Industry Veterans Bolster Company’s Business and Regulatory Functions —

South San Francisco, Calif., January 24, 2022 – Asher Biotherapeutics, a biotechnology company developing precisely-targeted immunotherapies for cancer, autoimmune, and infectious diseases, today announced the expansion of its executive leadership team with the appointments of Don O’Sullivan, Ph.D., M.B.A., as Chief Business Officer, James Cross, Ph.D., as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Florence Zhu, CPA, as Vice President, Finance. Together, these leaders will support the company’s growth and further enhance its ability to advance a growing pipeline of highly differentiated precision immunotherapies through research and development.

“We are delighted to welcome Don, Jamie and Florence to Asher Bio,” said Craig Gibbs, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Asher Bio. “Each is a highly talented industry veteran, with experience building high quality and successful biotechnology companies and advancing clinical pipelines in oncology in a manner consistent with our core values. We look forward to their many contributions as we continue to make significant progress across our business, with the potential to advance two oncology programs into clinical development over the next two years, while collaborating to broaden our cis-targeted programs into the areas of cell therapy augmentation, autoimmune and infectious diseases.”

Don O’Sullivan, Ph.D., M.B.A., Chief Business Officer 

Dr. O’Sullivan brings nearly 15 years of leadership experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical business development. Dr. O’Sullivan joins Asher Bio from Roche and Genentech, where he served most recently as Vice President, Global Head of Oncology Partnering, with responsibility for all oncology pipeline business development activities. Earlier, Dr. O’Sullivan held positions of increasing responsibility at Genentech, including leading partnering efforts for gRED’s Immunology and Infectious Disease R&D groups. Dr. O’Sullivan holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Cambridge, an M.B.A. in Healthcare and Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Imperial College London.

“I am incredibly excited by the modularity of Asher Bio’s platform, which enables the rapid generation and de-risking of new molecules against a diverse set of immune cell types, spanning multiple therapeutic areas,” said Dr. O’Sullivan. “Over the course of my career, I have developed a deep appreciation of the need for more selective medicines for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases, which can deliver robust efficacy without introducing significant off-target toxicity. I am eager to leverage my experience to maximize the reach of Asher Bio’s cis-targeted technology and ultimately enable many more patients to achieve better clinical outcomes.”

James Cross, Ph.D., Vice President, Regulatory Affairs 

Dr. Cross is an established industry veteran, with nearly 20 years of experience working in industry, academia and at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Prior to Asher Bio, Dr. Cross founded and served as the principal regulatory consultant of Cross BioStrategies, LLC, where he assisted companies with product development strategies, regulatory filings, and regulatory leadership.  Earlier, he served as Executive Director of Regulatory Affairs at Halozyme Therapeutics, leading product strategy for assets in global late-stage oncology development, and as Head of Regulatory Affairs at Forty Seven Inc. (acquired by Gilead Sciences, Inc.), where he supported the clinical program expansion for the company’s lead asset, magrolimab, while managing the regulatory, quality assurance and medical writing functions. Dr. Cross started his industry career in roles of increasing responsibility at Genentech, after working for five years at the FDA. Dr. Cross holds a Ph.D. in Health Outcomes Research from the University of Washington, an M.S. in Immunology from the University of California at Davis, and a B.S. in Biology and French from Tufts University.

“I am honored to join the talented team at Asher Bio at this important moment, as the company prepares to file its first investigational new drug application to advance AB248 into clinical development,” said Dr. Cross. “I am impressed by the compelling anti-tumor activity that has been observed across multiple preclinical models and believe AB248 may offer a best-in-class IL-2 immunotherapy. I look forward to partnering with the team on a clinical and regulatory strategy for AB248 that efficiently advances this program through development for the benefit of patients and their doctors.”

Florence Zhu, CPA, Vice President, Finance

Ms. Zhu brings over 20 years of finance, financial reporting and public company management experience in the life sciences industry. Prior to joining Asher Bio, Ms. Zhu was the Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller at Olema Oncology, where she made significant contributions to their public company transition and the establishment of their finance team. Earlier, she served as Senior Director, Corporate Controller at Forty Seven, Inc. (acquired by Gilead Sciences, Inc.) and at Five Prime Therapeutics (acquired by Amgen), and in roles of increasing responsibility at Codexis, Inc., Maxygen Inc., Varian Inc. and Guidant Corporation. Ms. Zhu is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a B.A. in Accounting from the State University of New York at New Paltz.

“Over the last two years, Asher Bio has assembled an incredible team of industry leaders with a shared belief in the breakthrough potential of cis-targeted immunotherapies, as well as a strong investor syndicate to support the advancement of its lead product candidates,” said Ms. Zhu. “I am delighted to join Asher Bio and look forward to working with the team to establish a robust business organization that can serve as a foundation for long-term growth.”

About Asher Bio

Asher Bio is a biotechnology company developing precisely targeted immunotherapies for cancer and other diseases. Our cis-targeting platform aims to enable selective activation of specific immune cell types, addressing the inherent limitations of otherwise pleiotropic immunotherapies that act on multiple cell types. Our approach has the potential to precisely direct different immune mediators against a range of target immune cell-types and create best-in-class immunotherapies in cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases. Asher Bio was founded by Ivana Djuretic and Andy Yeung with support from Third Rock Ventures and is located in South San Francisco. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @AsherBio and on LinkedIn.

Media Contact
Kathryn Morris, The Yates Network

Investor Contact
Hannah Deresiewicz, Stern Investor Relations, Inc.



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