Mr. Davis has served as a Director and Member of the Audit Committee at Sojournix since 2017 and as a member of the Nominating & Governance Committee since 2018. Mr. Davis is CEO, co-founder and portfolio manager of Boxer Capital LLC, the healthcare arm of the Tavistock Group. Mr. Davis currently serves as Chairman on the Board of Directors of CiVi Biopharma and is a Member of the Board of Directors of Odonate Therapeutics (ODT). Mr. Davis serves as a Board Observer to Mirati Therapeutics (MRTX) and served on the Board of Directors of Kalypsys Inc. Prior to joining Tavistock Group, Mr. Davis was employed in the global healthcare investment banking group and private equity group at UBS Warburg, where he primarily worked with private, venture-backed biotechnology companies throughout their growth, including financing and development. Mr. Davis has also previously served various roles at biotechnology and venture capital firms where he was responsible for conducting due diligence of investments in the pharmaceutical sector and overseeing in-licensing activities at several venture-backed companies. Mr. Davis holds a master’s degree in biotechnology from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Emory University.
Martin Freed, MD
Dr. Martin Freed has served as a Director and as Chair of the Compensation Committee at Sojournix since 2017. Dr. Freed is a seasoned drug development executive and life sciences entrepreneur and his experience spans numerous therapeutic areas, from Phase 1 drug development through to post-registration clinical development and medical affairs programming. Dr. Freed has held senior leadership positions with several successful biopharmaceutical companies, most recently as Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Civitas Therapeutics, Inc., which was acquired by Acorda Therapeutics Inc. in 2014. Prior to Civitas, he held leadership positions at Adnexus Therapeutics, Inc., Vitae Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals/GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Freed has been published in more than 40 peer reviewed manuscripts, four book chapters and more than 90 abstracts related to an array of drug development and translational medicine programs. Currently, Dr. Freed also holds Board positions with Dicerna Pharmaceuticals and Solid Biosciences. Dr. Freed performed his internal medicine residency at Temple University Hospital and nephrology fellowship at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Mr. Grau co-founded and has served as Chief Executive Officer and Director at Sojournix since 2016. An experienced biotech entrepreneur and operating executive, Mr. Grau led the deal to acquire SJX-653 and has driven the rapid growth and financing of the company from startup to clinical-stage pharmaceutical business. Prior to Sojournix, Mr. Grau served as President at Heptares Therapeutics (acquired 2015), Chief Executive Officer at Cortria (acquired 2010), and Chief Operating Officer at CombinatoRx (IPO 2005). Mr. Grau currently serves as an advisor to HotSpot Therapeutics and previously served as a member of the Product Advisory Board at Concert Pharmaceuticals and as an advisor to Nimbus Therapeutics. Earlier in his career, Mr. Grau worked with multi-national pharma companies as a management consultant focused on corporate and business franchise strategy, M&A, and new product launches. Mr. Grau earned his M.Phil., M.A., and M.A.R. degrees from Yale University, where he was awarded a Mellon Fellowship, the Day Graduate Prize, and a Bass Fellowship, and a B.A. with High Honors from Davidson College, where he held a Dana Honor Scholarship, a Montgomery Scholarship, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Peter Kolchinsky, PhD
Peter Kolchinsky has served as Director at Sojournix since 2016 and as Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee since 2018. Dr. Kolchinsky is a founder, Managing Director, and Portfolio Manager at RA Capital Management, a crossover fund manager dedicated to evidence-based investing in healthcare and life science companies. He is active in both public and private investments in companies developing drugs, medical devices, diagnostics and research tools, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals and a number of private companies. Dr. Kolchinsky also leads the firm’s outreach and publishing efforts, which aim to make a positive social impact and spark collaboration among healthcare stakeholders, including patients, physicians, researchers, policy makers and industry. He authored The Entrepreneur’s Guide to a Biotech Startup and served on the Board of Global Science and Technology for the National Academies of Sciences. Dr. Kolchinsky received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Virology from Harvard University.
Peter Lanciano has served as Director and Chair of the Audit Committee at Sojournix since 2017. He has three decades of experience in conceptualizing, developing and financing international life science companies. He currently serves as a Director for two other private companies and formerly served as CEO of several successful life science companies. Mr. Lanciano previously held management team positions at both Genzyme and Vertex. As an operating executive and a Board Director, Mr. Lanciano has broad expertise in the area of strategy, public and private capital formation, mergers and acquisitions, technology, sustainability, governance, business development, operations, pricing, intellectual property and FDA, DEA, SEC regulation and compliance.
Scott Rakestraw, PhD
Dr. Rakestraw is a co-founder and has served as a Director at Sojournix since 2016 and as a member of the Audit Committee since 2017. He is the President and Managing Director of The Branta Group LLC, a biopharmaceutical company creation, investment and advisory firm. Prior to founding The Branta Group in 2003, he served as the Chief Business Officer and in other senior executive roles for Orchid Biosciences and its subsidiaries. Previously, Dr. Rakestraw was a Vice President and Board Director at Altus Biologics and worked in a series of increasingly responsible roles within the corporate ventures division of DuPont. Dr. Rakestraw received his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from MIT, and his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois. He has previously been a Board Director at Altus Biologics and CellScape. In addition, Dr. Rakestraw is a Board Director of the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation and continues to serve on numerous advisory boards for university and non-profit institutions.
Lesley Russell, MBChB, MRCP
Lesley Russell has served as a Director and member of the Nominating and Governance Committee at Sojournix since 2018. Dr. Russell served as Chief Medical Officer of Innocoll Holdings from April 2016 until November 2017. She previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals from August 2013 until April 2016. Prior to TetraLogic, she was the Senior Vice President and Global Head of Research and Development for Teva Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a role which she was appointed to after Teva acquired Cephalon. While at Cephalon from 2006 to 2011, Dr. Russell served as Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. Prior to joining Cephalon in 2000, Dr. Russell worked for several pharmaceutical organizations, including US Biosciences, Eli Lilly and Company and Amgen. Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, she was trained in hematology/oncology at Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and at Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, UK, and was a Research Fellow at University of Edinburgh Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Russell currently serves on the board of directors of Enanta Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Russell received Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees from the University of Edinburgh. She is a member of the Royal College of Physicians and is registered with the General Medical Council.
Jamie Topper, MD, PhD
Jamie Topper has served as a Board Observer at Sojournix since 2017. Dr. Topper is a Managing General Partner of Frazier Healthcare Partners' Life Sciences team. Dr. Topper joined Frazier in 2003 and opened Frazier’s Menlo Park office in the same year. Throughout his 13 years as a General Partner, he has invested across over 20 companies encompassing a broad spectrum of Life Science and Biopharmaceutical companies. Dr. Topper has led and served as a board member for many of Frazier’s successful life sciences investments, including Acerta Pharma BV (sold to AstraZeneca), Calistoga Pharmaceuticals (co-founder, sold to Gilead Sciences), Rempex (sold to The Medicines Company), Incline (co-founder, sold to The Medicines Company), Alnara (sold to Lilly), Portola (co-founder, NASDAQ: PTLA), CoTherix (sold to Actelion), and Threshold (NASDAQ: THLD). In addition to being a board observer for Sojournix, he currently represents Frazier on the boards of Alcresta Therapeutics, Allena Pharmaceuticals, Alpine Immune Sciences (NASDAQ: ALPN), AnaptysBio (NASDAQ: ANAB), Aptinyx (NASDAQ: APTX), Entasis Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ETTX), and Mavupharma. Prior to joining Frazier, Jamie was the head of cardiovascular R&D at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and ran Millennium San Francisco (formerly COR Therapeutics). Before the merger of COR and Millennium, he served as the Vice President of Biology at COR and was responsible for all research activities. He served on the medical school faculties at Stanford and Harvard Medical School prior to joining COR. Dr. Topper received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Biophysics from Stanford and holds a B.S. from the University of Michigan. He did his postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He has authored over 50 publications and was the recipient of a Howard Hughes Scholars Award while on the faculty at Stanford. In 2011 and 2016 Dr. Topper was named to the Midas List of leading venture capitalists, and in 2013 was recognized by Forbes as one of the top 10 healthcare investors.
Nimish Shah has served as a Board Observer at Sojournix since 2017. Mr. Shah joined Venrock’s New York office in 2013 and focuses on a range of healthcare subsectors including generics, specialty pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and animal health. Most recently, he worked at Citadel and was involved in the firm’s healthcare investments. Prior to Citadel, he was a Research Analyst at Credit Suisse covering the specialty pharma and generics sectors. Mr. Shah began his career as a retail pharmacist and later spent time working in the Medical Affairs department at Novartis. He received his B.S. in Pharmacy with honors from Rutgers College of Pharmacy, M.P.H. from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.