Dr. Henry Ji,
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Henry Ji, Ph.D., co-founded and has served as a director of Sorrento since January 2006, and as its Chief Executive Officer and President since September 2012. Dr. Ji served as Sorrento’s Chief Scientific Officer from November 2008 to September 2012 and as its Interim Chief Executive Officer from April 2011 to September 2012.
Dr. Ji served as VP of Sales and Business Development at CombiMatrix, and was responsible for strategic technology alliances. From 1999 to 2001, Dr. Ji served as Director of Business Development, and in 2001 as VP of Business Development at Stratagene (later acquired by Agilent Technologies), a biotechnology company. In 1997, Dr. Ji co-founded Stratagene Genomics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stratagene Corporation, and served as its President and Chief Executive Officer and Director from its founding until 1999.
Dr. Ji obtained his Ph.D. in Animal Physiology from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in Biochemistry from Fudan University. He held many executive positions in biotechnology and life sciences companies during his career.
Jerome B. Zeldis, M.D., Ph.D.,
Chief Medical Officer and President of Clinical Research, Medical Affairs and Regulatory
Dr. Jerome (“Jerry”) Zeldis, joins Sorrento after a nearly 20-year career at Celgene during which he was instrumental in growing Celgene into one of the leading global biopharmaceutical companies. Most recently, Dr. Zeldis held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Celgene Global Health and Chief Medical Officer of Celgene.
Dr. Zeldis received his medical training in Internal Medicine at the UCLA Center for the Health Sciences and was a clinical and research fellow in gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Additionally, he served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California, a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Cornell Medical School, and a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, NJ.
Dr. Zeldis holds BA and MS degrees from Brown University, and M.Phil., M.D., and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University. Dr. Zeldis has published 122 peer-reviewed articles and is a named inventor on 43 US patents.
Jiong Shao, M.B.A.,
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Jiong Shao is an 18-year veteran in investment banking who has held a number of senior positions with several global leading investment banks in both New York and Hong Kong.
During his banking career, Jiong led a number of financing transactions including IPOs in both the New York and Hong Kong capital markets, serving key corporations including Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu. He raised billions of dollars from investors in support of those companies. Specifically, from 2015 to 2017, Jiong served as Managing Director, Head of China Technology, Internet, and Media (TIM) investment banking at Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong. Prior to that time, from 2010 to 2015, he held various Managing Director positions at Macquarie Capital including Head of China TIM investment banking and Head of pan-Asia TIM research, also in Hong Kong. Jiong started his investment banking career with Lehman Brothers in New York as an equity research analyst covering global leading technology companies, including Cisco and he was ranked as a top analyst by institutional investors over multiple years. Jiong holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Shanghai Jiaotong University and an MBA from Duke University.
Dr. Gunnar F. Kaufmann,
Senior Vice President of Immunotherapy & Head of Research and Global Partnerships
Dr. Gunnar F. Kaufmann is currently the Senior Vice President of Immunotherapy & Head of Research and Global Partnerships at Sorrento Therapeutics.
Prior to joining Sorrento, he was on faculty at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) studying antibody and vaccine immunotherapies as well as the interplay between pathogens and host innate immunity. Dr. Kaufmann still holds an adjunct faculty position at TSRI. He has co-authored 50 peer-reviewed publications and been a member and chairperson of NIH study sections.
Dr. Kaufmann obtained his M.S. in Human Biology from University of Greifswald (Germany) and his Ph.D. in Macromolecular and Cellular Structure and Chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla.
Deborah H. Telman,
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Deborah H. Telman is Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Ms. Telman will be responsible for leading Sorrento’s legal, intellectual property, compliance, human resource and quality functions and will report directly to Dr. Henry Ji, Chairman, President and CEO. Ms. Telman will also serve as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Scilex Pharmaceuticals.
Before joining Sorrento, Ms. Telman served as a senior executive at several global public companies, including Abbott Laboratories where she was the Divisional Vice President and Associate General Counsel for the International Legal Operations responsible for all commercial legal activity around the globe. During her time at Abbott, Ms. Telman also led the successful spin and separation of AbbVie. Previously Ms. Telman was Vice President and General Counsel at Johnson Controls North America, Chief Counsel Mergers & Acquisitions for The Boeing Company and Partner at Winston & Strawn.
Ms. Telman earned a Juris Doctorate from Boston University School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Alexis Nahama, D.V.M.,
Vice President of Corporate Development and President Ark Animal Health
Dr Alexis Nahama is currently Vice-President, Corporate Development, and President of Ark Animal Health (a fully owned subsidiary of Sorrento).
As a member of the executive leadership team, Dr Nahama supports strategy development, oversees high value drug developments, facilitates go to market tactical preparation, and nurtures internal/external partnerships and collaborative efforts. He also passionately drives the translational opportunities to bring new Sorrento technologies into animal health for pets.
He is a 1995 graduate from the Maisons-Alfort Veterinary School (Paris, France). His broad career experience includes pharmaceutical/biotech research & development, diagnostics, medical data and marketing systems, business development and pet food marketing. Alexis has over 20 years of expertise with global animal health products and services, marketing to professionals and consumers, including direct to consumer (acquisition and retention programs) to millions of pet owners. He has held many executive level positions, and most recently served as head of marketing for VCA (Nasdaq: Woof), a publicly traded operator of over 650 veterinary facilities (13K employees) for over 7 years.
Dr. Hui Li,
Vice President of Business Development and General Manager of China Operations
Dr. Hui Li is currently Vice President of Business Development and General Manager of China Operations, a subsidiary of Sorrento Therapeutics. In this role, Dr. Li is responsible for Sorrento’s partnership set up and licensing negotiations, as well as operation of Sorrento’s Chinese subsidiaries.
Prior to joining Sorrento, he was CEO at Levena BioPharma, a biotech company focused on antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) discovery and production.
From 2010 to 2015, Dr. Li served as Executive Director of business development at PPD and Head of Business Development at its discovery unit, BioDuro. Before PPD/BioDuro, Dr. Li spent 10 years at Pfizer Global Research & Development, La Jolla Laboratories and has led research programs in a number of disease areas including oncology, metabolic diseases, anti-viral, and ophthalmology. He is a co-inventor of Filibuvir (PF-00868554), a Hepatitis C Virus polymerase inhibitor advanced into Phase II clinical trials and MS-553, an oral therapy for diabetic retinopathy, which has been out-licensed to Ming Sight for clinical development in both the United States and China.
Dr. Li obtained his B.S degree from Peking University and Ph.D. in chemistry from University of California, San Diego.
Mark R. Brunswick, Ph.D.,
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality
Dr. Mark Brunswick has over 35 years of experience in Regulated Industry including over 9 years in the US FDA, Center for Biologics, Division of Monoclonal Antibodies.
Most recently, Dr. Brunswick was Head of Regulatory Affairs and Quality at Sophiris Bio, a company developing a drug for benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer. Prior to that he was head of Regulatory Affairs at Arena Pharmaceuticals, a company specializing in therapies directed at G Protein receptors and led the regulatory group at Elan Pharmaceuticals concentrating on Alzheimer Disease and the pain compound, ziconotide.
He obtained his Ph.D. from University College London, University of London.
Robert Knight, M.D.,
Vice President of Clinical Research
Dr. Robert Knight is a Hematologist/Oncologist with over 25 years of Pharmaceutical Industry experience. He has participated in the development of therapeutic agents for both hematologic malignancies and solid tumor cancers.
Most recently, Dr. Knight was a Corporate Vice President at Celgene Corporation in Clinical Research focused on the development of novel treatments for hematologic malignancies and the study of the occurrence of second primary malignancies in cancer patients.
He obtained his medical degree from the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY.
Stephen L. Klincewicz, D.O., M.P.H., J.D.
Vice President of Pharmacovigilance and Clinical Operations
Steve has over 20 of years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has previously held position with Mesoblast Ltd, Bayer HealthCare Consumer Care Division, Johnson and Johnson, and Astra Zeneca.
Prior to entering the industry, Steve worked in medical and business development positions in occupational and environment medicine for several US Hospital was primary care physician and flight surgeon with the U.S Air Force.
He received his B.A. (Hons) from McGill University, his medical degree from Des Moines University, his Master in Public Health degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin and his J.D. from Widener University. He formerly served as an Epidemiologic Intelligence Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and a recent graduate of the Program for Leadership Development at the Harvard Business School.
Vice President of Sales and Business Development
Bill Farley, Vice President Sales and Business Development has over 30 years’ experience in the Business Development, Sales and leading efforts in drug discovery, development and partnering.
Prior to joining Sorrento Therapeutics, Mr. Farley has held leadership positions at HitGen Ltd, Vice President of Key Accounts for WuXi Apptec, Inc. building and leading a global BD team, VP of BD at ChemDiv, leading numerous efforts to create new therapeutic companies in CNS, Oncology and Anti-infectives. Mr. Farley has served as a consultant to various executive management teams and BODs to develop and commercialization assets with likes of Xencor, Caliper Technologies and Stratagene. He has robust business relationships throughout major pharmaceutical companies, biotech and the Venture Capital community. Mr. Farley has spoken at numerous conferences and is published in variety of journals. Mr. Farley received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from State University of New York, Oswego and graduate courses at Rutgers and UC Irvine.