Asylia’s experienced and diverse leadership team is driven by a common mission to transform breakthrough science into highly effective medicines for patients suffering from cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases. Our multi-disciplinary team is comprised of experts in basic biology, clinical trials, immunity, cancer, and infectious diseases. The team’s experience in antibody development has led to dozens of drug candidates. Their accomplishments include groundbreaking research discoveries and leading new drug approvals.
Ronald A. DePinho, M.D.
Founder & Co-Chair, Scientific Advisory Board
Ronald A. DePinho, M.D. has had a distinguished career in cancer research including his role as President of the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center. During his tenure as MD Anderson’s president, Dr. DePinho conceived and launched the Cancer Moon Shots Program, maintained MD Anderson’s top ranking, dramatically enhanced its research and training excellence, recruited many world class faculty, and expanded its global network to reach one-third of the human population. His research program has made fundamental contributions to our understanding and treatment of cancer, aging and degenerative disorders. He is a member of the National Academy of Science and National Academy of Medicine and recipient of honorary degrees and many awards including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and knighthood from Portugal. Dr. DePinho has successfully founded and raised capital for numerous biotech companies including publicly traded Aveo and Karyopharm. He was an advisor for biotech firms, Epizyme and Agios as well as Abbott and GSK. He received his medical degree with distinction from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, trained in internal medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, and began his independent career at Einstein as the Feinberg Senior Scholar in Cancer Research. He then joined the faculty at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, where he was an American Cancer Society Research Professor and Founder and Director of the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science.
Alex Cranberg is an active early-stage biotech investor with strong ties to the Texas and Houston biotech ecosystem. Alex is the Chairman and Founder of Aspect Holdings, LLC. Over 30 years as a private company Aspect has a strong record managing country, business and exploration risk in the oil and gas and related industries. Aspect has been responsible for significant discoveries in the US, Central and South America, Europe and the Middle East. Alex is also an active biotech investor in several early-stage companies. He served on The University of Texas System Board of Regents ultimately as Chairman of the Health Affairs Committee and also served on the Board of the Texas Medical Center. He holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University and a BS in Petroleum Engineering from University of Texas at Austin.
Jeno Gyuris, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President / Chief Scientific Officer & Director
Jeno Gyuris Ph.D., is Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Gyuris brings over 25 years of scientific leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and a deep understanding of basic cancer research and translational biology as well as oncology drug discovery and development. A veteran of the Cambridge biotech cluster, Dr. Gyuris currently serves as the Chief Scientific Officer of Tvardi Therapeutics and has held a number of scientific leadership positions, including Chief Scientific Officer of Aveo Pharmaceuticals, Quiet Therapeutics, and Trieza Therapeutics. Dr. Gyuris received his Ph.D. from the University of Szeged, Hungary, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Richard Jones, Ph.D.
Richard J. Jones, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Lymphoma & Myeloma at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Jones has extensive experience in the development of novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of Lymphoma and Myeloma, with particular focus on the development of antibody based approaches for treatment. The current work of Dr. Jones has focused on Intravenous Immunoglobulin G (IVIgG), this polyclonal human antibody mixture is widely used in the clinical setting for immune disorders. However, through extensive work, we have found that IVIgG contains multiple different IgG that have a therapeutic effect against a variety of cancer types. The target of these novel IgG have now been identified and developed as monoclonal antibody therapies for treatment in a variety of cancers including those of the breast, colon and pancreas. The preclinical evaluation of these new therapies are now being formulated into human versions in preparation for translation into the clinic. Dr. Jones earned his PhD as a Medical Research Council graduate scholar at the University of Birmingham’s (UK) Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences (formally the CRUK Institute for Cancer Studies), working on gene therapy for herpes virus associated malignancies. This was followed by a post-doctoral position in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and then subsequent move to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
Amit Rakhit, , M.D., M.B.A.
Amit Rakhit is Chief Executive Officer at Sporos, a privately held biotech company with four subsidiary companies and internal biodiscovery that aims to catalyze the rapid development of breakthrough therapies that target novel disease mechanisms in cancer, fibrosis, inflammation, and immune-related diseases.
Prior to Sporos, he was President at Ovid Therapeutics (NASDAQ: OVID), a publicly traded biotechnology company focused on developing medicines for people living with rare neurologic conditions. Amit is a senior healthcare executive with over 20 years’ experience including both clinical practice and pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry experience. Amit received his B.A. in molecular cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley, his M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine, his M.S. from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and MBA from Columbia Business School. He completed his fellowship in pediatric cardiology and was subsequently on staff at The Children’s Hospital, Boston affiliated with Harvard University.
Amit has held leadership roles across various geographies and therapeutic areas. Prior to Ovid, he was Senior Vice President and Head of Worldwide Medical at Biogen, Inc. from 2014 to 2016 where he led the medical function for marketed and pipeline compounds in disease areas such as Multiple Sclerosis, Neurodegenerative diseases, Hemophilia and was Vice President, Program Leadership from 2011 to 2014 where he led the Spinraza® and dexpramipexole programs. Earlier, he worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company for 10 years, where he held several roles of increasing responsibility in both clinical development (Plavix® and Avapro® teams) and international medical affairs to support the development, launch, and life cycle management across the company’s portfolio that included cardiovascular, metabolics, oncology, HIV, virology, immunology, and neuroscience products.
Amit is a global citizen and has led teams in the US and internationally, having lived in Paris in a European role as well as leading a global region spanning North and South America, Middle East, Africa, Australia and Pacific Rim. He is particularly interested in patient insights and creating innovative bridges between the biotech industry, health technology, and patient community to build better capabilities that meet the needs of patients and their caregivers.
Amit is an Advisor Trustee for the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ and an Advisory member of the Healthcare Board of the Partnership Fund for New York City. He lives with his husband in New York City with their dog Luna and has been involved with several activities including working with Mother Teresa at the Missionaries of Charity (Kolkata), a volunteer as a suicide prevention counselor for the Trevor Project, and a co-founder of KoMocean swimwear.
Robert Z. Orlowski, M.D., Ph.D.
Founder & Co-Chair, Scientific Advisory Board
Robert Z. Orlowski, PhD, MD, is the Florence Maude Thomas Cancer Research Professor and Past Chair of the Department of Lymphoma & Myeloma at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Orlowski is internationally recognized for his basic, translational, and clinical research contributions in hematologic malignancies in general, and plasma cell dyscrasias, including multiple myeloma, in particular. His research teams have been especially involved in understanding the role of components of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and associated mechanisms, including Heat shock proteins (HSPs), in tumor pathobiology, and in their viability as therapeutic targets. These studies have involved the pre-clinical development of novel drugs and rationally designed combinations that were then translated to the clinic in phase I-III clinical trials, leading to multiple regulatory approvals and improved outcomes for tens of thousands of patients. He obtained both an M.D. and a Ph.D., the latter in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, at the Yale University School of Medicine and Yale University Graduate School, respectively. Then, after completing his Residency at the Washington University in St. Louis’ Barnes Hospital, he performed fellowships in Adult Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, respectively. Prior to arriving at MD Anderson, he was the Lenvel Lee Rothrock Associate Professor in Hematology/Oncology and Pharmacology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.