About

TEMPEST THERAPEUTICS IS A CLINICAL STAGE BIOTECHNOLOGY COMPANY ADVANCING SMALL MOLECULE THERAPEUTICS THAT MODULATE ANTI-TUMOR PATHWAYS.

Tempest has a balanced and deep pipeline consisting of first-in-class and best-in-class small molecule therapeutics, which modulate distinct pathways relevant to mounting an effective anti-tumor response. Tempest has assembled an experienced team of small molecule and immuno-oncology drug developers to advance these programs to the clinic across diverse cancers representing significant unmet medical need. Tempest is backed by a syndicate of leading US and China-based venture capital firms.

Tempest Leadership Team

EXPERIENCED TEAM OF SMALL MOLECULE ONCOLOGY DRUG DEVELOPERS

Thomas W. Dubensky photo

Tom Dubensky, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Dubensky has served as the CEO of Tempest Therapeutics since joining the company in 2017. He brings significant expertise in the discovery, development and translation of novel immune therapies for the treatment of cancer. Prior to Tempest, Dr. Dubensky served as the Chief Scientific Officer of Aduro Biotech, where he led the development of first-in-class STING (stimulator of interferon genes) agonists. His leadership was instrumental in securing Aduro’s $750M collaboration with Novartis for the STING program. Before his role at Aduro, he served as Chief Scientific Officer of Immune Design, where he was responsible for leading the development of immune therapies based on proprietary molecularly defined adjuvants and dendritic cell-targeting vaccine platforms. Prior to this, in 2007 he co-founded and served as Chief Scientific Officer of Anza Therapeutics, a biotechnology company that was spun out from Cerus Corporation. Dr. Dubensky has also served scientific leadership and strategic roles at Viagene, Chiron Corporation and Onyx Pharmaceuticals. He has co-authored more than 75 scientific papers and is an inventor on 44 issued U.S. patents with multiple pending applications. Dr. Dubensky received his B.A. in Bacteriology and Immunology from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He conducted his post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Pathology.

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Stephen Brady

PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Mr. Brady joined Tempest as president and chief operating officer in September 2019. Most recently, he served as executive vice president, strategy and finance at Immune Design, a biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by Merck in 2019. At Immune Design, Mr. Brady led the general and administrative functions at the company, including strategy, corporate development, finance and investor and public relations, and was instrumental in the company’s successful IPO, financings and eventual sale to Merck. Prior to Immune Design, he held roles of increasing responsibility in multiple biopharmaceutical companies, including as vice president of corporate development at Proteolix, where he had primary responsibility for the company’s business development activities and sale to Onyx Pharmaceuticals.

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Chan Whiting, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Research and Development

Dr. Whiting is the Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Tempest. Prior to Tempest, she was Director and Head of Immune Monitoring and Biomarker Development at Aduro Biotech where she established key partnerships, brought in cutting edge technologies and built up a department of highly effective immunologists that was responsible for all clinical immune monitoring and biomarker development efforts for clinical trials at Aduro. She also led the development of Aduro’s personalized medicine program targeting patient-specific neoantigens using Aduro’s attenuated Listeria monocytogenes-based LADD platform. Prior to Aduro, Dr. Whiting has led target identification and validation programs for systems biology companies including Entelos, Inc. and Ingenuity Systems (currently Qiagen) in the development and application of mathematical mechanistic models and other in silico computational tools for autoimmunity, infectious diseases and oncology.

Dr. Whiting received a B.S. degree in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Immunology from University of California, Los Angeles and completed postdoctoral studies at Tularik and Stanford University.

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Sharon Sakai, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

Dr. Sakai has held various regulatory positions for over twenty years at several Bay Area biotechnology companies including Avigen, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, and Peninsula Pharmaceuticals. She has extensive experience ranging from numerous IND submissions through NDA and BLA preparation and approval. She joined Transcept Pharmaceuticals in 2005, building the Regulatory department and ultimately rising to Vice President of Regulatory and Quality, leading the company to an NDA approval in 2011. From 2013 to 2015, Dr. Sakai served as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Adamas Pharmaceuticals. She has consulted for several Bay Area biotech and pharmaceutical companies across multiple therapeutic areas including Neurology, Gastroenterology, Oncology, and Rare Diseases. Client companies have included Aduro, SillaJen, and BioMarin. Dr. Sakai’s early career included Cell Biology research at the NIH as a Senior Staff Fellow and managing virus production facilities at early stage gene therapy companies. Dr. Sakai received a BS in Microbiology from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley.

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Anne Moon

Vice President, Head of Project Team Leadership, Project Management and Portfolio Management

Dr. Moon joins Tempest with over 20 years of industry experience in oncology drug development and brings expertise in leading projects, development science functions and project management. Most recently she was VP, Project Management, at Aduro Biotech where she implemented procedures to support corporate growth and portfolio expansion. Dr. Moon also served as Project Team Leader for Aduro’s Ovarian and Gastric cancer programs. Prior to Aduro, Dr. Moon was a founding member of Jennerex Biotherapeutics (acquired by SillaJen in 2014) where she served as VP, Product Development, with responsibilities that included preclinical development, clinical bioanalytics, and next-generation oncolytic virus research, in addition to leading project management and managing intellectual property filings. Prior to Jennerex, Dr. Moon established the cell-based screening program and managed intellectual property filings at Cytokinetics. Dr. Moon completed post-doctoral training at Onyx Pharmaceuticals within the small molecule therapeutics program targeting small GTPases. She received her Ph.D. in Molecular & Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley and an AB in Biology from Harvard University.

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Peppi Prasit, Ph.D.

Acting Chief Scientific Officer/Director

Dr. Prasitis CEO of Inception Sciences, acting CSO and Director at Tempest Therapeutics. Previously, he was founder and CSO of Amira Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in a significant transaction. He has more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical research and management serving in various positions with Merck Frosst Canada and then Merck San Diego. During this time, he played a pivotal role in the discovery of multiple marketed drugs and is widely recognized for his accomplishments as a drug hunter.

Dr. Prasit received his B.Sc. from UCL, London University, and his Ph.D. from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University.

Board of Directors

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Mike Raab, Chairman

PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ARDELYX

Mr. Raab has served as Ardelyx’s president and chief executive officer since March 2009. Before Ardelyx, he was a partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), one of the world’s largest and most successful venture capital firms, where he specialized in healthcare investments focusing on the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors.

Prior to joining NEA in 2002, Mr. Raab spent 15 years in commercial and operating leadership roles in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. He was senior vice president, therapeutics and general manager of the renal division at Genzyme Corporation, a Sanofi company. In this position, he launched and oversaw the sales growth of sevelamer, the leading phosphate binder for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia, with over $1.0 billion in worldwide sales in 2013. Mr. Raab was also instrumental in the worldwide launch of Genzyme’s therapies for Gaucher disease, Ceredase and Cerezyme. Mike also spent two years with Genzyme’s diagnostic products and services division. Previous to Genzyme, he held business development and sales and marketing positions at Repligen and Bristol-Myers.

Mr. Raab received his B.A. from DePauw University.

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Tom Woiwode, Ph.D.

Director, Managing Director, Versant Ventures

Dr. Woiwode has been working with Versant since 2002, and has served in both operational and investment roles during that time. He was the start-up CBO for Amira (sale), Synosia (sale) and Flexion (2014 IPO), and was the COO of Okairos where he led the process that culminated in the acquisition by GSK. Since being promoted to Managing Director in 2014, Dr. Woiwode has assumed the lead role in multiple investments including Crispr (2016 IPO), Audentes (2016 IPO), Annapurna (merged to form Adverum), Gritstone (2018 IPO), Crinetics (2018 IPO), Jecure (sale) Anokion, Therachon, Vividion, Tempest, Aligos, CODA and Passage.

Prior to joining Versant, he was a medicinal chemist at XenoPort, a start-up biotech company that completed an IPO in 2005. Dr. Woiwode earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University.

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Paul Grayson

Director, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, Bird Rock Bio

Mr. Grayson also is president and CEO of La Jolla-based Bird Rock Bio, a Versant portfolio company focused on fibrotic, metabolic and inflammatory diseases. Prior to joining Bird Rock Bio, Paul was the founding CEO of Fate Therapeutics, a clinical-stage, next-generation cellular immunotherapy company.

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Robert Weisskoff, Ph.D.

Director, Partner, F-Prime Capital

Dr. Weisskoff, Partner, joined F-Prime Capital in 2004. Dr. Weisskoff has worked extensively in both academia and the bioscience industry for thirty years. Prior to F-Prime, he held various senior roles in R&D and Business Development at both pharmaceutical and medical device companies. In his academic career, Dr. Weisskoff was Associate Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, on the faculty of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences Technology (HST) Program, and performed research at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was Associate Director of the MGH-NMR Center. There he worked at the intersection of basic research, medical technology development, and clinical research in a variety of areas. He is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, and an inventor on 6 US patents.

Dr. Weisskoff holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from Columbia University. He received his A.B. degree in Physics from Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

He serves on the Board of Directors of Caribou Biosciences, Plasmagen Biosciences, Tempest Therapeutics, Trivitron Healthcare, and Zenflow, Inc. He has previously served on the boards of Accuri Cytometers (acquired by Becton Dickinson), Laurus Labs (NSE:LAURUSLABS), Surface Oncology, Tetraphase (NASDAQ:TTPH), Transave (NASDAQ:INSM), Topaz (acquired by Sanofi Pasteur), and ViewRay (NASDAQ:VRAY).

See more at: http://fprimecapital.com

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Stella Xu, Ph.D.

Director, Managing Director, Quan Capital

Dr. Xu is a Managing Director of Quan Capital, a life sciences venture fund with deep expertise in cross-board value creation and global investments, and a Board Director of ARMO Biosciences and Centrexion Therapeutics. Prior to Quan, she was a core member of the global management team for Roche’s Immunology, Inflammation & Infectious Diseases Areas, and VP/Site Head of Roche Innovation Center Shanghai. From 2012-2017, she led the integrated research & early development site of ~200 scientists, successfully delivered a world-class innovative pipeline from Discovery to global Clinical Development in 3 years, and pioneered novel development strategies in China. In addition, Dr. Xu had extensive global business development and licensing leadership experiences across deal types and disease areas in the US and Asia with Roche Partnering. She joined Roche from McKinsey US where she led management consulting engagements in diverse healthcare sectors from R&D to commercialization. Earlier in her career, Dr. Xu worked in biotech R&D in oncology & inflammation.

Dr. Xu received her Ph.D. in Immunology from Northwestern University, and B.S. in Biophysics from Peking University.

Thomas W. Dubensky photo

Tom Dubensky, Ph.D.

Director, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, Tempest Therapeutics

Dr. Dubensky has served as the CEO of Tempest Therapeutics since joining the company in 2017. He brings significant expertise in the discovery, development and translation of novel immune therapies for the treatment of cancer. Prior to Tempest, Dr. Dubensky served as the Chief Scientific Officer of Aduro Biotech, where he led the development of first-in-class STING (stimulator of interferon genes) agonists. His leadership was instrumental in securing Aduro’s $750M collaboration with Novartis for the STING program. Before his role at Aduro, he served as Chief Scientific Officer of Immune Design, where he was responsible for leading the development of immune therapies based on proprietary molecularly defined adjuvants and dendritic cell-targeting vaccine platforms. Prior to this, in 2007 he co-founded and served as Chief Scientific Officer of Anza Therapeutics, a biotechnology company that was spun out from Cerus Corporation. Dr. Dubensky has also served scientific leadership and strategic roles at Viagene, Chiron Corporation and Onyx Pharmaceuticals. He has co-authored more than 75 scientific papers and is an inventor on 44 issued U.S. patents with multiple pending applications. Dr. Dubensky received his B.A. in Bacteriology and Immunology from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He conducted his post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Pathology.

Peppi Prasit photo

Peppi Prasit, Ph.D.

ACTING CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER/DIRECTOR

Dr. Prasit is CEO of Inception Sciences, acting CSO and Director at Tempest Therapeutics. Previously, he was founder and CSO of Amira Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in a significant transaction. He has more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical research and management serving in various positions with Merck Frosst Canada and then Merck San Diego. During this time, he played a pivotal role in the discovery of multiple marketed drugs and is widely recognized for his accomplishments as a drug hunter.

Dr. Prasit received his B.Sc. from UCL, London University, and his Ph.D. from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University.

TARGETS

UNIQUE PORTFOLIO OF SMALL MOLECULE THERAPEUTICS FOR NOVEL AND KEY EMERGING TARGETS IN ONCOLOGY

PPARa Antagonist

Tempest is advancing TPST-1120, a first-in-class antagonist against peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα). PPARα is a transcription factor that regulates fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and inflammation.

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Tempest is advancing a novel EP2-EP4 dual antagonist, which has a unique profile and higher potency compared to other single EP4 antagonists in clinical development. The molecule is now advancing into IND enabling studies and is anticipated to be in the clinic in late 2019 / early 2020.

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Early Stage Program

Tempest has an early stage program with a unique approach to activate the innate immune system selectively in the tumor microenvironment.

Discovery Programs

Pipeline

Tempest Therapeutics is building a pipeline of first-in-class and best-in-class small molecules that disrupt pathways used by tumors to evade immune detection.

Investors and Partners

Versant Ventures logo

F-Prime Capital logo

Quan Capital logo

Lilly Asia Ventures logo

Foresite Capital logo

Eight Roads Venture Capital logo

Inception Science logo

 

Scientific and Clinical Advisors

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Benjamin F. Cravatt

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Cravatt is a Professor and the Norton B. Gilula Chair of Chemical Biology in the Department of Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute. His research group is interested in developing chemical proteomic technologies that enable protein and drug discovery on a global scale and applying these methods to characterize proteins that play important roles in human physiology and disease, especially as pertains to the nervous system and cancer. Dr. Cravatt obtained his undergraduate education at Stanford University, receiving a B.S. in the Biological Sciences and a B.A. in History. He then received a Ph.D. from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in 1996. Professor Cravatt joined the faculty at TSRI in 1997. Dr. Cravatt is an Associate Editor for JACS and is a co-founder of Activx Biosciences, Abide Therapeutics, and Vividion Therapeutics. His honors include a Searle Scholar Award, the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, a Cope Scholar Award, the Protein Society Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award, the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, the ASBMB Merck Award, and memberships in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, and National Academy of Sciences.

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Toni K. Choueiri, M.D.

CLINICAL ADVISOR

Toni K. Choueiri, M.D. is the Jerome and Nancy Kohlberg Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. He is Director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary (GU) Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is the Co-Leader of the Kidney Cancer Program at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. Dr. Choueiri’s research focuses on developing novel therapies and biomarkers in GU malignancies, including kidney cancer. He also focuses on epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment outcomes of GU cancers using large scale approaches such as meta-analyses from available published trials or national databases. He has over 450 publications and is the lead investigator of multiple national and international phase I-III trials in GU cancers. He serves on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Kidney Cancer Panel and on the GU Steering Committee Task Force of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Choueiri received his M.D. from Saint Joseph University Faculty of Medicine in Lebanon. He then completed his Internal Medicine residency and fellowship in Medical Oncology from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

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Jason J. Luke, M.D., F.A.C.P.

Clinical Advisor

Jason J. Luke, M.D., F.A.C.P. is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and is Director of the Cancer Immunotherapeutics Center. Dr Luke specializes in the management of patients with melanoma and early phase drug development. Dr. Luke has been a lead national investigator on numerous clinical trials of novel immunotherapy agents and his major research translational research is focused on using large scale informatics to advance the field of cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Luke received his M.D. from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago. He completed his medical internship and residency at the Boston University Medical Center followed by Medical Oncology fellowships at Weill Cornell Medical College and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Following fellowship, Dr. Luke was an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School as well as Staff Physician at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He most recently was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago.

Contact

Tempest Therapeutics
7000 Shoreline Court
Suite 275
South San Francisco, CA 94080

Business Development
partnering@tempesttx.com