We are a San Francisco Bay Area-based research stage biopharmaceutical company aiming to discover, develop and commercialize innovative therapeutics for the treatment of rare and age-related diseases. We are developing compounds to modulate molecular pathways that address the underlying causes of disease initiation and progression, such as oxidative, cellular and environmental stress.
Our lead compounds are novel and highly selective therapeutics that potently inhibit the mTORC1 pathway. Genetic mutations and aging result in abnormal activation of mTORC1; normalization of its aberrant activity is, therefore, necessary to combat rare and age-related disease pathologies and enable therapeutic treatment. Addressing the mTORC1 pathway has been challenging to-date however, because chronic treatment with conventional, non-selective mTOR inhibitors, such as rapamycin and Everolimus, leads to off-target inhibition of mTORC2 which results in dose-limiting deleterious effects on metabolic health and immune function. The associated toxicity leads to severe clinical adverse events that significantly reduce treatment safety, decrease compliance, and compromise therapeutic efficacy.
In contrast, by virtue of their selectivity, our compounds potently inhibit mTORC1, but avoid inhibition of mTORC2, and therefore are not expected to cause the mTORC2-related side effects that limit the conventional non-selective mTOR inhibitors. We believe that the exquisite selectivity of our compounds for mTORC1 will enable a significantly improved safety profile resulting in improved tolerability, patient compliance, and ultimately improved efficacy in treating mTORC1-mediated rare and age-related diseases.
Our proprietary platform is supported by an extensive intellectual property portfolio, part of which has been obtained by assignment from the Buck Institute of Novato, California, the nation's first independent research facility focused solely on understanding the connection between aging and chronic disease.
ALLISON HULME, PHD
Chief Executive Officer
Effective January 2020, Dr. Hulme is serving as our CEO. Previously she served as Chief Operating Officer and head of R&D at SophirisBio for more than 9 years. From January 2005 to October 2009, Dr. Hulme served as Executive Vice President of Autoimmune, Tysabri, Global Development and Head of Autoimmune and Tysabri Franchise at Elan Corporation, plc (also known as Elan Pharmaceuticals), a neuroscience-focused biotechnology company. She served as Executive Vice President and head of global development at Elan Pharmaceuticals from October 1995 to January 2005. Previously, Dr. Hulme held several positions in clinical research at Glaxo Wellcome Pharmaceuticals and served as lecturer at Luton University. Dr. Hulme holds a first class honors Degree in Science from Luton University and a Ph.D. from Cranfield Institute of Technology.
STELIOS T. TZANNIS, MS, PHD
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Tzannis is Aeovian’s Founder & CSO and has over 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience from target selection, drug discovery to advanced clinical development. Prior to Aeovian, he was an EIR & Director of Clinical Sciences at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging; founder & CEO of ARdaix Pharmaceuticals SAS and co-founder & COO of Theralpha SAS, both focusing in the development of novel therapeutics for the management of acute and chronic pain. Leading to that, Dr. Tzannis served as Vice President of Pharmaceutical R&D and Executive team member at AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Vice President of R&D at iMEDD Inc.; Director of R&D and Licensing & Acquisitions at Nektar Therapeutics; and Research Scientist at Alza Corporation. He holds MS/PhD and Dipl.Eng. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY) and NTUA (Athens, Greece), respectively.
Chief Financial Officer, CPA, Chartered Accountant
Ben has 25 years of experience managing the financial operations of start-up, small-cap, and mid-sized domestic and international companies. He’s been a CFO for startup and early-stage companies since 2006 for companies including Applaud Medical, PuraCath Medical, and US Equity Holdings. Prior to his tenure as a CFO, Ben was the International Controller at Prologis AMB, the world’s largest Industrial REIT, a Financial Controller at Sangstat Medical Corporation (acquired by Genzyme), and a senior member of the Financial Planning and Reporting Group at Netopia (acquired by Motorola). Ben began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers in both their Assurance and International Tax Group, and is both a CPA and a Chartered Accountant (Canada). Ben holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with distinction from the University of Calgary.
CURTIS SCRIBNER, MD
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs (acting)
Dr. Scribner is a board-certified internist with more than 35 years of extensive biologics and small molecule development expertise, from discovery through CMC, non-clinical and clinical development, regulatory affairs and strategy. After finishing his post-doc in immunology and rheumatology at the NIH, he joined the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Review (CDER) at the FDA for approximately 10 years, reaching the level of Deputy Director of the Office of Blood Products Research and Review. He was the Chief Regulatory Consultant for Quintiles Consulting before moving BioMedicines/Intarcia as the Chief Regulatory Officer. He has worked extensively with small companies developing both small molecules and biologics, as a senior advisor and strategist for regulatory and clinical development. Curtis brings very high level, hands-on FDA and EMA experience, having represented companies before almost all Divisions in CDER and CBER and both European regulatory agencies and EMA. He holds an MD degree from the University of Colorado, an MBA from the University of Maryland and a BA from Grinnell College.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
RICHARD GASTER, MD, PHD
Dr. Gaster joined venBio with experience as a physician, entrepreneur, and life sciences investor. He currently serves on the board of Arrakis Therapeutics and as a board observer for Akero Therapeutics, Harmony Biosciences, and Impel NeuroPharma. Prior to joining venBio, Richard served as the head of translational medicine at Pliant Therapeutics. As a key member of the initial management team, Richard participated in the formation and launch of Pliant Therapeutics from Third Rock Ventures where he previously served as a Senior Associate. During his tenure at Third Rock Ventures, Richard was responsible for company creation to transform new areas of science into innovative drug discovery companies. He began his career as a resident physician in Harvard’s Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Program. Richard has published numerous articles in top-tier peer-reviewed journals including Nature Medicine and Nature Nanotechnology, holds more than a dozen patents, and was named one of Forbes “30 Under 30” in Science and Healthcare. Richard holds a BSE in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated summa cum laude. He received his MD and PhD in Bioengineering from Stanford University in the Medical Scientist Training Program.
MICHAEL POWELL, PHD
Dr. Mike Powell is a General Partner of Sofinnova Ventures, a venture capital firm. Previously, he held positions at Genentech, Cytel, a research and development company, and Syntex Research Group, a pharmaceutical company. Mike is currently a director of biopharmaceutical companies Galera Therapeutics (Chair), Dauntless Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Chair), Checkmate Pharma (Chair), Synlogic and Pionyr. Dr. Powell is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Kansas and serves on the Washington University Board of Trustees in St. Louis. He received a BS in Chemistry from Scarborough College, a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Toronto and completed his post-doctorate work in Bioorganic Chemistry at the University of California.
JENS ECKSTEIN, PHD
Director & Chairman
Jens is Managing Partner at Apollo Health Ventures with more than 15 years of venture capital experience in biopharma and 10 years of operational experience in drug discovery and development. He is a Kauffman Fellow and a mentor for life science entrepreneurs and start-up teams in the area of innovative life science and healthcare IT companies. Before joining Apollo, Jens served as President of SR One for eight years. He is also co-founder and Managing Director of Action Potential Venture Capital (APVC). Previously, Jens was a General Partner at TVM Capital leading early-stage investments in Boston and was CEO and President of SelectX Pharmaceuticals. Before his investment career, Jens was leading research teams and pharma collaborations at Enanta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ENTA) and Mitotix.
STELIOS T. TZANNIS, MS, PHD
Dr. Tzannis is Aeovian’s Founder, President & CEO and has over 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience from target selection, drug discovery to advanced clinical development. Prior to Aeovian, he was an EIR & Director of Clinical Sciences at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging; founder & CEO of ARdaix Pharmaceuticals SAS and co-founder & COO of Theralpha SAS, both focusing in the development of novel therapeutics for the management of acute and chronic pain. Leading to that, Dr. Tzannis served as Vice President of Pharmaceutical R&D and Executive team member at AcelRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Vice President of R&D at iMEDD Inc.; Director of R&D and Licensing & Acquisitions at Nektar Therapeutics; and Research Scientist at Alza Corporation. He holds MS/PhD and Dipl.Eng. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY) and NTUA (Athens, Greece), respectively.
THE ADVISORY TEAM
Dr. French is a professor in the New York University (NYU) Department of Neurology and Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. She is also founder/director of the Epilepsy Study Consortium, and the Chief Scientific Officer for the Epilepsy Foundation. She trained in neurology at Mount Sinai Hospital (NY) and did her fellowship training at Mount Sinai hospital and Yale University. She is the past president of the American Epilepsy Society (AES) and is the 2005 recipient of the AES Service Award and the 2013 Epilepsy Foundation Hero award. She has served on the AES board and is the past Secretary of the American Society of Experimental Neurotherapeutics. Dr. French focused her research efforts on the development of new therapeutics for epilepsy and new methodologies for clinical trials. She has authored over 200 articles and chapters, is the editor of three books, and lectures internationally on clinical trials and use of antiepileptic drugs.
JACQUELINE A. FRENCH, MD
IAN J. MASSEY, MA, PHD
Drug Development Advisor
Dr. Massey has over 30 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in all phases of research and development, from target selection through to NDA approval. Dr. Massey has founded, built and successfully exited several biotech companies. His primary focus has been in small molecule and protein therapeutics in multiple therapeutic areas. Dr. Massey has a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford (England) and performed post-doctoral work with Carl Djerassi at Stanford. He is the CEO of Gaba Therapeutics and was formerly Head of Research and Early Development at Roche Pharmaceuticals (Palo Alto), founder and CEO of Synosia Therapeutics, President of Biotie Therapeutics and CEO of StemCell Inc.
DAVID A. LOWE, PHD
Dr. Lowe was member of the founding team of Aeovian. He is president and CEO of NeuroAssets Sarl, a Swiss-based neuroscience-focused consulting firm providing advisory services to pharmaceutical, venture capital and biotechnology companies throughout the world. Previously he was the chief scientific officer (CSO) at PsychoGenics Inc.; CSO at Memory Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Roche); executive vice president and CSO at Fidelity Biosciences Group in Boston; president, CEO and director of Envivo Pharmaceuticals (now Forum Pharmaceuticals); vice president and therapeutic area head at Roche Bioscience in Palo Alto; vice president and global therapeutic area head at Bayer AG.; and head of CNS Biology and deputy head of CNS Research at Sandoz Ltd (now Novartis). Dr. Lowe has more than 35 years of experience in pharmaceutical drug discovery and product development, with an established track record of generating diverse clinical candidates. He received his PhD in neurobiology from the University of Leeds, UK and has published over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals.
DUDLEY LAMMING, PHD
Dr. Lamming is an Assistant Professor of medicine in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, where he also co-directs the Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Platform. He has a joint appointment as a research health scientist in the VA Non-Clinician Intramural Research Program at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. He is a renown expert in the field of mTOR biology and the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Nathan Shock New Investigator Award awarded by the Gerontological Society of America (GSA). His research focuses on the basic cellular biology of aging, including regulation of lifespan and healthspan by regulatory deacetylase proteins and the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway. He has published primary research reports in several prestigious journals, including Science and Nature. He is the principal investigator on several current research grants, including multiple projects funded by the National Institute on Aging. Dr. Lamming serves on the Board of Directors for the American Aging Association.
"We need a better response rate and less high-dose mediated side effects in the treatment of seizures. Current mTOR inhibitors, despite their positive efficacy in certain epilepsies, have a lot of issues, the most significant of which is safety..."
David N. Franz, Cincinnati Children's Hospital
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