Company & Leadership

Our Mission: Devoted to developing antibody-based therapies that allow pets with chronic diseases to thrive, not just survive.

Founding of Vetigenics

Vetigenics is a pet health biopharma company devoted to enabling pets to live their best lives. Vetigenics was established in 2017 to address the growing need within the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to generate fully canine research antibodies to treat dogs with cancer, as a parallel patient population to inform cancer treatments for humans. Vetigenics continues to support this important research in collaboration with the NCI, as well as ensure these therapies are available to veterinarians to treat pets with cancer and other chronic diseases.

Pioneers in pet and human antibody therapeutics

Vetigenics scientific founders, Nicola Mason, BVetMed, Ph.D. and Don Siegel, Ph.D., M.D. of the University of Pennsylvania are internationally recognized leaders in veterinary medicine, immunotherapy, and phage display technology. Their complementary expertise naturally resulted in an unrivaled ability to generate and validate best in class antibody-based therapeutics to treat chronic diseases in both pets and humans.

Leadership Team

Nicola Mason B.Vet.Med, Ph.D., DACVIM (Internal Medicine), FCPP, MRCVS

Professor of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, Founder of Vetigenics, and a pioneer in the field of Comparative Immunotherapy

Don Siegel Ph.D., M.D.

Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, Founder of Vetigenics, and globally recognized for groundbreaking contributions in Antibody Discovery and Cell Therapy

Adriann Sax

President, CEO and Founder of Vetigenics, with over 30 years of experience in BioPharma Leadership and Operations

Namrata Chand

Vice President of Business Development (BD) and Program Management with over 20 years of extensive experience in Biopharma BD and Operations

Yin Yin Chan

Director of Antibody Discovery, 15+ years of leadership experience in molecular biology, cloning, cell line development, and protein production.

Marc Brillantes

Marc Brillantes Ph.D.

Research Scientist with over 10 years of experience in Cellular Immunology and Immune System Research

Lexi Pusey

Lexi Pusey

Quality and Laboratory Manager with 3+ years of experience in Program Management, Quality Processes, Standard Operating Procedures, and Procurement

Nicola Mason B.Vet.Med, Ph.D.,
DACVIM (Internal Medicine), FCPP, MRCVS

Professor of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, Founder of Vetigenics, and a pioneering expert in Comparative Immunotherapy

Dr. Nicola Mason is Co-Founder of Vetigenics and serves as Co-Chair of its Scientific Advisory Board. She is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine and holds the James & Gilmore Endowed Chair Professorship. She received her veterinary degree from the Royal Veterinary College, London and her Immunology Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She performed her post-doctoral fellowship in cancer immunotherapy at the Abramson Cancer Center at the School of Medicine at Penn.

Dr. Mason’s translational research focuses on a comparative approach to accelerate the clinical implementation of effective immunotherapies – including engineered T and iNKT cells – for both human and canine patients with cancer and autoimmunity. Innovative clinical trials in pet dogs with spontaneous tumors including osteosarcoma, B cell lymphoma and high-grade glioma provide important safety and early efficacy data for both human and canine patients alike. Dr. Mason’s research using adoptive cell therapies is funded through federal and private foundation grants.

Dr. Mason leads the NIH/NCI supported pre-medical cancer immunotherapy network for canine trials (PRECINCT). The network is comprised of veterinary and medical clinician scientists, including oncologists, internists, surgeons and pathologists who share a passion for comparative translational research. Through innovation and collaboration, the network supports and accelerates immunotherapy research in canine cancer patients through NIH/NCI funded clinical trials.

Dr. Mason co-founded Vetigenics in 2017 to bring effective, non-immunogenic and affordable therapeutic antibodies and their derivatives to the companion animal space. These efforts aim to see the success of immunotherapies in the human arena translated into canine patients and working with Dr. Siegel, they have built the means and mechanisms to bring novel, effective antibodies, bi-specific T cell engagers, Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cells, etc.  into the canine clinic. Furthermore, isolated antibodies can also be employed in advanced veterinary immunodiagnostics, allowing for deeper insights into correlative biomarkers of clinical responses in dogs.

Don Siegel Ph.D., M.D.

Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at University of Pennsylvania,
Founder of Vetigenics, and globally recognized for groundbreaking contributions in Antibody Discovery

Dr. Siegel is Co-Founder of Vetigenics and serves as Co-Chair of its Scientific Advisory Board. He is Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and founding director of the Division of Transfusion Medicine & Therapeutic Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania where he serves as the medical director of the blood bank, apheresis unit, and hematopoietic stem cell laboratory. He also directs University of Pennsylvania’s Clinical Cell and Vaccine Production facility in the Center for Advanced Cellular Therapies which has manufactured over 3000 cell products administered to over 1000 patients including the first genetically modified cell therapy product approved by the FDA and licensed to Novartis Pharmaceuticals (KymriahÒ) and the first-in-human use of CRISPR-edited cells. Dr. Siegel’s research laboratory focuses on the discovery of recombinant human and non-human antibodies relevant to transfusion medicine, benign hematology, infectious diseases, and oncology, particularly for use in the design of targeted therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor T-cells. For several decades he has been a pioneer in the use of antibody phage display publishing over 100 papers and 40 patents in the field of recombinant antibodies and teaching these methods at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories since 1996. Dr. Siegel’s construction of Vetigenics’ comprehensive fully canine phage display library provides the platform technology for the company’s antibody discovery technologies. Dr. Siegel received an undergraduate degree in Biophysics from Brown University, a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard University, and an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a residency in Clinical Pathology and Fellowship in Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania before joining University of Pennsylvania as a member of its faculty in 1992.

Adriann Sax

President, CEO and Founder of Vetigenics, with over 30 years of leadership experience in Biopharma Operations 

Adriann Sax currently serves as President, CEO and Founder of Vetigenics applying nearly thirty years of leadership roles in human biopharmaceutical operations, R&D, commercialization, and business development to advance antibody-based immunotherapies for treating diseases of pets.

Ms. Sax started her career at Sterling Drug progressing through a series of operating and executive roles with established companies such as Merck, Bristol Myers Squibb, Roche, and smaller biotech such as Symphogen and Kadmon. She led the global launches of leading oncology and immunology drugs with a focus on antibody therapeutics. She is an active advisor and board member for multiple industry associations, academic institutions, public and nonpublic company boards. Ms. Sax received her MBA in marketing and finance from the Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University and her BSAg in animal science from the University of Delaware.

Namrata Chand

VP of Business Development and Program Management with over 20 years of extensive experience in Biopharma BD and Operations 

Ms. Chand oversees clinical trials for all products in the portfolio and works closely with executive management on corporate and capitalization strategies. She has over 15 years’ experience in the Life Science and Healthcare industries and held a longstanding executive position at La Jolla Capital Partners where she assisted a number of small to midsize biotech companies through various stages of development with special emphasis on business strategy development, capital formation, operations, manufacturing and supply chain, clinical trials, and business development. Most recently, Ms. Chand led Investor Relations and Business Development for Ryca International, an innovative dental product company that entered into a joint venture with a leading global medtech company. Additionally, Ms. Chand serves on the Advisory Board of a number of early-stage biotech companies.

 

Yin Yin Chan

Director of Antibody Discovery, 15+ years of leadership experience in molecular biology, cloning, cell line development, and protein production.

Yin Yin Chan serves as the Director of Antibody Discovery at Vetigenics. Yin Yin obtained a dual BS/MS degree at Drexel University, with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering and a Master of Science in Biology. Yin Yin is a molecular biologist with over 15 years of industry experience in the human oncology therapeutics field. Prior to Vetigenics, Yin Yin has led several projects to develop and optimize cell line development in CHO and HEK cells for the production of antibodies. She has also designed and expressed numerous antibody targets, as well as optimized a bispecific antibody platform. At Vetigenics, Yin works closely with Dr. Siegel and Dr. Mason to express and characterize fully canine antibodies from Vetigenics’ proprietary CANIBODY library. Yin Yin has set up a platform to produce small scale antibody in house. Yin Yin provides leadership and manages in-house projects along with external collaborations with partners.

Marc Brillantes

Marc Brillantes Ph.D.

Research Scientist with over 10 years of experience in Cellular Immunology and Immune System Research

Marc Brillantes serves as a Research Scientist at Vetigenics. He began his scientific career at the Rockefeller University in New York City, where he was trained in a wide range of molecular biology and biochemistry techniques. He then earned his Ph.D. in immunology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. His doctoral thesis focused on the cellular and molecular regulation of natural killer cell development. Dr. Brillantes works closely with Drs. Wang, Siegel, and Mason to discover and characterize lead candidates for therapeutic antibodies, through phage panning, protein expression, and flow cytometry.

Lexi Pusey

Lexi Pusey

Quality and Laboratory Manager with 3+ years of expertise in Program Management, Quality Processes, Standard Operating Procedures, and Procurement 

Lexi Pusey serves as the Quality Laboratory Manager at Vetigenics, where she oversees laboratory operations and manages the company’s quality management system. She works closely with our scientists by monitoring lab activities and providing technical experimental research support. Ms. Pusey is well-versed in cGMP regulations, FDA, ISO, and USDA guidelines for the development and manufacture of animal and human pharmaceutical products. Prior to joining Vetigenics, Ms. Pusey gained valuable biotech industry experience at Castle Creek Biosciences, where she began her career in cell manufacturing and quickly progressed to lead a team in developing transformative therapies for patients and families seeking relief from devastating genetic diseases. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Coastal Carolina University and pursues ongoing certifications and training to expand her biotech knowledge.

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