We are AsclepiX

Co-founded by Aleksander S. Popel, PhD and Jordan J. Green, PhD at Johns Hopkins University, AsclepiX is building a company and culture focused on transforming the treatment of disease in ophthalmology and oncology.

To date, anti-VEGF treatment has been the gold standard for treating retinal disease; however, many patients do not have a complete and lasting response with currently approved therapies. In patients who do respond, the short duration of action of these treatments requires the additional burden of recurring and frequent intravitreal injections. There is a need for more efficacious medicines that require fewer injections and reduces the treatment burden for patients.

Our mission is to go well beyond the capabilities of today’s therapies. We do this by translating brilliant scientific discovery into tomorrow’s transformative medicines that have the potential to bring better and dramatically lasting health to people throughout the world.

In ophthalmology, we are initially focused on three of the leading causes of blindness in adults: diabetic macular edema (DME), neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), and macular edema following retinal vein occlusion (RVO). In addition to a novel mechanism of action in the treatment of these diseases, we seek to achieve superior efficacy with significantly fewer injections than approved therapies, substantially reducing the treatment burden for patients.

In oncology, we are developing treatments to activate anti-tumor immunity, inhibit metastasis, and enhance efficacy in combination with immunotherapy and chemotherapy. Early results in animal models show inhibition of tumor growth and improved survival in triple-negative breast cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma and inhibition of metastasis in triple-negative breast cancer.

We are dedicated every day to advancing the clinical development of these novel therapeutics to prove their safety and efficacy in fulfilling significant unmet needs in global healthcare.

Innovation Leaders

AsclepiX Leadership

Chief Medical Officer, Executive Vice President, Operations

Theresa Heah, MD, MBA

Dr. Heah is the Chief Medical Officer and EVP Operations. Dr. Heah is responsible for establishing and managing the company’s business operations and drug development strategy.

Prior to joining AsclepiX Therapeutics, Dr. Heah served as Chief Medical Officer at Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (AGTC), where she worked on developing ophthalmic gene therapies. Before her tenure at AGTC, Dr. Heah was Vice President, Global Head of Clinical Research, Medical and Professional Affairs at Aerie Pharmaceuticals, where she played a key role in driving growth and success of the organization globally. In this position, Dr. Heah was responsible for global strategy and development of ophthalmology programs, leading an experienced team executing clinical research, clinical operations, medical affairs, and professional affairs. During her tenure, she successfully expanded her global team size from 10 to 52 professionals and took a leading role in Aerie’s pharmaceutical development program for milestone product candidates, including Rhopressa® and Rocklatan®.Prior to her tenure at Aerie, Dr. Heah served with increasing responsibility, initially as the Director, Senior Global Medical Affairs Physician lead in the worldwide launch of EYLEA® followed by the role of Global Strategic Marketing Director at Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, where she served as the brand plan lead for EYLEA, an anti-VEGF compound indicated for the management of 5 retinal diseases. As part of her work on EYLEA, Dr. Heah oversaw the development of brand strategy, positioning, market research, advisory boards, key message development, pricing & reimbursement, and promotional campaigns. While at Bayer, her product portfolio’s value exceeded €1B annually. Dr. Heah has clinical experience as an ophthalmologist in the U.K. Dr. Heah earned her Doctorate of Medicine from Guy’s Kings and St. Thomas’ School of Medicine, King’s College, University of London, and her Executive Master’s in Business Administration from the European School of Management & Technology (ESMT), Berlin.
Vice President, Research and Development

Niranjan B. Pandey, Ph.D.

Dr. Pandey is Vice President, Research and Development at AsclepiX Therapeutics. Dr. Pandey is responsible for guiding scientific discovery and research of the company.

Currently, Dr. Pandey is leading the effort to develop novel medicines for diseases that include retinal diseases and cancer. His areas of expertise, in which he has published 40 scientific papers are: ophthalmology, cancer, angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, immuno-oncology, autoimmunity, yeast and drosophila genetics, tight junction biology, and discovery and development of small molecule and peptide therapeutic agents.. Dr. Pandey was an invited speaker at the Homogeneous Time Resolved Fluorescence conference sponsored by Cisbio, the leader in this technology, in Avignon in 2004. In addition to receiving multiple grants from the National Cancer Institute and the National Eye Institute, he has served on multiple NIH grant review panels. Prior to joining AsclepiX Therapeutics, Dr. Pandey joined the Systems Biology lab of Dr. Aleksander Popel at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he led the study of multiple classes of peptides as therapeutics for retinal diseases and cancer and mentored postdoctoral fellows and PhD students. Dr. Pandey previously held the position of Director of Biology at Alba Therapeutics, a position he held for 3 years. He led the discovery and research for the lead clinical candidate larazotide acetate for celiac disease while there and was responsible for characterizing its mechanism of action. At Alba Therapeutics, Dr. Pandey also led the team that uncovered the mechanism of action of peptides that opened epithelial tight junctions to be used as novel drug delivery agents. Prior to joining Alba Therapeutics, Dr. Pandey spent 7 years as a senior scientist in the Cancer Therapeutics Team at Johnson & Johnson developing drugs for metastatic breast cancer. Dr. Pandey graduated magna cum laude with highest honors in biochemistry from Brandeis University. Dr. Pandey received his Ph.D. in molecular biophysics from Florida State University and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard and MIT in genetics and immunology.
Huang Sheng MD
Vice President, Clinical Research

Huan Sheng, MD, Ph.D.

Dr. Sheng is Vice President, Clinical Research at AsclepiX Therapeutics. Dr. Sheng is responsible for leading the clinical development efforts.

Prior to joining AsclepiX Therapeutics, Dr. Sheng served as Sr. Director of Clinical Research and Drug Safety at Aerie Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for the development and implementation of clinical research and drug safety surveillance strategy for glaucoma and retinal diseases, and the management and oversight of the clinical development and drug safety programs. Prior to her tenure at Aerie, Dr. Sheng held research and development ophthalmology leadership positions at Alcon and Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Sheng is an ophthalmologist by training and holds a Ph. D in Vision Science from the Ohio State University, College of Optometry, Columbus, Ohio.
Jordan Green
Founder, Chief Technology Advisor

Jordan J. Green, Ph.D.

Dr. Green is the Founder and Chief Technology Advisor of AsclepiX Therapeutics and responsible for guiding technical directions of the company.

Dr. Green was named by Baltimore Business Journal as one of the “40 Under 40” and by Popular Science as one of the “Brilliant Ten.” Dr. Green is also a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Ophthalmology, Oncology, Neurosurgery, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, and Materials Science & Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is co-founder and Associate Director of the Translational Tissue Engineering Center (TTEC) at JHU, co-founder and Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Translational ImmunoEngineering Center (JH-TIE), associate researcher of the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, and member of the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. Dr. Green received his B.S. in biomedical engineering and in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2003 and completed his Ph.D. in biological engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007. Subsequently, Dr. Green was a postdoctoral associate at MIT in Institute Professor Bob Langer’s lab from 2007-2008. Dr. Green is also a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, and Associate Editor at Science Advances. His research has resulted in the publication of over 130 papers, 80 issued or pending patents, and 100 invited talks, and he has received numerous awards including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Allan Colburn Award, the Biomedical Engineering Society Rita Schaffer Award, the American Society for Engineering Education Curtis W. McGraw Research Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and is a National Academy of Medicine Emerging Leader in Health & Medicine. Dr. Green is a standing member of the National Institutes of Health NANO study section. His work on advanced therapeutics has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Maryland Technology Development Corporation, Department of Defense, Coulter Foundation, Edward N. and Della L. Thome Memorial Foundation Award in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Research, Thalheimer Foundation, and Research to Prevent Blindness.
Founder, Chief Scientific Advisor

Aleksander S. Popel, Ph.D.

Dr. Popel is the Founder and Chief Scientific Advisor of AsclepiX Therapeutics and responsible for guiding scientific directions of the company.

Dr. Aleksander S. Popel is also a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Medicine, and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a member of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. His areas of expertise are angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, immuno-oncology, systems biology, systems pharmacology, and discovery and development of peptide therapeutic agents. He published over 340 scientific papers in these areas; he also holds over 30 issued and pending patents on the peptides and their delivery. He received his Ph.D. in Biofluid Mechanics from Moscow University. He served as a Visiting Professor at MIT, Harvard University, and Imperial College, U.K. He is a recipient of the Eugene M. Landis Award from the Microcirculatory Society, the highest award bestowed by the Society. He delivered keynote addresses for The Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) European Union Physiome Project and Next-Generation Integrated Simulation of Living Matter Project in Japan; he was C. Forbes Dewey Distinguished Lecturer in Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, delivered A.C. Suhren Lecture at Tulane University, Robert M. and Mary Haythornthwaite Distinguished Lecturer at Temple University, and Kawasaki Medical Society Lecturer in Japan. Dr. Popel mentored over 70 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows; many of his trainees are leaders in the field of biomedical engineering and systems biology in academia and pharmaceutical industry. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, American Heart Association, American Physiological Society, and American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and an Inaugural Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society. He has been a member of editorial boards of leading biological and biomedical engineering journals. He served in an advisory role to biotech and pharmaceutical companies. He has served on grant review boards and advisory panels at the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and other US and international funding agencies. His work at the Johns Hopkins University has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Safeway Breast Cancer Foundation, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, Department of Defense, the Coulter Foundation Translational Partnership, the Edward N. and Della L. Thome Memorial Foundation Award in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Research, and pharmaceutical companies.
Clinical Drug Safety Advisor

Quan D. Nguyen, MD, MSc

Dr. Nguyen is the Clinical Drug Safety Advisor of AsclepiX Therapeutics and responsible for guiding clinical drug safety directions of the company.

Dr. Quan Dong Nguyen is currently a Professor of Ophthalmology at the Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine. After completing his education in 2001, Dr. Nguyen joined the faculty at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of Medical Education. In 2013, he was appointed as the McGaw Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and the Inaugural Director of the Stanley M. Truhlsen Eye Institute, and Assistant Dean for Translational Research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Nguyen serves as principal investigator on multiple clinical trials sponsored by the National Eye Institute and other organizations for macular edema (from diabetes and uveitis), neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and ocular inflammatory and uveitic diseases, as well as co-investigator on numerous other clinical trials involving novel therapeutic agents. Dr. Nguyen is known for his innovative work in early proof-of-concept, first-in-human clinical trials to evaluate potential pharmacotherapeutic agents for retinal vascular and uveitic diseases. Dr. Nguyen and his team were among the first clinician scientists in the world to evaluate aflibercept for neovascular AMD and ranibizumab for diabetic macular edema (DME); the initial results of these studies served as the foundation for subsequent trials leading to the approval of these pharmacologic agents by the FDA and other regulatory authorities for the indicated diseases. Dr. Nguyen has chaired the United States multi-center READ-2, READ-3, and iDEAL studies, evaluating the potential role of VEGF antagonists, through different pathways, for diabetic macular edema. Dr. Nguyen has lead the SAVE, and the multi-centered SAVE-2, and STOP-UVEITIS studies to evaluate the role of new pharmacologic agents, including specific interleukin inhibition, in uveitis and ocular inflammatory diseases. Throughout his career thus far, Dr. Nguyen has been prolific to share his scientific work through numerous manuscripts published in the literature. He serves on the Editorial Board of several journals, including the Journal of Ophthalmic Infection and Inflammation and Ophthalmic Surgery, Laser, and Imaging – Retina, among others. Given his scientific achievements and accomplishments, Dr. Nguyen has been chosen as the Inaugural Editor-in-Chief of American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports, which has been launched in the fall of 2015 as the companion journal to the American Journal of Ophthalmology. At the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford, Dr. Nguyen has an active uveitis and ocular inflammatory diseases as well as clinical and surgical retina practice while he continues his research in pharmacotherapy and ocular imaging. In addition, he teaches and trains students, residents, and clinical and research retina and uveitis fellows at Stanford.

Board of Directors

Chairman of the Board AsclepiX Therapeutics Managing Director, Ziff Capital

Steven Altschuler, MD

Dr. Steven M. Altschuler currently serves as Chairman of the Board of AsclepiX Therapeutics, Inc. He also serves as Managing Director-Healthcare Ventures at Ziff Capital Partners.

Dr. Steven M. Altschuler currently serves as Chairman of the Board of AsclepiX Therapeutics, Inc. He also serves as Managing Director-Healthcare Ventures at Ziff Capital Partners and formerly held the position of Chair, Board of Directors of Spark Therapeutics. At Ziff Capital Partners, he leads the firm’s effort to start up new companies at the intersection of machine learning and cellular and molecular sciences with the goal of democratizing and the enhancing the availability of novel diagnostics and therapies worldwide. He developed this expertise while cofounding Spark Therapeutics to develop and commercialize the preclinical and clinical gene therapy programs advanced at CHOP and other institutions. He has been the company’s board chair since its founding, and helped lead its successful transition to a public company and the first ever approval by both the FDA and European Medicines Agency (EMA) for a gene therapy (LUXTURNA) for an inherited genetic disease (RPE65-associated inherited blindness) in 2017-18. Spark Therapeutics is in the process of being acquired by Roche for $4.8B. Dr. Altschuler is the former Executive Vice President for Health Affairs at the University of Miami and Chief Executive Officer of UHealth – the University of Miami Health System. Previously, Dr. Altschuler served as Chief Executive Officer for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) from 2000 to 2015. He led CHOP’s transformation from a traditional academic medical center and specialty hospital to a world leader in pediatric health care, research, education and advocacy for children. Under his leadership, CHOP experienced the largest growth since its founding in 1855, building a care network that provides primary, specialty and urgent care at more than 50 locations in the greater Philadelphia area. Dr. Altschuler completed a pediatric internship and residency at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston and completed a fellowship in gastroenterology and nutrition at CHOP. He also served as a faculty member and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania prior to becoming CEO of CHOP. Dr. Altschuler is also a member of the board of directors of WW (formerly Weight Watchers International) and Adtalem Global Education. Dr. Altschuler received his MD and BA in Mathematics from Case Western Reserve University.
Ben Askew
Partner, Research and Development, Xontogeny

Ben Askew, Ph.D.

Dr. Askew joined Xontogeny in September 2019 as Partner, Research & Development after a decades long career in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Askew joined Xontogeny in September 2019 as Partner, Research & Development after a decades long career in the biopharmaceutical industry. Dr. Askew contributed to the discovery of a number of approved drugs and several additional candidates currently in late-stage clinical trials as a result of his leadership roles in research and early development at Merck (1990-2000), Amgen (2000-2005), and Merck Serono (2005-2010). In 2011, Dr. Askew joined Third Rock Ventures, as entrepreneur-in-residence where he provided strategic input and scientific leadership for several of Third Rock’s portfolio companies, most notably Sage Therapeutics and Blueprint Medicines. Dr. Askew joined SciFluor Life Sciences in 2013 as Vice President of Research, where he has led the expansion SciFluor’s pipeline and advanced two compounds into clinical development. Dr. Askew’s academic training began at Gannon University, where he graduated cum-laude with Bachelor of Science degrees in chemistry and biology. He went on to the University of Pittsburgh, where he obtained a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. Dr. Askew serves on Scientific Advisory Boards for several Boston-area companies.
Josh Barer
Managing Director of Hibiscus BioVentures & Barer & Son Capital

Josh Barer

Josh Barer is Managing Director of Hibiscus BioVentures, as well as Barer & Son Capital, LLC which forms, restructures and funds early-stage cutting edge biotechnology companies.

Josh Barer is Managing Director of Hibiscus BioVentures, as well as Barer & Son Capital, LLC which forms, restructures and funds early-stage cutting edge biotechnology companies.

Prior to HB and B&S, Josh has spent his career at several boutique investment banks and consultancies, including Trout Capital and the Maxim Group, and has a passion for early-stage drug development to serve patients with unmet medical needs. He is also a Venture Advisor at the Israel Biotech Fund.

Josh is on the boards of Asclepix, Inc. and NexImmune, Inc. (board observer). He is also on the Boards of several-not for-profit organizations focused on education and economic development, including Trickle Up, Family Promise, and Getting Out and Staying Out (Action Board).

Josh received a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers College and studied Conflict Management at Drew University.

Chris Garabedian
CEO of Xontogeny and Manager, PXV Fund for Perceptive Advisors

Chris Garabedian

Chris Garabedian founded Xontogeny in June of 2016 to support multiple promising technologies from early development through clinical proof of concept.

Chris Garabedian founded Xontogeny in June of 2016 to support multiple promising technologies from early development through clinical proof of concept. In 2017, Chris joined Perceptive Advisors to develop their Venture Fund strategy and launched the Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund in 2018 to support early stage companies seeded and incubated at Xontogeny and other ventures. Chris has a broad base of experience and a track record of success over his decades long experience in the biopharma industry. Chris served as the President and CEO of Sarepta Therapeutics from 2011 to 2015, overseeing the turnaround of a company that is now a commercial stage leader in the genetic technology space after leading the development of the company’s Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy program. Prior to Sarepta, Chris led Corporate Strategy for Celgene from 2007 to 2010. Prior to Celgene, Chris served in several global commercial and corporate development leadership roles at Gilead from 1997 to 2005. Chris serves on several Boards of life sciences companies and speaks at industry conferences on a wide range of important issues. Chris is also on the Board of Directors of MassBio and serves as a Senior Advisor for the Boston Consulting Group.
Jordan Green
Founder & Chief Technology Advisor

Jordan J. Green, Ph.D.

Dr. Green is the Founder and Chief Technology Advisor of AsclepiX Therapeutics and responsible for guiding technical directions of the company.

Dr. Green was named by Baltimore Business Journal as one of the “40 Under 40” and by Popular Science as one of the “Brilliant Ten.” Dr. Green is also a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Ophthalmology, Oncology, Neurosurgery, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, and Materials Science & Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is co-founder and Associate Director of the Translational Tissue Engineering Center (TTEC) at JHU, co-founder and Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Translational ImmunoEngineering Center (JH-TIE), associate researcher of the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, and member of the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. Dr. Green received his B.S. in biomedical engineering and in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2003 and completed his Ph.D. in biological engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007. Subsequently, Dr. Green was a postdoctoral associate at MIT in Institute Professor Bob Langer’s lab from 2007-2008. Dr. Green is also a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, and Associate Editor at Science Advances. His research has resulted in the publication of over 130 papers, 80 issued or pending patents, and 100 invited talks, and he has received numerous awards including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Allan Colburn Award, the Biomedical Engineering Society Rita Schaffer Award, the American Society for Engineering Education Curtis W. McGraw Research Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and is a National Academy of Medicine Emerging Leader in Health & Medicine. Dr. Green is a standing member of the National Institutes of Health NANO study section. His work on advanced therapeutics has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, Maryland Technology Development Corporation, Department of Defense, Coulter Foundation, Edward N. and Della L. Thome Memorial Foundation Award in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Research, Thalheimer Foundation, and Research to Prevent Blindness.
Sapna Srivastava
Board Member

Sapna Srivastava, Ph.D.

Dr. Srivastava was most recently the Chief Financial and Strategy Officer for Abide Therapeutics (acquired by Lundbeck).

Dr. Srivastava was most recently the Chief Financial and Strategy Officer for Abide Therapeutics (acquired by Lundbeck). Prior to which she was the Chief Financial and Strategy Officer for Intellia Therapeutics from April 2015 to December 2016. She played an integral role in helping start up Intellia’s financial operations and strategic direction, the Series B private funding, and the initial public offering. Prior to which she has nearly fifteen years of experience as a stock analyst for biotechnology sector on Wall Street. She was the senior analyst and team leader of the biotechnology group at Goldman Sachs. Prior to that role, Dr. Srivastava was the senior biotechnology analyst at Morgan Stanley and ThinkEquity Partners, LLC, and began her career as a research associate at JP Morgan. Dr. Srivastava also has experience as an independent board member and strategy advisor to several therapeutic focused, biotechnology companies and non-profits. Dr. Srivastava received her PhD in neuroscience from New York University and her B.Sc. from St. Xavier's College in India.

Scientific Advisory Board, Retina — USA

Advisor

David S. Boyer, MD

Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine and Senior Partner at Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group

Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine and Senior Partner at Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group
Advisor

Peter A. Campochiaro, MD

Eccles Professor of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience, The Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine

Eccles Professor of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience, The Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine
Advisor

Diana V. Do, MD

Professor of Ophthalmology and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs at the Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine

Professor of Ophthalmology and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs at the Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine
Advisors

Jeffrey Heier, MD

Co-President-Medical Director, Director of Vitreoretinal Service & Director of Retina Research at Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston

Co-President-Medical Director, Director of Vitreoretinal Service & Director of Retina Research at Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston
Advisor

Allen Ho, MD

Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, Director of Retina Research, Professor of Ophthalmology

Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, Director of Retina Research, Professor of Ophthalmology