Joseph A. Yanchik III

Chief Executive Officer

Joseph Yanchik has been founding and funding life science companies for more than 20 years. He initially joined ATP in 2005 and rejoined the firm as a venture partner in 2020 after founding and running two of its portfolio companies. In 2005, Joe founded Tokai Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on prostate cancer, serving as president and CEO from 2005 to 2008 and then as a director through 2017. Concurrently, Joe founded Aileron Therapeutics, a company focused on developing a novel class of stabilized cell-permeating peptides called stapled peptides, for cancer and other diseases. He established a $1.1 billion partnership between Aileron Therapeutics and Roche Pharmaceuticals and led Aileron from inception to public listing, serving as president, CEO, and director from 2006 to 2018. Previously, Joe served as vice president of corporate development at Mendel Biotechnology, an agricultural biotech company, and founded and served as chief financial officer of Poetic Genetics, a gene therapy company. He began his career practicing corporate and securities law at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, where he specialized in public securities offerings, high-yield debt financings, and M&A. He then moved to Venture Law Group in Menlo Park, where he specialized in financing early-stage life science and technology companies.

Joe received a bachelor’s degree from Loyola College in Maryland and a JD from the Villanova University School of Law, where he was managing editor of the Law Review. He is a member of the New York, California, and District of Columbia bars.

Andrew Bayliffe, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Andrew Bayliffe has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry with expertise in the discovery and development of both small molecule and antibody therapeutics across a broad range of diseases areas. He joined Apple Tree Partners as a venture partner in 2019 from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), where he served as head of the Fibrosis and Lung Injury Discovery unit at GSK’s R&D headquarters in Stevenage, UK, and held senior roles in antibody discovery and development in the US and UK.

Andrew is an honorary professor at the Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine at Queens College in Belfast. He completed his undergraduate and PhD studies in pharmacology, physiology and molecular biology at Manchester University and Leeds University in the UK.

Raj Chopra, FRCP, FRCPath, FRSB, PhD

Chief Medical Officer

Raj Chopra brings to Elstar Therapeutics a wealth of experience in academic medical research, clinical practice, and biopharmaceutical industry leadership, with expertise in hematological oncology, solid tumor biology, transplantation, and cell therapies. He joined Apple Tree Partners as a venture partner in 2020 after serving as director of the Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit at The Institute of Cancer Research in London, where he led one of the world’s largest academic drug discovery groups and focused on targeted protein degradation and complex 3D cell culture models. From 2009-2016, Raj was vice president of Translational and Early Drug Development at Celgene, leading an international team of more than 100 scientists. Prior to Celgene, Raj held leadership positions in AstraZeneca’s Oncology Therapeutics group.

Raj trained in medicine at University College London, where he also earned his PhD in medicine, cell and molecular biology. He started his academic career as director of Hematological Oncology at Christie Hospital and was group leader at the Paterson Institute of Cancer Research, both located in Manchester, UK. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, the Royal College of Pathologists, and the Royal Society of Biology. Raj is a co-founder of Monte Rosa Therapeutics, a biotech focused on targeted protein degradation.

Sangeetha Palakurthi PhD

Vice President, In Vivo Pharmacology

Sangeetha joined Elstar Therapeutics with extensive oncology drug discovery and preclinical development experience within both pharmaceutical and academic settings. Most recently, she served as the head of the Cancer Biology and Pharmacology team at the Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science at the  Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Her responsibilities there included design and execution of a portfolio of industry and academic investigator sponsored translational pharmacology projects of targeted agents and immunotherapies to enable better clinical trial design decisions. Prior to that, Sangeetha led and supported oncology drug discovery programs from target identification to candidate drug nomination at AstraZeneca. Her research included design of strategies and execution of rationale-driven “proof of concept” studies to guide translation of right drugs to the right patients.

Sangeetha received her PhD in Biochemistry from the Osmania University in India and worked as a Scientist at Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories prior to her postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School.

Madan Katragadda PhD

Vice President, Antibody Discovery and Protein Sciences

Madan Katragadda heads Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering group, which is responsible for, discovering, designing and delivering Elstar’s biotherapeutic candidates with optimal biophysical and manufacturable properties. He has more than 15 years of experience discovering and developing a wide range of biotherapeutic modalities spanning peptides, fusion proteins, Antibody-drug-conjugates and multi-specific Antibodies. His first foray into biotherapeutics started with discovery of peptide-based complement inhibitors during his postdoc tenure at the University of Pennsylvania. His work led to out-licensing of an anti-C3 peptide to Apellis pharmaceuticals who is currently testing it in several inflammatory diseases in Phase II.

Prior to joining Elstar, Madan held positions with increasing responsibility at Pfizer, where he led an Antibody Engineering group, built cross-functional teams to deliver on innovative ideas and new technology platforms and managed several biotherapeutic projects through internal and external collaborations. He delivered several biotherapeutic candidates to treat Inflammatory and Oncology indications for preclinical/clinical development. His work at the University of Pennsylvania and Pfizer resulted in several patents and publications.

Madan holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Connecticut and completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania.