Guo Liang Yu
Dr. Yu co-founded Epitomics Inc., an antibody based Biotechnology Company recently acquired by Abcam at $170 M. He served as Chairman, President and CEO of Epitomics Inc. for 10 years. Dr. Yu's success is driven by his scientific curiosity and a passion for translating scientific discovery to real products. His challenge is to balance his time between science and business, fun and work, family and community.
He moved from China to the US to pursue advanced training after graduating from Fudan University in 1984. He obtained his Ph.D from UC Berkeley where he contributed to the discovery of telomerase and its mechanism of action in Dr. Blackburn's lab. Drs. Blackburn and Greider received the Nobel Prize in 2009 for their discovery. After graduating, Dr. Yu joined Dr. Frederick Ausubel's lab at Harvard to pursue the question of how plants defend themselves against pathogens without an immune system. He identified the first plant disease resistance gene.
In 1993, Dr. Yu became one of the first Senior Scientists to join Human Genome Sciences Inc., when genomics was still in its infancy, to identify human genes for drug discovery. Among several important drug targets he studied, he successfully identified BLys as the first genomic target for the development of a lupus antibody (Benlysta was approved by the FDA in 2010).
In 1998, Dr. Yu was attracted by the idea of identifying plant genes with an economic value in agriculture and in bio-energy. He became SVP of R&D at Mendel Biotechnology Inc. where his team analyzed the function of a complete set of plant transcription factors. Several valuable traits such as enhanced crop yield, disease resistance and drought tolerance were identified. It is expected that some of these technologies will be commercialized in 2014. Guo-Liang has co-authored 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles which have been referenced by the scientific community more than 6000 times. Guo-Liang is also a co-inventor of more than 200 patents. Guo-Liang is the founding president of Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association and serves on the boards of several professional organizations including Bayhelix, CABS, National Foundation of Cancer Research, Ray Wu Memorial Foundation, University of Pacific in the US and China. Dr. Yu is generous in coaching young entrepreneurs and also serves on the board of directors for six start-up companies.
Jean-Pierre Wery, Ph.D
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Prior to joining Crown Bioscience, Dr. Wery was Chief Scientific Officer at Monarch Life Sciences, a company dedicated to the discovery and development of protein biomarkers. Prior to joining Monarch, Dr. Wery spent three years at Vitae Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he was VP of Computational Drug Discovery. Before joining Vitae he worked for 12 years at Eli Lilly and Company in various scientific and management positions. Dr. Wery received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from the U. of Liege, Belgium. Following his Ph.D., he did postdoctoral studies at Purdue University with Prof. Jack Johnson. Dr. Wery has authored more than 50 abstracts and publications.
Alex Wu, Ph.D.
PRESIDENT AND CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER
Dr. Alex Wu has extensive experience in the life science industry and academic research. Before co-founding Crown Bioscience, he was CBO of Starvax International, a biotech company specialized in the development of novel therapeutic drugs for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Prior to Starvax, Alex was at Burrill & Company, a world leading life sciences merchant bank and venture capital firm. Before joining the venture capital industry, Alex was involved in several start-ups, one of which was Unimicro Technologies, Inc. He also worked for Hoffmannn-La Roche as Manager of Business Development and Strategic Planning. Dr. Wu received his B.S. from Fudan University in Shanghai, China and his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology and MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. He conducted post-doctoral research at Stanford University.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Mr. Bing Zhu is responsible for overseeing Crown Bio’s global operations. From 2010 to 2013, Mr. Zhu was the Chief Strategy Officer of LDK Solar Co., Ltd., a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and concurrently an Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of LDK Silicon & Chemicals Technology Co., Ltd., a subsidiary majority owned by LDK Solar Co., Ltd. From 2008 to 2010, Mr. Zhu was the Chief Financial Officer and a director of Chemspec International Ltd., a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
From 2005 to 2008, Mr. Zhu was with Canadian Solar Inc., whose head office is based in Suzhou, China, as Director and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to that, Mr. Zhu worked for four years in commercial banking in Toronto, Canada. From 1996 to 2000, Mr. Zhu was the Shanghai Chief Representative of Raytheon Corporation. From 1993 to 1996, Mr. Zhu was a corporate banking Account Manager for Banque Indosuez. Mr. Zhu holds an MBA from China Europe International Business School and a bachelor’s degree in business management from Zhejiang University of Technology in China.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Eva Ho is responsible for leading the company’s global finance organization and serves as a member of the company’s executive committee. Eva joined Crownbio in June 2016 as chief financial officer.
Eva has extensive finance leadership experience at multinational corporations across several industries. Before joining Crownbio, she served as CFO for TWi Pharmaceutical, CFO and Spokesperson for Acer Computer, EVP and CFO for Testrite Group. Prior to that, she held senior finance positions with Sun Microsystems and Oracle.
Eva holds a master business administration degree in accounting from University of Denver, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from National Taiwan University. Eva is a certified public accountant in the state of Colorado, USA.
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL STRATEGY, MARKETING AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Laurie Heilmann brings more than 25 years of executive leadership experience and an exceptional track record in business development optimization to her role at Crown Bioscience. Versed in the creation and development of new business channels and marketing strategies within the life sciences industry, Heilmann has led initiatives in biotech, drug development, medical devices and health care technologies. Her diverse therapeutic background particularly in oncology and metabolism - is essential for proffering Crown's preclinical services and products worldwide for biotech and pharmaceutical companies.
Before joining Crown, Heilmann held senior positions in prominent drug and device development companies and was an executive director at Strong-Bridge Consulting, where she created the firm's health care and life sciences practice. She also helped establish the for-profit division of the American College of Radiology in her role as vice president of global sales and business development at Image Metrix, and she achieved 140 percent of goal sales in the company's first fiscal year.
- Led global sales and business development initiatives for enterprise-wide software solutions in numerous heath care segments, two of which resulted in successful IPOs.
- Restarted a global core ECG CRO, increased its sales tenfold and successfully positioned the company for sale.
- Cofounded and grew a niche Oncology CRO from five partners to 250 employees in less than five years and successfully sold the company a year later.
- Created and executed market strategies that generated 89 percent incremental annual sales in three years with 40 percent less-than-planned manpower.
Heilmann's synthesis of business, clinical research and technological acumen is ideal for assessing needs and assembling strategically sound, high-value solutions for Crown's clients. Her multifaceted experience from concept to commercialization - and knowledge of FDA and sponsor requirements in the US, Europe, India and Asia is vital to Crown's strategic global growth, as well as its expansion in the preclinical services market. She is an active member of numerous industry organizations, is a registered nurse and holds a bachelor's degree in business. Connect with Laurie on LinkedIn.
Yixin (Jim) Wang, M.D.
SENIOR VP CARDIOVASCULAR AND METABOLIC DISEASES (CVMD) RESEARCH; PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH (IIBR), A CROWN BIOSCIENCE COMPANY
Dr. Wang started his academic career as a postdoctoral researcher at Boston University in 1987. In 1992 he became an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee in Memphis where he worked until 1996. He has worked in several major Pharma (GSK, Roche, Schering/Bayer AG) as a Scientist, Senior Scientist and Principle Scientist from 1990 to 2008 and in a startup biotech (Arete Therapeutics, Inc.) as a director of Pharmacology from 2008 to 2009.
In 2010, he joined Crown Bioscience as the Head of CVMD research. He has authored nearly ~100 publications between research articles, invited reviewers,and book chapters, and has submitted patent applications in the areas of diabetes and metabolic diseases, heart and renal failure, hypertension, thrombosis, hemophilia, atherosclerosis and dyslipidemia, hemodynamics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, safety pharmacology, etc. He has been involved in all stages of pharmaceutical R&D, from early stage of target discovery and validation to compound (large and small molecules) discovery, selection and profilng, IND filing and clinical trials in Phase I & II.
Henry Li, Ph.D.
VP TRANSLATIONAL ONCOLOGY
Henry QX Li, Ph.D. currently leads Crown's Translational Oncology Division with platforms built on patient derived xenograft (PDX). Prior to Crown, Dr. Li has over 20 years of biopharmaceutical, as well as academic R&D, experiences in cancer and viral infection, including leadership roles as R&D Director/Senior Director in several US-based biotech companies. Dr. Li currently holds visiting Professor position at Peking University-State Key Laboratory. He earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology/Biochemistry from University of California (Irvine) and completed his postdoctoral training at UCLA School of Medicine. He has published more than 50 manuscripts and edited 3 books in the biopharmaceutical areas. He is on the editorial board of Current Signal Transduction Therapy.