Management

The Tmunity management team has extensive scientific, clinical, regulatory and commercial experience related to cell and gene therapies.

 

Usman “Oz” Azam, MD

Most recently, Dr. Azam was the Head of the Cell & Gene Therapies Unit at Novartis Pharmaceuticals and was a member of the Pharmaceutical Executive Committee. He has an extensive US, Global and International pharmaceutical industry background, with strong experiences in science, clinical development, regulatory and commercial activities. While at Novartis, he lived and worked in the US and Switzerland. Previous roles at Novartis included Head of Global Medical Affairs & HEOR General Medicines, Chief Scientific Officer and Head of US Clinical Development & Medical Affairs and Global Head Regulatory Affairs for the Neurosciences & Ophthalmic Franchise.

Prior to Novartis, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Novaccel Therapeutics LLC, a company he founded focusing on accelerating assets in the translational medicine setting. Prior to this he served as Chief Medical Officer at Aspreva Pharmaceutics Inc, a company that focused on orphan and rare autoimmune disease states. Aspreva was acquired by Galenica SA in 2008. Prior to this he worked at Johnson & Johnson in Pharmaceutical Research & Development and in Medical Devices at Johnson & Johnson Ethicon. He started his life sciences career with Warner Lambert-Parke Davis in 1998. Dr. Azam is a member of the Executive Committee of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Azam is a graduate of the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, where he completed undergraduate studies in Human Biology & Anatomy. He graduated from the University of Liverpool School of Medicine and attained board certification as an Obstetrician & Gynecologist in the UK.

 

Vijay Reddy, MD

Dr. Reddy has significant experience in cancer research including immuno-oncology, having started his career as a medical oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Reddy also has significant experience in oncology drug development: he developed the CAR-T cell clinical program with first-in-class targets in his most recent role with Autolus Ltd., and played a critical role bringing new therapies to market at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and GlaxoSmithKline. His prior work in cellular engineering and tumor biology – specifically in solid tumors – will support Tmunity’s strategy of investigating multiple modalities for unique, targeted antigens to speed time to the clinic for people currently out of time and options because of their cancer diagnosis. Dr. Reddy has published numerous oncology papers, and holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Sri Venkateshwara Medical College, and a Doctorate of Medicine in biochemistry from All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

 

Michael Christiano

Mr. Christiano has nearly 20 years of corporate development and transactional experience in the life sciences industry, contributing to company-building efforts in both start-up biotechnology and large pharmaceutical companies.  During this period, he led the design and negotiation of transformative license and collaboration agreements, mergers and acquisitions, and early-stage equity investments in promising start-up companies.

   
Most recently, Mr. Christiano was Vice President and Head of Transactions in Global Business Development and Licensing (BD&L) at Novartis AG.  Joining Novartis in 2010, he also held the Head of Transactions role for Novartis' Cell & Gene Therapies Unit and the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.  While at Novartis, Mr. Christiano played an instrumental role in establishing many strategically important and innovative transactions across Novartis' cell and gene portfolio, including alliances with the University of Pennsylvania (CAR-T) and Intellia Therapeutics (CRISPR).  His transactions leadership was recognized through Novartis’ President’s, Innovation and Team awards. Prior to Novartis, he held a series of increasingly senior BD&L positions at Millennium Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Takeda); AVEO Oncology, from its start-up to IPO; and as co-founder of Karyopharm Therapeutics. Mr. Christiano is a graduate of Virginia Tech and Cornell University.

 

Jason Krentz
 

Mr. Krentz has extensive technical leadership experience in the development and manufacturing of biologic and cell-based products at established and emerging pharmaceutical and biotech companies.  Most recently, Mr. Krentz was Vice President of Manufacturing Operations at Endo Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for biologic and specialty implant manufacturing, supply chain and process development operations. Prior to Endo, he was Vice President of Technical Operations and Head of CMC Project Management at Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, responsible for global manufacturing and supply chain, technical development and alliance management activities. Prior to joining Auxilium, Mr. Krentz was Head of Technical Operations at Tengion, a clinical stage developer of autologous regenerative medicine therapies.

 

Earlier in his career, Mr. Krentz worked at Centocor/Johnson & Johnson where he held positions of increasing responsibility in process technical support roles and was head of upstream manufacturing operations at a large-scale mammalian cell culture facility. He holds an MBA from St. Joseph’s University and a BS in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan.