Vantage Biosciences – an ALSA Ventures Company.

ALSA Ventures is building a portfolio of companies founded on innovative insights into disease treatment where current therapeutic options are either limited on non-existent. We work with a broad global network of preclinical and clinical experts to gain deep understanding of translationally relevant disease biology and then leverage the team’s collective knowledge and operational experience to identify opportunities for drug intervention.

Our focus is to improve patient outcomes by unlocking the full potential of clinical stage assets.  As we continue to grow our portfolio, our mission remains clear: to bring life-changing therapies to patients worldwide.

Team

Alek Safarian
Alek Safarian
Chairman and Co-Founder

Alek has a diverse background in drug development spanning more than thirty years. Trained as a pharmacist, he worked in regulatory affairs and clinical research roles for European and US-based multinational pharmaceutical companies in Australia, with responsibility across the Asia-Pacific region. He subsequently founded Novotech, a Sydney-based contract research organisation working with hundreds of clinical stage biotech companies over a twenty-one year period. Alek holds a BPharm and an MBA from the University of Sydney.

Dr Graeme Martin
Dr Graeme Martin
Co-Founder

Graeme has a forty-year background in Pharma and Biotech across Europe, USA and Japan. After his pharmacology studies, he held senior R&D roles in the UK and USA in multinational companies such as Roche, GSK and Wellcome Research Laboratories. Graeme was President and CEO of Takeda Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Takeda Pharmaceuticals, a global pharmaceutical company. He is a dealmaker with extensive experience in all aspects of venture capital investing, including exits. Graeme holds a BSc and a PhD in Pharmacology.

Katie Sunnucks
Katie Sunnucks
Co-Founder

Katie has a strong background in venture capital and the healthcare industry. She has held roles in Health Economics and Market Access and Account Management at Johnson & Johnson. She holds a BMedSc in Medical Science and an MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Cambridge.

Andre Badalyan
Andre Badalyan
Co-Founder

Andre has a strong background in the life science industry and venture capital. He has experience working in institutions including GSK and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and played key roles in the growth of several early-stage companies before transitioning into life science investments. He holds a BSc in Biochemistry and MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Cambridge.

Lorna Collings
Lorna Collings
CFO

Lorna has more than twenty years of experience in private equity and venture capital with roles at EQT, Hermes GPE, Citco, Coller Capital, Ariadne Capital, Actis and BancBoston Capital. She holds a BA in Applied Psychology and is registered with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (ACMA).

Dr Narges Amini
Dr Narges Amini
Director of Program Management

Narges possesses a diverse background across academia, clinical research, and industry spanning Europe and the Middle East. Previously, she served as an Innovation and Commercialisation Manager at QBRI (Qatar). At UCL, she held roles in the Business & Innovation Group and provided founding leadership for the P4 Precision Medicine Accelerator. Narges also brings valuable expertise from her tenure at Imperial Innovations, GlaxoSmithKline, and UCL Cancer Trial Centre. She holds a PhD from Imperial College London, complimented by an MSc and BSc in Genetics.

Professor Peter Timmins
Professor Peter Timmins
CMC Lead (Consultant)

Professor Timmins has over 37 years’ experience (E.R. Squibb/Bristol Myers Squibb), heading up large R&D group across two geographies focussed on creating or internalising drug delivery technologies to support the evolving R&D portfolio and also acted as UK R&D site. Prof Timmins has worked on a multitude of development projects across all stages from IND enablement through to large scale/late-stage development and regulatory filings. Peter’s technical and innovative ability is further demonstrated in over 30 patents, over 120 peer reviewed publications, books and book chapters.

Advisory Board

Professor Quan Dong Nguyen
Professor Quan Dong Nguyen
Clinical Advisory Board Member

Prof Nguyen is the Professor of Ophthalmology at Stanford University. He has served as the principal investigator in a number of National Eye Institute clinical trials and was amongst the first clinicians in the world to evaluate aflibercept for neovascular AMD and ranibizumab for diabetic macular edema in the pioneering studies which laid the foundation for the successful path to FDA approval of these pharmacological agents. Prof Nguyen also chaired the US multi-center READ-2, READ-3, and iDEAL studies investigating VEGF antagonists for diabetic macular oedema. He serves as the Editor-in-Chief of American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports and has been a prolific contributor to the field of ophthalmology.

Dr Dennis Marcus
Dr Dennis Marcus
Clinical Advisory Board Member

Dr. Marcus is the managing physician of Southeast Retina Center and Director of Clinical Researchat Eye Health America. He has led numerous successful clinical trials in ophthalmology and was the lead investigator in the first gene therapy for diabetic retinopathy. He served as a member of the executive committee for the National Eye Institute and as Protocol Chair for the DRCR Retina Network. Dr. Marcus has published over 335 scientific publications and is the recipient of multiple awards including American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Achievement Award and the American Society of Retina Specialist’s Honour Award.

Dr Firas Rahhal
Dr Firas Rahhal
Clinical Advisory Board Member

Dr. Rahhal is an ophthalmologist with more than 25 years of clinical experience. Dr Rahhal serves as the Associate Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the UCLA School of Medicine and is the Founder and General Partner at ExSight Ventures. Dr Rahhal also serves as the member of the Executive Committee of Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group in Los Angeles. He has authored numerous scientific publications and has been an investigator in over 100 clinical trials in ophthalmology which led to numerous novel therapies in vitreoretinal diseases. He is the recipient of multiple awards including the Patients’ Choice Award and Compassionate Doctor Recognition.