Bor-Wen Wu, PhD, MBA
President and Chief Executive Officer
Bor-Wen Wu spent 13 years as a biochemist at Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Warner-Lambert, and Pfizer. As a member of the structure-based drug design team, he made significant contribution to the development of Viracept, an HIV protease inhibitor for the treatment of HIV. In addition to working on other HIV-related projects, he also served as an oncology project leader and was a member of the Ophthalmology Strategic Planning Committee. In 2002, he founded DesigneRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pilot cGMP facility for biologics in California. In 2003, he founded TDW Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Taiwan-based pharmaceutical company developing treatments for cancer and gout. In 2006 he co-founded Polaris Group and Polaris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Wu earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine.
John Bomalaski, MD
Executive Vice President Medical Affairs
John Bomalaski co-founded Phoenix Pharmacologics, and in 2004 he joined Phoenix Pharmacologics full-time as Chief Medical Officer. Prior to that, he had been in academic medicine, rising to full professor of medicine. He has served on the faculties of Northwestern University, the Medical College of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Bomalaski earned his M.D. degree from St. Louis University, and did post-graduate training at Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania. He is board-certified in internal medicine and in rheumatology.
Amanda Johnston, PhD
Vice President Clinical Affairs
Amanda Johnston joined Polaris Pharmaceuticals in 2010 bringing with her 20 years of drug development experience in the pharmaceutical industry. She spent over 10 years at Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Warner-Lambert, and Pfizer where she led clinical and interdisciplinary project teams for oncology and ophthalmology drug candidates. Subsequently, Dr. Johnston launched a consulting business that provided drug development services to Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Companies. Her experience encompasses drug development programs in oncology, ophthalmology, CNS, and infectious disease. Dr. Johnston earned her Ph.D. in pharmacology and B.Pharm. degree from the School of Pharmacy, University of London.
Wei He, PhD
President DesigneRx (Shanghai)
Wei He has over 15 years of life science research and management experience. She joined TDW Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2005 and later established the research branch of DesigneRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Shanghai in 2007. Prior to this, Wei He worked at several biotech and pharmaceutical companies. She was involved with discovery and validation of oncology targets at Pfizer. She also was involved in genome mapping of asthma-related genes and functional analysis of obesity-related targets at Sequana Therapeutics. Dr. He earned her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California, Irvine.
Jim Thomson, PhD
Vice President Discovery Research and Development, Polaris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Jim Thomson earned a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and a M.Sc. in Chemistry, both from the University of Manitoba, and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Texas A&M University. Upon completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University, he entered the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Thomson spent 15 years as a biophysicist at Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Warner-Lambert, and Pfizer. Here he was responsible for oversight and directing the growth of the Biochemical Pharmacology Department's Biophysics Group. In addition to his managerial responsibilities, he was involved in the development of research tools, such as algorithms for the de novo design of small molecule lead compounds, and involved in the development of lead compounds into small molecule drug candidates. He also used his expertise in the area of protein stability and protein-protein interactions to make significant contributions to the development of biological drugs intended for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Dr. Thomson has held the position of chair of the Molecular Interactions Research Group of the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities, was a sessional lecturer in the Chemistry Department at the University of Manitoba, and has participated in the organization of several scientific conferences.
Archie Prestayko, PhD
Vice President Corporate Affairs
Archie Prestayko has over 25 years of experience in the discovery and development of therapeutic prescription drugs in the pharmaceutical industry. Most recently, he was Chairman and CEO of BioStratum Inc., a startup biopharmaceutical company which raised over $35M for the research and development of diabetes and cancer drugs. Prior to that, he was President and CEO of Medco Research. During his time at Medco, the company was able to obtain FDA approval for four of the six drugs in their development portfolio. Dr. Prestayko directed research and development in a number of therapeutic areas at Bristol Myers Squibb and Glaxo SmithKline. He takes great pride in his contribution to the regulatory approvals for drugs such as Cisplatinum and other platinum-based drugs. Dr. Prestayko earned his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. He subsequently held a faculty position in the Department of Pharmacology at Baylor Medical School, Houston, TX.
W. Jenny Kung, PhD
Vice President Manufacturing and Product Compliance
Jenny Kung has over 25 years of research experience in academia and industry. Prior to joining DesigneRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. she was in charge of the Protein Core Facility at UC Davis Cancer Center. Dr. Kung has also been a project leader at Miles Laboratories/ Bayer Diagnostics and a group leader at BP Research. She originally joined DesigneRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development where she was in charge of overseeing the building of a pilot cGMP facility for therapeutic biologics in Vacaville, CA. She was later promoted to President and has since been leading the DesigneRx manufacturing team in the production of ADI-PEG 20 and Uricase-PEG 20. Dr. Kung earned her Ph.D. degree from Columbia University and did her postdoctoral research work at Caltech and Stanford University.