Cambrian is a Distributed Drug Discovery Company, or a “DisCo.” We partner with leading academic institutions and biotech entrepreneurs to build start-up companies, providing capital and expertise to advance a pipeline of drug development programs with a shared theme.
Each drug in our pipeline has the potential to extend healthy lifespan while treating and preventing multiple age-related diseases, including heart disease, cancer, dementia, metabolic disease, frailty, and many others that have become humanity’s leading causes of death in the last century.
We contribute funding for drug discovery and clinical development and take a strategic and operational role in creating new medicines partnering with academic scientists, biotech entrepreneurs, and seasoned drug developers.
Creating breakthrough medicines and building great companies have much in common - both require clearly articulating a future state, identifying our gaps in knowledge, then working diligently to fill those gaps. Cambrian builds companies and creates new medicines - our values drive both efforts.
Think big and take incremental steps
Medicines that can prevent and delay the diseases of aging will be the defining inventions of 21st century medicine. We have a realistic plan to get there that plays within the existing rules of the pharmaceutical regulatory framework
Be the partner you’d want to have
We strive to be a development partner for academic, biotech, and pharma stakeholders that we look for when partnering ourselves. We treasure objective data, teamwork, speed, and above all a respect for the people in biotech that dedicate their lives to creating new medicines.
Focus on mechanisms
Transformative medicines are built on a strong understanding of the cellular and sub-cellular mechanisms of action underpinning a disease. We identify mechanisms that repair cellular damage and work forwards to build the right development plan for treating that damage instead of the traditional approach of focusing on a broad and complex disease like cancer and try to work backwards.
Diversify while taking the lead
Early drug development demands exceptional teams to have a chance of success. Cambrian takes the lead in drug development with our partners, but achieves diversification through the scale of our programs.
Take calculated risks
Most drugs in early development don’t get approved, but the biotech industry works very well at scale and under the leadership of disciplined teams. We aren’t afraid to start at the earliest stages of drug development, but we also objectively calculate the risks and reward of early programs.
Do the tough experiments
Our programs don’t cut corners when designing experiments - we set up the most rigorous way to test our hypotheses and can then quickly shut down a program if effect sizes aren’t enough to merit taking a program further.
Age-related diseases stem from nine hallmarks of aging. Cambrian's therapeutics target these nine hallmarks with the potential to not only treat disease, but prevent it when used proactively.
CEO & Co-Founder
James Peyer is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Cambrian Biopharma. James was previously Founder and Managing Partner at Apollo Ventures, the first global longevity-focused venture capital firm, investing across the US and Europe. He led investments in Cleara Biotech, Aeovian Pharmaceuticals, and Samsara Therapeutics, and served on the Board and/or in executive roles for all three companies. James has led companies that have raised over $100M. He serves on the board of Sensei Biotherapeutics, Vineyard Therapeutics, and several more stealth-mode companies. Prior to Apollo, James was a consultant at the New York office of McKinsey & Company, serving major pharmaceutical clients. He earned his PhD in stem cell biology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center as a National Science Foundation Fellow and received his B.A. with special honors from the University of Chicago.
Chairman & Co-Founder
Christian Angermayer is a Chairman and Co-Founder of Cambrian Biopharma. A serial entrepreneur and investor, Christian has raised over $1.6B for his portfolio companies. He was co-founder of Ribopharma, a German biotech company pioneering RNAi (today Alnylam, $9B market cap). Via his family office Apeiron Investment Group, he has invested in many companies in the life sciences and fintech sectors and has been party to over 40 successful M&As and IPOs. He is a founder and investor in another biotech holding company, ATAI Life Sciences, focused on neuropharmacology. In 2017, the Swiss-German business magazine BILANZ ranked Christian in the top 10 most important German tech investors. Christian has produced 14 feature films and was named an emerging global leader by the World Economic Forum and the Milken Institute.
Chief Operating Officer
Juliette Han is the Chief Operating Officer at Cambrian Biopharma. She was previously the Chief of Staff at Two Sigma Private Investments Group, the PE/VC division of the hedge fund Two Sigma. Prior to Two Sigma, Juliette was a Chief Operating Officer of People & Human Resources Operations at the hedge fund Citadel, where she transformed the zero data transparency organization to a live-dashboard and quant-driven culture. Prior to Citadel, Juliette was Chief of Staff for McKinsey New Ventures at McKinsey & Co in the New York office. Juliette holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University, as well as an M.S. in Physiological Sciences and B.S. in Neuroscience and Physiological Science, both from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She serves on the alumni advisory council of Harvard Medical School.
EVP, Translational & Clinical Science
Tauhid Ali is the Executive Vice President of Translational & Clinical Science at Cambrian Biopharma. He was previously at Takeda Pharmaceuticals as VP of Search & Translational Science (Rare Diseases Therapy Area Unit) and the founder and head of the TAKcelerator™, a virtual biotech unit within Takeda with a novel operating model, which, within the first two years, launched 3 new companies with venture backing and executed multiple out licenses and partnerships, achieving a healthy ROI. Prior to Takeda, he was Global Project Leader for Early Development at UCB Celltech focused on small molecules and mAb development where he led global development project teams in immunology & inflammation including a co-development with Biogen-Idec in a rare auto-inflammatory program. He has a Ph.D. from Cardiff University and a MSc in Clinical Sciences from the Welsh School of Pharmacy.
Dennis Yamashita is the Executive Vice President of Chemistry at Cambrian Biopharma. He is an exceptional drug hunter and medicinal chemist with 30 years in pharmaceutical and biotech drug discovery. Dennis was VP Med Chem at Axial Biotherapeutics, VP Drug Discovery at ORIC, and VP Chemistry at Trevena, a startup founded by Nobel laureate, Robert Lefkowitz. At Trevena, he co-invented OLINVYK (oliceridine), an FDA-approved analgesic for the treatment of post-surgical pain. Dennis spent 20 years at GSK most recently leading drug discovery research collaborations with premier academic institutions, as well as internal drug discovery projects in oncology, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and immunology disease areas. Dennis has a B.S. from MIT in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Yale. He mentors MIT postdoc scientists and volunteers at the MIT Sandbox, an entrepreneurship program for MIT students that aims to move ideas from concept to societal impacts.
EVP, Drug Discovery
Georg Terstappen is the Executive Vice President of Drug Discovery at Cambrian Biopharma. Georg has over 25 years of experience in big pharma and biotech, holding senior R&D positions at Bayer, GW/GSK, and Abbott/AbbVie - most recently as Head of Preclinical CNS Drug Development with GSK in Shanghai. Georg was also co-founder and CSO of the CNS drug discovery company Siena Biotech and CSO of OxStem (a University of Oxford spin-out focused on regenerative medicine). In addition, Georg has led EU R&D framework organizations as Vice-Chair of the Innovative Medicines Strategy group in the context of EFPIA and IMI. He has over 80 publications and 15 patents. Georg has a first-class honors degree in Biology and conducted research at the Max Planck Institute in Cologne and the Federal Research Centre Juelich for which he has received a PhD in natural sciences.