KALIVIR is led by an experienced team of experts that have pioneered the field of oncolytic viral immunotherapy for decades. The leadership team’s experience spans across all stages of oncolytic virus development from discovery and translation to global Phase 3 clinical trial and business development. We are also supported by world-renowned scientific and clinical advisors that will help guide the development of our programs.
Board of Directors
HELENA CHAYE, Ph.D., J.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Helena has over 23 years of experience in the biotechnology industry having held leadership positions in operations, corporate affairs, business development and IP management primarily in oncolytic virotherapy development. Most recently, Helena served as Chief Business Officer at SillaJen Biotherapeutics, Inc. where she managed all operations including corporate and business development strategies, R&D strategy and intellectual property. Prior to joining SillaJen, Helena held the positions of VP of Corporate Affairs & IP at Jennerex Biotherapeutics and the Director of Business Development at MediGene. Helena received her B.S. in Biochemistry and her Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of British Columbia and her J.D. from Dalhousie University.
STEPHEN H. THORNE, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
RICHARD JONES, M.B.A.
Rick Jones is a seasoned executive and serves on the board of several companies in addition to Western Oncolytics, including Pegasystems, Inc. and Colo5 LLC. He was a former President, COO, and Vice Chairman at Pegasystems. Rick has positions of Chief Executive Officer of Fleet Investment Services, Inc., Executive Vice President for FMR LLC, Principal at Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., European Head at Hewitt Associates, Inc. and Member-Operating Committee at Barnett Banks, Inc.
Rick holds an M.B.A. from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. from Duke University.
Tom Leonard is a serial entrepreneur with a successful track record of founding and leading companies in the tech space. In addition to Western Oncolytics, he serves on the boards of Caretta Data and DMEautomotive. Previously, Tom was COO and CIO of DMEautomotive.
He has also co-founded and led several ventures including Clear Voice Research, Red Rocket Solutions, Encore Development, and TML Systems. Early in his career, Tom was a General Manager at Symantec and a Software Architect at Harris Corporation. He holds an M.S. and B.S. in Computer Sciences from Florida State University.
JON WIGGINTON, M.D.
Jon Wigginton, M.D. served as the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Clinical Development at MacroGenics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on immunotherapeutic approaches for cancer and is the Founder and President of Bethesda Biomedical Consulting, Inc. Dr. Wigginton previously served as Therapeutic Area Head of Immuno-Oncology, Early Clinical Research at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), where he led the early clinical development of the BMS Immuno-Oncology portfolio including anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1 and various immunotherapy combinations including anti-CTLA-4/anti-PD-1. He also served in a governance leadership role for discovery efforts in immuno-oncology at BMS.
Prior to joining BMS, Dr. Wigginton served as Director of Clinical Oncology at Merck Research Laboratories, where he led early- and late-stage clinical development teams for small molecules and biologics. Prior to joining industry, Dr. Wigginton held several positions at the National Cancer Institute, Center for Cancer Research (NCI-CCR), including Head of Investigational Biologics Section, Pediatric Oncology Branch, where he led an integrated basic science and early clinical research effort focused on combination immunotherapy. Dr. Wigginton also served previously as President of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). He received his B.S. in Biology and his M.D. from the University of Michigan.
KURT ROTE, M.B.A.
Kurt Rote co-founded Western Oncolytics and led the company through technology licensing from the University of Pittsburgh, seed and Series A fundraising, and Western’s partnership with Pfizer for WO-12. Kurt previously served as Head of Product Development and Marketing at BiognoSYS AG and in Strategy and Business Development roles at Holcim US Inc.
He holds an M.B.A. from the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland and a B.S.E from Duke University.
Steve Moon, PhD is our Series A Director and a Partner of Premier Partners, Head of the Bio Division. Prior to joining Premier Partners, Dr. Moon worked as a researcher at Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology and invested in life-science and IT startups at Hyundai Venture Investment. He received a B.S. in Fiber and Polymer Science of College of Engineering from Seoul National University, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science and Engineering from University of Michigan, and an MBA from University of Cambridge.
Grant McFadden is the director of the Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy and a Professor at Arizona State University. McFadden’s lab pioneered the field of viral immune subversion (also called “anti-immunology”) and is credited with the discovery of a wide spectrum of virus-derived inhibitors of the immune system. He was co-founder and Board member of OncoMyx Therapeutics and has served on advisory boards for numerous companies including Jennerex, DNAtrix and IMV. A recognized international expert, McFadden is a former President of the American Society of Virology, a member of the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses, advisor to the World Health Organization Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Research, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and the American Academy of Microbiology. He received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from McGill University.
Scientific Advisory Board
Michael Lotze, M.D.
Nurix Therapeutics, Inc.
Greg Delgoffe, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh
Tullia Bruno, Ph.D.
University of Pittsburgh
Jon Wigginton, M.D., Ph.D.
Bright Peak Therapeutics
Clinical Advisory Board
Jonathan Rosenberg, M.D.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Dmitriy Zamarin, M.D., Ph.D.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Jorge Nieva, M.D.
University of Southern California
Mitesh Borad, M.D.