A. Stewart Campbell, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Campbell joined Axial in 2016 and was appointed the company’s CEO in February 2021. Dr. Campbell has played a fundamental role in company’s growth and strategy over the last 4 years. He brings more than 25 years of experience leading and building teams that have strong track records of discovering and developing novel therapeutics for the patients who need them. Prior to joining Axial, Dr. Campbell held various leadership roles at biopharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing companies including Corden Pharma, Surface Logix and Insmed Inc. At Corden Pharma, Dr. Campbell served as Head of Product Management and Business Development for Carbohydrates and Lipids and as Head of Operations for Corden Pharma’s Woburn, MA manufacturing site. Prior to Corden Pharma Dr. Campbell served as Vice President of R&D at Ancora Pharmaceuticals, successfully triaging the company through the acquisition and integration process by Corden Pharma. While at Surface Logix and Insmed, Dr. Campbell played an integral role in the discovery and development of three clinical stage drug candidates, including the Rho kinase inhibitor belumosudil and TAK-607 (rIGF-1/BP-3). During his career Dr. Campbell has been co-inventor on nearly 20 issued patents.
He holds a BSc with Honors in Chemistry from St. Francis Xavier University, a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Queen’s University (Canada), and did post-doctoral research at Duke University.
Partner, Longwood Fund
Mr. Aldrich is a Founding Partner of Longwood Fund. He has co-founded and helped to build several successful biotech companies, including Sirtris Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SIRT acquired by GlaxoSmithKline); Concert Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CNCE) where he serves as Chair of the Board; and Longwood portfolio companies: Alnara Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Eli Lilly in 2010), Verastem (NASDAQ: VSTM), Axial Therapeutics, and TScan Therapeutics. Prior to co-founding Longwood, he co-founded RA Capital Management, LLC, a life sciences investment fund, in which he remains an investor. Prior to co-founding RA Capital Management, LLC, he was a founding employee of Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VRTX) where he held the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer and managed all commercial and operating functions from 1989 to 2001. Prior to Vertex, he held several management positions at Biogen, Inc. Mr. Aldrich also serves as a Director of Longwood portfolio companies: Renovia, Sitryx Therapeutics, and Colorescience. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College.
President, Taiho Ventures
Sakae Asanuma founded Taiho Ventures in 2016, the corporate venture-arm of Taiho Pharmaceutical. Prior to joining Taiho, he was President and CEO at Astellas Venture Management as well as US Head of Astellas Innovation Management for five years since 2011. During his tenure at both Taiho and Astellas, he has established dozens of collaboration deals with both academia and biotech ventures, including several build-to-buy and company spin-outs. Prior to working at Astellas, he was General Manager at Yasuda Enterprise, a Japanese VC firm with $800M under management. Over the last two decades, he has invested in more than 50 companies, with more than half of them exiting via public offerings or M&A. He is based in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2000.
Jim Blair, Ph.D.
Partner, Domain Associates
Jim has been a partner of Domain since its inception in 1985. Jim has more than 45 years of experience with venture and emerging growth companies.
In the course of his experience, he has been involved in the creation and successful development at the board level of more than 40 life sciences ventures, including Amgen, Aurora Biosciences, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Applied Biosystems, Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Dura Pharmaceuticals, GeneOhm Sciences, Molecular Dynamics, NuVasive, Pharmion and Volcano. Present board memberships include Applied Proteomics, Astute Medical, aTyr Pharma, Axial Biotherapeutics, ChromaCode, Clovis Oncology, Gene Sciences, IntegenX and Ocunexus Therapeutics.
Prior to Domain, Jim was a former managing director of Rothschild Inc., where he was directly involved at a senior level with Rothschild/New Court venture capital activities. Previous to that, he was associated with F.S. Smithers and Co. and White, Weld and Co., two investment banking firms actively involved with new ventures and emerging growth companies. Jim was an engineering manager with RCA Corporation, during which time he received the David Sarnoff Fellowship. He received his BSE from Princeton University and his MSE and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Jim currently serves on the board of directors of the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the SANFORD BURNHAM PREBYS Medical Discovery Institute. He is also on the advisory boards of the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation, and the Caltech Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
Scott C. Brun, M.D.
Partner, Gold Mast Consulting
Scott is currently the head of Gold Mast Consulting, where he provides technical advice and strategic guidance related to biopharmaceutical research and development as well as pipeline and portfolio strategy. He is currently serving in several board, consulting, and advisory positions within the academic, VC, and biopharmaceutical industry communities.
In 1997, Scott joined Abbott Laboratories, where he held positions of increasing leadership responsibility in drug development within the R&D organization. When AbbVie launched as an independent biopharmaceutical company in 2013, Scott was named Vice President and Head of Pharmaceutical Development. Scott oversaw a global organization with responsibilities for AbbVie’s entire portfolio of early and late stage clinical preregistration pipeline compounds as well as marketed compounds within oncology, neurology, immunology, renal, infectious disease, and women’s and men’s health therapeutic areas. A variety of phase 2 and 3 programs initiated and executed during his tenure resulted in multiple therapies being introduced to the clinic, including Mavyret (leading global curative therapy for HCV infection), Venclexta (first in class BCL-2 inhibitor for hematologic malignancies), Orilissa (first in class GnRH antagonist for endometriosis), and Rinvoq (selective JAK-1 inhibitor for rheumatoid arthritis).
More recently, Scott was Vice President of Scientific Affairs and Head of AbbVie Ventures, a corporate venture fund responsible for investment opportunities within the company’s current R&D therapeutic areas as well as technology platforms of interest. Under Scott’s leadership, the group expanded its investment portfolio to include over 20 active companies, leading to Abbvie Ventures being identified as one of the top most active corporate and institutional new venture investors. Along with the Chief Scientific Officer, Scott served as AbbVie’s primary spokesperson for R&D to global media, governmental officials, and investors.
Scott received his BS degree in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign, and subsequently earned an MD degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary/Harvard Medical School.
Sarkis Mazmanian, Ph.D.
Co-founder and Director
Dr. Mazmanian is the Luis & Nelly Soux Professor of Microbiology in the Division of Biology & Biological Engineering at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles, where Dr. Mazmanian also received his Ph.D. training in microbiology and immunology. He was a Helen Hay Whitney Post-doctoral Fellow and subsequently appointed assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in 2006, and later that year moved to Caltech. Dr. Mazmanian has won numerous awards including a Searle Scholar, Young Investigator of the Year at Harvard Medical School, Damon Runyon Innovation Award, was named by Discover Magazine as one of the “Best Brains in Science under 40”, “Life Science Superstar” by Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, and recently received the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” award.
His laboratory focuses on the study of beneficial bacterial molecules from the human gut microbiome as novel therapies for immunologic and neurologic disorders, with a specific focus on developing probiotic treatments for autism. He is a founder of 2 biotech companies and has or currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of over a dozen companies, academic centers and not-for-profit foundations.
At OneVentures, Ms. Meibach is responsible for sourcing life sciences companies and actively shaping their future. She applies her global executional experience and entrepreneurial passion to nurture their success. Her enterprise level leadership experience has been forged over 20 years in a wide spectrum of organisations, including start-up, private companies, ASX and NASDAQ-listed companies, a multi-national pharmaceutical company and university research organisations.
Prior to OneVentures, she was the Asian Business Development lead for Shire Pharmaceuticals (now Takeda), a global specialty pharmaceutical company. Ms. Meibach identified technologies and developed collaborations across Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan including playing a key role in sourcing the $300M Fibrotech deal announced in 2015.
Ms. Meibach has held senior management roles at Progen Pharmaceuticals, The University of Queensland’s QAAFI institute, Beef CRC and Pyxis Genomics. From 2011-2017 she led the development of the new UQ QAAFI research institute from 32 people to 450 people and a financially profitable position within 5 years. This included leading the negotiation of a complex $70+M staff transfer and research agreement for QAAFI between the University of Queensland and the Queensland Government. In 2012, Ms. Meibach spearheaded the IP asset assignment and company wind-up of 20 year $168M Beef Co-operative Research Centre, involving five universities across five state jurisdictions, MLA, CSIRO and Meat and Lamb NZ and pastoral companies. At Progen Pharmaceuticals, Ms. Meibach worked collaboratively with the CEO and CFO over several years to secure a total financing of ~$125M via five capital raisings for oncology drug development, and in 2008 led the $22M acquisition of an oncology drug discovery company.
Ms. Meibach is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and currently holds directorships with Kira Biotech, QAAFI Advisory Board and Life Sciences Queensland. She holds Bachelor level science qualifications from the University of Queensland and a Masters from Cornell University and has completed a postgraduate course at Harvard Business School focusing on negotiation and decision making.
Makoto (Mark) Ohori, Ph.D.
Partner, University of Tokyo Innovation Platform Company (UTokyo IPC)
Dr. Ohori joined UTokyo IPC in October 2020. Prior to UTokyo IPC, he was Executive Director, Head of Early-stage Partnering at Astellas Innovation Management LLC (Cambridge, MA), where he established and managed dozens of strategic partnerships with life science companies and academic institutions in the US, Europe, and Japan. Before that, Dr. Ohori worked for Astellas Venture Management LLC (Menlo Park, CA) as Investment Director and made investments in around fifteen biotech ventures. More than half of them already achieved Exits (IPO or M&A). Dr. Ohori also led the efforts of partnering and collaboration management with portfolio companies including build-to-buy NewCos. He was working in-residence at Potenza Therapeutics, where he served as Co-chair of the Joint Steering Committee. The company was successfully achieved Exit (M&A) with three clinical programs, which were discovered under the collaboration. Dr. Ohori also has fifteen-years of experience of drug discovery research with leading cross-functional teams in Fujisawa Pharmaceuticals and Astellas Pharma. Dr. Ohori advanced his training as a molecular biologist in the Faculty and Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Tokyo, where he received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.
Venture Partner, Seventure
Ms. Frey is a Venture Partner at Seventure since June 2021, after 2 years consulting for Seventure as Advisor for Food and Nutrition. She is based in Basel, Switzerland and focuses mainly on Nutrition, Foodtech and microbiome-related opportunities.
Ms. Frey brings more than 20 years of professional experience in healthcare research, investment, management, strategy and business development. She co-founded several companies and was a board member and chairman of companies in different fields including biotech, nutraceuticals/food production and finance/investment. She started her career in 1998 as partner at Bellevue Group, Switzerland, as part of the BB Biotech team, one of the largest investors in the public and private biotech sector. Ms. Frey then founded Adamant Biomedical Investments AG, a successful healthcare asset management boutique. As CIO, Nora headed research and portfolio management.
In 2008, Ms. Frey co-founded Cederberg GmbH, a healthcare marketing and distribution business. Nora was also centrally involved in the building of a food and nutraceuticals developer and producer in Africa. Having bothSwiss and German citizenships, she holds a PhD in Biochemistry/Immunology and a Masters Degree in Microbiology.