Ventyx Biosciences, Inc.
662 Encinitas Boulevard
Encinitas, CA 92024
Ventyx is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative oral medicines for patients living with autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. We believe our ability to efficiently discover and develop differentiated drug candidates will allow us to address important unmet medical needs with novel oral therapies that shift the immunology markets from injectables to oral drugs. Our current pipeline includes three clinical-stage programs targeting TYK2, S1P1R and NLRP3, thereby positioning us to become a leader in the development of oral immunology drugs.
Raju founded Ventyx Biosciences and has served as a member of our board of directors since the company’s inception. Prior to Ventyx, Raju founded Akarna Therapeutics, which was acquired by Allergan for up to $1.2B. In addition to Ventyx, Raju has founded Oppilan Pharma, Zomagen Biosciences, Escalier Biosciences and Vimalan Biosciences, all immunology-focused specialty pharmaceutical companies. From 2006 to 2011, Raju served as Vice President and head of the San Diego site for Exelixis and Vice President of Chemistry at X-Ceptor Therapeutics (acquired by Exelixis). Raju started his pharmaceutical career at Berlex Biosciences, a subsidiary of Bayer/Schering AG, where he held positions of increasing responsibility. Raju is responsible for the discovery of multiple small molecule drug candidates that have entered clinical trials. He is the inventor of MINNEBRO®, an approved therapeutic for hypertension. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and is an inventor on 64 issued US patents. Raju received a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Illinois and a Master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology.
Chris has served as our Chief Business Officer since the company’s inception. He was mostly recently the Chief Executive Officer of Oppilan Pharma and the Chief Business Officer of Zomagen Biosciences.
Chris brings more than 20 years of experience in the life science industry with operational responsibility and leadership for multiple functional areas, including business development, legal affairs, finance, alliance management and operations. Chris has negotiated a broad range of equity and debt financings, strategic partnerships, acquisitions and licensing transactions.
Previously, Chris served as an executive at Akarna Therapeutics (acquired by Allergan for up to $1.2B), Ardea Biosciences (acquired by AstraZeneca), Xencor (Nasdaq: XNCR), X-Ceptor Therapeutics (acquired by Exelixis) and Aurora Biosciences (acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals). Earlier in his career, he was a lawyer at Cooley LLP. Chris received a JD and MBA in Finance from the University of Southern California and a BA in Economics from the University of California, San Diego.
John brings more than 25 years of small molecule drug discovery and development experience to the company, primarily in the areas of immunology, inflammation, oncology and metabolic disease. Prior to joining Ventyx, John was Vice President of Drug Discovery at the Ferring Research Institute where he was responsible for global drug discovery activities. John also previously served as Senior Vice President of Chemistry at Exelixis. Under his leadership, his teams have advanced more than 30 molecules into the clinic. He is the co-inventor of the approved therapeutics COMETRIQ®/CABOMETYX® and MINNEBRO®, and led the team that discovered COTELLIC®. Earlier in his career, he held positions of increasing responsibility in discovery at Chiron and served as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Riverside. John has more than 80 publications and 30 issued patents. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Kansas, a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow in organic synthesis at Stanford University.
Bill serves as our President and Chief Medical Officer. Prior to joining Ventyx Biosciences, he was Chief Medical Officer at Shoreline Biosciences. Bill is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine at University of California San Diego (UCSD), where he was also previously Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology. Prior to UCSD, Bill was a Professor of Medicine and Vice Chairman of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. Bill has published over 900 peer-reviewed articles including articles in the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Lancet, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Gastroenterology. In 2019 he was awarded the Sherman Prize for his work in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. He was a co-founder of Santarus (acquired by Salix in 2013) and a co-founder of Shoreline Biosciences. Bill completed medical school and an internal medicine residency at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda California. He completed a gastroenterology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota.
Marty serves as our Chief Financial Officer. Before joining Ventyx, he served as Managing Director, Biotechnology Analyst at Credit Suisse, where he led the bank’s global biotechnology equity research effort. Marty also previously served as an executive at Ascendis Pharma and United Therapeutics. Earlier in his career, he held positions of increasing responsibility in the investment banking industry, including as a Senior Biotechnology Analyst at Wachovia Securities and a Senior Analyst/Healthcare-focused Portfolio Manager at GLG Partners. He received a BA from the University of Michigan and an MD from the University of Texas Medical Branch.
Sheila Gujrathi, MD
Sheila is the co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer of Gossamer Bio, Inc. She serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of ADARx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and as a Director at Janux Therapeutics, Inc. She previously served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Turning Point Therapeutics, Inc. and on the Board of Directors at Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc. (acquired by Amgen Inc.) and Ambrx, Inc. (acquired by a consortium of investors). Prior to Gossamer Bio, Sheila served as Chief Medical Officer of Receptos, Inc. (acquired by Celgene Corp.). At Receptos, she built the development, regulatory and quality organizations and advanced the pipeline of drug candidates, including Zeposia®, which is approved for multiple sclerosis and for ulcerative colitis. Prior to Receptos, Sheila was Vice President of the Global Clinical Development Group in Immunology at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), where she led clinical development and supported numerous global regulatory filings and approvals for Orencia® and Nulojix®. She was also an immunoscience franchise leader with strategic oversight over the BMS immunology clinical and discovery pipeline and business development activities. Prior to BMS, Sheila held roles in the immunology, tissue growth and repair clinical development groups at Genentech, Inc. where she worked on Ocrevus®, Rituxan®, Xolair®, and a number of other programs across all stages of development and served as the Avastin® franchise team leader. Earlier in her career, she was a management consultant in McKinsey & Company’s healthcare practice. Sheila received both her MD in the accelerated Honors Program in Medical Education and her BS in Biomedical Engineering with highest distinction from Northwestern University. She completed her internal medicine internship and residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and additional fellowship training in allergy/immunology at UCSF and Stanford.
Richard Gaster, MD, PhD
Board of Directors
Rich is a Partner at venBio with experience as a physician, entrepreneur and life science investor. He currently serves on the board of Pharvaris, Elevation Oncology, Aeovian Pharmaceuticals, NorthSea Therapeutics, Arrakis Therapeutics, Attralus and Stargazer Pharmaceuticals and served as a board observer for Akero Therapeutics and Harmony Biosciences. Prior to joining venBio, Rich served as the head of translational medicine at Pliant Therapeutics. As a key member of the initial management team, Rich participated in the formation and launch of Pliant Therapeutics from Third Rock Ventures. During his tenure at Third Rock Ventures, Rich 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. Rich 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. Rich 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.
Aaron Royston, MD
Board of Directors
Aaron is a Managing Partner at venBio with a background in life science investing, healthcare strategy and as an entrepreneur. Since joining venBio, he has been involved in launching and investing in a number of venBio companies including Apellis Pharmaceuticals (IPO 2017), Menlo Therapeutics (IPO 2018), Akero Therapeutics (IPO 2019), Harmony Biosciences (IPO 2020), RayzeBio, Artiva Biotherapeutics, Neurogastrx, Impel NeuroPharma and Swift Health Systems. Prior to joining venBio, Aaron was a member of the investment team at Vivo Capital, a life science venture capital firm. Previously, he worked at Bain & Company, where he advised biotechnology companies on a range of strategic and operational issues. Earlier in his career, he coordinated clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where his research has been published and presented in multiple medical journals and conferences. Aaron received his BS in Biological Sciences from Duke University, and his MD and MBA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2010, he was recognized by the United States White House as a Champion of Change for his work in Technology and Innovation.
Board of Directors
Jigar is a Principal at Third Point, a New York-based asset management firm founded in 1995. At Third Point, Jigar leads investing in public and private healthcare companies. Previously, he was the healthcare sector lead and Assistant Portfolio Manager at Highline Capital. Prior to Highline, he worked at Magnetar Capital covering healthcare and as an investment banker in the M&A and Restructuring group at Evercore Partners. Jigar began his career as a Management Consultant at Booz & Company. He graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University with a BS in Biomedical Engineering and Economics and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Board of Directors
Somu is the co-founder and Managing Partner of New Science Ventures (NSV). Somu serves on the Board of Directors of Achronix Semiconductor Corporation, BrightVolt, Cambridge Epigenetix, Dali Wireless, Ferric, Inc, NorthSea Therapeutics, Oxyrane, ProterixBio, Ralexar Therapeutics, Resolve Therapeutics, Svelte Medical Systems, Vascular Therapies and Zeotap GmbH. Somu has also served on the Boards of Dezima Pharma (acquired by Amgen), Ception Therapeutics (acquired by Cephalon), BioVex (acquired by Amgen), Lightwire (acquired by Cisco), K2M (acquired by Welsh Carson) and Akarna Therapeutics (acquired by Allergan). Prior to founding NSV, Somu was a Director at McKinsey & Company where he advised leading multinational companies in the pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biotechnology, photonics, software and semiconductor industries. At McKinsey, Somu was leader of the Strategy Practice, the Technology Practice, the Biotechnology Group, and the Healthcare Practice. He also served on the firm’s Investment Committee and led its Equity Portfolio Committee. Somu holds a B.Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
William White, JD
Bill currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Head of Corporate Development at Akero Therapeutics, a publicly traded biotechnology company. Prior to joining Akero, Bill spent 18 years as a life-science-focused investment banker. He was most recently Head of US Life Sciences Investment Banking at Deutsche Bank, and previously worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. Prior to his time on Wall Street, Bill was an attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell, and a Law Clerk to the Honorable Kimba M. Wood of the Southern District of New York. He holds an AB from Princeton University, MPP from Harvard University, and a JD from Columbia University.
Raju Mohan, PhD
Founder, CEO & Director
Raju founded Ventyx Biosciences and has served as a member of our Board of Directors since the company’s inception. Prior to Ventyx, Raju founded Akarna Therapeutics, which was acquired by Allergan for up to $1.2B. In addition to Ventyx, Raju has founded Oppilan Pharma, Zomagen Biosciences and Vimalan Biosciences, all immunology-focused specialty pharmaceutical companies. From 2006 to 2011, Raju served as Vice President and head of the San Diego site for Exelixis and Vice President of Chemistry at X-Ceptor Therapeutics (acquired by Exelixis). Raju started his pharmaceutical career at Berlex Biosciences, a subsidiary of Bayer/Schering AG, where he held positions of increasing responsibility. Raju is responsible for the discovery of multiple small molecule drug candidates that have entered clinical trials. He is the inventor of MINNEBRO®, an approved therapeutic for hypertension. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and is an inventor on 64 issued US patents. Raju received a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Illinois and a Master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology.
Alexa Kimball, MD
Alexa is CEO and President of Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a large academic multi-specialty group that includes Harvard Medical School faculty. A Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School, Alexa’s areas of research include psoriasis and hidradenitis suppurativa. She has published over 340 papers, conducted over 150 clinical trials, has extensive experience in drug development and was recognized by Fierce HealthCare with a Women of Influence Award in 2020. Alexa received her MD from the Yale School of Medicine, her MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and her Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Public and International Affairs from Princeton University.
James G. Krueger, MD, PhD
James is the Director of the Milstein Medical Research Program and D. Martin Carter Professor in Clinical Investigation at Rockefeller University in New York. James’ group at Rockefeller was the first to conduct clinical trials with specific, targeted immune antagonists in psoriasis. Recent focuses of his group include definition of new inflammatory pathways, as well as new types of inflammatory cells in psoriasis lesions that are now being targeted with new biologic drugs. James is certified by the American Board of Dermatology. He earned his PhD in Virology and Cell Biology from the Rockefeller University. He earned an MD from Cornell University Medical College, where he also completed his internship in internal medicine and residency in dermatology.
Emma Guttman-Yassky, MD, PhD
Emma is the System Chair of the Department of Dermatology, and the Waldman Professor of Dermatology and Immunology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. She is the Director of the Center for Excellence in Eczema and the Laboratory for Inflammatory Skin Diseases and current President of the International Eczema Council/ICE. Emma’s major research focus areas are atopic dermatitis (AD)/eczema and alopecia areata. Her research has included paradigm-shifting discoveries on the immunologic basis of AD/eczema in both adults and children, opening the door for novel, pathway-specific drugs to treat this disease. Emma earned her MD from Sackler School of Medicine at the Tel-Aviv University, and her PhD degree from the Bar-Ilan University, Israel.
Bruce Sands, MD, MS
Bruce is the Dr. Burrill B. Crohn Professor of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. After completing a GI fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital, he joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School and served as the Acting Chief of the Gastrointestinal Unit at MGH before moving to Mount Sinai in 2010 as Chief of the Dr. Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology. Bruce is widely recognized for his clinical investigations of new therapeutics for the inflammatory bowel diseases and has published over 250 original manuscripts. He was the lead investigator of the landmark studies ACCENT 2, UNIFI and VARSITY, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Bruce received his BA and MD from Boston University, and trained in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Luisa Salter-Cid, PhD
Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board
Luisa currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer of Pioneering Medicines. Prior to joining Pioneering Medicines, Luisa was Chief Scientific Officer at Gossamer Bio. Previously, she spent 13 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb, most recently as Vice President and Head of Immunology, Small Molecule Immuno-Oncology and Genomics Discovery. Prior to joining Bristol-Myers Squibb, she was a Senior Project Leader at La Jolla Pharmaceuticals and held positions at Genset Corp and Johnson & Johnson. She has authored over 80 publications and patents and holds a PhD in Immunology from the University of Miami.
Manoj Desai, PhD
Dr. Desai is the Founder and CEO of GyanRx sciences, Inc which is focused on developing drugs for the prevention of recurrent kidney stones, cystinuria and cystinosis. Most recently Dr. Desai was SVP of medicinal chemistry and drug metabolism at Gilead Sciences (2003-2020); he has >35 years of experience in the small molecule drug discovery research including at Chiron (1994-2003) and Pfizer (1986-94). He is co-inventor of Tybost®, which has been used with other medicines to boost plasma levels of the antiviral drug partner as well as ledipasvir, one of the components of the hepatitis C cure Harvoni®. He earned Ph.D. from India (Dr. Sukh Dev) and post-doctoral fellow at Purdue (Professor H. C. Brown) and Harvard (Professor E. J. Corey). He has co-authored >100 publications and patents.
Ariel Feldstein, MD
Dr. Ariel Feldstein is a Professor of Pediatrics (with Tenure) at UC San Diego School of Medicine. He is a leading physician scientist, innovator and serial entrepreneur. After graduating from the Univ. of Buenos Aires and completing a postdoctoral program in physiology at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Feldstein went on to become the Director of Research for the Pediatric Institute at the Cleveland Clinic (2008-2011) before moving to San Diego to become Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition at Rady Children’s Hospital and UCSD (2011-2019). Dr. Feldstein has published over 200 peer-reviewed publications in top medical journals. His research laboratory has provided key evidence regarding the role of cell death, innate immune activation and inflammatory responses driven by Inflammasomes during chronic tissue injury, fibrosis and carcinogenesis. He is an innovator with a number of issued patents including the development of soluble cytokeratin-18 as a diagnostic biomarker for NASH. He is a serial entrepreneur being the founder of three Biotech Companies, Torrey Pines Metabolic Health Labs, Jecure Therapeutics (acquired by Genentech/Roche in 2018), and Elgia Therapeutics.
Richard Blumberg, MD
Dr. Blumberg received his B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from Carnegie-Mellon University, his M.D. degree from Jefferson Medical College of the Thomas Jefferson University and training in internal medicine (The New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center), infectious diseases (Massachusetts General Hospital), gastroenterology (Brigham and Women’s Hospital) and immunology (Dana Farber Cancer Institute). He is currently Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Chief of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Endoscopy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine at BWH.
Dr. Blumberg is also co-Director of the Harvard Digestive Diseases Center and has directed a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded laboratory since 1989. He is the recipient of a NIH Method to Extend Research in Time (M.E.R.I.T) Award, the William Beaumont Prize from the American Gastroenterological Association, a Scientific Achievement Award in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Basic Research from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, a Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award from the Society for Mucosal Immunology, in which he served as President, and was recently elected into the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and U.S. National Academy of Medicine. He has served on many NIH committees including membership on the Board of Scientific Counselors at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and is currently a member of the Gastrointestinal Mucosal Pathobiology Study Section (NIDDK).