Meet theAdanate Team

Neil Gibson, Ph.D., brings more than 25 years of drug development experience to his role as chief executive officer at Adanate. Dr. Gibson also holds a position as chief scientific officer of biologics at COI Pharmaceuticals, where he is responsible for the creation of novel drug discovery companies based on innovative and disruptive technologies.

Dr. Gibson has held various senior positions within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry including senior vice president, BioAtla; chief scientific officer, Regulus Therapeutics; chief scientific officer and oncology therapeutic area head, Pfizer Oncology; and chief scientific officer, OSI Pharmaceuticals. While at Pfizer, Dr. Gibson was also a member of the Pfizer Oncology Business Unit Executive team.

Dr. Gibson has been involved in the successful discovery, development, and commercialization of four approved oncology drugs, including temozolomide, sorafenib, erlotinib, and crizotinib. While at Regulus, Dr. Gibson was responsible for leading all research and development efforts resulting in 3 distinct oligonucleotides being advanced into clinical development and the establishment of human proof of concept with the lead molecule RG-101. Dr. Gibson has also been involved in the growth of new biotechnology organizations and significant fundraising. This includes the initial public offering for Regulus Therapeutics, which raised an initial $80.9 million and subsequent follow on financings of about $105 million. He was also involved in the growth of OSI Pharmaceuticals from 100 full-time employees (FTEs) to approximately 750 FTEs and an increased market cap of approximately $150 million to more than $4 billion.

Dr. Gibson has held numerous academic appointments, including associate professor, School of Pharmacy and Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California, and Fogarty Fellow at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. During his career, Dr. Gibson has served on the Experimental Therapeutics Study Section of the National Cancer Institute and has been actively involved with the American Association of Cancer Research. He is also a past president of the British Pharmaceutical Students Association. Dr. Gibson earned his Ph.D. in 1982 from the University of Aston in Birmingham, England.

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Graham Thomas, Ph.D., is an accomplished cellular immunologist and brings more than eight years of experience in innate immune research to the Adanate team. Before joining Adanate, Dr. Thomas undertook postdoctoral training in the lab of Prof. Catherine (Lynn) Hedrick at La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology where he developed new mouse models to study innate immune cell function and applied these models to improve knowledge of immune responses in cancer and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Thomas holds a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh where he studied alterations in macrophage metabolism during M1 to M2 polarization during infectious disease with Prof. Judith Allen. Dr. Thomas has previously held research grant awards from Marie Curie, The Wellcome Trust, and the American Heart Association.

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Jay Lichter, Ph.D. is an entrepreneur and seasoned investor in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical arena with more than 25 years of expertise in management, scientific research, and business development. Dr. Lichter is the inventor on more than 260 patent and patent applications for six Avalon portfolio companies, including 78 issued patents. Dr. Lichter continues to be a powerful force in the pharmaceutical industry and has been involved in licensing or merger and acquisition deals valued in excess of $1 billion. Dr. Lichter led Avalon investments in and serves on the board of directors of Afraxis, Aratana Therapeutics, Carolus, Otonomy, and Sova Pharmaceuticals. He previously served on the board of RQx Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Genentech) and Zacharon Pharmaceuticals (acquired by BioMarin). He also serves as a board observer for Syndax. Before Avalon, Dr. Lichter held postdoctoral positions in pharmacogenetics at DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co. and human genetics at Yale University. Dr. Lichter received a B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

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Stefan Heller, Ph.D. is Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall professor in the School of Medicine, Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Divisions at Stanford University and is a leader in the research field of inner ear regeneration. Dr. Heller is also a member of Bio-X, the Child Health Research Institute, Stanford Cancer Institute, and Stanford Neurosciences Institute. Dr. Heller currently serves as an advisor to Inception 3, Inc. and served as a member of the advisory panel at Otonomy from 2009-2012. Prior to Stanford University, Dr. Heller was faculty at Harvard Medical School. He received his Ph.D. in genetics the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz for experimental work conducted at the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt.

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Tighe Reardon has over 15 years of senior finance and technical tax experience ranging from start-ups to large public companies. He is currently chief financial officer for COI pharmaceuticals and Avalon Ventures. Previously, Mr. Reardon was the Senior Vice President of Tax and Treasury at DJO Global, Inc., a $1.2 billion multinational medical device company owned by Blackstone, Inc. (NYSE:BX). In addition, Mr. Reardon acted as the Director of Taxation for Relational Investors, LLC, a $7 billion activist fund. Mr. Reardon began his career at Arthur Andersen LLP. He has an M.S. in taxation and a B.S. in accounting from San Diego State University.

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Stephen Schoenberger, Ph.D., is the center head and professor in the division of developmental immunology at La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (LIAI). Dr. Schoenberger’s research focuses on the regulation of cellular immune responses. He has been a part of LIAI since 1998 when he joined as an Assistant Professor in the division of immune regulation. Prior to that, Dr. Schoenberger was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Immunohematology at the University of Leiden Hospital, the Netherlands. Dr. Schoenberger is a member of numerous grant review panels and a reviewer for many scientific publications. He is also a member of the editorial advisory board for the Journal of Experimental Medicine. Dr. Schoenberger received his B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Dmitry Gabrilovich, M.D., Ph.D., is Christopher M. Davis professor and program leader for the Immunology, Microenvironment & Metastasis Program at The Wistar Institute. Dr. Gabrilovich’s research focuses on understanding the role of the tumor microenvironment in the regulation of immune responses in cancer and tumor progression with a specific emphasis on myeloid cells. Based on advances in basic research in the lab, they develop new methods of cancer therapy. Dr. Gabrilovich had his postdoctoral training with Stella Knight at Imperial College in London, United Kingdom, and David Carbone at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. in Moscow, Russia.

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