Founders and Senior Management

Nebojsa Janjic, Ph.D. is a co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Crestone. Previously, Dr. Janjic was a founder and CSO of Replidyne, Inc., a Colorado-based biotechnology company focusing on the development of new small-molecule antibacterial agents from which Crestone acquired its preclinical programs. At Replidyne, Dr. Janjic had overall responsibility for the company’s preclinical programs and participated in design and conduct of clinical programs including five phase I studies, a pediatric phase II study in acute otitis media and a phase III study in acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis. Dr. Janjic’s experience in anti-infective drug development includes two IND submissions (REP8839 and pediatric faropenem medoxomil), one NDA submission (faropenem medoxomil) and numerous meetings with the FDA. Prior to Replidyne, Dr. Janjic was Senior Director of Drug Discovery at NeXstar Pharmaceuticals in Boulder, Colorado. At NeXstar, Dr. Janjic was responsible for creating a pipeline of aptamer-based drug candidates for pre-clinical and clinical development. His contributions included the discovery, preclinical development, IND submission and early-stage clinical development of Macugen, a first-in-class treatment for macular degeneration. Macugen received FDA approval in 2004 and was named Innovative Pharmaceutical Product of the Year in 2005. Dr. Janjic currently also serves as CSO at SomaLogic, Inc., a Boulder, Colorado company focusing on development of aptamer-based life sciences products. Dr. Janjic received his B.S. degree in Molecular Biology and Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from the University of Washington in Seattle and completed his postdoctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla as a Cancer Research Institute Fellow.

Urs Ochsner, Ph.D. is a co-founder and Vice President, R&D at Crestone. He has over 20 years of experience in infectious diseases, both in diagnostics and therapeutics. Prior to his current position, Dr. Ochsner served as Director, Microbiology at SomaLogic, Inc. where he led programs aimed at developing aptamer-based diagnostics for infectious diseases, including tuberculosis. From 2002-2008 he was Principal Scientist in the Microbiology Division at Replidyne, Inc. and focused on preclinical and IND-enabling studies of drug discovery and development, such as compound screening, MIC testing, mode-of-action studies, resistance development, molecular genetic studies, and microbiological profiling of lead compounds. He also played a significant role in preparing reports for IND and NDA filings related to REP8839 and faropenem. Prior to Replidyne, from 1994-2002, Dr. Ochsner was a postdoctoral fellow and instructor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and held a research position in bacterial pathogenesis and drug target identification. He has authored or co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed original publications and reviews and is co-inventor of several issued patents. Dr. Ochsner earned his diploma in Biology and his Ph.D. in Biotechnology at the Swiss Federal Institute in Zurich. Dr. Ochsner has received several national and international awards in recognition of his scientific contributions, including the Lepetit Award (1995), the Swiss Microbiology Prize (2001), and the Burton Goodman Award (Replidyne; 2006).

Donald Morrissey, J.D. is Vice President, Corporate Development at Crestone. Don brings over 20 years of experience as a business executive and attorney in the life sciences. Don is also Head of Life Sciences for SRS Acquiom, where he represents venture capitalists and others managing progress toward more than $25 billion in potential milestone payments following the sale of more than 100 life science companies. From 2002 through 2009 he was SVP, Corporate Development and General Counsel for Replidyne, where he helped acquire the company’s programs, raise venture and private equity financing, partner the lead program and take the company public. Previously he was VP, Legal Affairs and Business Development for Caliper Life Sciences, a Silicon Valley microfluidics company where he did over $100 million worth of strategic transactions with Roche, Agilent, Amgen and others. He began his career as a business attorney with Cooley LLP, a Palo Alto law firm. Don holds a JD with honors from the University of Southern California and a BA with honors in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from the University of Colorado.

Thale Jarvis, Ph.D. is a co-founder, Science Advisor, and former Chief Scientific Officer at Crestone.
She brings 25 years of professional experience in biotechnology and currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer at Keystone Symposia. From 2009 to 2012, Dr. Jarvis worked at SomaLogic (part-time appointment, concurrent with Crestone), where she performed optimization and structural characterization of modified DNA aptamers for life science applications. Previously, Dr. Jarvis was Senior Director of Biochemistry at Replidyne (2002-2008), where she played an integral role in antibacterial drug discovery projects, and contributed to both IND and NDA regulatory filings. Her group was responsible for high throughput target-based screening for antibacterial drug leads, and structural and mechanistic characterization of enzyme inhibitors. In early 2000, Dr. Jarvis co-founded Impact Biosciences, where she served as VP R&D, focusing on target validation in mammalian cell culture systems. Prior to Impact, she served as Associate Director of Biology at Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (RPI) and its spin-off, Atugen USA (1993-2000). At RPI, Dr. Jarvis led discovery efforts for oligonucleotide-based therapeutics in the areas of oncology, arthritis, cardiovascular disease and virology. At Atugen, she pioneered the development of Atugen’s GeneBlocTM technology for the specific regulation of gene expression. As a scientist at Synergen (1992-1993), Dr. Jarvis worked on engineering protein-based therapeutics for inflammatory diseases. Dr. Jarvis serves as an advisor to the Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease and as a member of the Customer Advisory Board for Collaborative Drug Discovery. Dr. Jarvis received her B.A. degree in Chemistry from Carleton College and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Oregon. Her postdoctoral work at the University of Colorado, Boulder, was supported by a Life Science Research Foundation fellowship. She is a co-author of 40 publications and a co-inventor of over a dozen issued patents.

John Rohloff, Ph.D. is a co-founder and serves a Senior Chemistry Advisor at Crestone. He is a Synthetic Organic Chemist with twenty-five years of experience in Medicinal and Process Chemistry in the pharmaceutical industry including: SomaLogic (Boulder, CO) where he currently serves as Director, Specialty Chemistry; Syntex Research (Palo Alto, CA); Gilead Sciences (Foster City, CA); and Replidyne Inc. (Louisville, CO). At Gilead, he led Process Research activities and was responsible for assembling CMC API sections for the IND and NDA filings for the FDA-approved anti-viral drugs: tenofovir diisoproxil (VireadTM), adefovir dipivoxil (HepseraTM) and oseltamivir phosphate (TamifluTM). Dr. Rohloff’s project team participation gave him a broad understanding of the organizational, regulatory, and scientific issues related to anti-infective drug development. At Replidyne, he contributed to preparation of two more IND's and one NDA and was responsible for contractor management for both API and drug product development projects, as well as working hands-on on the early-stage Medicinal Chemistry and lead optimization of the antibacterial drug candidates which are currently being developed by Crestone. He has extensive experience in cGMP API manufacturing worldwide and has led technology transfer and regulatory compliance programs in Switzerland, France, India, and Japan. He has also directed drug discovery programs for novel anti-infective and anti-inflammatory agents and development of oral and topical dosage forms. His academic training in natural products synthesis included a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from UCLA under the direction of Prof. Michael Jung and a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University with Prof. E. J. Corey. He has coauthored >20 peer-reviewed, scientific publications and >12 US patents.

Xicheng Sun, Ph.D. is Senior Director, Chemistry, at Crestone. Prior to his current appointment, Dr Sun was an executive director of chemistry and CFTR modulator team leader at N30 Pharmaceuticals (now Nivalis Therapeutics), overseeing internal and external activities from medicinal chemistry, chemical process development, and manufacturing of multi-kilo scale active pharmaceutical ingredients under cGMP, to compound screening using enzyme and cell-based assays and selection of candidate compounds for development. Prior to his current appointment, he was a Principal Scientist at Replidyne, Inc. where he was responsible for discovering novel antibacterial agents against a number of biological targets, including methionyl-tRNA synthetase and bacterial DNA polymerases. Dr. Sun is an author or co-author of more than 60 scientific papers, meeting proceedings and conference presentations, and an inventor or joint-inventor of 29 issued patents, including the discovery of Telaprevir (INCIVEK), a HCV protease inhibitor approved for the treatment of HCV infection in 2011 and a number of compounds in clinical development: 1) CRS3123 (formerly REP3123), a methionyl-tRNA synthetase inhibitor currently in Phase 1 clinical trials for the treatment of CDI; 2) N6022, a S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR) inhibitor for the treatment of acute asthma and cystic fibrosis; 3) Cavosonstat (N91115), a S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR) inhibitor currently in Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of COPD and Cystic Fibrosis. Dr. Sun received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the Dalian University of Technology in Dalian, China and conducted his post-doctoral research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich and University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Joshua Day, Ph.D. is Group Leader, Chemistry, at Crestone, Inc. where he has led the medicinal chemistry program since 2010. During this time he has designed and synthesized small molecules for the TZU antibacterial series and been a key contributor in guiding the future direction of the program. In June of 2013 he attended the Residential School on Medicinal Chemistry at Drew University which provided a strong foundation of knowledge and reference materials. Prior to joining Crestone, Dr. Day obtained extensive training in synthetic organic chemistry working under the direction of Professor John L. Wood at Yale University for his Ph.D. followed by a postdoctoral scholar position with Professor Brian M. Stoltz at Caltech.