About Ajax

and our focus on hematologic malignancies

Advances in molecular genetics and biology have led to the development of new classes of targeted therapies for the treatment of hematologic malignancies.  However, many of these therapies, while selective for a particular drug target, often interact with other related proteins which can limit their efficacy and lead to unwanted side effects.  At Ajax, we are targeting hematologic malignancies with greater precision by applying state-of-the-art computational chemistry and structural biology throughout the drug discovery and development process to create best-in-class therapies for significant unmet medical needs.

OUR R&D APPROACH

targeting cytokine signaling pathways through precise selectivity

At Ajax, we are applying uniquely selective approaches to develop novel therapies targeting key cytokine signaling pathways that drive hematologic malignancies.  By combining the deep disease, genetics and structural biology insights of our founding scientists with the industry’s most advanced computational drug discovery platform from our founding partner, Schrödinger, Inc., we are developing more precisely designed small molecule therapeutics for hematologic malignancies.

OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH SCHRÖDINGER

Ajax has a unique partnership with Schrödinger, Inc. (NASDAQ: SDGR), the industry leader in molecular simulation software for drug discovery, to develop a pipeline of selectively targeted small molecules. Through this ongoing collaboration, Schrödinger and Ajax scientists work as an integrated team to precisely design and optimize compounds with the desired functional activity, selectivity and drug-like properties.

THE AJAX TEAM

Management
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Martin Vogelbaum, Interim CEO
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Martin Vogelbaum is a co-founder of Ajax and also serves on the company’s board of directors. He has more than 27 years of investment experience in the life sciences having been involved with companies at all stages of development, including co-founding several biotech start-ups. He is Managing Partner of Inning One Ventures, an early-stage life sciences venture capital firm, and a founding investor of Ajax. Previously, Mr. Vogelbaum served as Corporate Vice President, Business Development at Celgene Corporation. Prior to joining Celgene, Mr. Vogelbaum served as a partner of Rho Ventures where he focused on investments in biopharmaceuticals and medical devices. He serves or has served on the Board of Directors of multiple private and public life sciences companies including Cara Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CARA), Gloucester Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Celgene), Mersana (NASDAQ: MRSN), SARcode (acquired by Shire) and AqueSys (acquired by Allergan). Prior to his venture capital career, he was a research associate in the bone marrow transplantation unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He currently serves on the Healthcare Advisory Board for the Partnership Fund for New York City as well as the External Advisory Board for the Office of Therapeutic Alliances at NYU Langone Health. Mr. Vogelbaum received his A.B. in biology and history from Columbia University.

Craig E. Masse, PhD, Vice President, Discovery Research
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Craig E. Masse, PhD, has over 18 years of discovery and development experience in the biotechnology industry with a strong track record of delivering high value drug development candidates. Prior to joining Ajax Therapeutics, Dr. Masse was Executive Director and Head of Medicinal Chemistry at Nimbus where he led multiple immunology and immuno-oncology programs, all of which were prosecuted within a capitally efficient, virtually integrated, globally distributed operating model that involved a first-of-its-kind partnership with Schrödinger, Inc. (NASDAQ: SDGR). At Nimbus, he led the advancement of the company’s allosteric Tyk2 inhibitor program to a Development Candidate and helped secure an alliance with Celgene Corporation. Prior to joining Nimbus, Dr. Masse served as Head of Medicinal Chemistry at Concert Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CNCE) where he oversaw the creation of three Development Candidates all of which entered the clinic within 18 months. While at Concert, he led multidisciplinary drug-discovery projects teams, supported strategic assessment of programs for portfolio management; and provided scientific support for Business Development that resulted in a $1 billion multi-product transaction with GlaxoSmithKline. Prior to Concert, Dr. Masse started his career as a Research Scientist at Amgen-Cambridge where he worked in the oncology, inflammation, and neuroscience therapeutic areas. He is an inventor on over 60 patents and has co-authored more than 65 scientific publications including several book chapters. He earned his Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from Boston University and conducted post-doctoral research at Harvard University with Professor David A. Evans.

Board of Directors
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Ramy Farid, PhD, Director
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Dr. Ramy Farid is President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Schrödinger, Inc (NASDAQ: SDGR). He joined Schrödinger in 2002 and helped advance the company’s computational platform and drug discovery portfolio while assuming positions of increasing responsibility before becoming CEO in 2017. Dr. Farid has played a key role in implementing major strategic initiatives, including more than 40 research collaborations and joint ventures, and led the company through its IPO in 2020. Dr. Farid currently serves on the board of directors of ShouTi. Previously, he served on the board of Nimbus Therapeutics, a biotechnology company he helped found in 2009. He also served on the board of directors of Morphic Therapeutic (NASDAQ: MORF) and currently serves on the company’s scientific advisory board. Dr. Farid began his career in academia and was an assistant professor in the chemistry department at Rutgers University. He was a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania and received his doctorate degree in chemistry from Caltech. He is an author on 70 peer reviewed publications.

Ross Levine, MD, Director
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Dr. Ross Levine is a Member of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) and an Attending Physician on the Leukemia Service, Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). He is the Chief of the Molecular Cancer Medicine Service, the Laurence Joseph Dineen Chair in Leukemia Research, a Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, and the Director of the MSK Center for Hematologic Malignancies. Dr. Levine earned his A.B. from Harvard College and M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Levine served as a Resident in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and as a Hematology-Oncology Fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His laboratory has identified myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) predisposition alleles and characterized somatic genetic and epigenetic alterations in MPN and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients, which has led to new mechanism-based therapies. In 2011, he was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and in 2018 to the Association of American Physicians. He serves on the Supervisory Board of Qiagen N.V. (NYSE: QGEN) and on the Scientific Advisory Boards of C4 Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CCCC), Zentalis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ZNTL), Prelude Therapeutics (NASDAQ: PRLD), Scorpion Therapeutics and Mission Bio. He was also on the Scientific Advisory Board of Loxo Oncology (acquired by Eli Lilly).

Scott Platshon, Director
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Scott Platshon is a Partner at EcoR1 Capital, a fundamental biotechnology-focused investment firm in San Francisco. Prior to joining EcoR1 in 2015, he was an analyst for Aquilo Partners, a boutique life-science investment bank. Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering from Stanford University.

Martin Vogelbaum, Director
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Martin Vogelbaum is a co-founder of Ajax and also serves on the company’s board of directors. He has more than 27 years of investment experience in the life sciences having been involved with companies at all stages of development, including co-founding several biotech start-ups. He is Managing Partner of Inning One Ventures, an early-stage life sciences venture capital firm, and a founding investor of Ajax. Previously, Mr. Vogelbaum served as Corporate Vice President, Business Development at Celgene Corporation. Prior to joining Celgene, Mr. Vogelbaum served as a partner of Rho Ventures where he focused on investments in biopharmaceuticals and medical devices. He serves or has served on the Board of Directors of multiple private and public life sciences companies including Cara Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CARA), Gloucester Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Celgene), Mersana (NASDAQ: MRSN), SARcode (acquired by Shire) and AqueSys (acquired by Allergan). Prior to his venture capital career, he was a research associate in the bone marrow transplantation unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He currently serves on the Healthcare Advisory Board for the Partnership Fund for New York City as well as the External Advisory Board for the Office of Therapeutic Alliances at NYU Langone Health. Mr. Vogelbaum received his A.B. in biology and history from Columbia University.

Scientific Founders
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Stevan Hubbard, PhD
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Dr. Stevan Hubbard is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at the New York University (NYU) Grossman School of Medicine and a member of the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine at NYU. His longstanding research interests are the structural/molecular mechanisms governing the regulation of protein tyrosine kinases. Among his major contributions in this field are: the determination of the first crystal structure of a tyrosine kinase domain (insulin receptor); the first crystal structures of small-molecule inhibitors bound to a tyrosine kinase domain (fibroblast growth factor receptor); and, with Ajax co-founder Dr. Olli Silvennoinen, the crystal structure of the JAK2 pseudokinase domain. Dr. Hubbard holds a B.Sc. with distinction from Cornell University (Engineering Physics) and a Ph.D. from Stanford University (Applied Physics). He received postdoctoral training at Columbia University in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics.

Ross Levine, MD
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Dr. Ross Levine is a Member of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) and an Attending Physician on the Leukemia Service, Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). He is the Chief of the Molecular Cancer Medicine Service, the Laurence Joseph Dineen Chair in Leukemia Research, a Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, and the Director of the MSK Center for Hematologic Malignancies. Dr. Levine earned his A.B. from Harvard College and M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Levine served as a Resident in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and as a Hematology-Oncology Fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His laboratory has identified myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) predisposition alleles and characterized somatic genetic and epigenetic alterations in MPN and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients, which has led to new mechanism-based therapies. In 2011, he was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and in 2018 to the Association of American Physicians. He serves on the Supervisory Board of Qiagen N.V. (NYSE: QGEN) and on the Scientific Advisory Boards of C4 Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CCCC), Zentalis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ZNTL), Prelude Therapeutics (NASDAQ: PRLD), Scorpion Therapeutics and Mission Bio and was on the Scientific Advisory Board of Loxo Oncology (acquired by Eli Lilly).

Olli Silvennoinen, MD, PhD
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Dr. Olli Silvennoinen is Director of Biocenter Finland. He is also professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Tampere University, Chief Physician at Fimlab Laboratories and Research Director at the Institute of Biotechnology, Helsinki Institute of Life Science (HiLIFE) at the University of Helsinki. Prior to his current position, he served as Director of HiLIFE, Director of the Institute of Biotechnology in Helsinki and Director of the Institute of Medical Technology in Tampere. Dr. Silvennoinen received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Helsinki and clinical microbiology specialization at the University of Tampere. During his postdoctoral training at St Jude Children´s Research Hospital and New York University Medical School, Dr. Silvennoinen was centrally involved in the original characterization of the JAK-STAT pathway and his laboratory has continued to elucidate the regulatory mechanisms of JAK kinases in malignancies and autoimmune diseases. He has been active in facilitating research innovations in both academic settings and start-up companies.

Radek Skoda, MD
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Dr. Radek Skoda is a Professor of Molecular Medicine and research group leader at the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel. His research interests are focused on the molecular pathogenesis of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). His major contributions to the field include describing the JAK2-V617F mutation in patients with MPNs, dissecting the factors that contribute to the clonal evolution of MPNs and discovering mutations in the TPO gene in familial thrombocythemia and EPO gene in familial erythrocytosis. Dr. Skoda obtained his M.D. from the University of Zürich and trained in internal medicine and hematology at the University Hospital Basel. He began his research career as a postdoctoral fellow at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and later moved to the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. In 2000, he returned to the Biozentrum as a research group leader with a SCORE career development award from the Swiss National Science Foundation and became head of the Molecular Hematology-Oncology unit at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. In 2002, Dr. Skoda was appointed to his current professorship in Basel and served as chair of the Department of Biomedicine until May 2021. In 2013, he was elected to the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences. Since 2016, he has served as Chair of the Personalized Health Basel Initiative of the University and University Hospital Basel. Dr. Skoda has also served on the advisory board for the Ludwig Boltzman Institute in Vienna and consulted on MPN-related projects for Novartis, Baxalta, Shire and Celgene.

David Weinstock, MD
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Dr. David Weinstock is a Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. He completed fellowship training in Medical Oncology and Infectious Diseases at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He joined the staff of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2008, where he is a medical oncologist and directs the Weinstock Laboratory, a translational research program focused on novel therapeutics for lymphoid malignancies.

Collaborators
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CAREERS

AIM HIGH WITH YOUR CAREER AT AJAX

At Ajax, we see ourselves as warriors operating at the intersection of computational chemistry and cancer biology.  We are committed to creating medicines that will have a transformative impact on the lives of cancer patients. And we’re always on the hunt for talented people to join us in our quest.

We are looking for talented individuals to join the Ajax team in the following positions:

Contact Us

We are based in Cambridge, MA and New York, NY.
Contact us at info@ajaxtherapeutics.com.

Ajax Therapeutics
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