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©2017 BY VENN THERAPEUTICS LLC.

Tampa, FL, USA

OUR TEAM

Sam Shrivastava

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board

 

Sam Shrivastava has served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors since 2016. Prior to Venn Therapeutics, Mr. Shrivastava founded Blackbird Biofinance, LLC, in 2014. Mr. Shrivastava is a former banker focused on operational excellence and six sigma principles. Over the last 15 years, Mr. Shrivastava has followed the biotechnology and pharmaceutical field as a private investor and has developed a keen interest in partnering with academic medical institutions to translate compelling pre-clinical science into breakthrough therapies.

 

Mr. Shrivastava holds two Masters Degrees, one in Technology & Management from East Tennessee State University and another in Theology from Erskine Theological Seminary. He studied Mechanical Engineering for his Bachelor’s Degree from the National Institute of Technology in India.

Joseph Lobacki

President and Chief Operating Officer

 

Mr. Lobacki has 30 plus years of experience working within the pharma and biotech industry, which have been marked by an impressive history of success and delivering significant shareholder value. Notably, Mr. Lobacki was the chief commercial officer at Medivation prior to its acquisition by Pfizer for $14.0B in September, 2016. Mr. Lobacki was also the senior vice president and general manager for Genzyme’s transplant and oncology division, prior to its acquisition by Sanofi for $20.0B in 2011. He has a proven track record of delivering business results while managing large and complex pharmaceutical divisions.

 

He holds a B.S. in biology from Boston College and a B.S. in pharmacy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy.

James W. Leahy, Ph.D.

Director of Medicinal Chemistry

 

Dr. James Leahy was hired in 2017 to serve as Venn Therapeutics' Director of Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Leahy is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of South Florida and a member of the Florida Center of Excellence for Drug Discovery and Innovation (CDDI) with an appointment in the Department of Molecular Medicine in the Morsani College of Medicine. Dr. Leahy will continue to hold these positions while working with Venn Therapeutics. 

 

Previously, Dr. Leahy spent 14 years at Exelixis as the Senior Director of Chemistry. While there, he oversaw the discovery of more than a dozen compounds that entered clinical trials. To date, his work has resulted in 3 FDA approved cancer drugs as well as many candidates that are still in late stage clinical trials.

Dr. Leahy began his career as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. He completed his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of South Florida and completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

T. Shantha Raju, Ph.D.

Head of Research and Development

T. Shantha Raju, Ph.D., is a proven research and development executive with expertise in building and advancing highly effective discovery programs. With more than 20 years of experience at leading companies including Genentech, Johnson & Johnson, and Medimmune, Dr. Raju has a successful track record of drug development in multiple therapeutic areas. 

Specifically, Dr. Raju has worked on all stages of development - from discovery to licensing and beyond. He has experience with both biological and small molecule drug development and has developed an expertise in structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies. He also has a strong regulatory background, having worked extensively with Investigational New Drug (IND) filings and Biologics Licensing Applications (BLA). He has worked extensively on addressing the Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) portion of IND applications and has developed competencies in outsourcing and integrating external experts and resources with focused internal R&D teams, including management of contract research and manufacturing projects. 

 

Dr. Raju obtained his Ph.D. in bio-organic chemistry and has helped in the development of numerous patented therapies. He also has 48 peer-reviewed scholarly publications and more than 150 scholarly presentations.

M. Brad Hill

Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel

 

Brad Hill began as outside counsel and advisor to Venn Therapeutics before becoming the company’s Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel in 2016. Prior to his work with Venn Therapeutics, Mr. Hill served as counsel for Blackbird Biofinance, LLC and led that company’s asset sale to CBMG in 2015. As an attorney, Mr. Hill practiced litigation and corporate law at a firm in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he was recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers. Mr. Hill also serves as a Director for The Prana Group, a global nutraceutical consultancy. Overall, Mr. Hill brings an entrepreneurial spirit and a diverse skillset in areas such as labor law, taxes, compliance, and risk management.

 

Mr. Hill earned his Juris Doctor from the University Of North Carolina School Of Law and holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

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