced by a new services agreement. Also in June 2020, Dr. Laster assumed the position of Co-Managing Partner with responsibility for launching the $100 million OurCrowd Pandemic Innovation Fund. Since 2013, Dr. Laster has been a Medical Venture Partner of OurCrowd, a global equity investment and crowdfunding platform, a capacity in which he has led investments of approximately $80 million in 23 early-stage biopharmaceutical, biotechnology and other medical technology companies. Dr. Laster is currently a director of several OurCrowd portfolio companies, including: BrainQ Technologies, DreaMed Diabetes, Ltd., and HIL Applied Medical. Dr. Laster is also Chairman of OncoHost, a private, clinical-stage precision oncology company. Dr. Laster has been a founder, founding senior officer, director and/or scientific advisor of numerous publicly-traded biotechnology and other medical technology companies, including: BioLineRx Ltd. (Nasdaq: “BLRX”); BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd (Nasdaq: “BVXY”); Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a public company on Nasdaq which completed a merger in December 2018 with Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: “AKBA”); and Kitov Pharma Ltd. (Nasdaq: “KTOV”). Dr. Laster was a practicing physician prior to beginning his career in biotechnology investing and entrepreneurship as a Vice President — Medical Venture Capital at Paramount Capital Investments LLC. In this position, Dr. Laster was part of the founding teams of additional companies formerly trading on Nasdaq, including Neose Technologies, Inc., which sold its intellectual property and other assets to Novo Nordisk A/S and BioGeneriX AG, and Progenitor Inc., which, at its inception, was a subsidiary of Interneuron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was also previously publicly-traded on Nasdaq. Dr. Laster received his B.S., magna cum laude, in Biology from the University at Albany, New York and his M.D. from Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Dr  Marcin Kortylewski, Scientific Advisor. Dr Kortylewski is Associate Professor of Immuno-Oncology at the Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope.  He is a cancer scientist and inventor of TLR9-targeted oligonucleotide delivery strategy for targeting STAT3 and other tumorigenic and tolerogenic transcription factors.  Together with his team,  Dr Kortylewski focuses on the preclinical and clinical development of novel oligonucleotide-based drugs for cancer immunotherapy.