LEADERSHIP

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

Stephen Thorne co-founded Kalivir in 2019 and currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer. He is a leader in the field of oncolytic viral immunotherapy and previously co-founded Western Oncolytics, BioEclipse and Jennerex, which is currently advancing Pexa-Vec through late-stage clinical trials.

Stephen was a Professor of Cell Biology and Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh and received his B.A. from Oxford University, UK and Ph.D. from Imperial College of London. Stephen has served in post doctorate roles at Surrey University, Cancer Research UK, and Stanford University and has authored more than 100 scientific publications in the field.

JAMES M. BURKE, M.D.
Clinical Advisory

Dr. James Burke is a University of California, San Francisco trained hematologist and oncologist who has led clinical development of gene therapy and oncolytic viruses for cancer for over 15 years including first in human through Phase 3 studies.  Most recently, Dr Burke served as Chief Medical Officer of Sillajen (previously Jennerex) leading Phase 1-3 global development of a vaccinia virus platform for multiple cancers including HCC, RCC, and CRC.

The global Phase 3 registration trial targeting advanced HCC represents one of the largest oncolytic studies conducted to date spanning four continents including North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.  This Phase 3 study was the first oncolytic virus study conducted by a foreign biotech in China and one of only a few OV trials to ever be conducted in mainland China.  Aside from Sillajen, Dr Burke led initial Phase 1-2 clinical development of Turnstone’s maraba virus prime-boost oncolytic virus program as CMO through initial studies and fund raising.

Dr Burke started his career at Cell Genesys spearheading early gene and immunotherapy  studies including oncolytic adenovirus, lentivirus, AAV, and tumor vaccine programs. In addition to his biotechnology experience, Dr Burke directed studies as a clinical scientist including first in human studies in oncolytic viruses, tumor vaccines, as well as other cancer therapeutics in Phase 1-3 development.

Throughout his career he has had extensive interaction with global regulatory authorities and key academicians, led clinical development of numerous agents, built expert research teams, presented his research findings in key scientific journals and symposia, and led medical discussions and negotiations with external financing entities including venture capital and pharma.

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

Stephen Thorne co-founded Kalivir in 2019 and currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer. He is a leader in the field of oncolytic viral immunotherapy and previously co-founded Western Oncolytics, BioEclipse and Jennerex, which is currently advancing Pexa-Vec through late-stage clinical trials.

Stephen was a Professor of Cell Biology and Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh and received his B.A. from Oxford University, UK and Ph.D. from Imperial College of London. Stephen has served in post doctorate roles at Surrey University, Cancer Research UK, and Stanford University and has authored more than 100 scientific publications in the field.

RICHARD JONES, M.B.A.
Director

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
Director

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.
Director

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.

TERRY HERMISTON, Ph.D.
Director

Dr. Hermiston has over 20 years of industrial experience in research and drug development. His experience in research and drug development is mainly focused on idea conception and concept validation, making his role in leadership and advisory positions of emerging biotechnology companies invaluable. Dr. Hermiston is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Coagulant Therapeutics and GLAdiator Biosciences.

Dr. Hermiston previously served as the VP of Biologics Research in the US and Site Head of Bayer Healthcare’s US Innovation Center, where he managed research teams both locally and globally, co-chairing the company’s early research portfolio in hematology, immuno-oncology, and antibody-drug conjugate programs. Prior to joining Bayer, Dr. Hermiston was heavily involved in the research and development around early-generation oncolytic virus programs at both Berlex Biosciences and Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Notably at Berlex, Dr. Hermiston and his team created a novel oncolytic virus ColoAd1 (enadenotucirev), which is currently in Phase II clinical trials and eventually became the foundation to a near $1 billion partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb.

KURT ROTE, M.B.A.
Director

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.

Scientific Advisory Board

Greg Delgoffe, Ph.D
University of Pittsburgh

Lisa Butterfield, Ph.D
University of California San Francisco

Tullia Bruno, Ph.D
University of Pittsburgh