Steve Potts, PhD, MBA
Cofounder, CEO & Director
Steve Potts, PhD, MBA (Cofounder & CEO) leads OncoMyx. Steve has worked in the biopharma industry since 1999 and has had experience in a wide range of areas, including product development, sales, marketing, and general management. He has a proven track record of success, with his last three companies all with significant shareholder returns. He was Vice President of Medical Affairs at Ignyta, which was acquired by Roche for $1.7B, and he led the global operation of the testing of 30,000 patients in an oncology basket trial for entrectinib in 15 countries. The molecule was the first in industry to receive breakthrough designation equivalents in USA, Europe, and Japan. Prior to Ignyta, he bootstrapped his first company as founding CEO, Flagship Biosciences, to 75 employees and an exit for his investors. He was General Manager Life Sciences at Aperio, which exited to Danaher for $180M. He also built the Bioinformatics Department for a Fortune 500 Company, Quest Diagnostics, which subsequently delivered $1B of annual revenue. He earned a BS in Physics from Wheaton College, Illinois and PhD in Biological Engineering and MBA from the University of California Davis.
Michael Wood, MBA
Cofounder & COO
Michael Wood, MBA (Cofounder & COO) leads strategy, finance, corporate development, legal, and operations. Michael initially trained as a scientist with research roles at the Salk Institute, University of California Berkeley/Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and University of California San Francisco. He began his business career as an investment banker (Morgan Stanley) and management consultant (Tenet Healthcare), then he rotated through sales, marketing, and business development in Big Pharma (Abbott Laboratories/Abbvie) while earning the company’s All-Star (top 1%) sales award and helping to launch two blockbuster (billion dollar) drugs, and subsequently he worked in business development and operational roles of increasing responsibility at both public and private biotech companies (Orexigen Therapeutics & aTyr Pharma) while helping to drive a variety of deals including a billion dollar partnership between Orexigen and Takeda. Most recently, he was Vice President of Corporate Development & Operations at Crinetics Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CRNX), where he joined ex-Neurocrine Biosciences drug hunters to help orchestrate a $40M series A and lead company operations. He earned a BS in Molecular & Cell Biology, summa cum laude and phi beta kappa, from UC Berkeley, where his boat won the rowing national championship, and MBA from the University of Chicago.
Leslie Sharp, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Leslie Sharp, PhD (CSO) leads scientific activities and development of IND candidates. Trained as an immunologist, Leslie joined the immuno-oncology team at Pfizer, where she spent five years in progressively expanding areas of responsibility in the design and development of IO biologics. She has worked on multiple discovery oncology drug programs in pharmaceutical and biotech settings including GNF (Novartis), BioAtla, and CYBIOS. She is an accomplished scientific and strategic leader with extensive experience in drug discovery and development. She has a strong track record of building high performing teams and delivering results and is a highly motivated leader capable of effectively working in dynamic multi-disciplinary teams. She earned a BS from University of Utah and PhD in Biology from University of California, San Diego.
James Burke, MD
James Burke, MD (Medical Advisor) advises the company on clinical development. James has advised Turnstone Biologics, served as Chief Medical Officer at Sillajen Biotherapeutics and Vice President of Clinical Research at Jennerex. James oversaw global clinical development for Sillajen including design and oversight of clinical trials of gene and immunotherapy agents for hepatocellular carcinoma (now in Phase 3), renal cell carcinoma, colorectal cancer, and various other solid tumors. James has over 15 years of preclinical and clinical experience in the field of gene and immunotherapy including work with various oncolytic virus platforms, tumor vaccines, and other gene therapy related agents. Prior to SillaJen and Jennerex, he was Associate Director of Clinical Research at Cell Genesys and Director of Clinical Research at a regional cancer center. James earned a BS in Biochemistry from University of California, San Diego and MD from Georgetown University. He completed a general internal medicine residency at University of California, San Diego followed by a Hematology-Oncology Fellowship at University of California, San Francisco. James is Board Certified in both Hematology and Oncology.
Georg Roth, PhD
Georg Roth, PhD (CMC Advisor) advises the company on manufacturing. Georg served as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Technical Operations at SillaJen Biotherapeutics, where he was responsible for managing U.S. operations and heading all technical functions for the development of oncolytic viruses. Prior to SillaJen, he worked as Vice President of Technical Operations at Jennerex, with responsibilities in process development, analytical development, and manufacturing of oncolytic viruses. Georg was Director of Technical Affairs at Dynavax and also established an international consulting company specializing in bioprocess technology. He also held positions of increasing responsibility at Berlex Laboratories. Altogether Georg has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Georg earned a diploma and PhD in Chemical Engineering from Technical University Berlin, Germany.
Ursula Fritsch, PharmD
Ursula Fritsch, PharmD (Regulatory Advisor) advises the company on regulatory affairs, quality and compliance issues. Ursula served as Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at SillaJen Biotherapeutics where she was responsible for managing regulatory and quality compliance. Ursula led SillaJen’s global regulatory strategy and worldwide regulatory negotiations for the company’s lead Phase 3 product (Pexa-Vec) and other projects at various stages of development. Prior to her position at SillaJen, she served as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Jennerex. She led the regulatory function at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Anthera Pharmaceuticals and, Peninsula Pharmaceuticals and had positions of increasing responsibility at Genentech. She has over 25 years of experience in managing regulatory affairs, compliance, and quality. Ursula earned a BA from University of Nebraska and PharmD from Creighton University.
Matt Fust, MBA
Matt Fust, MBA (Finance Advisor) advises the company on financial matters. He is currently a board member and advisor to life sciences companies. Matt retired as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, where he served through its acquisition by Amgen. Matt served as Chief Financial Officer at Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Perlegen Sciences. Previously, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at ALZA Corporation. Matt serves on the board of directors of the following publicly traded companies: Crinetics, Dermira, Atara, MacroGenics, and Ultragenyx. Matt previously served on the board of directors at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals. Matt earned a BA from University of Minnesota and MBA from Stanford University.
Grant McFadden, PhD
Cofounder, Research Advisor, & Director
Grant McFadden, PhD (Founder, Research Advisor & Director) advises the company on the myxoma virus (MYXV) platform. Grant is one of the top global leaders in oncolytic viruses with a specialization in pox viruses, including myxoma. He was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2004, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2005, and the American Academy of Microbiology in 2007. Dr. McFadden is currently a Professor at Arizona State University and is the Director of the Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines, and Virotherapy (B-CIVV). He was until recently the co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal PLoS Pathogens, is currently a Senior Editor at Journal of Molecular Therapy – Oncolytics, and was the President of the American Society for Virology 2015-16. He is also a standing member of the Organizing Committee for the recurring International Oncolytic Virus Congress (IOVC) meetings. Grant’s lab studies how poxviruses that cause immunosuppression interact with the host immune system. The McFadden lab pioneered the field of viral immune subversion (also called “anti-immunology”) and is credited with the discovery of a wide spectrum of virus-derived inhibitors of the immune system. His lab also investigates host-virus tropism, and the deployment of poxviruses for oncolytic virotherapy for the treatment of cancer, particularly with a rabbit-specific poxvirus called myxoma virus (MYXV). Grant has published over 380 scientific papers and reviews. He earned a BSc and PhD in Biochemistry from McGill University.
John Wallen, JD, PhD
Intellectual Property Advisor
John Wallen, JD, PhD (Intellectual Property Advisor) advises the company on intellectual property matters. John specializes in creating and helping to execute the IP strategy for emerging biotech companies. He is currently VP of Intellectual Property at Avidity Biosciences and an advisor at Crinetics Pharmaceuticals and Vividion Therapeutics. Previously, he held the position of Vice President, Intellectual Property & Corporate Legal at Ambrx. John was a partner in the Technology/Intellectual Property, Life Sciences, and Patent Litigation groups of the law firm Preston Gates & Ellis LLP in San Diego. John served as a patent attorney in the law department of Johnson & Johnson. He worked for Merck, serving first as a scientist and then as a patent agent. John is a patent attorney registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office. John earned a BS in Biology from State University of New York College at Oswego, MS in Clinical Microbiology from Long Island University, JD from Seton Hall Law School, and PhD in Molecular Biology from University of Pennsylvania.