Jay B. Lichter, Ph.D. currently serves as the company’s Board Chairman. Dr. Lichter, a biotechnology and pharmaceutical business executive has over 20 years experience in management, scientific research and business development. Dr. Lichter has participated in licensing or M&A; deals valued in excess of $1 billion. He is currently a Managing Director at Avalon Ventures and in that capacity is on the Board of Directors of aFRAXis, Carolus, Otonomy, Incode and Akesis. He is an observer at Syndax Board meetings. Until November 2008, Dr. Lichter served as President and CEO of Akesis Pharmaceuticals, a developer of patent protected diabetes drugs. He remains on the board of directors as Executive Chairman. In 2004, Dr. Lichter co-founded Sytera, Inc., and served as Vice President of Operations and Business Development which was acquired by Sirion Therapeutics, Inc. in July 2006.
Early in his career, Dr. Lichter was a co-founder of Sequana Therapeutics, a genomics-base drug discovery company. Dr. Lichter led negotiations in the development and management of collaborations with numerous pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies across many therapeutic areas. In 2000, Dr. Lichter co-founded and was CEO of Xenopharm, a drug safety company where he drove the development of the company and its ultimate acquisition by Deltagen. He served in management positions at Sequenom, Pfizer and Genset. Upon completing his Ph.D. in 1990, Dr. Lichter held a postdoctoral position in Human Genetics at Yale University, where he received broad training in areas of classical human genetics, clinical genetics & bioinformatics. During his 2 year tenure at Yale, Dr. Lichter continued his postdoctoral work at DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co., where he focused on pharmacogenetics. Dr. Lichter received a B.S. and Ph.D. from the Univ. of Illinois.
Robin M. Jackman, Ph.D.,
President and Chief Executive Officer
Robin M. Jackman joined the company as President and CEO in August 2009. Dr. Jackman is a biopharmaceutical executive with over 16 years of experience in business development, finance, clinical development, and scientific research. He has led or participated in over 80 life science partnership, financing, and M&A; transactions collectively valued at over $11 billion.
From 2004 until joining Zacharon he was at the biotechnology company Vical, initially as Vice President of Business Development where he formed a partnership for the company’s lead drug, and later as Senior Vice President of Business Operations where he ran the oncology division including completing an early stage clinical trial and launching and enrolling a Phase 3 worldwide registration clinical trial encompassing over 120 clinical sites in 15 countries. Previously he was an executive with Sequenom, a company focused on developing genetic diagnostic and therapeutic products, where he worked primarily on business development and strategic initiatives. Earlier in his career he was an investment banker with the Robertson Stephens unit at Bank of America as Vice President of Corporate Finance, Life Sciences. While at Robertson Stephens, he worked closely with life science companies ranging from small venture-backed startups to large multinational pharmaceutical companies, providing strategic advice and managing private and public financings.
Dr. Jackman holds graduate degrees from Harvard Medical School and Harvard University, and an undergraduate degree from Stanford University.
Charles A. Glass, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Senior V.P Research
Dr. Glass founded Zacharon to develop drugs that inhibit glycans, a novel class of drug targets that are under-recognized in the pharmaceutical industry. His experience and vision have steered Zacharon to continually add value to its scientific portfolio and to attract top quality scientists and advisors.
As a Senior Scientist at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute (PRI, La Jolla) (1994 -1999) he recognized the intense competition for novel drug targets. Dr Glass saw an opportunity in the glycan field where there is an entire class of untapped scientifically validated drug targets.
Dr. Glass studied glycans (Assistant Project Scientist 1999 – 2004) with Dr Jeff Esko at UCSD and co-founded Zacharon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2004. By focusing the company on the development of the companies’ proprietary high throughput inhibitor screen, Zacharon opened the class of glycan targets to drug development. This value approach has enabled Zacharon to attain numerous NIH grants and more recently Venture Capital funding from Avalon Ventures.
Dr. Glass received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. His graduate work, his postgraduate research with Dr. Elaine Fuchs at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (1984 – 1988) and his research as a Senior Scientific Associate at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA (1988-1994) focused on key classes of proteins in cell differentiation and development.
Timothy Scott, J.D.
Founder and President, Pharmatek Laboratories, San Diego, California.
Tim Scott is co-founder and President of Pharmatek Laboratories, Inc., a drug development company in San Diego. He is also a co-founder of Diakron Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company focused on cardiovascular disease. Mr. Scott serves on the Board of Directors for Orphagen Pharmaceuticals, an orphan nuclear receptor discovery company. He serves as immediate past president of the Board of Trustees for The Children School, an independent school located in La Jolla, California. He is a trustee of La Jolla Youth Baseball. He earned his B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego. He earned his J.D. from the University of San Diego and is a member of the California Bar.
Court Turner, J.D.
Court R. Turner, J.D. joined Avalon Ventures as an Advisor in January 2008, focusing on the formation and strategic operations of the Avalon VIII portfolio companies. Within that role, Mr. Turner is the President, CEO and Director of Carolus Therapeutics, Inc. and the Chief Operating Officer of Afraxis, Inc., Zacharon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Avelas Biosciences, Inc. and Otonomy, Inc. Prior to joining the Avalon team, Mr. Turner spent over a decade of his career within companies in the San Diego biotechnology community. Starting in 1997, Mr. Turner joined Aurora Biosciences Corporation (acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals in 2001) in its Legal and Strategic Alliances departments focused on technology licensing, business development and a myriad of corporate legal matters facing a public company, including SEC filings and M&A; transactions. In June 2002, Mr. Turner joined Kalypsys, Inc. a then start-up small molecule drug discovery company. During his tenure at Kalypsys, the company grew from 15 to over 125 employees with an impressive product pipeline and three rounds of financing totaling over $170M. Mr. Turner was a member of the Kalypsys Executive Management Team. Mr. Turner received a Bachelor's Degree from San Diego State University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law.