About

Novita is dedicated to developing first-in-class drugs to prevent and treat cancer metastasis and to boost anti-cancer immune responses.

Mission Statement

Novita Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing first-in-class drugs to prevent and treat cancer metastasis as well as to boost anti-cancer immune responses. 


Cancer metastasis is the primary cause of over 90% of cancer deaths and yet there is no drug specifically and directly targeting metastasis on the market today. Novita aims to address this problem by developing inhibitors of fascin, a key protein highly expressed in tumor cells and critically involved in cell motility and the metastasis of multiple tumor types. 


Additionally, fascin is also highly expressed in antigen-presenting cells within the tumor microenvironment and fascin inhibitor, in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors, can synergistically increase anti-tumor immune response.

History

2010

Company founded by Drs. Xin-Yun Huang and Jillian Zhang to take their discovery of the novel cancer treatment, fascin inhibtors, from the lab to patients worldwide.

2016

First-in-class fascin inhibitor lead selected for clinical development

2017

Filed IND

2018

Launched first-in-human Phase 1 study

2020

Phase 1 Completed

2021

Phase 1 data presented at ASCO

2022

Initiated Phase 2A clinical trial

2024

Phase 2 data presented at ASCO


Management

Jillian Zhang, PhD

President & Chief Scientific Officer, Co-Founder

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Jillian Zhang, PhD

President & Chief Scientific Officer, Co-Founder

Dr. Jillian Zhang is a co-founder of Novita and currently Novita’s President, Chief Scientific Officer, and a Board director. Dr. Zhang oversees the daily operations of Novita and has successfully led the team in filing IND and completing a first-in-human Phase 1 study of fascin inhibitor. Dr. Zhang previously was a Professor at Cornell University Medical College for 15 years. Her research focused on immunology, gene regulation, cytokine signaling, and tumor metastasis, including the identification of small molecule fascin inhibitors. Dr. Zhang also has extensive experience in animal model studies in immunology and protein structural studies in cancer biology. She has many peer-reviewed publications during her academic career. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Associate at Rockefeller University prior to joining Cornell’s faculty. Dr. Zhang received her Ph.D. degree in Genetics from Harvard University.

Christy Shue, PhD

Chief Financial Officer

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Christy Y. Shue

Chief Financial Officer

Dr. Shue has extensive experience in capital raising, SEC financial reporting, investor relations, capital markets, and corporate governance with previous roles as Acting CFO and Executive Vice President, Finance & Investor Relations, and Corporate Secretary for Harbin Electric, Inc. (previously a NASDAQ listed company), as Vice President and a Senior Investor Relations Consultant at Christensen, and as Manager, Investor Relations for International Paper (NYSE: IP). Dr. Shue holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Purdue University, earned her MBA degree from Stern School of Business, New York University, and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Sichuan University, China.

Jose Jimeno, MD/PhD

Chief Medical Officer

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Jose Jimeno, MD/PhD

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Jose Jimeno is a medical oncologist and has extensive experience in oncology drug development and clinical trials. He was instrumental in the development of Yondelis, a drug now approved in over 60 countries including in the United States and E.U. He also contributed to the development and approval of Epirubicin in breast cancer, Amifostine as cytoprotector, and Trimetrexate in pneumocistis carinii pneumonia in HIV patients. He also developed Plitidepsin (Aplidine) from preclinical to pivotal trials in myeloma indication in Australia. Previously, Dr. Jimeno was a co-founder and CEO of Pangaea Biotech, a cancer diagnostics company, and CMO for Promontory Therapeutics. Dr. Jimeno has published over 140 papers in peer reviewed journals on cancer.

Jennifer Lee

Senior Vice President, Clinical Operation & Quality Assurance

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Jennifer Lee

Senior Vice President, Clinical Operation & Quality Assurance

Jennifer Lee is a product development expert in the life sciences sector. With over two decades of experience, she has contributed to novel and first-in-class therapies, leading to eight global regulatory approvals, including notable drugs such as Xtandi®, Celebrex®, Mirbetriq®, AMTAGVI™, and ORSERDU™. The eight globally approved therapies she has overseen have generated a cumulative value of $20 billion and are now used in over 100 countries. Jennifer's strategic leadership has facilitated multiple successful inspections and multi-million dollar exits. She has also successfully scaled companies and actively contributes to the field through her publications. Jennifer earned a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a master's in regulatory compliance from Northwestern University.

Board of Directors

Xin-Yun Huang, PhD

Chairman, Co-Founder

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Xin-Yun Huang, PhD

Chairman, Co-Foounder

Dr. Huang serves as the Chairman of the Board of Novita. He is a professor at Cornell University Medical College. His research focuses on unraveling the molecular mechanisms behind tumor cell migration and metastasis, while also exploring innovative therapeutic approaches to inhibit these processes. Furthermore, he actively investigates methods to enhance anti-cancer immune responses. Dr. Huang's expertise extends to the study of G-protein-coupled receptors, which are widely recognized as the primary drug targets in the pharmaceutical market. Dr. Huang has published over one hundred peer-reviewed articles and holds more than twenty patents, exemplifying his commitment to translating scientific discoveries into practical applications. Prior to joining Cornell, he was a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia University Medical Center's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, as well as an associate research scientist at Harvard University's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr. Huang earned his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of Houston.

Jillian Zhang, PhD

Jackson Tai

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Jackson Tai

Mr. Tai served until recently as a Non-Executive Director of Eli Lilly and Company, Mastercard Incorporated, and HSBC Holdings Plc, where he was chairman of the Risk Committee. Mr. Tai was formerly Vice Chairman and CEO of DBS Group and DBS Bank Ltd, one of the largest financial services firms in Asia. Prior to that, he was a Managing Director and Senior Officer for Asia Pacific, and before that Executive Director and Head of Japan Capital Markets for JP Morgan & Co. Incorporated. Mr. Tai has an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Jonathan Zhu, J.D. 

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Jonathan Zhu

Jonathan Zhu

Mr. Zhu is the managing director of Bain Capital Asia, LLC. He has led many of Bain Capital’s investments in Asia, particularly in China, and serves on the boards of a number of listed companies, including Sunac (China) Limited, ClearMedia Limited, and Greatview Aseptic Packaging, all of which are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, as well as Hugel, Inc., listed on KOSDAQ. He is a Member of the Board of Trustees at Cornell University, serves on the Law School Advisory Council and on the China Advisory Board of Cornell University. Prior to joining Bain Capital, Mr. Zhu was chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley China. Before joining Morgan Stanley, Mr. Zhu was an attorney with Shearman & Sterling in New York. Mr. Zhu earned his J.D. from the Law School of Cornell University. He also holds a B.A. from Zhengzhou University and an MA from Nanjing University.

Jiangtao Yu, Ph.D.

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Jiangtao Yu

Dr. Yuis a Managing Director of Gaorong Capital. His major investment interest focuses on first-in-class therapeutics with large unmet medical needs and breakthrough biotechnology platforms. Dr. Yu currently serves on the boards of Sironax, MingMed, Hygea MedTech, Novita Pharmaceuticals, Inc, and 4B Biotech. Prior to Gaorong, Dr. Yu was an Assistant President of the Yangtze Delta Region Institute of Tsinghua University, in charge of cross-border technology transfer, hi-tech startup incubation, joint venture, and M&A. Dr. Yu started his career in the Digital Health Group of Intel Corporation, and later in the New Business Initiatives of Intel Capital, focusing on the research and development of biochip projects, where he combined biotech and semiconductor technologies for molecular diagnostics and early disease detection. Dr. Yu obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology of Tsinghua University, and his Ph.D. from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics of Cornell University.

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