The following members make up the Viracta Board of Directors. Please select an individual member below to learn more about them and the committees they contribute to.
Chairman of the Board
Dr. Pomerantz has served as a member of the board of directors of Viracta since June 2020 and was appointed Chair in September 2020. Dr. Pomerantz served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of ContraFect Corporation (NASDAQ: CFRX) from April 2019 - November 2023. Previously, Dr. Pomerantz was a Venture Partner at Flagship Pioneering from 2014 through 2019. In addition, he served as the President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Seres Therapeutics from 2014-2019, where he continues to serve as Senior Advisor to its Board of Directors. Previously, Dr. Pomerantz was Senior Vice President, Worldwide Head of Licensing & Acquisition at Merck & Co., Inc and prior to that was Senior Vice President and Global Franchise Head of Infectious Diseases at Merck. Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Pomerantz was Global Head of Infectious Diseases for Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals. He also served as Chief Executive Officer of Tibotec Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Pomerantz currently serves on the boards of Intec Pharma Ltd. (NASDAQ: NTEC). Dr. Pomerantz received his B.A. in Biochemistry at the Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He received post-graduate training at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and M.I.T. Dr. Pomerantz is Board Certified in both internal medicine and infectious diseases. He was Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Chief of Infectious Diseases, and the Founding Director and Chair of the Institute for Human Virology and Biodefense at the Thomas Jefferson University and Medical School.
Jane F. Barlow, M.D., MPH, MBA, is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Jane Barlow & Associates, LLC and a Board Director for ContraFect Corporation. She is Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at Real Endpoints, a market access consultancy, Senior Advisor to MIT's Center for Biomedical Innovation and serves on the biotech advisory board of Pictet Asset Management. Prior to her current roles, she was Associate Chief Medical Officer at CVS Health and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health Government Services where she successfully implemented industry-leading clinical strategies supporting drug purchasing, distribution, and utilization management. Formerly, she served as Vice President of Clinical Innovation at Medco Health Solutions, leading the adoption of cutting-edge therapeutic programs through all aspects of pharmacy. Dr. Barlow has extensive experience in steering pharmaceutical development and commercialization by strategically weighing the value and economic impact that drug candidates bring to the healthcare ecosystem at large. Dr. Barlow previously served on the boards of Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (prior to and during its sale to Johnson and Johnson), TherapeuticsMD Inc., and SilverScript Insurance Company.
Dr. Barlow received her medical degree from Creighton University School of Medicine and subsequently completed her residency in occupational and environmental medicine at The Johns Hopkins University, where she also earned her MPH She is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine and served as Chief of Flight Medicine at the Beale and Maxwell Air Force Bases. Additionally, she holds an MBA from the University of Alabama. She is board-certified in occupational medicine and a fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the American College of Preventive Medicine. She is a diplomat of the American College of Physician Executives and a member of the American Medical Association.
Flavia Borellini, Ph.D., has more than 25 years of executive management experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, with a particular focus on global development of targeted oncology drugs, from preclinical to commercial stage. She is the former Chief Executive Officer for Acerta Pharma, where she oversaw the successful development and approval of Calquence® (acalabrutinib), a selective Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, for the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). During her career, Dr. Borellini has also held key senior level positions within AstraZeneca, most recently Global Franchise Head, Hematology, with responsibility for the hematology portfolio in the company's oncology business unit. While at AstraZeneca, she led the global development, approval, and commercialization of Tagrisso® (osimertinib), a first-in-class epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) caused by the T790M mutation.
Prior to her tenure with AstraZeneca, Dr. Borellini spent nearly seven years at Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. During this time, she led the global development, approval and launch of Zelboraf® (vemurafenib), a first-in-class BRAF inhibitor for the treatment of melanoma caused by the V600E BRAF mutation. Dr. Borellini also served as the program leader for Herceptin® (trastuzumab), a targeted treatment for HER2 receptor positive cancers, including breast cancer, and Tarceva® (erlotinib), an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor for the treatment of NSCLC and pancreatic cancer. Dr. Borellini obtained a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology from the University of Modena in 1984.
Dr. Borellini also serves on the Board of Directors of Kartos Therapeutics, Cantargia AP, and Revolution Medicines.
Jane Chung, R.Ph., joined Viracta’s Board in August 2022. She has over 20 years of commercial leadership experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, focused mostly on innovative oncology medicines and broadly across executive management, franchise leadership, marketing, sales, operations, and market access functions. She is currently the Chief Commercial Officer at Sutro Biopharma, where she has been responsible for building and leading global commercialization since August 2021. Previously, Ms. Chung served in several leadership roles at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, including as President and General Manager of AstraZeneca Canada, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of U.S. lmmuno-Oncology, and Senior Commercial Business Director. Prior to that, Ms. Chung served as a Regional Sales Director and Director of Sales Productivity and Effectiveness for Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc as well as various commercial roles for Genentech, Inc., including as Commercial Operations Manager, Division Manager and Senior Marketing Manager. Ms. Chung also serves on non-profit boards in the science, education, and community development arenas. Ms. Chung received a B.S. in Pharmacy from St. John's University and a B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University.
Mr. Darcy brings financial expertise and extensive experience in the management of public life science companies to Viracta’s Board. Mr. Darcy was previously a co-founder and director of Tocagen Inc. from 2007-2020 and Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Tocagen from 2007-2017. Prior to Tocagen, Mr. Darcy served as EVP and CFO of Science Applications International Corporation, a Fortune 500 science and technology company, as well as in leadership roles as an audit partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP.
CEO Salubris Biotherapeutics and VP/Head of International Business Development for Salubris Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Murphy has served as a member of the board of directors of Viracta since January 2019. He has been a Vice President and Head of International Business Development for Shenzhen Salubris Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. since 2017, and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of its United States subsidiary, Salubris Biotherapeutics, Inc. Prior to joining Salubris, Dr. Murphy worked for ten years in strategy consulting and transaction advisory services across several global firms including IMS (now IQVIA) and Simon-Kucher & Partners. Dr. Murphy currently serves on the boards of GO Therapeutics, Inc. (chair) and MedAlliance S.A. Dr. Murphy earned a B.A. in Biochemistry, Ph.D. in Molecular Biology with a concentration in Virology and completed his Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Gene Therapy and Translational Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Ivor Royston, M.D., served as Viracta’s founding President and CEO from 2015 until September 2022. From 1990 to 2017, Dr. Royston was a Managing Partner of Forward Ventures, a life science venture capital firm. From 1990 to 2000, Dr. Royston also held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. Prior to that, Dr. Royston was the Director of Clinical Immunology at University of California, San Diego Cancer Center. Dr. Royston was the co-founder of Hybritech, Inc., which developed the PSA test for prostate cancer; and the co-founder of IDEC Corporation, which developed Rituxan, the first approved monoclonal antibody therapy for lymphoma, and which subsequently merged with Biogen to form Biogen Idec, now Biogen. Dr. Royston currently serves on the board of directors of Biocept, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIOC). Dr. Royston received his B.A. and M.D. degrees from Johns Hopkins University and completed post-doctoral training in internal medicine and medical oncology at Stanford University.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mark Rothera joined Viracta as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director in September 2022. Mr. Rothera brings more than 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, with a strong record of commercial and global leadership, including driving the successful build of multiple biotech companies, predominantly in the field of rare or specialty diseases. Prior to joining Viracta, Mr. Rothera served as President and CEO of Silence Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SLN), a clinical-stage organization focused on developing RNA therapies for hematology, cardiovascular and rare diseases. He previously served as CEO of Orchard Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ORTX), where he oversaw its transformation from a small U.K.-based, privately held company with two clinical-stage programs into a leading gene therapy company with seven clinical-stage programs and fully integrated capabilities. During his tenure, Orchard Therapeutics secured more than $600 million in financing and grew from a market capitalization of $250 million to more than $1.7 billion at its peak. Prior to Orchard, Mr. Rothera served as Chief Commercial Officer of PTC Therapeutics (NASDAQ: PTCT), where he helped it evolve into a commercial company with a global footprint, including the successful launch of two rare disease therapies. Previously, he served as Global President of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Vice President and General Manager of commercial operations at Shire Human Genetic Therapies for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Mr. Rothera currently serves on the Board of Directors at GenPharm and Naya Biosciences. He received an M.A. in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and an M.B.A. from the European Institute for Business Administration (INSEAD).
Dr. Rubino has served as a member of the board of directors since March 2021. Dr. Rubino has over 30 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology company experience in the areas of business development & licensing, marketing, commercial operations, and strategic planning across a wide range of therapeutic areas. Dr. Rubino has extensive experience developing and commercializing oncology products both in the US and EU. He is currently President & CEO and member of the Board of Directors of Sporos Bioventures. Dr. Rubino had previously served as the Chief Business Officer of Celyad Oncology, a biotechnology company developing cellular therapies and Chief Business and Strategy Officer at Omega Therapeutics. Dr. Rubino held various positions of increasing responsibility at Novartis, a pharmaceutical company, from 2001 until 2017, including most recently as Global Head of Business Development & Licensing and New Product Marketing, Cell & Gene Therapies Unit. Dr. Rubino has served on the boards of directors of Sermonix Pharmaceuticals and Ilkos Therapeutics. Dr. Rubino received a Ph.D. in virology from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from Baruch College.
Barry J. Simon, M.D., is a healthcare executive with more than 30 years of experience spanning the public and private sectors. He previously served on Viracta’s board from July 2017 to November 2020 and has been serving as Director and CCAO of Immunity Bio, Inc. since March 2021. Prior to this, he served as President and Chief Administrative Officer of Nantkwest, Inc. since 2015 and as its President and CEO since 2007. Dr. Simon also serves on the boards of Cue BioPharma and Brink Biologics Inc. He has broad experience in public and private companies, having led private and public equity offerings, product and portfolio divestitures and acquisitions, strategic licensing and joint ventures, as well as commercial product launches, IND and BLA regulatory filings, human-enabling programs, and manufacturing, quality control and life cycle management projects. Previously, he held Vice President, senior level and advisory positions at F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Roche Labs, Connetics Corporation, Immunomedics, Immusol, HealthPro BioVentures, LLC, and NorthSound Capital, LLC.
In his prior roles, Dr. Simon worked across several therapeutic areas including oncology, virology, ophthalmology and dermatology on product launches including Xeloda®, Pegasys®, Fortovase®, Tamiflu®, Camptobell®, Boniva®, Fuzeon®, Valcyt®, and Accutane®. Dr. Simon attended corporate training programs by the London School of Business and the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He received his M.D. from the SUNY Downstate Health Sciences Center in New York and trained clinically in infectious diseases, anesthesiology, and internal medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, The Mount Sinai Medical Center and New York University, respectively.