Richard Wagner, Ph.D – President and CEO
Dr. Wagner co-founded X-Chem in 2009, and is the President, CEO, and member of the Board of Directors. He is member of the Board of Directors of Xios, Inc. and Founder and member of the Board of Directors of X-Rx, Inc., spin-out companies of X-Chem focused on oncology and inflammatory disease. In addition, he founded X-BODY, sold to Juno Therapeutics in 2015. Dr. Wagner was President and CEO of SRU Biosystems, Inc. from 2007 to 2012. Prior to joining SRU, he was Executive Vice President of Research at Praecis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he was an inventor of the DirectSelect small molecule screening technology that led to the creation of a ten billion compound screening library. Praecis was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2007. Prior to joining Praecis, Dr. Wagner started operations at Phylos, Inc. in July 1997 as Senior Vice President of Research. At Phylos he was an inventor on several technologies, including a class of antibody mimetics being developed by Bristol Myers Squibb, now called Adnectins™. Earlier, Dr. Wagner had been Director of Cell Biology and a member of management team at Gilead Sciences, Inc. Dr. Wagner received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Trinity College and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Brown University.
Matthew A. Clark, Ph.D – S.V.P., Research
Dr. Clark joined X-Chem in 2010 as VP of Chemistry, and now serves as SVP for Research. Before coming to X-Chem, Dr. Clark was Director of Chemistry at Praecis Pharmaceuticals, later acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2007, where he led a group responsible for design and synthesis of DNA-encoded chemical libraries. At Praecis, Dr. Clark played a key role in the early development and implementation of the DNA-encoded library platform. Dr. Clark received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego, and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Cornell University. He conducted post-doctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
John Cuozzo, Ph.D. – V. P., Therapeutic Discovery Sciences
Dr. Cuozzo joined X-Chem as Director of Biochemistry in 2010 and is currently Senior Director of Biochemistry and Cell Biology. After completing his post-doctoral studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Cuozzo joined the Inflammation Signaling Department at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, where he led a group that initiated and advanced multiple small molecule kinase inhibitor programs. He then joined Praecis Pharmaceuticals, later acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2007, where he was Director of Lead Discovery and was responsible for successfully identifying and characterizing small molecule leads for challenging targets from multiple therapeutic areas using DNA-encoded libraries. Immediately prior to joining X-Chem, Dr. Cuozzo led efforts to develop novel biochemical and cell-based assay platforms for metabolic disease as Director of Biology at Syndexa Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Cuozzo received his Sc.B. in Biophysics from Brown University and his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Tufts University.
Steffen Helmling, Ph.D – V.P., Business Development
Dr. Helmling joined X-Chem as Vice President of Business Development in May 2013, following his tenure at PolyMedix Inc., a clinical-stage company developing novel antibiotics, where he was Vice President of Business Development responsible for out-licensing the company’s key assets. A biochemist by training, he has significant experience in biomedical R&D in both academic and corporate settings. His background includes positions in drug discovery research, project and alliance management, and business development. Prior to PolyMedix, Dr. Helmling held various positions at NOXXON Pharma, a company developing nucleic acid-based drugs, most recently serving as Executive Vice President, Business Development. He has negotiated, executed and managed drug discovery partnerships with various pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, Roche, and Eli Lilly. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Sackler School of Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University.
Anthony D. Keefe, Ph.D. – Sr. Director, Lead Discovery
Dr. Keefe joined X-Chem in 2010 as Senior Director of Lead Discovery. From 2001 to 2009 he worked at Archemix Corp., where he developed the first ever fully modified aptamers, thus improving the therapeutic potential of such candidate antagonists by making them highly resistant to biologically-mediated degradation. From 1997 to 2001 he was a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Jack Szostak at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital, developing mRNA display technology. Dr. Keefe’s achievements in the Szostak lab include discovery of the first novel functional protein fold to have been discovered independently of biology and introduction of a novel protein affinity tag. He is an inventor on six granted U.S. patents and thirteen U.S. patent applications, and is a member of the editorial board of the journal Nucleic Acid Therapeutics.Dr. Keefe received his B.Sc. in Chemistry from Exeter University, UK, in 1985 and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Birmingham, UK, in 1989.
Ed Koval, M.B.A. – S.V.P., Corporate and Business Development
Ed Koval joined X-Chem in June 2013 as a strategic consultant and more recently as senior vice president of corporate development. Mr. Koval bring more than 20 years of strategy, business / corporate development and finance experience to the company. Drawing on in-house and consulting insights acquired during several stints in large pharma and emerging biotechs, Ed’s experience cuts across the entire R&D and commercialization value chain as well as multiple therapeutic areas and discovery platforms. His transactions, both from the buy and sell sides, include the entire range of corporate agreements, from licenses and collaborations to Joint Ventures, financings and M&A. Mr. Koval started his career at Merck as a financial analysis and licensing transaction manager. He later joined Chiron as a corporate development director and Novartis as a VP of business development and alliance management for the cardiovascular-metabolic, neuroscience and vaccine businesses. More recently Ed was head of corporate development at Veloxis, a specialty pharmaceuticals company. Mr. Koval holds a B.S. and M.S. degrees in engineering from NYU and RPI as well as an M.B.A from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Terry Loding – Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Alliances
Mr. Loding joined X-Chem in 2016 and is currently serving as the Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Alliances. Prior to joining X-Chem, Mr. Loding has held positions of increasing responsibility in clinical development services, business development and corporate strategy in both global pharmaceutical (Pharmacia) and contract research organizations (Scirex, Kendle, Cmed and PPD). From 1998 – 2010, Mr. Loding worked as data management professional serving initially as functional leader for individual clinical trials and subsequently promoted to positions of line, site and regional management ultimately leading teams of more than 350 people. In the last five years prior to joining X-Chem, Mr. Loding was at PPD where he led multiple, high value strategic partnerships as Senior Director, Alliance Management and most recently served as Executive Director, Strategic Client Solutions focusing on the delivery of a portfolio of corporate strategic projects aimed at sustaining and improving PPD’s competitiveness in the market place. Mr. Loding received a B.S. in Psychology from Loyola University Chicago and is currently pursuing his MBA at Elon University, Love School of Business.
Allison Olszewski, Ph.D. – Associate Director of Protein Biochemistry
Dr. Olszewski joined X-Chem in 2016 as Associate Director of Protein Biochemistry. She developed Avimer panning techniques against membrane-bound targets at Avidia, Inc. (acquired by Amgen in 2006) from 2006 to 2007. From 2007 to 2015 she worked at GlaxoSmithKline, where she expanded the use of DNA-encoded library technology to non-soluble targets. Before joining X-Chem, Dr. Olszewski managed the screening hit validation effort, and developed protein-protein interaction assays for the Small Molecule Assisted Receptor Targeting (SMART) technology platform at Warp Drive Bio. Dr. Olszewski received her B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Delaware in 2002, and her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry/Chemical Biology from the University of California, Irvine in 2006.
Kristin Rosner, Ph.D. – Director, Alliance & Portfolio Management
Dr. Rosner joined X-Chem in 2012 to establish its Alliance and Program Management function. While actively managing several of X-Chem’s research alliances, Dr. Rosner developed many of X-Chem’s Alliance Management foundational processes and procedures. Her approach to Alliance Management has created a differentiated experience for X-Chem’s partners, directly contributing to the expansion of many existing collaborations. Dr. Rosner spent the early part of her career working as a team lead and medicinal chemist, and her work at NeoGenesis directly contributed to the ultimate acquisition of NeoGenesis by Schering-Plough. Following the acquisition, she took on increasing responsibility at Schering-Plough, managing complex, multi-site R&D projects in inflammation and oncology that delivered multiple compounds into pre-clinical development. In 2010, she transitioned from medicinal chemistry to alliance and program management pioneering the role of site project manager at the Cambridge, MA site. In her most recent role prior to X-Chem, she was the program manager for a development team of external consultants and contract manufacturing organizations at Satori Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Rosner received her Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Eric Sigel, M.S. – Sr. Director, Scientific Computing
Eric Sigel joined X-Chem as Director of Scientific Computing in 2010, leading the development of X-Chem’s Informatics platform and IT infrastructure. Prior to X-Chem, Mr. Sigel led EnVivo Pharmaceutical’s scientific computing efforts, initially in 2004 as Senior Informaticist. Later, as Senior Manager of Information Technology, he expanded his leadership scope to include both Scientific Computing and IT. In 2002, he joined Praecis Pharmaceuticals where he developed computational methods and software tools for the company’s proteomics-based biomarker discovery platform. Mr. Sigel has held positions in academic biology research, machine learning research, and commercial software development. Mr. Sigel received a B.S. in Biology from Yale University in 1994 and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Colorado Boulder in 1999.
Jeffrey Troderman, CPA, MBA – Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Troderman has over 25 years of financial management and consulting experience culminating in his current position as CFO of X-Chem, Inc. Prior to joining X-Chem, he spent nearly 15 years as a Principal at two regional consulting firms where he served as Interim CFO for a broad client base, including many Life Science Companies. Mr. Troderman began his career and became a Certified Public Accountant after gaining valuable experience at both BDO and KPMG. He holds an Master’s in Business Administration from Babson College and a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He also serves as a Neutral Arbitrator for FINRA and as Co-Chair for the Educational Sub-Committee of TMA-New England.
Ying Zhang, Ph.D. – Director, Discovery Chemistry
Dr. Zhang joined X-Chem as Associate Director of Chemistry in December 2010, and now serves as Director of Chemistry. Prior to X-Chem, she was Principal Scientist in Lead Discovery at Merck Research Laboratories (formerly SPRI-Cambridge, Schering Plough), where she managed the design and synthesis of library compounds for the Automated Ligand Identification System (ALIS), and participated in numerous Lead Discovery programs. Before joining SPRI, Dr. Zhang was Senior Investigator II at ArQule, managing the Compound File Enrichment program for the Pfizer-ArQule collaboration. Dr.Zhang received her B.S. in Chemistry from Fudan University, Shanghai, China, and her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from George Washington University. She received post-doctoral training in Medicinal Chemistry at the National Institutes of Health.