Founder and Managing Scientific Director
James W. Larrick, M.D., Ph.D.
Jim is a pioneer of the biotechnology industry. He is an outstanding biomedical entrepreneur with an international reputation in cytokines, therapeutic antibodies, molecular biology, and pharmaceutical drug development. During his 25 year career, he has written or coauthored eight books, over 250 papers/chapters, over 30 patents, and he has served on the editorial boards of six journals. His work on therapeutic antibodies and other protein therapeutics has spanned the entire range of biopharmaceutical product development from target discovery, process science to advanced clinical trials. Jim has also served as chairman of the biomedical screening committee of the Life Science Angels.
Jim began his biotechnology career as a founding scientist at Cetus Immune Research Labs, one of the very earliest biotechnology companies, starting in 1982. He became Director of Research in 1985. Cetus later became Chiron, which was ultimately acquired by Novartis for $5.1 billion. While at Cetus, Jim developed technologies that were critical to the practical development of recombinant antibodies as a new class of biotherapeutics (encompassing many blockbuster drugs today). In 1991, Jim founded the Panorama Institute of Molecular Medicine (PRI). The PRI team has discovered and initiated development of a diverse and innovative portfolio of drug candidates addressing major unmet needs in cancer, infectious, autoimmune, cardiovascular, neurological and metabolic diseases. PRI has incubated more than 20 life science projects which have led to Jim co-founding the Palo Alto Institute of Molecular Medicine and more than a dozen other companies. To date, PRI-initiated projects and/or companies have led to five IPOs and numerous successful acquisitions.
Jim holds M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Duke University School of Medicine where he was a Medical Scientist Training Program scholar. He completed housestaff training in internal medicine at Stanford Medical Center followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in the Stanford Cancer Biology Research Labs working on therapeutic human monoclonal antibodies for cancer and infectious diseases. Currently he continues his roles at PRI and Life Science Angels, and serves on the boards of several biotechnology companies. He also supports the hospital in Turmi, South Omo Valley, Ethiopia and serves on the Boards of two non-profits: the Sustainable Sciences Institute and the Sankofa Center for African Dance and Culture, focused on education, diagnosis and therapy of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Ghana.
Director, Molecular Biology
Andrew R. Mendelsohn, Ph.D.
Andy Mendelsohn earned his PhD from Brown University in 1991 in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry. He has almost 30 years of experience in molecular, cellular biology, and biochemistry research. His research interests range from control of cell cycle and growth to regeneration and aging. During the last 20 years, he has worked extensively on design of protein fusions and has also developed innovative approaches to studying protein-protein interactions, including a new way to isolate proteins that have lost their ability to interact using a variant of the two-hybrid system. As a senior member of the PRI team and through his own nonprofit research institute, the Regenerative Sciences Institute, Dr. Mendelsohn is actively engaged in the development of new protein therapeutics for cancer, and diseases associated with inflammation and aging, new antibody technologies including new bispecific assembly technologies, and new ways to efficiently target regenerative factors to diseased tissues.
Manley Huang, Ph.D.
Manley Huang holds a PhD in Microbiology from Oregon State University. Following post-doctoral studies at Genentech, he worked as a Senior Scientist at GenPharm, ALZA Corp., and Genencor (now DuPont Danisco), where he was Head Biological Sciences, and a member of the Pharma Management Team. He joined Panorama in 2005 as Director of Immunology. As a Co-Founder with Dr. Larrick of TransTarget, he is working on novel approaches to cell-based therapies for cancer. With over 25 years experience in immunology, assays of immune function, protein engineering, and the development of animal models, Dr. Huang’s expertise is a valuable asset to PRI.
Director, Research & Development
Bo Yu, Ph.D.
Bo Yu holds a PhD from Cal Tech. His expertise in antibody engineering, and experience and leadership in therapeutic antibody development make him a key member of the Panorama therapeutic antibody discovery team. As one of the founding scientists of KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, he developed a proprietary antibody humanization technology. Two of the humanized antibodies he developed are in Phase II / III clinical trials in the US for an infectious disease and an inflammatory disease. Subsequently, he spent three years in Shanghai, where he set up an R&D center for a Chinese pharmaceutical company. As part of that effort, he has built an antibody humanization platform and developed two novel humanized antibodies for inflammatory diseases which are in late-stage pre-clinical studies in China. As a senior scientist at Aragen Bioscience, he directed a bioproduction group to oversee many projects involving antibody engineering and production, including a challenging IgM production project.
Senior Scientist, VP Technology Development
John M. Wages, M.S.
John Wages earned a Master’s degree in biology/biochemistry from The Johns Hopkins University in 1988. He is a co-author on over 100 publications in the fields of nucleic acid diagnostics and novel PCR applications, together with 8 issued US Patents in the fields of virology, DNA diagnostics, and nucleic acid sample preparation. He has over 25 years experience as a research scientist and senior manager with several small and mid-sized life sciences companies After holding senior scientist positions at SRA Technologies, Genelabs, AntiVirals (now Sarepta Therapeutics), Applied Biosystems, and Genemed Biotechnologies, he joined Panorama Research in 2010. Currently, he is a senior research scientist at PRI and also is actively involved in several new companies being incubated in the Panorama space, including Lucidant Polymers, CytoMag, and Sophoro Biotechnologies.
Director, Phage Display
Vikram Sharma, Ph.D.
Vik Sharma, PhD Oregon Health Sciences University 1992, has a broad range of experience in molecular biology and monoclonal antibody discovery and characterization. He has particular expertise in the construction and application of antibody phage display libraries to screen, identify, express, purify and characterize putative therapeutic antibodies against human or viral targets of interest involved in human disease. Formerly a senior scientist with Clontech, he joined Genelabs in 1985, where he was a key member of the team that identified hepatitis C virus (HCV) and, later, hepatitis E virus (HEV). Since 2002, he has focused on the use of antibody phage display to identify antibodies of potential therapeutic use against human disease. From library construction using blood and bone marrow, to the screening and subsequent expression, purification and characterization of newly discovered antibodies in E.coli and cell culture; to the conversion of scFv and Fab clones into full-length immunoglobulin or derivate molecules of the same, Vik has successfully isolated antibodies against key targets.
Director, Biomedical Engineering
Matthew Kerby, Ph.D.
In 1993, Matt earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Davis and obtained a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from CSU Sacramento. He received a Ph.D. from Brown University in Biomedical Engineering in 2007. Matt is licensed in California as a Professional Chemical Engineer (PE). Matthew co-founded two life science companies, Lucidant Polymers and Cytomag, currently incubating in the Panorama Research Institute. He also serves as co-chairman of the Life Science Angels BIO screening committee and has reviewed hundreds of proposals for funding.
Director, Medicinal Chemistry
Xiaoming Zhang, Ph.D.
Dr. Zhang received a PhD from University of Maryland, College Park, in the field of synthetic organic chemistry and pursued postdoctoral research at University of California, Berkeley. He is an inventor on 24 US patents and patent applications. Xiaoming has a track record of discovering and developing bona fide new molecular entities. He cofounded Theron Pharmaceuticals, a preclinical stage company developing a best-in-class bronchodilator for the treatment of COPD and uncontrolled asthma. He was previously the Senior Director of Chemistry at CoMentis Inc. In this capacity, he spearheaded cognition research effort targeting Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive deficit associated with schizophrenia. Previously, Dr. Zhang served as Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Portola and ARYx, where he successfully led the discovery and preclinical development of a number of new molecular entities, notably elinogrel and tecarfarin. Earlier in his career, Dr. Zhang was a research scientist and later program leader at Roche, where he successfully led the alpha1a adrenergic agonist program, culminating in the discovery of R1484 which was evaluated in the clinic for stress incontinence.
Chief Medical Officer
Andrew Perlman, Ph.D.
Andy has a B.S. from MIT, an M.D. and a Ph.D. in physiology from New York University (NYU). He did his Ph.D. research in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Professor Eric Kandel. He received postgraduate clinical training at Stanford School of Medicine and NYU. He worked as a staff scientist at the Medical Research Council in London from 1983 to 1984, continuing his medical research on steroid hormone nuclear receptors. From 1984 to 1987 he was an assistant professor at Stanford University where he did clinical work, teaching and research on hypertension. He is also on the board of Ecumenical Hunger Project in East Palo Alto, California.
Andy has had a notable career in drug development, most significantly at Genentech from 1988 to 1993. After Genentech, Andy was one of the first hires at Tularik, a new drug discovery company, where he served as Vice President and then Executive Vice President until 2004, except for a 9-month period in 2002 when he served as CEO of Affymax. Later he played an active role in Tularik’s business development, investor relations and financing activities, culminating with Tularik’s acquisition by Amgen in 2004 for $1.3 billion. Following the acquisition of Tularik, Andy was founder and CEO of Innate Immune Inc. He also worked with a team at The Palo Alto Research Center to determine the clinical value of a new technique for the identification and enumeration of rare tumor cells in peripheral circulation.
Chief Medical Officer
Edward Schnipper, Ph.D.
Ed received his M.D. from Georgetown University School of Medicine. He completed a Hematology fellowship at New York University School of Medicine and an Oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Ed began his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Hoffman-La Roche as an Assistant Medical Director and rose to the level of Vice President. He served as Vice President, Clinical Development, at ALZA Corporation from 1997 to 2001, where he played a leading role in the development and FDA approval of four of ALZA’s drug candidates as well as numerous other clinical programs. After the acquisition of ALZA, Ed served as President and CEO of Cellgate, a company developing novel anti-proliferative drugs to combat disease, where he raised over $50 million in venture capital. He also served as Executive Vice President & Chief Medical Officer of Novacea, a biopharmaceutical company focused on in-licensing, developing and commercializing novel therapies for the treatment of cancer.
Dr. Schulman is President and CSO of Allosteros Therapeutics, Inc. a company he co-founded to develop kinase-based therapeutic drugs for cardiovascular and oncology indications. Dr. Schulman received his B.S. in chemistry from UCLA and his Ph.D. in biological chemistry at Harvard University, studying phospholipid metabolism with Eugene P. Kennedy. Subsequently he undertook postdoctoral research in signal transduction in the Department of Pharmacology at Yale under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Paul Greengard. He was a faculty at Stanford University for 20 years, in the Departments of Pharmacology and of Neurobiology. He was most recently the Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and co-founder and co-director of the Stanford Brain Research Center. Dr. Schulman spent the past 15 years in industry focusing on therapeutic targeting of protein kinases based on structural and mechanistic insights and use of biomarkers in drug development. He joined SurroMed as Vice President, a biomarker discovery company whose biomarker assets were acquired by PPD, where he was Vice President of PPD Biomarker Discovery Sciences. In this capacity he worked with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostic company leaders to develop biomarker discovery programs that facilitate their drug discovery and development or diagnostic programs. As a scientist he has been a major contributor to progress in the field of molecular pharmacology and signal transduction research for more than 25 years. Dr. Schulman co-discovered CaMKII, one of the key protein kinases responsible for transmitting information from calcium-linked hormones, cytokines and neurotransmitters in diverse tissues. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.