Our Motivation

At CARMA TherapeuticsSM we are motivated to bring the power of adoptive cellular immunotherapy to the large number of solid tumor patients, approximately 500,000 per year in the United States alone, for whom cancer progresses despite surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or, increasingly, targeted small molecule therapeutics.

Bruce A. Peacock, Executive Chairmanbruce-cropped-as-others

Bruce has held senior executive positions with a number of biotechnology, medical device, and service organizations focused on healthcare including CEO of The Little Clinic, a medical care services company, President and Chief Executive Officer and director of Adolor Corporation, President and Chief Executive Officer and director of Orthovita, Inc., Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and director of Cephalon, Inc., and Senior Vice President and CFO of Centocor, Inc.

Bruce joined Ophthotech Corporation in 2010 and served as Chief Business Officer until September 2014.  He now serves as a director of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Discovery Laboratories, Invisible Sentinel, Ocular Therapeutics and PanOptica.

Bruce holds a BA degree from Villanova University.

saar-photoSaar Gill, MD, PhD, Co-Founder

Saar obtained his medical degree and PhD in immunology from the University of Melbourne in Australia and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in cellular therapy at Stanford University. He is now Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where he specializes in the treatment of patients with leukemia and in bone marrow transplantation.

Saar leads two clinical trials of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell trials for leukemia, based on concepts that were developed in his laboratory. The Gill research laboratory focuses on the interface between adoptive cellular therapy and genetic engineering and is translating the lessons learned from the CAR T cell experience to other immune cell subtypes.

MMichael Klichinskyichael Klichinsky, PharmD, Co-Founder

Michael is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He developed CARMA for his doctoral thesis under the co-mentorship of Saar Gill, MD, PhD and Carl June, MD. Michael previously earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Sciences in Philadelphia, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Michael’s scientific expertise is in the field of genetic engineering and immunology, with a focus on chimeric antigen receptor technologies.

dora-photo-cropped-as-othersDora Mitchell, PhD, Director

Dora manages the therapeutics and diagnostics company portfolio at PCI Ventures at the University of Pennsylvania. She focuses her efforts on turning scientific inventions into successful businesses. Dora has created various entrepreneurship support services to advance the startup culture at Penn, and often serves as a mentor to young companies and startup competitions in the US and the EU. She currently serves on the boards of Cytovas LLC, Lignamed LLC, Linnaeus Therapeutics, Inc. and Chip Diagnostics Inc.

Prior to joining PCI Ventures, Dora led preclinical development at NellOne Therapeutics, Inc. and was a member of the Health and Life Sciences team at Battelle Ventures, LP focusing on early stage investments.

Dora holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from Princeton University.

Margarita Chavez, JD, Lead InvestorMargarita cropped as others

Margarita is Managing Director at AbbVie Ventures.  Margarita has lead investments in over a dozen biotech companies in the US and Europe and is responsible for AbbVie’s investments in Morphic Therapeutics, Palleon Pharmaceuticals, eFFECTOR Therapeutics and CARMA Therapeutics. Margarita brings 20 years of dealmaking experience, with over 10 years of biotech and pharma M&A, licensing, public and private financings.

Most recently, Margarita was a Director with Abbott’s Global Pharmaceutical Licensing & Acquisitions.  Margarita was involved in the acquisition of Immuven, the collaboration with Synlogic, the in-licensing of Elagolix and the acquisition of the Lupron franchise. Before joining Abbott, Margarita practiced as a corporate and securities lawyer in Silicon Valley with the firm of Brobeck Phleger & Harrison, advising in equity financings, M&A and IPOs.

Margarita currently serves as co-president and Board Member of the MidAmerica Healthcare Investors Network.  Margarita also serves on the Advisory Board of the Santa Clara University School of Law.

Jacob cropped as othersJacob Gunterberg, MBA, Lead Investor

Partner at HealthCap. Prior to joining HealthCap in 2007, he gained 14 years of investment banking experience, most recently with Hjalmarsson & Gunterberg Corporate Finance. His investment banking career started with ABB Aros in 1993. In 1997, he was appointed Director and responsible for the life sciences sector within the corporate finance department of Aros Securities. In 2000, he co-founded Hjalmarsson & Gunterberg Corporate Finance. Mr. Gunterberg has over his career gained extensive experience from origination and execution of transactions, predominantly within the areas of Mergers & Acquisitions, IPO’s as well as public and private capital raisings. Mr. Gunterberg received his M.Sc. in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Lund and has also studied at the University of St. Gallen.