Board of Directors
Bob Duggan joined the Board of Directors in December 2019 and has been the Executive Chairman our Board since February 2020. Mr. Duggan has served as our Chief Executive Officer since April 2020.
Since 2015, Mr. Duggan has also been the Founder and CEO of Duggan Investments, a venture capital and equity investment firm. His firm’s investments primarily focus on patient-friendly breakthrough solutions to complex diseases of aging. From 2008 to 2015, Mr. Duggan was Chairman, CEO, and the largest investor in Pharmacyclics, Inc., a patient-friendly, science-based, employee-driven developer of small-molecule medicines for the treatment of certain cancers. Mr. Duggan led both the multimillion-dollar collaboration and license deal for ibrutinib (later marketed as IMBRUVICA®) with Johnson & Johnson in 2011, and the subsequent sale of Pharmacyclics to AbbVie Inc. in 2015. The acquisition of Pharmacyclics by AbbVie for approximately $21B remains one of the largest transactions to have occurred in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. From 1990 to 2003, Mr. Duggan was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Computer Motion, Inc., a groundbreaking robotic surgery company that helped change the way in which many surgical procedures are performed around the world with the assistance of its minimally invasive, robotics-based surgical systems. From 1997 to 2003, Mr. Duggan also served as CEO of Computer Motion. In June 2003, Computer Motion merged with Intuitive Surgical, Inc. From the completion of the merger in 2003 until 2011, Mr. Duggan served on the Board of Directors of Intuitive Surgical. Mr. Duggan received a US Congressional Medal of Merit from Congressman Dr. Ron Paul in 1985. In 2000, he was named a Knight of the Legion D’Honor by President Jacques Chirac of France.
Beyond Summit, Mr. Duggan is currently the Chairman of the Board at Pulse BioSciences, Inc., and is also a member of the University of California at Santa Barbara Foundation Board of Trustees. Mr. Duggan has also funded two Chairs in Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences, as well as a Chair in Religious Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Dr. Maky Zanganeh, DDS, is a recognized leader in the healthcare industry and is currently Chief Executive Officer, President, and member of the Board of Directors of Summit Therapeutics. Dr. Zanganeh was recognized in the “CEO appointments – 21 women who made CEO in 2022” article published in Business Chief Leadership & Strategy, August 2022. It was noted in this article that “…women represent just 15% of chief executives employed by Fortune 500 companies, equaling 74 female chiefs, while globally, just 5% of chiefs are female.”
Dr. Zanganeh is the recipient of many awards and honors including:
- Honored speaker at the United Nations 7th International Day of Woman & Girls in Science Assembly conference, during the Esteemed Closing Ceremony, in February 2022.
- Honored as one of the Top 10 Influential Chief Operating Officers of 2021 by Industry Era magazine.
- Invited to be a keynote speaker to share the stories in her book at multiple companies and conferences including Medable, an elite company named to the CNBC 2022 Disruptor List, and the Iranian American Women Foundation (IAWF) Leadership Conference, held in October 2022.
- Earned the Fierce Biotech “Top Women in Biotech 2013” award.
- Finalist for the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in 2013.
- Board member of two public companies.
One of her greatest leadership accomplishments occurred when Dr. Zanganeh, as Chief Operating Officer at Pharmacyclics, Inc., led a team to develop and commercialize a game-changing treatment, ibrutinib, for a wide range of blood cancers. She led this struggling biotech company to a multimillion-dollar collaboration and license deal for ibrutinib with Johnson & Johnson in 2011 and the subsequent sale of the company for $21 billion in 2015 to AbbVie Inc., which was the second largest biopharma sale ever in the industry at that time. The deal with Johnson & Johnson received the “Best Biotech Transaction” award in 2011. Under her leadership in 2015, Pharmacyclics was also awarded the prestigious Prix Galien for “Best Pharmaceutical Agent.” This award is the biomedical industry’s highest accolade and recognizes outstanding achievements in the development of new therapies.
Dr. Zanganeh was President of EMEA / Global VP of Training and Education for Computer Motion, Inc. (Pioneers in Robotic Surgery) which later merged with Intuitive, Inc. (ISRG) company in June 2003. Dr. Zanganeh was awarded her DDS (Dental Degree of Surgery) from the Louis Pasteur University, France and an MBA from Schiller International University, France. She is fluent in French, German, Farsi, and English. She is also a published author, recently releasing her book entitled The Magic of Normal.
Manmeet Soni has extensive experience in transitioning biotechnology companies from development stage through commercialization and globalization. Mr. Soni joined Summit in October 2023 from Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he was President, Chief Operating Officer, & Chief Financial Officer. His tenure at Reata culminated in its sale to Biogen Inc. for $7.5 billion.
Prior to joining Reata, Mr. Soni served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly held company, from May 2017 until August 2019. From March 2016 to February 2017, Mr. Soni served as the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly held biopharmaceutical company, when ARIAD was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. Mr. Soni continued as an employee of ARIAD through May 2017. Previously, Mr. Soni served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Pharmacyclics, Inc., a publicly held biopharmaceutical company, until its acquisition by AbbVie in 2015. Prior to joining Pharmacyclics, Mr. Soni worked at ZELTIQ Aesthetics Inc., a publicly held medical technology company, as corporate controller. Prior to ZELTIQ, Mr. Soni worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in their Life Science and Venture Capital Group.
Mr. Soni currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Pulse Biosciences, Inc. and Summit Therapeutics Inc., and previously served as a member of the board of directors of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc., each of which is a publicly traded company. Mr. Soni graduated from Hansraj College at Delhi University in India. He is a CPA and Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Ujwala Mahatme has over 30 years of experience in corporate law and financing in a diverse range of companies from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, including those in the healthcare and biotechnology sector. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Mahatme Bitterman PLLC, where she focuses on US and international clients in the healthcare/biotechnology, technology and real estate sectors. Previously, Ms. Mahatme served as Counsel at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Counsel and Associate at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. Ms. Mahatme serves on the board of Lakota Children’s Enrichment and was a past board member of the Board of Education, Lake Placid Central School District and Greenacres Association. She received her Bachelor of Commerce (accounting, business, and economics) from Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce, University of Poona, her Bachelor of Laws (general) from ILS Law School, University of Poona, Master of Laws (general law) from the University of Cambridge and Master of Laws (corporate law) from New York University.
Ken Clark has served on our Board of Directors since October 2021. Mr. Clark is currently a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (“WSGR”) based out of the firm’s Palo Alto, CA, office. At WSGR, Mr. Clark advises biotech companies in strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and financing transactions, in addition to a range of other matters. Mr. Clark has previously served as a member of the boards of directors for multiple publicly traded companies, including Pulse BioSciences, Inc. and Pharmacyclics, Inc., in addition to serving two terms on WSGR’s Board of Directors. Mr. Clark received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and earned his juris doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law.
Robert Booth, Ph.D., has served on our Board of Directors since September 2022.
Dr. Booth initiated the BTK inhibitor program at Celera Genomics, Inc. that ultimately became Pharmacyclics, Inc.’s IMBRUVICA® (ibrutinib), the blockbuster drug that changed the paradigm of treatment for many hematological cancers.
Dr. Booth was most recently an adjunct professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. He has over 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry from executive positions to research and scientific leadership primarily focusing in the areas of oncology, inflammation, and autoimmune disease. He is the co-founder of CuraSen Therapeutics, Inc. where he was previously the Executive Chairman and currently serves as an advisor. He was also the co-founder and CEO of Virobay, Inc. Prior to Virobay, Dr. Booth was an operating partner at TPG Inc. in its biotech fund and served as the Chief Scientific Officer of Celera Genomics. He spent more than a decade in roles of increasing responsibility in research and business development culminating in a Senior Vice President role at Hoffman-La Roche AG (“Roche”). Dr. Booth currently serves on the board of Thryv Therapeutics Inc.; he previously served on the boards of Pharmacyclics, Inc., and CymaBay Inc. He graduated from the University of London with his PhD in biochemistry.
Alessandra Cesano, MD, Ph.D., has served on our Board of Directors since November 2022.
Dr. Cesano is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Essa Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: EPIX), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing novel therapies for the treatment of prostate cancer. Previously, she was the CMO at NanoString Inc. and Cleave Biosciences. She has 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry focused in oncology, including extensive experience at Biogen, Amgen, and GSK. She was instrumental in the development and approval of two marketed drugs including Vectibix® (panitumumab), an anti-EGFR antibody for the treatment of certain colorectal cancers. Dr. Cesano currently serves on the board of Puma Biotechnology Inc. (NASDAQ: PBYI), a clinical stage oncology company focused on solid tumors. She graduated from the University of Turin with her Ph.D in tumor immunology and her MD. She is a Board Certified oncologist in Europe.
Michelle Xia, Ph.D., has served on our Board of Directors since January 2023. Dr Xia has exceptional experience in leadership across scientific discovery, R&D, building and scaling manufacturing, and overall leadership through her experience at companies in the US. Dr. Michelle Xia, is the founder of Akeso, Inc., and has been the chairwoman, president and CEO of the Company since its inception in 2012.
Dr. Xia has over 27 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and academic research. Prior to founding our Group, Dr. Xia held senior leadership roles at Crown Bioscience Inc., where she played a decisive role in constructing Crown Bioscience’s platform, building its team, setting and implementing its strategies, and forging its joint venture with Pfizer (the Pfizer-Crown Asian Cancer Research Centre). From 2006 to 2008, Dr. Xia served as a senior scientist and group leader at PDL BioPharma, Inc. (later acquired by AbbVie). In 2006, Dr. Xia served as a senior process development scientist at Bayer Corporation in the U.S. At both PDL BioPharma and Bayer, Dr. Xia oversaw CMC, process development and manufacturing of therapeutic protein and antibody drugs. Dr. Xia began her pharmaceutical career at Axys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (later acquired by Celera Genomics), where she held both scientific and managerial roles in drug discovery programs from December 2000 to December 2005, overseeing a broad range of activities from target validation through IND-enabling studies.
Dr. Xia received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Sun Yat-sen University in China in 1988. She earned her Ph.D. degree in molecular biology and microbiology from Newcastle University in the U.K. in 1994. Dr. Xia completed her postdoctoral research training at the University of Glasgow in the U.K. from 1993 to 1996, and she also conducted the cancer immune therapy research at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in the U.S. from 1996 to 2000.
Over the years, Dr. XIA has served important roles in numerous influential organizations, including a member of the Special Committee for Monoclonal Antibody of the China Medicinal Biotech Association, a committee member of the Special Committee for Science and Technology Innovation of China Overseas Returnee Entrepreneur Investment Association, an advisory committee member of the Chinese Antibody Society, and a director of Tongxieyi Antibody Talent Club. Dr. Xia has also received numerous awards and recognitions for her contributions to both the pharmaceutical industry and commercial enterprises. Most recently, Dr. XIA was selected into Forbes’ Powerful Women in Technology in 2020 and in 2023 was named by Forbes China as a Top 100 Women in Business in China.