Mark Pruzanski has served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and member of our Board of Directors since April 2022. Mark is a physician and entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience in the life sciences. Prior to joining Versanis, he founded and was the longstanding Chief Executive Officer of Intercept Pharmaceuticals. At Intercept, he pioneered a novel regulatory and development strategy in chronic nonviral liver disease that resulted in the successful global commercialization of the first-in-class FXR agonist obeticholic acid for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), approved in more than 40 countries under the brand name OCALIVA™. He also led the effort to establish the regulatory, development and commercial basis for the potential first drug approval in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which has become a leading reason for liver failure due to the global obesity epidemic.
Mark is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Versanis, Intercept, eGenesis, Equillium, the Emerging Company Section of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Mark received his M.D. from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, a M.A. degree in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy and Washington, D.C., and a B.A. degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Lloyd Klickstein is a founder of Versainis and currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. Lloyd has nearly 20 years of experience as an industry executive. Prior to co-founding Versanis, he was Chief Innovation Officer at Adicet Bio and Chief Scientific Officer at resTORbio. Before that he served for 13 years as Head of Translational Medicine for Musculoskeletal Diseases and the New Indication Discovery Unit at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR). In that role, drug development responsibilities extended from target identification through global phase 3 development. Additional responsibilities included research and early clinical development board memberships, clinical safety board membership and business development. Prior to Novartis, Dr. Klickstein was an academic physician-scientist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston, where he directed an NIH-funded basic science laboratory and maintained an active clinical practice in the Arthritis Center.
Dr. Klickstein received his B.S. degree from Tufts University, his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University, completed post-graduate clinical training at BWH and was Board-certified and re-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology & Immunology and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Center for Blood Research in Boston.
Ken Attie has served as Chief Medical Officer since August 2022. Ken is a pediatric endocrinologist with over 30 years of industry experience as the medical lead in various clinical development programs. This includes over 10 years at Genentech, Inc., where he did laboratory research related to activin effects in the reproductive system and subsequently oversaw the growth hormone clinical and medical affairs programs. This led to approvals of 2 new drug products in five indications. As vice president of medical research at Acceleron Pharma for over 10 years, he led the partnered effort from phase 1 to approval for luspatercept (Reblozyl®), a modified ActRIIB ligand trap, in beta-thalassemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. While at Acceleron, he also investigated the effects of 3 different activin/myostatin pathway drug candidates in 3 neuromuscular diseases. As CMO at Insmed, he led the effort to gain approval of an IGF-1/IGFBP-3 complex (iPlex®) for primary GH insensitivity syndrome. He recently served as CMO at Imara, Inc, with lead indications in sickle cell disease and HFpEF.
Ken obtained his BA degree from University of Michigan and MD and residency at NYU School of Medicine. He was a fellow and assistant clinical professor of pediatric endocrinology at UC-San Francisco Medical Center. He has served as reviewer for numerous endocrine journals, director of the Genentech Endowment for Growth Disorders, and member of the Endocrine Society Corporate Liaison Board.
Aditya Venugopal has served as Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Development since August 2022. Aditya has over 15 years of experience in the life science industry – developing strong business partnerships, raising capital, and driving corporate and business development strategy. Most recently,he served as Vice President of Business Development at VectivBio, where he grew the company’s portfolio with the acquisition of a platform technology broadly targeting inborn disorders of metabolism. Before joining VectivBio, he held several roles at Intercept Pharmaceuticals, including Head of Strategic Planning and Diagnostic Strategy. Earlier in Aditya’s career, he spent seven years in strategic life science consulting, first at Easton Associates and subsequently at Navigant Consulting, with a focus on metabolic and autoimmune disorders.
Aditya holds a B.E. in Biotechnology from Anna University in Chennai, India, and a Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis from Cornell’s Weill Medical School in New York City.
Kevin Nguyen has served as Vice President and Head of Project Management since April 2021. Kevin has over 25 years of experience in leading and managing development teams to achieve approvals and launches of therapeutics for breakthrough and first-in-class indications. Prior to Versanis, Kevin was Project Management lead at Gilead and helped to achieve the first Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the treatment of COVID-19, and first global approvals and launches for HIV PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis). Kevin was also Project Manager and Regulatory PM Group Lead at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, helping teams achieve first-in-class approval for HCV treatment and first breakthrough designation treatment approvals for cystic fibrosis.
Kevin received his bachelor degree in Biology from University of Richmond and his Master of Business Administration from Boston University.
Kiran Dole has served as Vice President and Head of Clinical Operations since June 2021. Kiran has close to 20 years of drug development experience across a broad array of therapeutic areas and industry settings. Prior to joining Versanis, Kiran lead the ClinOps group at Gelesis Inc., established the groundwork for conducting clinical trials in the novel space of digital therapeutics at Pear Therapeutics and assisted with the expansion of the ClinOps group at Forma Therapeutics. The bulk of Kiran’s drug training comes from Novartis where she worked on early phase clinical trials, ranging from first in human to proof of concept.
Kiran graduated with a doctorate in Pharmacy from SUNY Buffalo and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto.