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Leadership

Saeho Chong, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Saeho Chong brings more than 25 years of senior management experience, including more than a decade of strategic development in the pharmaceutical industry. He most recently served as Vice President, Early Development at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, where he had a significant track record of success in R&D. Previously, he served in roles of increasing responsibility and leadership at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Millennium (Takeda Oncology). He also held a prior position in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Clinical Pharmacology and was a professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy at Seoul National University.

Dr. Chong received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics at the esteemed School of Pharmacy of the State University of New York at Buffalo. He received post-graduate training under the guidance of Dr. HL Fung at SUNY Buffalo and is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at SUNY Buffalo. He has held editorial board positions of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Journal, Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Archives of Pharmacal Research, and the Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation, and has authored more than 90 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Saeho is a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan and is still working toward his first Hole-In-One.

Seong H. Jang, PhD

Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Seong H. Jang brings a deep expertise in clinical pharmacology, having held considerable positions of increasing responsibility at FDA for nearly 20 years. His experience includes leadership roles in the Division of Infectious Disease Pharmacology, Office of Clinical Pharmacology, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. He and his team contributed to the approval of an impressive portfolio of new drug products in multiple therapeutic areas, including transplant, special pathogen and anti-infectives. He is widely recognized both internally and externally for his expertise and collaboration. Further, his contributions include serving as a cross disciplinary team leader in several NDA reviews and as an acting deputy division director for the Office of Study Integrity and Surveillance.

Dr. Jang earned his Ph.D. in biopharmaceutics from the College of Pharmacy at Ohio State University with focus in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and subsequently as a research fellow. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of Pharmacy at Seoul National University and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and has often presented at scientific organizations such as the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative, National Health Institutes, and the American Society for Microbiology.

Seong enjoys running in his free time. He even coordinated an “Elevar Runner’s Club” for an all-staff event.

Jenny Gizzi

Chief of Staff

Jenny Gizzi joined Elevar Therapeutics as Chief of Staff in December 2021 and brings more than 20 years of human resources experience in the biopharmaceutical sector. As Chief of Staff, Jenny is responsible for overseeing Elevar’s human resources function, including talent acquisition and administration, leadership development, compensation and benefits, and diversity and inclusion.

Prior to joining Elevar, Jenny served as Vice President of Human Resources and Talent Acquisition at Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where she was responsible for all people processes, workforce planning, recruitment, compliance, employee relations, and communications.

Prior to her role at Arena Pharmaceuticals, Jenny was Vice President and Head of Human Resources and Site Operations (IT & Facilities) at Mirati Therapeutics. Formerly, she served as Head of Strategy & Operations, Business Insights and Analytics at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she led the Celgene acquisition and integration efforts. Throughout her eight-year tenure at Bristol-Myers Squibb, she also served as Head of Human Resources, supporting early Oncology Research sites, and Head of Global Talent for European Markets, Australia, and Canada where she oversaw global talent strategy and planning for eight markets and 13 countries.

She has held various additional senior people-centric roles within life sciences companies and regularly speaks at global conferences sharing best practices and industry insights. Jenny received her certificate in Human Resource Management from the University of California San Diego, and she holds a BA in Corporate Communications from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey.

“Jenny is passionate about animal rescue and creating a culture of collaboration. She converted her garage into an office during the pandemic-it is now referred to as ‘Elevar West’”.

Paul Friel

Chief Commercial Officer

Paul has more than 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including leadership positions in multinational corporations and biotech companies. Paul most recently served as chief commercial officer at Beyond Spring, Inc. (NASDAQ: BYSI), a global, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Previously, he served in roles of increasing responsibility and leadership at pharmaceutical company TAP/Takeda, including president and general manager at Takeda Canada.

Paul has launched more than 20 products during his career, including five that achieved more than $1 billion in sales. He also held early leadership positions in five start-ups and led business development for several large transitions and capital raises. He holds an MBA from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Kansas State University.

Paul is a diehard Chief’s fan and world ranked Fantasy Football player. He can often be found skiing in Colorado with his family.

Dr. Jan Van Tornout, MD, MSc

Chief Medical Officer & Executive Vice President of Clinical Development

Dr. Jan Van Tornout brings more than 25 years’ experience in the medical industry and related academia to Elevar, including over 15 years successfully developing drugs across the full spectrum of hematological, oncological, and immuno-oncological indications from pre-investigational new drug (IND) meeting through Phase 4. Dr. Van Tornout previously served as acting chief medical officer of biotechnology company Tyme Technologies, Inc. His other clinical management and development experience includes work for Moleculin Biotech, Inc., Bright Peak Therapeutics, Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Puma Biotherapeutics, Maverick Therapeutics, ERT Inc., HUYA Bioscience Int’l, Gradalis Inc., Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Natera Inc., Astellas Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Amgen.

Dr. Van Tornout previously held academic appointments at the University of Southern California (USC), with a clinical appointment as attending pediatric hematologist-oncologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He earned his Doctor of Medicine from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), Leuven, Belgium, a Master of Science in classical philosophy from KUL and a Bachelor of Science from the Faculté Notre-Dame de la Paix, Namur, Belgium. Dr. Van Tornout obtained his certification as a pediatrician from the Gasthuisberg University Hospitals, KUL, and completed his training as a pediatric hematologist-oncologist at Children’s Hospital. He earned a Master of Science in applied biometry from USC and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular epidemiology at USC.

Jan loves history, Nordic noir movies, swimming, and goofing around with his dog(s) -currently, ‘Coco’ a chocolate brown lab.

Dr. Gordon Schooley, PhD

Chief Regulatory Officer

Gordon Schooley is a global regulatory leader with more than 30 years of drug development experience. He joined Elevar after nine years as chief regulatory officer for BeyondSpring Pharmaceuticals Inc., a global, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that develops immuno-oncology cancer therapies.

Dr. Schooley has spent more than a quarter century at the vice president level or higher, working in both startup and large company environments. He’s led global development teams through every clinical development milestone; worked closely with regulatory bodies in several different countries; overseen successful breakthrough designations and accelerated approvals; and managed complex label negotiations for initial product approvals. Schooley holds a Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. He earned a Master of Science in Statistics and Bachelor of Science in Business Management at Brigham Young University.

Gordon is an expert in Genealogy and spoiling his 13 grandchildren.

Wade Smith

Chief Financial Officer

With more than 20 years of experience as a financial executive, Wade Smith joined Elevar Therapeutics in January 2022 after spending the previous decade at Viatris (formerly Mylan Pharmaceuticals), a global health care company working in a broad range of therapeutic areas. Smith was Viatris’s head of U.S. institutional commercial/finance from 2017-2022, functioning as the COO and CFO for the $1 billion+ division. He developed a go-to-market strategy for more than 100 new products, overseeing launch pricing, customer contracting, managed care engagement and sales targeting in addition to portfolio selection and budgeting/forecasting. He was previously director of global accounting and financial reporting for Taggart Global USA, LLC, a multinational engineering and construction company.

Smith has an active CPA license in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from California University of Pennsylvania.
Splitting time between Pennsylvania and Florida, Smith enjoys trail running, hiking, and spending time with his wife and daughter.

Tyler Wiseman

Chief Legal Officer

Tyler Wiseman joined Elevar Therapeutics in May 2022 after serving as corporate counsel for Praxis Precision Medicines Inc. since August 2020. He played a lead role in developing Praxis’s legal infrastructure and strengthening its team, processes, policies and templates, while overseeing legal review and approval of all company contracts. Wiseman was also instrumental in managing the company’s data privacy, intellectual property, employment and litigation law.

Wiseman holds a J.D. degree from Suffolk University Law School and is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar. He also holds an MBA (magna cum laude) from Endicott College and a bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) from Northeastern University.

Tyler is a New England Patriots fan and has an adorable chocolate lab named ‘Goose’.