Mr. von Emster is a Managing Partner at Abingworth, which he joined in January 2015. He has more than 25 years of experience in life science investment in both private and public companies. He began his career as a biotechnology and healthcare analyst and portfolio manager at Franklin Templeton and then became a General Partner at MPM Capital. In 2009, he co-founded venBio, a U.S. healthcare investment firm and most recently was a Partner in the firm’s San Francisco office. Besides Jasper, he holds board positions at CymaBay, Vaxcyte and SFJ Pharmaceuticals. He was formerly on the board of Aurinia, CRISPR Therapeutics, Cytos, Kesios, Facet and Somaxon. He earned a B.S. in business and economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Dr. French is a Principal at Qiming Venture Partners USA, where she invests in biotech and digital health companies, focusing on advanced therapeutics including cell and gene therapy. Her active investments include Jasper Therapeutics, WindMIL Therapeutics, Talaris Therapeutics, Cadent Therapeutics, LetsGetChecked and Platelet Biogenesis, for which she serves as a board observer. Previously, Dr. French was a Management Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where she advised leading biopharma companies on their strategy and operations, with an emphasis on cell and gene therapy. She also led a global industry/academic consortium focused on cell therapy commercialization. Dr. French earned a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford, UK, where her research focused on the hematopoietic differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells. She has over 20 publications in the field of stem cell research.
Dr. Mutz is an accomplished biotech serial entrepreneur, venture investor and inventor. He joined the Roche Venture Fund, a $500 million Swiss corporate venture fund that invests for financial return, in 2017. His current and past portfolio includes Jasper Therapeutics, Enliven Therapeutics, Fabric Genomics, Good Therapeutics, Kumquat Biosciences, lino Biotechnology, Purigen Biosystems, Stratos Genomics and BlueLight Therapeutics. Before Roche, he served as a Venture Partner at Codon Capital. Previously, Dr. Mutz was a Co-founder, President, Chief Scientific Officer and board member of Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotherapeutics company. He led the company’s R&D efforts, team building and financing strategy and helped grow the company from early preclinical discovery to the clinical stage. Amplyx has attracted more than $140 million in venture financing and over $11 million in non-dilutive funding from the National Institutes of Health. He was on the founding team and the Principal Scientist of Labcyte, a tools company that he helped grow from a start-up to profitability. Dr. Mutz was responsible for discovering and developing biotechnology applications for Labcyte’s novel acoustic drop ejection technology. Labcyte employs over 250 people worldwide, attracted $85 million in venture financing, and was acquired by Danaher for $310 million. He earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Rochester, a diploma in orchestral studies from the University of London, and a B.A. in chemistry with high honors from Oberlin College. He spent a year studying for a Ph.D. in the Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology at Harvard University. He is an inventor on 36 issued patents.
Dr. Shizuru is a Professor of Medicine (Blood and Marrow Transplantation) and Pediatrics (Stem Cell Transplantation) at Stanford. She is a member of the Stanford Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) faculty, the Stanford Immunology Program, and the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. She has attended on the BMT clinical service since 1997. Currently, she oversees a research laboratory focused on understanding the cellular and molecular basis of resistance to engraftment of transplanted allogeneic bone marrow cells and the way in which bone marrow grafts modify immune responses.
William Lis has been our independent Director since October 2018. He has 28 years of biopharmaceutical experience. He is the Executive Chairman, and interim CEO of Jasper Therapeutics, Inc where he led the company’s 2019 Series A financing. Previously, Mr. Lis served as Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2008 until 2018 after serving as Chief Operating Officer. Under his leadership, Portola successfully grew from a discovery-stage company to a fully integrated research and development and commercial organization, and independently discovered and developed Andexxa® and Bevyxxa® through commercial launch, and advanced cerdulatinib into clinical development. He led corporate partnerships and private and public financings including an initial public offering in 2013. The company grew into a multi-billion valuation company during his tenure. Portola was acquired by Alexion Pharmaceuticals in 2020. Mr. Lis held executive positions at Scios, Inc. (a Johnson & Johnson company) where he last served as Sr. Vice President of Business Development and New Product Development, having led efforts for the in-licensing, development and pre-commercial launch for Xarelto®; He also held positions of increasing responsibility at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (previously COR Therapeutics, Inc.) and Rhone Poulenc Rorer in sales, marketing, medical affairs and business development. He was involved in the U.S. commercial launch of several products, including Integrilin®, Lovenox® and Rilutek®. Mr. Lis served as a member of the Bio Board of Directors for Emerging Companies and is currently an independent Director of Eidos Therapeutics, Inc. and Zai Laboratories, Inc. Mr. Lis holds a B.S. from the University of Maryland.