Board of Directors
Alan Colowick, MD
Board Chair and Director
Dr. Colowick is a partner at Sofinnova Investments, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical investment firm with approximately $2.1B in assets under management and committed capital. Dr. Colowick joined Sofinnova as a partner in 2017. He focuses on clinical-stage product companies, particularly in oncology, rare diseases, and other specialty therapeutic areas. Before joining Sofinnova, Dr. Colowick held executive management and board of director positions at numerous companies in the biotechnology sector. Most recently he was Executive Vice President at Celgene Corporation, and prior to that held positions of President for Celgene’s Europe, Mid-East, and Africa regions as well as Senior Vice President of Global Medical Affairs. Previously, Dr. Colowick was the Chief Executive Officer at Gloucester Pharmaceuticals, Inc. until its acquisition by Celgene in 2010. Before becoming CEO at Gloucester Pharmaceuticals, he was President, Oncology for Geron Corporation and was Chief Medical Officer of Threshold Pharmaceuticals. Earlier, he held numerous positions of increasing responsibility at Amgen culminating with his role as Vice President, Medical Affairs Europe.
Dr. Colowick received an MD from Stanford University and an MPH from Harvard University. Additionally, he completed specialty training in Hematology-Oncology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Johnson has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Before joining VelosBio, he was Chief Executive Officer at Acerta Pharma, an oncology-focused pharmaceutical company. At Acerta Pharma, he led the company through a critical phase of growth from approximately 40 to 150+ employees and from a signal-seeking, first-in-human trial to more than 20 active clinical studies. His tenure included the regulatory planning and launch of three registration-directed trials, including two global Phase 3 trials for acalabrutinib, which culminated in the execution of a strategic transaction with AstraZeneca valued at up to $7 billion. Mr. Johnson has raised over $500 million in investment capital and has extensive deal-making experience.
His prior experience spans from nonclinical development to all phases of clinical development through product launch. He has made significant contributions to drugs ultimately garnering regulatory approval, including acalabrutinib (Calquence®), idelalisib (Zydelig®), romidepsin (Istodax®), and bortezomib (Velcade®). He has held roles with increasing responsibilities within Clinical Development, Medical Affairs, Pipeline Development, and Commercial Affairs at companies including Calistoga (acquired by Gilead), Gloucester (acquired by Celgene), Favrille, Millennium (acquired by Takeda), Immunex (acquired by Amgen), and Hoffman-La Roche. He is a co-author on numerous publications, including three New England Journal of Medicine articles. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.
Min Cui, PhD
Dr. Cui is the Founder and Managing Director of Decheng Capital, a leading life sciences investment firm with more than $440 million in capital under management. At Decheng Capital, Dr. Cui has been focusing on partnerships with entrepreneurs and building biotechnology and medical technology companies in China and the US. Prior to founding Decheng Capital in 2011, Dr. Cui was an Investment Partner at Bay City Capital, a leading international life science venture capital firm in San Francisco. At Bay City, he led investment opportunities in US as well as all its initiatives in China. Dr. Cui was previously Director of Strategic Investment for the Southern Research Institute, an organization that discovered and developed six anti-cancer drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Earlier, Dr. Cui co-founded Pan Pacific Pharmaceuticals and Hucon Biopharmaceuticals, where he led efforts in discovery and development of several key technologies in the fields of oncology, cardiology, infectious, and inflammatory diseases. Dr. Cui was also a co-founder of CNetwork, a San Francisco based non-profit organization dedicated to serving Chinese communities in North America.
Dr. Cui was granted his BS and MS in Molecular Biology from Peking University and received his PhD in Cancer Biology from Stanford University.
Cam Gallagher, MBA
Mr. Gallagher has been a member of our board of directors since our founding in December 2017. He is a co-founder and member of the board of directors of Zentalis Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ZNTL) since December 2014. He also serves on the boards of Ocuphire, as Chairman, and SelectION. He also serves on the Board of Visitors for the Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego. In addition to his board roles, Mr. Gallagher serves as Chief Business Officer at Immusoft and jCyte. Prior to these roles, he was a board director and Chief Business Officer at RetroSense Therapeutics, which was acquired by Allergan in 2016. In June 2007, Mr. Gallagher co-founded Nerveda, LLC, a life sciences seed fund, and was Managing Director. He also held management positions of increasing responsibilities at Oncternal, Nabriva, Verus Pharma, CV Therapeutics, and Dura Pharma.
Mr. Gallagher holds an MBA from the University of San Diego and a BS in Business Administration from Ohio University.
Jayson Punwani, PhD
Dr. Punwani joined Takeda Ventures, Inc. (TVI) in October 2017 and is a Partner on the investment team. He currently serves as a board director for Coho Therapeutics, Palleon, StrideBio, VelosBio, and Xilio. Prior to joining TVI, Dr. Punwani was a Senior Principal at Pappas Ventures where his responsibilities included deal sourcing, diligence, and portfolio management for a number of the firm’s investments in the biopharma space.
Dr. Punwani earned his BS in Biology from the College of New Jersey, his MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his PhD in biology from the University of Utah.
Karan Takhar is a Managing Director and the head of Life Sciences investing at Matrix Capital Management, an investment fund focused on technology and life sciences. Mr. Takhar received a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Jonathan Tobin, PhD, MBA
Dr. Tobin is a Managing Director at Arix Bioscience, a global biotech-focused venture capital firm. He currently sits on the boards of Artios, Atox Bio, STipe Therapeutics, Quench Bio, and Depixus. Prior to joining Arix, he was a Principal at Touchstone Innovations.
Dr. Tobin has a first-class degree in biology from Oxford University, a PhD in Molecular Medicine from UCL, and carried out postdoctoral research at the London Research Institute. Dr. Tobin has an MBA with Distinction from Imperial College Business School, is a Trustee of the Autism Centre of Excellence, and is a member of the Investment Advisory Committee for KHAN-I, a biotech fund in Germany.