About Us

Photo: Octopus Dance by Morten Brekkevold

Mission

Utilizing nature's diversity engine, Tentarix creates innovative protein therapeutics with uniquely combined bioactivities that leverage synthetic biology.

On an unprecedented scale, we are leading a fundamental change in the methods of discovery and engineering of multi-specific biologics.

Leadership Team

Paul Grayson: Co-founder, President & CEO

Paul Grayson brings a wealth of business development, operating and investment experience from a successful career in the biotech sector spanning 25 years. He specializes in start-up through IND enablement, CMC and clinical proof of concept stage products. Prior to co-founding Tentarix and becoming President and CEO, Paul was a Partner at Versant Ventures. Coinciding with and prior to his time at Versant Ventures, Paul was President and CEO of Bird Rock Bio, Inc., a company focused on fibrotic, metabolic and inflammatory diseases. Prior to joining Bird Rock Bio, Paul was the founding CEO of Fate Therapeutics (NASDAQ:FATE) a clinical-stage, next-generation cellular immunotherapy company. Prior to Fate, he was managing director of Sanderling Ventures. Prior to Sanderling, he served as the founding Chairman and CEO of Senomyx Inc. (NASDAQ: SNMX).

Paul earned an MBA from the University of California, Irvine, and holds a BA in Computer Science and Biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Stephen Demarest: Chief Scientific Officer

Stephen Demarest has 18 years of antibody and multi-specific protein development experience in both Biotech and Pharma. He contributed to >10 molecules that reached IND-enabling studies and managed departments that moved many more. Stephen's career began at Syngenta and Diversa before moving to Biogen Idec where he became Associate Director of Protein Sciences. At Lilly, Stephen was the head of Lilly’s Protein Engineering and Computational Biotherapeutics Departments, liaison to Immunology and Oncology, and the Diversity and Inclusion Champion for Biotech. Stephen is a co-developer of Lilly’s Orthomab bispecific technology with partners at UNC Chapel Hill and used the technology to bring many bispecifics into development including with external partners. The technology has also been licensed by AbCellera. He has >45 publications and is an inventor on >20 granted patents and applications.

Stephen received his BS and PhD in Chemistry from Texas A&M University and SUNY Stony Brook, respectively, and performed postdoctoral studies at The Scripps Research Institute.

Margaret Karow: Co-founder & Head of Translation

Margaret Karow brings over 25 years of experience in the generation and engineering of protein therapeutics. Prior to joining Tentarix, Margaret was the CSO for Gensun Biopharma. For the prior 3 years, she was the Senior Vice President of Pre-Clinical Development for Xilio Therapeutics, (formerly Akrevia Therapeutics) where she delivered milestones that led to $30M Series A funding. Before joining Xilio Therapeutics, she was an Executive Director at Amgen for 10 years, and held multiple positions including leadership roles for Biosimilars Process Development, Amgen Thousand Oaks Protein Sciences, Biologics Optimization, and Site Head for Amgen Burnaby, Canada. Margaret started her career in biotech at Regeneron, with various roles over her 10 years, including Vice President of Traps, Small Molecule, Antibody Development, and Immunology, and was a co-lead for the development of the VelocImmune mouse platform.

Margaret received her Ph.D. from CVMBiology at the Univ. of Utah, and BA in MCDBiology from the Univ. of Colorado, Boulder.

Alyssa Lochbaum: CFO & Treasurer

Alyssa Lochbaum is a CPA, CA with a strong background in biotechnology finance and accounting. She most recently held the position of Chief Financial Officer at Bird Rock Bio, a clinical-stage bio-pharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of fibrotic, metabolic and inflammatory diseases. Coinciding with her time at Bird Rock Bio, she founded a 501(c)3 non-profit initiative, the Frontline Hero Fund, which continues to provide hundreds of thousands in financial grants and counselling services to healthcare workers, first responders and their families affected by COVID-19. Alyssa was previously Vice President of Finance for Cosmederm Biosciences, a company with clinical programs and over the counter product lines focused on dermatology. She started her career at the public accounting firm PwC LLP in Vancouver, Canada and then San Diego, working in both the Assurance and Advisory practices for over 7 years.

In addition to her accounting designations, Alyssa holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and a Masters in Professional Accountancy from the University of Saskatchewan.

Paul Kang: Co-founder


Paul Kang has been involved in the development and application of antibody generation technologies for over 20 years at ImmGenics Pharmaceuticals, Abgenix Inc, and Amgen Inc. Paul played an instrumental role in the development and deployment of novel first in class antibody discovery technologies including ImmGenics’ SLAM technology (Selected Lymphocyte Antibody Method) and Abgenix Inc.’s XenoMouse Technology which was subsequently acquired by Amgen, At Amgen, Paul oversaw Amgen British Columbia’s Preclinical In Vitro Cellular Assay and In Vivo Pharmacology research teams, whose primary responsibilities were the screening and characterization of XenoMouse derived antibodies. Paul subsequently, left Amgen and was a co-founder of Innovative Targeting Solutions. As CSO of ITS, Paul oversaw the advancement of the company’s HuTARG protein engineering platform and the company’s six pharma collaborations. Paul is also a co-founder of A2 Biotherapeutics and Tentarix Biotherapeutics.

Paul holds a Bachelors of Science from Simon Fraser University.


Michael Gallo: Co-founder


Michael Gallo is currently the President of Innovative Targeting Solutions. Prior to this, he was part of the original scientific team at Cell Genesys that created XenoMouse, the premier transgenic mouse technology for generating fully human antibodies, and spun-off from Cell Genesys in 1996 to start Abgenix. Michael served on the Strategic Planning and Intellectual Property Group at Abgenix and was the Vice President of Research. Abgenix became Amgen British Columbia, and there Michael oversaw over 100 target collaborations including AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Abbot, Curagen, Milleneum, and Dendreon. As the site-head for both Abgenix’s subsidiary (Abgenix Biopharma) and Amgen’s subsidiary (Amgen British Columbia) from 2001 to 2007 he led a research unit of 65 people focused on antibody generation and the development of improved antibody discovery technologies. Michael is an inventor on numerous patents including the commercial antibody Vectibix.

Michael holds a Ph.D. from Ohio State University in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology and completed his post-doctoral studies at Stanford University.

Board of Directors

Board Chairman: Srini Akkaraju, Samsara BioCapital

Dr. Akkaraju did his graduate studies at Stanford University, where he received his M.D. and a Ph.D. in Immunology and he received his undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Computer Science from Rice University. Dr. Akkaraju also serves as a Director of Seattle Genetics, Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Versartis and aTyr Pharma. Previously, Dr. Akkaraju served as a director on the boards of Barrier Therapeutics, Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, ZS Pharma, Synageva Biopharma Corp. and Amarin Corporation plc. Dr. Akkaraju founded Samsara BioCapital in 2016. His vast experience in the industry includes being a general partner at Soffinova Ventures, Managing Director of New Leaf Ventures, Managing Director of Panorama Capital LLC, a partner at J.P Morgan and senior management at Genetech.

Jerel Davis, Managing Director Versant Ventures

Jerel Davis, Ph.D., is a Managing Director based in Vancouver, Canada. Since joining Versant in 2011, he has been involved in launching and investing in a number of Versant’s portfolio companies including BlueRock (sale), Crispr (2016 IPO), Inception 4 (sale), Inception 5 (sale), Quanticel (sale), Akero (2019 IPO), Northern (sale), Turnstone, Repare (2020 IPO), Chinook, Ventus, Integral, and VenatoRx. He has focused on company creation, syndicated deals, and creative corporate transactions with multiple pharmaceutical partners including Celgene, Roche and Bayer. He was also instrumental in establishing Versant’s presence in Canada. Jerel was promoted to Managing Director at Versant in April 2016.

Paul Kang, Co-founder & CSO of Innovative Targeting Solutions

Paul Kang has been involved in the development and application of antibody generation technologies for over for fourteen years at ImmGenics Pharmaceuticals, Abgenix and Amgen before becoming the Chief Scientific Officer at Innovative Targeting Solutions. Paul was part of the ImmGenics team that advanced a novel antibody generation platform called SLAM (Selected Lymphocyte Antibody Method) to identify and isolate very high affinity antibodies from different animal species including humans and rabbits. While at Abgenix, Paul was a lead scientist on the XenoMouse technology. At Amgen, Paul oversaw Amgen British Columbia’s Preclinical In Vitro Cellular Assay and In Vivo Pharmacology research teams and was on the steering committee of a number of Abgenix and Amgen collaborations. Mr. Kang is an inventor on over fifteen pending or granted patents.

Cory Freedland, Samsara BioCapital

Dr. Cory Freedland received his PhD in Pharmacology from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. Prior to joining Samsara in 2017, Mr. Freedland was a Principal at Sofinnova Ventures where he focused on biopharmaceutical investments. Cory played a central role in Sofinnova’s investments in BioClin Therapeutics, Civitas (acquired by Acorda), NextCure, NuCana Biomed (NCNA), Principia Biopharma, Spark Therapeutics (ONCE), Ziarco (acquired by Novartis), and ZS Pharma (ZSPH; acquired by AstraZeneca). Prior to Sofinnova, Cory was a Principal at Novo A/S. Before his transition to healthcare investing, he was a VP in the healthcare investment banking practice at Morgan Stanley and worked as a research scientist for Roche focusing on preclinical drug discovery and novel target identification for psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.

Paul Grayson, President & CEO of Tentarix Biotherapeutics, Inc.

Paul Grayson brings a wealth of business development, operating and investment experience from a successful career in the biotech sector spanning 25 years. He specializes in start-up through IND enablement, CMC and clinical proof of concept stage products. Prior to co-founding Tentarix and becoming President and CEO, Mr. Grayson was a Partner at Versant Ventures. Coinciding with and prior to his time at Versant Ventures, Mr. Grayson was President and CEO of Bird Rock Bio, Inc., a company focused on fibrotic, metabolic and inflammatory diseases. Prior to joining Bird Rock Bio, Paul was the founding CEO of Fate Therapeutics (NASDAQ:FATE) a clinical-stage, next-generation cellular immunotherapy company. Prior to Fate, Paul was managing director of Sanderling Ventures. Prior to Sanderling, Mr. Grayson served as the founding Chairman and CEO of Senomyx Inc. (NASDAQ: SNMX). He earned an MBA from the University of California, Irvine, and holds a BA in Computer Science and Biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles.