Epigenetix Inc. company fundamentals

Management team with extensive pharma and biotech experience

Joe Collard, CEO and co-founder
Claes Wahlestedt, MD PhD, consulting CSO and co-founder
Judy Chiao, MD, CMO
Holger Weis, CFO

A wide range of preclinical and clinical collaborators and advisors

Meet Our Team

Joe Collard, CEO and co-founder

Joe Collard is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He helped build many science/technology companies including Technisource a multinational technology services company. As CEO/Chairman took Technisource public on Nasdaq. He was intimately involved in the IPO process from bank and analyst recruitment and selection to drafting of legal documents through the successful road show where Technisource raised 30 million dollars at a 100 million dollar pre money valuation. Curna a Biotech company specialized in the up regulation of gene expression. As CEO, cofounder and investor directed expansion and sale to OPKO in a short 3 year period. Recently he was an initial investor in and CBO and board member of Tetra Therapeutics which has a drug in phase II for Fragile-x and is under development for AD and is now part of Shionogi. He was also cofounder of Intellisyrd a Montreal based medicinal chemistry CRO which is now part of X-Chem. He also was an investor and advisor to No Magic a systems software company which is now part of Dassault Systemes. He is cofounder of Epigenetix, which designs epigenetic drugs the first of which is now in the clinic.

Claes Wahlestedt, MD, PhD, consulting CSO and co-founder

Claes Wahlestedt is Leonard M. Miller Professor and Director of the Center for Therapeutic Innovation at the University of Miami where he also serves as Associate Dean for Therapeutic Innovation. A native of Sweden, Dr. Wahlestedt obtained his MD and PhD degrees from Lund University. Prior to joining the University of Miami, Dr. Wahlestedt was a founding Professor and a Director at The Scripps Research Institute’s Florida campus. Between 1997 and 2005 he ran the Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics at the Karolinska Institute where he was also an endowed Professor and Department Chair. He has also been a faculty member at Cornell University Medical College and at McGill University. At different stages in his career, he has directed large R&D organizations in the pharmaceutical industry for Astra-Zeneca and Pharmacia/Pfizer. In recent years, he has co-founded several biotechnology companies and he serves on various boards. Dr. Wahlestedt is a genomics as well as a drug discovery researcher with over 300 scientific publications and patents.

Judy H. Chiao, MD, Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Chiao joined Epigenetix in June 2021 bringing 20 years of experience in clinical development of new oncology drugs. As a medical oncologist, she has designed and conducted clinical trials in advanced solid tumors and hematological malignancies in collaboration with leading disease experts at major medical centers in USA and Europe. Previously, she was Vice President of Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs at Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where she led the clinical development of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors, polo-like kinase (PLK) inhibitor, aurora kinase inhibitor and oral nucleoside analog. She oversaw filings of multiple investigational new drug applications (INDs), led interactions with regulatory agencies and successfully obtained a Special Protocol Assessment from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a phase 3 registration study of front-line therapy in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Dr. Chiao began her industry career at Aton Pharma, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck & Co. Inc. Prior to Aton’s acquisition by Merck, she was responsible for leading the clinical development of Zolinza, an oral histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. Zolinza was the first HDAC inhibitor to receive FDA’s full approval for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. In addition to her clinical development experience, Dr. Chiao brings regulatory expertise and insights after serving as Senior Medical Reviewer in Division of Oncology Drug Products, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA. She was the agency’s primary reviewer of first-in-human studies in INDs and registration studies in New Drug Applications (NDAs). She presented FDA’s views on the NDAs of prostate cancer, melanoma, and adenomatous polyposis at the Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) meetings.

Dr. Chiao received her M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. She held a Research Fellowship in Molecular Pharmacology at Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, a Clinical Fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and has earned certifications in internal medicine and medical oncology. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry, summa cum laude, from Columbia University.

Holger Weis, CFO

Holger Weis joined Epigenetix in June 2021 and brings over 20 years of executive experience in life science companies. He serves as the principal of Weis Advisors, Inc., a company that provides consulting services to life science companies. Prior to that, he served in a number of roles at DemeRx, Inc., a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing non-addictive treatments for drug addiction, including serving as President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Earlier in his career, Mr. Weis served as the Chief Financial Officer of EnSA Holdings, LLC, a company that focuses on environmentally sustainable agriculture techniques and technologies for the production of rice. He served as the Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer of NovaVision, Inc., a therapeutic and diagnostic vision restoration company. Prior to that, he served as the Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer of GMP Companies, Inc., a company that develops and commercializes pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic technologies. Mr. Weis began his career at Ernst & Young, a multinational professional services company, where he was a senior manager. Mr. Weis has co-authored a number of scientific papers and presentations and is an inventor on a number of patents and patent applications. Mr. Weis also serves on the board of directors of other Alaunos Therapeutics, Inc. and Jupiter Neurosciences, Inc. Mr. Weis received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Georgia and is a Certified Public Accountant.