James Huang, Chair
Mr. Huang, a life sciences industry veteran entrepreneur with 20+ years’ experience, joined Alaunos’ Board in July 2020. He is currently a Managing Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) China and has founded and financed several innovative biotech companies, including GenScript, Legend Biotech and Zai Lab.
Mr. Huang is also Founding Partner of Panacea Venture, which formed TriArm Therapeutics, the funding partner for Alaunos’ joint venture, Eden BioCell. Prior to joining KPCB in 2011, he was a Managing Partner at Vivo Ventures, a venture capital firm specializing in life sciences investments. While at Vivo, he led numerous investments in China. Prior to joining Vivo in 2007, Mr. Huang was President of Anesiva, a biopharmaceutical company focused on pain-management treatments.
During his 20-year career in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, Mr. Huang held senior roles in business development, sales, marketing and R&D with Tularik Inc. (acquired by Amgen), GlaxoSmithKline LLC, Bristol-Myers Squibb and ALZA Corp (acquired by Johnson & Johnson).
Mr. Huang received an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Chris Bowden, M.D.
Dr. Bowden, an oncology drug development executive with more than 20 years leadership experience including the approval of several cancer medicines, joined Alaunos’ Board in October 2019. He was the chief medical officer of Agios Pharmaceuticals from May 2014 through September 2021.
Previously, Dr. Bowden was vice president product development oncology, at Genentech for eight years. From 2003 to 2006, he was the executive director for EMEA regions for Bristol-Myers Squibb. Earlier, Dr. Bowden held positions of increasing responsibility in oncology clinical development, at Pharmacia Corporation and Janssen Pharmaceutical.
Prior to industry, Dr. Bowden was on the oncology faculty at the University of Virginia Health Science Center. Dr. Bowden received his M.D. from Hahnemann University School of Medicine followed by internal medicine training at Roger Williams Medical Center and the Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island. He completed his medical oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute Medicine Branch.
Dr. Bowden is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.
Kevin S. Boyle, Sr.
Kevin S. Boyle, Sr., was appointed to be our Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board in August 2021. Prior to joining Alaunos, Mr. Boyle was CEO of Kuur Therapeutics (formerly known as Cell Medica Ltd.), leading the company through a successful transformation, culminating in a $185 million acquisition in May 2021 by Athenex (NASDAQ: ATNX). Mr. Boyle was at Kuur from 2018-2021. From 2008-2017 he served as Chief Financial Officer of various companies including FlowWorks International, Sigma3 Integrated Reservoir Solutions, RecoverCare and SPT Inc. Earlier in his career Mr. Boyle had finance roles with increasing levels of responsibility, leading businesses in competitive and transformative situations and delivering shareholder value. He is an accomplished capital markets professional raising over $2.0 billion in equity and debt capital over his career.
Mr. Boyle graduated with a BS from Carnegie Mellon University and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.
For over two decades, Mr. Postma has served as the principal of WaterMill Asset Management, an asset management firm which he founded that actively trades in municipal bonds and equities. Mr. Postma has valuable relationships with prospective financial partners and brings a strong ownership perspective to Alaunos’ boardroom, as WaterMill is one of the largest, long-term shareholders of the Company.
In addition, Mr. Postma brings over four decades of experience investing across the equity and fixed income markets and frequently analyzes, invests in and engages with healthcare and biotechnology companies.
Mr. Postma holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Economics from Lafayette College.
A biotechnology leader with 25+ year track record of creating shareholder value through strategy, business development, commercial and financial leadership including a deep background in rare diseases, Mary Thistle joined Alaunos’ Board in November 2020. Ms. Thistle also serves on the Boards of Directors of Homology Medicines, Enterome, and Entrada Therapeutics and Vigil Neuroscience.
Ms. Thistle was a Special Advisor for the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute, where she previously held the role of Chief of Staff to the CEO. Prior to joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute, Ms. Thistle was Chief Operating Officer of Dimension Therapeutics, where she directed multiple financing rounds (including the company’s IPO), expanded the pipeline through strategic business development transactions, and led the sale of the company for a significant premium.
Previously, Ms. Thistle was Senior Vice President, Business Development at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for multiple acquisitions and assisted in the sale of the company. She has also held leadership positions at ViaCell and PerkinElmer.
Ms. Thistle began her career in finance as a Certified Public Accountant, after graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting from the University of Massachusetts.
Jaime Vieser has over 30 years of investment management and banking experience, which includes his involvement in numerous successful corporate restructurings and providing both start-up capital and guidance for emerging technology and biotech companies.
Since 2017, Mr. Vieser has been the manager of a private investment firm, Brushwood LLC. Mr. Vieser has over three decades of experience investing across various asset classes and served for nearly a decade as Managing Partner and co-principal of Castle Hill Asset Management LLC (“Castle Hill”), a multi-billion dollar asset manager and hedge fund.
Mr. Vieser has a deep understanding of Ziopharm’s assets, governance, and financials as he is a sizable and long-term shareholder of the Company. Prior to founding Castle Hill, for 10 years Mr. Vieser was responsible for the High Yield Sales and Trading Group in London at Deutsche Bank AG, a multinational investment bank and financial services company.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Vieser worked as a banker in the Leveraged Finance division of Bankers Trust Company, a bank holding company that was acquired by Deutsche Bank AG in 1999.
Mr. Vieser holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Michigan and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.
Mr. Weis has served as a member of our board since December 2020. Mr. Weis serves as the principal of Weis Advisors, Inc., a company that provides consulting services to life science companies, since founding the company in April 2018. He has also served as the Chief Financial Officer and Director of PhenoTarget Biosciences, Inc., a biotech start-up company from April 2020 to March 2021. Prior to that, he served in a number of roles at DemeRx, Inc., a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing nonaddictive treatments for drug addiction, including serving as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer from December 2011 to July 2017, and also as President from September 2014 to July 2017, and as a Consultant from July 2017 to April 2018.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Weis served as the Chief Financial Officer of EnSA Holdings, LLC, a company that focuses on environmentally sustainable agriculture techniques and technologies for the production of rice, from August 2010 to November 2011. From 2006 to 2010, he served as the Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer of NovaVision, Inc., a therapeutic and diagnostic vision restoration company. Prior to that, he served as the Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer of GMP Companies, Inc., a company that develops and commercializes pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic technologies, from 2000 to 2005.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Weis served as a Senior Manager at Ernst & Young, a multinational professional services company, from 1986 to 2000. Mr. Weis has co-authored a number of scientific papers and presentations and is an inventor on a number of patents and patent applications.
Mr. Weis received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Georgia and is a Certified Public Accountant.
The board believes that Mr. Weis’s management and industry experience, as well as his financial expertise, qualify him to serve on the board.