President & CEO, Director and Co-Founder
Grant has nearly 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech arena having responsibility for multiple vaccine and immunotherapeutic drug approvals and the formation and financing of multiple successful platform companies. Prior to starting SutroVax, Mr. Pickering was the CEO of Mymetics Corporation, a public European-based vaccine company developing a prophylactic RSV vaccine, based on a virosomal platform technology. Prior to that he was an executive-in-residence at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, while serving as the CEO at Juvaris BioTherapeutics, whose immunotherapeutic and vaccine adjuvant platform yielded multiple animal health products launched by its alliance partner Bayer HealthCare, including Zelnate® and Victrio®. Prior to Juvaris, Mr. Pickering spent many years at Dendreon Corporation where he played a prominent role in the company’s IPO and led clinical development, operations and business development culminating in the launch of the therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine, Provenge®. He also led marketing and business development for the pain management platform company, Algos Pharmaceutical Corporation, which was acquired by Endo Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Pickering began his career at Glaxo and Johnson & Johnson in sales, marketing and clinical research roles culminating in the launches of Flonase® and Floxin®. Mr. Pickering earned his BS degree in marketing from The Pennsylvania State University and his MBA from Georgetown University with high honors. Outside of SutroVax, Grant enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, living vicariously through their soccer triumphs, and gives back through mentoring and supporting education both domestically and in developing countries. His loyalty was finally rewarded when his hometown team, the Kansas City Royals, won the World Series.
Ash Khanna, PhD
Chief Business Officer and Co-Founder
Ash has over 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech arena having co-invented and led early development of multiple approved drugs before segueing into venture capital, where he led numerous investments, including the first institutional round for Sutro Biopharma. Prior to co-founding SutroVax, he served as President & Chief Business Officer of Imagen Biotech, a VC-backed startup developing treatments for severe ophthalmic diseases. Prior to his operating role at Imagen, Ash was a Principal at SV Life Sciences (SVLS), a healthcare focused venture capital firm, where he led and managed investments in many biotech and diagnostic companies including, among others, Ophthotech, Mpex Pharmaceuticals, Good Start Genetics and Itero Biopharmaceuticals. He started his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Bristol-Myers Squibb where he held various positions including Team Leader responsible for the clinical advancement of multiple Diabetes programs including the currently marketed products, Onglyza® (Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor) and Farxiga® (SGLT2 inhibitor). He is a co-inventor of Onglyza. Ash received an MBA from The Wharton School and a PhD in Pharmaceutics from SUNY-Buffalo. He has also served as a Kauffman Fellow and initially trained as a Pharmacist. In his spare time, Ash DJs for friends and family and is actively involved at his twin’s elementary school, where he choreographs and directs the annual talent show.
Elaine D Sun, MBA
Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Sun is a veteran strategic financial and business advisor with more than two decades of experience in the life sciences industry. Prior to joining SutroVax, she served as Managing Director and head of West Coast health care for Evercore Partners, a leading independent investment banking advisory firm, where she led biotechnology coverage. Prior to Evercore, Ms. Sun was a Managing Director at Merrill Lynch and Co. in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group, advising large-cap pharmaceutical, biotechnology and specialty pharmaceutical companies on a range of strategic and financing transactions. During her investment banking tenure, Ms. Sun advised on M&A and financing transactions representing over $50 billion in aggregate transaction value. Most recently, Ms. Sun built a successful consulting practice, advising venture-backed companies on a range of strategic, financing, partnering and M&A decisions. Ms. Sun received a B.A. in Economics and Japanese Studies from Wellesley College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Jeff Fairman, PhD
Vice President of Research and Co-Founder
Jeff has over 20 years of experience in the biotech arena having led research at multiple platform companies he’s co-founded resulting in multiple clinical candidates and approved vaccines and immunotherapeutics. Prior to SutroVax, Jeff was the founder and Vice President of Research at Juvaris BioTherapeutics, whose immunotherapeutic & vaccine adjuvant platform yielded multiple animal health products launched by its alliance partner Bayer HealthCare, including Zelnate® and Victrio®. While at Juvaris, Jeff was the recipient of major grant funding from multiple sources, including NIH and NCI, supporting substantial pre-clinical programs and multiple clinical studies. He was responsible for research activities resulting in multiple clinical candidates and the approved animal health products. Prior to Juvaris, Jeff was the Director of Pharmacogenomics at Clingenix and Senior Scientist at Valentis. Dr. Fairman has a PhD in Chemistry and his postdoctoral training was in the genetics of leukemia at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter and has put his amateur taekwondo career on hold, for the time being, to be courtside rooting for his daughter’s school and club volleyball teams.
Paul W Sauer, MBA
Vice President, Process Development & Manufacturing
Paul has over 30 years of experience industrializing biologics for numerous biotechnology companies. Prior to joining SutroVax, Paul was VP of Process Sciences & Manufacturing at Igenica Biotherapeutics, where he initiated the company’s development activities and built its supply chain network for GMP manufacturing of its antibody drug conjugates. Prior to that, Paul was Senior Director of Process Development at OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, where he contributed to multiple IND filings for the company’s antibody-based oncology therapies. He also held various process, engineering, scale-up, and manufacturing positions at Protein Design Labs, Scios, and Genentech. Through the years, Paul has contributed to numerous approved biologics, including Genentech’s Activase® and Pulmozyme®. He also contributed significantly to the development of the patented high-yield process that formed the basis for production of Abbvie and Biogen’s ZinbrytaTM, a humanized antibody approved for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. Paul earned an MBA at Santa Clara University and a BS in Genetics from the University of California, Davis. Paul enjoys spending quality time with his family and helping his wife with her non-profit organization focused on transforming health through diet.