Barbara is an accomplished clinical operations executive with over 30 years of experience at the site, CRO, and sponsor environments with significant cross-functional experience both within and across organizations. She is an energetic, enthusiastic, and results-oriented leader with demonstrated success in various settings across multiple therapeutic areas in both device and pharmaceutical programs and project management. She has a successful track record for building and implementing numerous operational, business, and quality assurance processes. Barbara earned her MSN at the University of Texas, Arlington.
Team Category: Management Team
Puneet Arora is the CMO of Lassen. Puneet is a highly regarded physician-scientist and drug developer with more than a decade of experience in the development of innovative investigational therapies and clinical leadership in small and large biotech companies. He most recently served as Head of Clinical, Inflammation and Immunology at Principia Biopharma, a Sanofi company. At Principia, he led clinical development strategy and the clinical team in the design and execution of clinical studies across the company’s portfolio. Puneet managed clinical development for lead programs including early translational development and proof of concept through late development and regulatory submissions. He played a key role in leading the pivotal study clinical and filing teams for the rilzabrutinib program in pemphigus. Prior to his time at Principia, he was Senior Medical Director of Early Clinical Development and Clinical Team Leader at Genentech Research and Early Development working across multiple therapeutic areas. He also worked at Amgen, leading clinical teams for the development of romosozumab (early stage) and denosumab (late stage). Puneet received his medical degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, completed his residency in internal medicine at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, a fellowship in endocrinology at NYU, and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Research and fellowship in Advanced Diabetology at the Mayo Clinic, as part of the Clinical Research Training Program. He is also an alumnus of the American Course on Drug Development and Regulatory Sciences (UCSF).
Jamie Swaney, Ph.D. is Vice President of Fibrosis and Translational Biology. Jamie has more than 15 years of drug development experience in tissue fibrosis/remodeling and inflammation. Prior to joining Lassen, Jamie was Executive Director and head of fibrosis at Metacrine, leading small molecule programs for NASH liver fibrosis. He began his career at Lpath Inc. where he helped advance lysophospholipid and sphingolipid antibodies for cardiac and pulmonary fibrosis and age-related macular degeneration. Following Lpath, Jamie spent several years at Amira Pharmaceuticals developing LPA receptor antagonists and autotaxin inhibitors for fibrosis.
Following the acquisition of Amira by Bristol Myers Squibb, Jamie led the in vivo fibrosis effort at BMS in San Diego as a member of BMS’s fibrosis discovery team. Jamie later joined Inception Sciences where he led in vivo and in vitro efforts to advance small molecule therapeutics in multiple fibroinflammatory disease indications. He has contributed to several patents and authored multiple peer-reviewed publications. Jamie received a Ph.D. in Molecular Pathology from the University of California at San Diego and holds an M.S. from the University of San Diego and a B.S. from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Robert Horlick, Ph.D. is Vice President of Molecular Cell Biology. Rob has more than 30 years of experience in molecular biology, molecular pharmacology and antibody drug discovery and development. Prior to joining Lassen, he was a co-founding scientist of AnaptysBio and head of Molecular Biology. He co-developed the company’s antibody discovery and somatic hypermutation platform and led the etokimab (anti-IL-33 antibody) program from inception to preclinical nomination. Rob spent 10 years at DuPont, where he focused on drug discovery for inflammatory and CNS diseases. He subsequently worked at Pharmacopeia Inc., Millennium Pharmaceuticals and X-Ceptor Therapeutics, leading small molecule drug discovery programs in inflammatory and metabolic diseases. He is an inventor on 14 issued US patents and has authored over 30 peer-reviewed articles. Rob received his Ph.D. in Biology from Johns Hopkins University, working at NIH as part of the NIH-Hopkins graduate program. He also holds a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Maryland.
Toni Jun, Ph.D. is Vice President of Preclinical Biology. She has more than 20 years of experience in both cancer and inflammation drug discovery and development programs. Prior to joining Lassen, Toni was the Senior Director of Preclinical Development at Phanes Therapeutics where she helped advance the company’s immuno-oncology programs. She began her career at Kinetix Pharmaceuticals developing small molecule kinase inhibitors for cancer and inflammation. Following the acquisition of Kinetix by Amgen, Toni spent more than a decade with Amgen, working on antibody and small molecule programs targeting cancer. Toni later headed the assay biology group at AnaptysBio, leading antibody and bispecific immuno-oncology programs, including both antagonist and agonist molecules against the immune checkpoint LAG3. She has contributed to multiple patents and peer-reviewed publications throughout her career. Toni received a Ph.D. in Virology from Harvard University and B.S. from the University of Michigan.
David King, Ph.D., is co-founder and CSO of Lassen. David is an internationally recognized expert in the discovery and development of antibody therapeutics and an experienced executive leader in the biotech industry. Prior to joining Lassen, David served as the CSO of aTyr Pharma, developing novel therapeutics based on tRNA synthetase biology, and CSO of AnaptysBio, developing antibody-based therapeutics in autoimmune diseases and oncology. David also worked at Medarex (acquired by BMS) designing and developing antibody therapeutics for oncology and autoimmune diseases and was part of the team that developed innovative therapies, including OPDIVO®, the first approved anti-PD1 therapeutic. Earlier in his career, David worked at Celltech (acquired by UCB pharma) where he contributed to the development of a number of fundamental antibody technologies and the design and development of the approved antibodies CIMZIA® and MYLOTARG®. David received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Surrey and a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Warwick.
Mark Barrett, is co-founder and CEO of Lassen. Mark is an executive leader with more than twenty years of experience in the research, development, partnering, and commercialization of innovative treatments and has held senior management positions in global biotech and pharma companies. Mark is an Entrepreneur-in-residence with Frazier Healthcare Partners where he founded Lassen. Previously, he served as Global Head of Strategy & Business Development at Sanofi Genzyme and was a member of the company’s executive leadership team responsible for managing Sanofi Genzyme’s €5 billion global business including franchises in rare diseases, immunology, multiple sclerosis, and oncology. Mark was a member of Johnson & Johnson’s global business development group responsible for a range of strategic partnering and acqusition activities. Mark has been responsible for licensing and M&A deals with an aggregate value of over $3 billion, including $125+ million in venture financings, and the creation of eight biotech startups. His business development activities have resulted in successful collaborative worldwide commercialization of blockbuster products, global co-development programs including 250,000+ patients, enabling R&D from innovative early stage research to late stage product development and commercialization. Mark holds an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.S. in Biology from Duke University