Dr. Lee has 20 years of experience as a biotechnology innovator and executive who has been integrally involved with the founding or advancement of several biopharmaceutical companies. Since 2017, Dr Lee has been the founder/CEO of Aardvark Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to this, Dr. Lee joined Nantkwest in 2014 and served as its Chief Strategy Officer until March, 2017. His experience includes therapeutics for immunology, cardiovascular, oncology, neurology, and infectious disease indications. Dr. Lee is also an inventor or co-inventor of multiple biomedical and biotechnology innovations, licensed or assigned to several companies for development including Nantkwest (Nasdaq: NK), Simcere Pharmaceutical Group, Cellics Therapeutics, Sorrento Therapeutics (Nasdaq: SRNE), and Aardvark Therapeutics. Dr. Lee earned his M.D. degree from UC San Diego and his B.A. degree from UC Berkeley in Molecular Biology where he was also a Regents and Alumni Scholar. Dr. Lee received post-graduate training in Internal Medicine through UC Los Angeles and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UC Irvine.
Dr. Niethammer is the Chief Medical Officer of Aardvark Therapeutics, Inc.. Recently, he headed the Translational Medicine Team at Fate Therapeutics (Nasdaq: FATE) after serving as Chief Medical Officer of NantKwest, Inc. (Nasdaq: NK). He formerly held several executive positions, among others at Pfizer Inc and Lilly Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Niethammer is an inventor of several biomedical innovations in the field of Immunology and founded Vaximm AG in 2008 based on his inventions. Dr. Niethammer earned his M.D. degree and his board certification in Radiation Oncology from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Dr. Niethammer received post-graduate training at the SCRIPPS Research Institute, La Jolla. He remains on the faculty in Heidelberg as Associate Professor.
Dr. Zheng is the Chief Research Officer of Aardvark Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to joining Aardvark Therapeutics, Dr. Zheng served as Senior Manager, Scientific Affairs of NantKwest, Inc. from Apr 2016 to Jun 2017. Previously, Dr. Zheng served as Manager of Business Development for Simcere Pharmaceutical Group from 2009 to 2012 and earned his PhD. degree from Tsinghua University.
Dr. Timmer is the Chief Development Officer of Aardvark Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to joining Aardvark, she served as Preclinical and Clinical Program Director at NantKwest Inc. where she was involved in the research and development of targeted natural killer cell therapeutics. Previously, Dr. Timmer was a Senior Scientist and Project Manager at Tanabe Research Laboratories, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharmaceutical Corp. At Tanabe she worked on antibody generation, engineering, oncology, and immunology projects. Dr. Timmer has co-authored several patents and numerous publications throughout her career as a scientist. Dr. Timmer received her PhD. in Molecular Pathology from the University of California, San Diego and her B.S. in Biology from the University of New Hampshire.
Bryan Jones, PhD. has more than 30 years of experience with Biotech and Specialty Pharmaceutical companies with roles in both Product and Business development. Prior to joining Aardvark, he was COO and Co-Founder of Sollis Therapeutics where he led the technology transfer from Medtronic, the manufacturing of a drug/device combination and the execution of the Phase 3 Sciatica program. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Operations at Sorrento Therapeutics where he led the Resiniferatoxin program, including manufacturing, toxicology and clinical planning as well as being involved in both monoclonal antibody production, ADC research and cell therapy development. He has held roles of increasing responsibility including Chief Operating Officer of two startup companies: Sherrington and Mt. Cook. He has worked in Business Development at Amylin, and Kemia. Earlier in his career, he worked in research at Bristol-Myers Squibb and on products such as Cialis® with ICOS. Dr. Jones received his PhD. in Genetics from the University of Washington and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Biochemistry from Iowa State University.
Dr. Samid joined Aardvark in 2020, bringing over 3 decades of experience in taking novel drugs from discovery, through clinical development and commercialization. Prior to joining Aardvark, Dr. Samid lead Medical Affairs of other pharmaceutical companies including Hoffman-La Roche, ImClone/Lilly, Abraxis, and NantKwest. She served also as Associate Professor at the University of Virginia’s Medical School and as Section Chief at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Samid holds 19 patents and has published over 80 papers in peer-reviewed journals.
Jeff Oster has spent his entire career, as a scientist and a lawyer, in or representing companies in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. He began his first career at Procter and Gamble trained in management and finance, and at Pfizer (then Warner Lambert) for clinical pharmacology and FDA regulatory, while supported at night law school. He began his legal career at Fish & Neave NYC (now Ropes and Gray) primarily in patent litigation and proceeded to in house roles in litigation (Immunex, now Amgen) then to more smaller company roles as general counsel, and an AmLaw 100 firm partnership (Davis Wright Tremaine) creating a patent group. He has spent the last 15 years creating and managing IP portfolios for companies such as Sorrento Therapeutics, Aardvark and other start-ups. He has a high batting average in post grant administrative proceedings (US and Europe) invalidating over-broad patent claims and defending such attacks as part of patent enforcement teams, including Syntrix v. Illumina and TSRI v. Illumina. Jeff has a JD from Rutgers Law School (Newark, evenings), a PhD. in pharmacology from the Univ. of Pennsylvania and a BA from Johns Hopkins.
Nelson Sun is the Chief Financial Officer of Aardvark Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to joining Aardvark, Mr. Sun served as an Operating Partner at Dubilier & Company and as a Vice President at Valor Equity Partners. Mr. Sun holds an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School and an MA in International Studies from the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.