Jiping Zha, M.D., Ph.D. is our Executive Vice President of Clinical Development. Dr. Zha is a physician scientist with over 20 years of formative experience in both academia and biotech industry. He received Howard Temin Award from National Cancer Institute. Previously, he was also an instructor at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He has extensive experience in disease biology, drug discovery, translational sciences and clinical development, and successfully led multiple small and large molecule programs from IND-enabling stages to clinical testing. He also played key roles in the development and execution of multiple biomarker/companion diagnostic programs at Genentech and MedImmune, and was a development team lead and clinical lead for a phase 1/2 solid tumor program at NGM Biopharmaceuticals.
Dr. Zha has served multiple leadership positions, which include the discovery/diagnostic/translational science team leaderships at Genentech and MedImmune, SVP of Drug Discovery Technologies and VP of Cancer Biology at Crown Bioscience, and most recently as executive director of Translational Sciences at NGM Biopharmaceuticals. He has over 40 publications in high-impact scientific journals, such as Cell, Science and Nature, and authored multiple patents.
Dr. Zha received his M.D. from Shanghai Medical University, and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He completed his anatomic pathology residency training at Washington University School of Medicine and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Zha is a licensed physician in the State of California and board-certified in Anatomic Pathology.
Ami C. Knoefler is the Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications, responsible for managing communications to support and optimize the long-term value of Adagene on behalf of all stakeholders. Ami has more than 25 years of global experience in pharmaceutical, biotech and medical technology communications, including positions at Ascendis Pharma, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, PDL BioPharma, Abgenix and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Previously, she has led investor and corporate communications for PDL Biopharma and Abgenix, Inc., two antibody platform companies. Her career focus includes Corporate Communications, Product Communications, Patient Advocacy, and Investor Relations. She previously held roles in Global Communications at Ascendis Pharma, where she led corporate marketing, patient advocacy and product communications, and at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, where she led Corporate & Investor Relations activities during a period of transformation and sustained earnings growth.
Ami also founded her own company, Spark BioComm LLC, where she integrated communications and acted as strategic advisor covering investor, corporate, media, and medical communications for small and mid-cap clients.
Ami holds a B.S. from Boston University where she graduated magna cum laude with distinction in International Communications.
Wenlin Zeng, Ph.D., is the VP of Early Stage CMC. Dr. Zeng has over 20 years of experience in drug discovery and drug development in the biopharmaceutical industry.
Prior to joining Adagene, Dr. Zeng was the Senior Director of Upstream Process Development responsible for both early and late stage programs at Gilead Sciences, Inc. Prior to that, she was the Senior Director of Cell Line and Upstream Process Development at Forty-Seven Inc., where she was responsible for cell line, upstream process development and manufacturing for a number of programs, including magrolimab. Prior to Forty-Seven, Dr. Zeng held leadership positions at multiple biopharmaceutical companies, including NGM Bio, GSK, MedImmune, and Abgenix.
Dr. Zeng began her career in biopharmaceutical industry after completing her post-doctoral training at Stanford University. She earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from The University of Iowa and B.S. in Cell Biology from Wuhan University in China.
Dr. Steven Fischkoff serves as the interim Chief Medical Officer of Adagene. Dr. Fischkoff is a Board Certified Medical Oncologist who has been active in the pharmaceutical industry for 29 years. He has proven track record and leadership in developing some of the most innovative therapeutics with responsibility in a broad range of clinical, management, and regulatory activities.
At Medarex, Dr. Fischkoff was responsible for the clinical development of ipilimumab (Yervoy) leading to its US FDA approval in 2011. He led the team who completed the Phase 2 trial of ipilimumab, and designed the Phase 3 trial which demonstrated a significant survival advantage in metastatic melanoma. Ipilimumab was the first ever immune checkpoint inhibitor approved by the FDA and remains the only FDA-approved anti-CTLA-4 product up to date.
At Knoll Pharmaceutics and through the acquisition by Abbott, Dr. Fischkoff served as the clinical lead for the development of adalimumab (Humira®), taking it from first-in-man through submission and approval in the US and the EU. In addition, while at Knoll, he ran clinical trials for a monoclonal antibody to treat sepsis and a number of small molecule oncology compounds. At Lederle Laboratories, he contributed to the development of levoleucovorin (Isovorin®) for colorectal cancer and mitoxantrone for breast and prostatic cancer.
At Palatin Biotechnologies, Dr. Fischkoff led the clinical development of bremelanotide (Vyleesi®) for male and female sexual dysfunction as well as a small molecule compound for heart failure. He spent 8 years at the cell therapy companies Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, Iovance Biotherapeutics (formerly Lion), and WindMIL, pursuing a number of oncology and inflammatory indications including acute myeloid leukemia, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, lung cancer, melanoma, and sarcoidosis. At Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company, he worked on studies and submissions for a variety of small molecules to treat Parkinson’s disease, chronic myelogenous leukemia, prostate cancer, and skin cancer.
Prior to joining the industry, Dr. Fischkoff spent 15 years in academic positions at the National Cancer Institute and the medical schools of the University of Maryland and the University of Pennsylvania. He holds an MD from the University of Pennsylvania and oncology training at the NCI-Baltimore Cancer Research Center.
Mr. Peter Luo is our Co-Founder and has served as our Chief Executive Officer since November 2011 and Chairman of the Board of the Directors since February 2018. Dr. Luo served as the first lead scientist in computational protein design and protein laboratory at Xencor (Nasdaq: XNCR) from July 1998 to August 2000. In September 2000, Dr. Luo founded Abmaxis Inc. and served as its Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer, president, and director. In May 2006, Dr. Luo led the acquisition of Abmaxis Inc. by Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK), after which Dr. Luo served as a director of Biologics Technology at Merck, and Chief Technology Officer of Abmaxis, the subsidiary of Merck & Co. Throughout his career, Dr. Luo also led the business development efforts in connection with collaborations and strategic partnerships with multiple global partners. Dr. Luo received his bachelor’s degree in applied chemistry in technical physics from Peking University in 1986, master’s degree in applied physics from The Institute of High Energy Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1989, and Ph.D. degree in chemistry from The University of Chicago in 1995. Dr. Luo also completed his postdoctoral research in protein folding at Stanford University in 1998.
Jin Shang, Ph.D., is the Senior Vice President of Global Regulatory Affairs at Adagene. She has more than 20 years of drug development experience in the biopharmaceutical industry.
Dr. Shang joined Adagene from AstraZeneca where she served as Director of Regulatory Affairs, Oncology. She provided global and US regulatory leadership for multiple oncology programs, including Koselugo®. Prior to AstraZeneca, Dr. Shang was Associate Director of Global Regulatory Strategy at Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company, where she led regulatory strategy development and implementation for multiple development programs for indications of oncology, ophthalmology, neurology, and dermatology. Prior to Sun Pharma, Dr. Shang was Director of Biology at Morphic Therapeutics, where she led the fibrosis biology team. Before Morphic, Dr. Shang worked at Merck Research Laboratories for twelve years on drug discovery and development in cardiometabolic diseases in a variety of positions of increasing responsibilities. She also worked at Lynx Therapeutics and Metabolex previously.
Dr. Shang began her career in the biopharmaceutical industry after obtaining her Ph.D. in Development Biology from Stanford University, and her bachelor’s degree in Cell Biology and Genetics from Peking University.
Songmao Zheng, Ph.D., is Associate Vice President of Research and Development at Adagene, leading preclinical and clinical quantitative model-informed drug discovery and development.
Previously, as Scientific Director/Group Leader at Janssen BioTherapeutics, Songmao guided the preclinical, translational, and early clinical PK/TE/PD characterization of numerous biologics. In addition, he contributed scientific and strategic input for biologics across oncology, immunology, and other therapeutic areas. While at Janssen, Songmao was awarded the prestigious Philip B. Hofmann Research Scientist Award, the second highest recognition in Johnson & Johnson, given to researchers for “major contributions of leadership, original ideas and research leading toward development of a technology platform, process or better understanding of a scientific technical phenomenon.” As a recognized key member of the Janssen teams, he also received over twenty-five Johnson & Johnson Leadership, Innovation Leadership, and Encore/Inspire awards.
Songmao has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, has presented in over thirty conferences with six awards, and is named as co-inventor on several patent filings. Currently, he serves as an Editorial Board member for the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT) peer-reviewed journals Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) and Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics (CPT), the flagship journal of ASCPT.
Songmao received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Washington (UW), followed by postdoctoral training at the Center for Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology (CPSP) in the Department of Pharmaceutics at the University of Florida, where he currently is a Courtesy Adjunct Assistant Professor. Songmao graduated from Sichuan University with a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences, during which time he was awarded a one-year honored exchange at the UW Department of Hematology. He received further training as an intern at Seattle Genetics and as an ORISE Fellow at US FDA.
Mr. Yu Ren has served as our Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer since January 2021.
Prior to joining us, Dr. Ren held various positions at Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK). He had previously worked at Portfolio Management & Global Clinical Development Finance responsible for financial / strategic planning on KEYTRUDA® development and facilitation of KEYTRUDA® clinical trials prioritization. He also worked at Merck Corporate Strategy Office on enterprise strategy and at Merck Corporate Business Development on a variety of business development transactions. Before returning to Merck, Dr. Ren served as a principal consultant at Quintiles/IQVIA Consulting from 2009 to 2010. Dr. Ren gained extensive consulting experience at McKinsey & Company from 2007 to 2009. Dr. Ren started his professional career at Merck Research Lab working on Pharmaceutical Research & Development from discovery to early clinical development from 2001 to 2006.
Dr. Ren received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of Minnesota in 2001, and bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Peking University in 1996.
Qinghai Zhao, Ph.D., is the Chief Manufacturing Officer of Adagene. He has over 25 years of drug development experience in the biopharmaceutical industry.
Most recently, he served as the Vice President of Technical Development and Manufacturing at Forty Seven Inc., an immunology company acquired by Gilead in early 2020. There, he was responsible for CMC development and clinical supply management for a number of programs, including magrolimab. Prior to Forty Seven, Dr. Zhao was the Vice President of CMC and Manufacturing at AnaptysBio. Prior to that, he held leadership positions in managing biological process development and manufacturing, including Head of CMC at NGM Bio and Director of CMC management at Teva Biopharmaceuticals USA, where he led multiple CMC programs including reslizumab, which was approved by the FDA for commercial manufacturing in 2016. In his early career in China, he served as Head of Plasma Protein Therapeutics R/D at Shanghai Institute of Biological Products.
Dr. Zhao earned his Ph.D. in life sciences from Uppsala University, his MS in biochemistry from Fudan University (Shanghai Medical University) and BE degree in biochemistry from East China University of Science and Technology.
Dr. Guizhong Liu, Head of biology and pharmacology in Adagene, leading the preclinical pharmacology and toxicology research for product development. Dr. Liu has over 15-year experience in drug discovery and development, both in small molecule kinase inhibitors and large molecule antibodies in oncology and immunology field.
Prior to joining Adagene, Dr. Liu served as head of molecular cancer biology in CrownBio, where he was in charge of contracted research projects from various big pharma and small biotech companies, as well as leading the novel drug development programs from biology and pharmacology side. Prior to CrownBio, Dr. Liu had worked as Assistant Professor in the department of oncological sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, with over 40 peer-reviewed publications in high-profile journals.
Dr. Liu completed his postdoctoral research with Dr. Stuart Aaronson at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, received his Ph.D. from Peking Union Medical College, and obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees at Beijing Normal University.