President and CEO
Sumit Aggarwal is Zikani’s President and CEO. He is leading the transformation of Zikani from an early-stage technology company to a clinical-stage rare disease and oncology focused organization. ...see moreUnder Sumit’s leadership, Zikani has concentrated its focus on demonstrating pre-clinical proof of efficacy across several disease states using its TURBO-ZM™ technology platform.
In his more than 20 years in pharmaceutical and biotechnology commercial operations, investment management, and management consulting, Sumit has been successful in transforming companies by re-invigorating innovation, growth and profitability, and raising capital for promising technology companies.
Prior to joining Zikani, he reinvigorated growth and profitability at Progenity, raised $125 million in capital, and built a novel drug delivery-based GI pipeline. He also held leadership roles in healthcare and biotechnology at Adage Capital and as an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company in its healthcare practice.
Sumit has an MBA with distinction from the Johnson School, Cornell University, and a Bachelor of Technology with Honors in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
Alan Walts, PhD, was appointed as Executive Chairman of Zikani in May 2020 having previously navigated through the transformation of Zikani as a senior advisor to the company. Alan also serves as Executive Chairman of PIC Therapeutics and Artax Biopharma, is a Board Observer at Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, Arrakis Therapeutics and Aura Biosciences, and a Director of the Termeer Foundation....see more
Dr. Walts is a US-based Venture Partner with Advent Life Sciences and is an Advisory Board member of the ALS Investment Fund. He has over 25 years of industry experience at Genzyme in business development, business strategy, R&D, general management, and venture capital. Prior to leaving Genzyme in 2013, Dr. Walts most recently managed Genzyme’s corporate venture fund, Genzyme Ventures (now Sanofi Ventures). He received a PhD in chemistry from MIT in 1985, carried out post-doctoral research in biochemistry at MIT with Professor Christopher Walsh, and completed the executive Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School.
Advent Life Sciences
Raj Parekh is a General Partner at Advent Life Sciences LLP, which he joined in 2006. During an academic career at Oxford University, he co-founded Oxford GlycoSciences plc, where he served as Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Executive Officer from 1988 until its sale to Celltech Group plc (now UCB SA) in 2003....see more He has founded or served on the boards of several life sciences companies in the United States and Europe including AMT Holding NV (formerly uniQure), Arrakis Inc., Aura Inc., Avila Therapeutics, Inc., Biocartis NV; EUSA Pharma Limited, and Galapagos nv where he has been Chairman of the Board since 2004. Raj received his MA in Biochemistry and DPhil in Molecular Medicine from the University of Oxford, where he has also been a Senior Research Fellow and Professor.
Monique is a Senior Investment Director at the Roche Venture Fund. Former roles include serving as the Chief Operating Officer at Inthera Bioscience AG, a previous Director position at Roche Venture Fund from 2009 to 2018, and a principal position with BankInvest’s BioMedical Ventures Group in Copenhagen....see more
In addition, Monique’s background includes several years in Roche’s Pharma business development group,and various other positions in academia, biotech and venture capital, both in Switzerland and the San Francisco Bay Area. Monique holds aM.Sc. in microbiology from the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and an MBA from the University of San Francisco.
Gurnet Point Capital
Chris Viehbacher is the Managing Partner of Gurnet Point Capital. Gurnet Point is a Boston based investment fund associated with the Bertarelli family and has a $ 2 billion capital allocation. ...see moreHe is also a member of the boards of a number of companies including PureTech Health plc. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Northeastern University and a member of the Board of Fellows of the Stanford Medical School.
Chris is the former CEO and Member of the Board of Directors of Sanofi, a Fortune 50 Biopharmaceutical company based in Paris. He was also the Chairman of the Board of Genzyme in Boston.
Prior to joining Sanofi, Chris spent 20 years with GlaxoSmithKline in Germany, Canada, France and, latterly, the US as President of GSK North America. Current and past advocacy roles include:
Former Co-chair with Bill Gates, the CEO Roundtable on Neglected Diseases
Chairman of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer.
Chairman of the Board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America in Washington
President of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations in Brussels.
Chair of the Health Governors at World Economic Forum and Co-chair of a WEF initiative to create a Global Charter for Healthy Living.
Member of the International Business Council.
Chris has in the past served on various advisory groups at MIT, Duke University and Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario.