Neoantigenics has an experienced management team including a CEO with strong management and scientific credentials and peer contacts in the therapeutic discovery arena; a Scientific Founder who is a world-leading expert in the area of gamete proteomics and represents the foundational technology platform of the Company, and a seasoned CFO who has managed four previous early-stage technology companies to successful exits.
Brian A. Pollok, Ph.D. – CEO
Dr. Pollok has over 20 years career experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, serving as a Sr. Investigator for Pfizer, Vice President of Discovery Biology at Aurora Biosciences/Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Sr. VP of R&D at Ansata Therapeutics, VP of R&D at Invitrogen, Chief Scientific Officer of Life Technologies, and most recently as President of ATCC.
Dr. Pollok’s background is as a science/business hybrid, bringing current scientific knowledge together with business experience and acumen. Included in his career accomplishments are: (1) the discovery of the first NME specifically designed to treat spinal muscular atrophy (RG-3039, currently in clinical development by Pfizer) and its unique molecular target, (2) invention of Z’-Lyte™ assay technology which has generated over $65M in revenues to date and enabled lead optimization of several clinically effective kinase inhibitors such as vemurafenib (an FDA-approved drug for malignant melanoma), and (3) building two high-growth, innovation-driven organizations (Aurora and Invitrogen-Madison).
John Herr, Ph.D. – Scientific Founder
Dr. Herr is the scientific leader for Neoantigenics, chairing the Scientific Advisory Council. Dr. Herr is Professor of Cell Biology, Urology, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia Medical School, where he is a member of the Cancer Center and serves as Faculty Director of the Lymphocyte Culture Center, which he founded in 1982.
Dr. Herr also founded the Center for Research in Contraceptive and Reproductive Health at the University of Virginia in 1990 and has worked in the field of reproductive biology since 1970 and in cancer biology since 1995. He is the key inventor on the patent applications related to SAS1B. Dr. Herr’s lab has been active in invention having identified or named more than 35 genes in the human genome (e.g., EPAD, CABYR, ACRV1, TSSK, ESP), and has applied for patents on their use as diagnostic or therapeutic targets.
Dr. Herr has a strong interest in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship, founding two previous biotechnology companies: Humagen, an IVF pipette company now a part of Origio, and ContraVac [d.b.a. SpermCheck], developer of the home sperm test SpermCheck Fertility sold nationwide in Walgreens stores. Dr. Herr has served on the Board of Directors of the University of Virginia Licensing & Ventures Group for 15 years.
Ed Leary - CFO
Mr. Leary has extensive management experience with start-up and early-stage technology companies. Prior to Neoantigenics he was founding President and CFO for ContraVac, Inc., a male fertility diagnostic company, from 2004 to 2013 where he was responsible for managing three rounds of financing, product development and business development.
Mr. Leary was founding CFO for Hemoxymed, Inc., a publicly traded biological therapeutics company, from 1998 to its acquisition by Applied NeuroSolutions Inc. in 2002 where his accomplishments included raising $3.3 million of investment capital in a difficult economic environment. Prior to Hemoxymed, he was Corporate Controller of Visio Corporation, a developer of business drawing and diagramming software from 1993 to 1998 where he was a key member of senior management responsible for Visio Corporation’s initial public offering in 1995 and acquisition by Microsoft in 1998. Mr. Leary was also founding CFO for Medical Innovations Corp., a private medical device company, from start-up in 1984 through its acquisition by Ballard Medical Products in 1993. Mr. Leary is also a Certified Public Accountant.