Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the BoardDr. Keting Chu is an experienced biotech executive, entrepreneur and life science venture investor with a broad range of experiences in therapeutic development in both large and small biotechnology companies and venture investments.
Prior to founding Bluejay, Keting was a Partner and a Venture partner at LYFE Capital. Working with the team in Lyfe capital, Keting helped to close $550M Lyfe Capital Fund III and invested in Ansun Biopharm, Pliant Therapeutics and Tempest Therapeutics. Pliant and Tempest went IPO in NASDAQ successfully in 2020 and 2021. Keting was previously a venture partner in Apple Tree Partners briefly. Before joining Apple Tree Partners, Keting spent five years as VP, Research TAP at The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). There she was responsible for venture philanthropy, also known as the Therapy Acceleration program. At LLS, Keting led the investment into Celator, Stemline, Constellation, Affimed, ArgenX, Kite Pharma, Kiadis, OncoPep, Valor and a number of projects in academic institutions with the focus on proof-of-concept (POC) studies in patients. Three of the nine companies received “Breakthrough” designation by the FDA in 2016 after positive proof-of-concept studies. Celator was acquired by Jazz Pharma for $1.5B, Kite by Gilead for $12B and Stemline by Menarini for $677M. Three NDAs, by Celator, Kite and Stemline, were approved by the US FDA successfully. Prior to LLS, Keting was the CEO of Mission Therapeutics and the Co-Founder, President and CEO of DigitAB, Inc. and BioCubed Corporation. For her first startup company, Five Prime Therapeutics, Keting was Vice President of Biology and Head of R&D where she built the R&D strategy and team, established the technology platform and generated a product pipeline. Prior to Five Prime, Keting was the Head of Immunotherapy and Antibody Therapeutics Division at Chiron Corporation, where she engaged in preclinical and clinical developments of protein, DNA-based, and small molecule therapeutics for cancer and inflammatory diseases. Three cancer therapeutic antibodies that keting led the team from discovery to phase I clinical trials are in phase II and III testing now.
Keting received her MD in Sun Yat-Sen Medical University where she specialized in infectious diseases in China, and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology at University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). She also conducted her postdoctoral training at Cardiovascular Research Institute at UCSF.
Dr. Hassan Javanbakht
Chief Scientific OfficerDr. Javanbakht received his Ph.D. from McGill University and completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School. He then moved to Roche Palo Alto LLC where he worked on developing antivirals to treat HIV infection. He was part of the team that advanced Elipida® (RO4970335), a potent and highly selective NNRTI, into clinical development. He then transferred to Hoffman La-Roche where he began his work on HBV and Influenza. His group there focused on developing novel direct-acting antivirals and immunomodulatory therapies to treat chronic HBV. He led the teams that developed a first-in-class small-molecule viral expression inhibitor (RG7834), a liver-targeted anti-HBV locked nucleic acid (RG6004), and an immunomodulator, all of which advanced to Phase 1 clinical evaluation. His work also led to discovery of PAPD5/7 as host factors for HBV expression. Subsequently, He moved to Gilead Sciences where he led a research team focused on curing HBV and developing a number of novel therapeutics scheduled to enter clinical studies. Most recently, he was the head of infectious diseases at SQZ Biotechnologies leading a group of scientists developing cell-based vaccines for treatment of persistent viral infections. So far, he has authored more than 45 peer-reviewed scientific publications in high-impact journals and holds more than 11 issued patents and applications.
VP, DevelopmentKevin was trained as a medical doctor, and received his Master’s degree in Immunology. He has worked in biotechnology industry for over 30 years in the areas of process development, technology transfer, scale up, troubleshooting, GMP manufacturing, and CMC regulatory submission. He has extensive knowledge and experience on cell line development, upstream and downstream process development, and manufacturing of biological and gene therapy products. He has worked in different biotech companies, like Bayer Healthcare, Catalant, Avid Bioservices, ImmunityBio, and Kindred Biosciences.
Chief Medical OfficerNancy Shulman joined Bluejay in 2022 as Chief Medical Officer with over 20 years of clinical development experience. Prior to Bluejay, she worked at Roche, Genentech, AbbVie, and most recently at Ambys Medicines, where she was VP of translational medicine. She brings broad clinical development experience ranging from first-in-human and translational studies through Phase 4 studies, including extensive experience in the virology/hepatology disease area, but also in immunology and oncology. She has been a part of multiple INDs and was a key leader on the approvals of the HCV antivirals Viekira Pak®, Viekirax®, and Mavyret®.
Prior to joining industry, Nancy was an NIH-funded clinical/translational HIV researcher at Stanford University and was on the faculty in the Division of Infectious Diseases. She holds a BA in Biochemistry with a minor in Chinese from the University of Texas at Austin and an MD from the University of Kansas. She completed her residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Chicago and her infectious disease fellowship at Stanford.
VP, Head of ChemistryDr. Jeff Zablocki is an experienced leader of Chemistry having led teams at AbbVie, Gilead, CV Therapeutics, Amgen, and Searle. Jeff has discovered 15 development compounds including 3 approved agents: Lexiscan™ – an adenosine A2A agonist used in over 60 million patients as a pharmacological stress agent capturing a large market share; Ranexa™ – provided development support for the approval of Ranexa™ for stable angina; Voxilaprevir™ – contributed to the discovery of Voxilaprevir™ for Hepatitis C where Jeff helped address pre-clinical metabolism challenges applying novel medicinal chemistry approaches.
Prior to joining Bluejay, Jeff was head of chemistry at AbbVie’s west coast oncology efforts where a covalent Bruton Tyrosine Kinase (BTK) inhibitor ABBV-992 was advanced to Ph1 clinical trials and multiple oncology programs were advanced. While at AbbVie, Jeff served on AbbVie’s Medicinal Chemistry Leadership Team (MCLT) evaluating programs and providing strategic direction. Before joining AbbVie, Jeff was a Senior Director at Gilead Sciences serving as a member of their Project Review Committee (PRC) providing critical feedback on all programs. While at Gilead, Jeff contributed to the discovery of 8 development compounds including the approved Hepatitis C NS3/4A protease inhibitor, a Ph I immunomodulator Selgantolimod for Hepatitis B, a Ph III late Ina sodium channel inhibitor Eleclazine for VT-VF, a Phase II ASK-1 kinase inhibitor Selonsertib for NASH, and a Ph I ALDH-2 inhibitor GS-6637 for addiction. Prior to Gilead, Jeff was head of chemistry at CV Therapeutics where beyond Lexiscan™ and Ranexa™ Jeff discovered a Ph I partial adenosine A1 agonist for type II diabetes and a Ph II adenosine A2B antagonist for asthma. Jeff led the collaborations with Dr. Frantisek Rypacek from Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic to discover drug eluting stents and Dr. Gloria Cristalli to discover partial adenosine A1 agonists.
Jeff has served as the Chair of the ACS MEDI division and the Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC). He had the forethought to propose a COVID-19 symposium in Feb. of 2020 that took place in April of 2021 where he provided the introductory remarks. Jeff also served as an Associate editor for the J of Med. Chem. starting the popular Drug Annotations series. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society for his service to medicinal chemistry. Jeff is highly creative and well published with 126 patents and 61 publications. Jeff received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the direction of Dr. John Katzenellenbogen and completed his studies at UC Irvine with a NIH post-doctoral fellowship with Dr. Larry Overman.
Board of DirectorsMr. Chen has been Venture Partner at Yonjin Venture since 2016, full time since May 2020. Prior to joining Yonjin Venture, Mr. Chen served as Senior Vice President, Head of Business Development and Operations at Tigermed, a publicly-traded contract research company located in China from April 2009 to February 2020. Mr. Chen received his B.S. from Purdue University, M.S. from Washington University in St. Louis, and M.B.A. from Durham University.
Board of DirectorsNancy has been a Managing Director at RiverVest Venture Partners since 2016 and focuses on both biopharmaceutical and medical device opportunities, contributing to the formation, development and strategic direction of RiverVest portfolio companies. Currently, Nancy is a member of the Board of Directors at Scout Bio, Inc. and SeQure Dx, Inc. and a board observer at Xilio Therapeutics, Inc.
Previously, Nancy was a principal with BioMed Ventures, where she originated and managed successful investments in therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices. Prior to BioMed, she was an investment professional at Forward Ventures and served as an advisor to biotech and pharmaceutical companies entering new areas of research. Nancy started her career as a scientist at Phenomix, a venture-backed discovery biotech company in San Diego.
Trained in the areas of immunology and oncology, Nancy earned a B.S. with honors in Biology from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. She conducted postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Francisco, as a fellow of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.