Purnanand Sarma, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Purnanand Sarma serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Immunome. Sarma brings more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of pharmaceutical industry business across multiple R&D platforms, ranging from venture-backed biotechnology start-ups to large cap pharmaceutical companies. He was most recently the President & CEO of Taris Biomedical, which he built over the last nine years into a leader in therapeutic urology, focused on diseases such as bladder cancer and overactive bladder. In addition to raising more than $100M in equity capital, he also sold one of Taris’ products to Allergan (NYSE:AGN) in a deal worth up to $587M. Prior to Taris, Sarma was the VP and General Manager of World-wide Drug Delivery Technologies for Cephalon Corporation (NYSE:CEPH). Before joining Cephalon, he spent over 10 years in various capacities at Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR), including VP of Drug Development & Program Management and built the entire green field operation of Nektar Therapeutics (India), serving as its first Managing Director. He started his career at SmithKline Beecham in King of Prussia, PA, after earning his PhD in Pharmaceutics from the University of Minnesota and B. Pharm from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India. Sarma also serves as an independent Board member at Vaxess Technologies Inc.
Michael J. Morin, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Mike Morin, PhD, has had a productive career in cancer research, with a long-standing commitment to improving patient care. As Vice President in Pfizer Global R&D, he led Antibacterials, Immunology and Cancer drug discovery in Groton, CT. During his extensive Pfizer career, Mike had oversight for the discovery of approximately 40 clinical candidates, many of which are progressing in active development. Most notable among those activities was his direct leadership in the discovery through Phase 2 proof-of-concept for erlotinib (TarcevaTM), a small molecule inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase (a blockbuster drug marketed by Roche and Astellas). Additional candidates from his teams, both monoclonal antibodies and small molecules, have also achieved full development status and are moving through late-stage clinical trials and NDA filings. Since 2008, Mike worked as an advisor and as a C-level interim leader of venture-backed biotechnology companies, including Supportive Therapeutics (CEO) and Onkaido (CSO). Mike remains a committed supporter of academic cancer programs at the local and national levels, and he continues to contribute to the peer-review process within the cancer research community. This includes many years of service as co-chair of the NCI Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) review panel, chair of the Drug Discovery Initiative of the Children’s Tumor Foundation, and the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Ontario Institute of Cancer Research and of the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation. Mike also serves as an executive advisor for the sciences and new ventures at UMass Lowell, where he is also an adjunct professor in the Kennedy College of Sciences. Mike received his baccalaureate in Biological Sciences from UMass Lowell and his PhD in Cancer Pharmacology from SUNY Buffalo (Roswell Park Graduate Division). He was an NIH postdoctoral fellow with Professor Alan Sartorelli at the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dennis Giesing, PhD
Chief Development Officer
Dennis Giesing, PhD, having joined the company from Johnson & Johnson. Previously he served as Chief Scientific Officer at Taris Biomedical for nearly 12 years, heading the development of innovative treatments for bladder diseases including overactive bladder and bladder cancer, leading to its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson in 2019. Prior to Taris, Dr. Giesing was Head of Pharmaceutical Development at Medivector, leading the development of treatments to combat infectious diseases, including pandemic influenza and hemorrhagic viruses. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President of Lead Optimization at Aventis Pharmaceuticals, advancing novel therapies into late-stage clinical development.
Sandra G. Stoneman
Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary
Sandra G. Stoneman is the Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of Immunome. In this role, Sandra serves as Corporate Secretary to the Board of Directors and leads the legal, corporate governance, intellectual property and human resources functions of the company. Sandra structures, negotiates and documents the company’s collaborations, partnerships, licenses and strategic and financing transactions. She is a seasoned legal advisor, with more than 20 years of experience advising high-growth companies in the life sciences, medical technologies and high-tech sectors. Prior to her role at Immunome, Sandra was an attorney at the law firms of Duane Morris LLP and Dechert, and is a 1997 magna cum laude graduate of Temple University School of Law, where she was an articles editor for the Temple Law Review, and a summa cum laude graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton. Sandra has received numerous accolades for her transactional work in the life sciences field, including being continuously listed in U.S. News/Best Lawyers, Chambers USA, LMG Life Sciences and IFLR1000, and being named an Influencer of the Law by The Philadelphia Inquirer, a Best of the Bar by The Philadelphia Business Journal and a Top USA Woman Dealmaker by Global M&A Network.
Matthew K. Robinson, PhD
Senior Vice President, R&D
Matthew Robinson, PhD, has over 15 years of experience in the antibody engineering field. Previously, he was on the faculty at Fox Chase Cancer Center where he led a research laboratory developing antibody-based molecules for the detection and treatment of cancer. Matt was a co-founder of RAbD Biotech, a company focused on the computational design of antibodies. He has also served on the Scientific Advisory Boards of a number of antibody-focused biotechnology companies, including Viventia Bio (now Sesen Bio), Avipep Pty. Ltd. and Oncobiologics. He served on the steering committee for the American Association for Pharmaceutical Sciences Pharmaco-Imaging Focus Group and has served on multiple NIH, DoD and American Cancer Society study sections. He earned a BS degree in biology from Allegheny College and PhD in genetics from the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He then performed post-doctoral work at Yale University School of Medicine before joining Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Dennis Dong, PhD
Vice President, Product Development
Dennis Dong, PhD, is a seasoned biotechnology leader with more than 20 years of industry experience and contributions to the advancement of several dozen biotherapies including 5 launched mAb products. Dennis is currently serving as Vice President, Product Development of Immunome and leading the effort in the development (cell line, upstream and downstream, analytical method, formulation, and bioanalysis), manufacturing and testing of our lead monoclonal antibodies. Before joining Immumome, he was Executive Director of Process and Technology Development at WuXi Advanced Therapies, responsible for AAV and Lenti viral vector platform development and launch, and client program support, the establishment Rapid Analytics and CMC groups, and regulatory activities. Prior to that he was Senior Director of a new BioManufacturing company, MTA2 (now 8BioMed), in charge of building GMP manufacturing facility, QC lab, and the team. Dennis’ Biologics and Vaccine R&D career also led him successfully for many years at Novo Nordisk, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Sanofi and Teva, with increasing responsibilities, covering in Biologics discovery, process development, CMC, Biosimilar, Bioanalysis, project management and operation. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship training from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory under Prof. Michael Wigler, and his PhD in Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology under Prof. Gerald Hart at the Johns Hopkins University School of medicine. He received B.S. in Biochemistry from Stony Brook University.
Fang Shen, PhD
Vice President, Research and Translational Biology
Fang Shen, PhD, has more than 12 years of industry experience in drug discovery and translational research. Before joining Immunome, he was Associate Scientific Director at Janssen R&D, where he led a cross-coast research team to develop novel therapeutics to treat autoimmune diseases and cancer. As a project lead, he has successfully advanced multiple small molecule and biologics projects from early discovery stage to clinical development, including JNJ-61178104, an anti-TNF/IL-17 bispecific Duobody. Prior to Janssen R&D, he had a successful career in the Immunology Department at Genentech, where he contributed to non-clinical pharmacology work on BTK inhibitors and PI3K inhibitors. Fang earned his PhD in Immunological Pharmacology at Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in China. He then performed post-doctoral work at Dr. Sarah Gaffen’s lab in the University of Buffalo and was one of the key contributors deciphering IL-17 function and IL-17 receptor signal transduction.
Senior Director, High Throughput Screening & Automation
Jillian DiMuzio brings nearly 25 years of assay development and small molecule / biologics screening expertise to her role in leading Immunome’s efforts to screen patient antibody repertoires against a vast antigen landscape. Prior to joining Immunome in 2017, Ms. DiMuzio was recruited by Idera Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA, to develop mid-scale in vitro / in vivo screens for antisense oligonucleotides and TLR agonists as therapeutics for oncology and other rare disease indications. Previously, Ms. DiMuzio began her career at Merck and Co. in West Point, PA where some of her most notable scientific achievements culminated with her co-authoring several publications, including one in Nature, on the association of Presenilin I with gamma-secretase. Additionally, Ms. DiMuzio developed an elaborate five-panel enzyme screen which led directly to the discovery and acceptance of multiple pre-clinical candidates with two realizing commercial launch for the treatment of Hepatitis C virus. Ms. DiMuzio holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Chestnut Hill College.
Benjamin Harman, PhD
Director, Target ID and Validation
Ben Harman, PhD, is a cellular immunologist with a deep understanding of immune biology in the context of solid tumors and has 10 years of industry experience focused on the development of antibody-based agents for the treatment of cancer. Prior to joining Immunome, he was a Senior Scientist at Janssen R&D, where he led a team focused on the development of T cell redirectors for cancer therapy and developed immune-based assays to predict their efficacy in vivo. Ben received a B. Sc. (Hons) in Anatomy and Human Biology from University of Liverpool, UK and then went on to earn a PhD in Immunology from University of Birmingham. After completion of his PhD, Ben performed postdoctoral work at both University of Birmingham and University of Pennsylvania before joining Janssen R&D.
Pavel Nikitin, PhD
Director, Antibody Engineering
Pavel A. Nikitin, PhD, has 7 years of industry experience in the antibody engineering and B-cell biology fields. Previously he was a Sr. Scientist at True North Therapeutics, a small startup in South San Francisco, CA that developed a monoclonal antibody Sutimlimab. After True North Therapeutics was acquired by Bioverativ and subsequently by Sanofi, Pavel led a group and a project team developing the second-generation C1s-inhibitor antibody with the improved PK profile. Prior to that Pavel was a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Emeryville, CA where he demonstrated the antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) of the anti-CMV antibody cocktail CSJ148 and contributed to the IND submission. He earned a Diploma with Honors (M.S.) in Molecular Biology from Novosibirsk State University and PhD in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology from Duke University School of Medicine.