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Realizing the promise of glycobiology

Management Team

Robin M. Jackman, Ph.D.,, President and Chief Executive Officer
Shripad S. Bhagwat, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer
Charles A. Glass, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Senior V.P Research
Douglas J. Downs, Chief Financial Officer
Brett E. Crawford, Ph.D., Co-founder and V.P Research
Sergio Duron, Director, Medicinal Chemistry

Robin M. Jackman, Ph.D.,
President and Chief Executive Officer

Robin M. Jackman joined Zacharon as President and CEO in 2009. Dr. Jackman has 18 years of experience in business development, finance, clinical development, and scientific research. During that time he led or participated in over 80 life science partnership, financing, and M&A; transactions collectively valued at over $11 billion.

Prior to joining Zacharon Dr. Jackman was Senior Vice President of Business Operations at the biotechnology company Vical, where he formed a partnership for the company's lead drug, and ran the oncology division with two orphan-indication drugs: the first in an exploratory Phase 1 clinical trial and the second from initiation into enrollment of a worldwide Phase 3 registration clinical trial encompassing over 120 clinical sites in 15 countries. Earlier in his career he was an investment banker with the Robertson Stephens unit at Bank of America as Vice President of Corporate Finance, Life Sciences. While at Robertson Stephens, he worked closely with life science companies ranging from small venture-backed startups to large multinational pharmaceutical companies, providing strategic advice and managing private and public transactions.

Dr. Jackman holds graduate degrees from Harvard Medical School and Harvard University, and an undergraduate degree from Stanford University.


Shripad S. Bhagwat, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer

Dr Bhagwat brings more than 25 years of successful experience in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently as Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery and Preclinical Development at Ambit Biosciences in San Diego, CA. After joining Ambit in January 2005, Dr. Bhagwat built and led all of drug discovery research as well as IND-enabling activities including CMC, toxicology, and IND-filing. Under Dr. Bhagwat's leadership, Ambit's drug discovery group identified four clinical candidates in as many years with the most advanced compound, AC220, currently undergoing Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. From 1998 – 2004, he served as Vice President of Drug Discovery at Signal Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Celgene) where he was responsible for managing screening, medicinal chemistry, structure-based drug design, PK/ADME, and in vivo pharmacology activities. While at Signal, he supervised multiple drug discovery projects in cancer and inflammation with a focus on kinases and helped identify six drug candidates, two of which are currently in phase II clinical trials (CC-401 and CC-8490). From 1994-1998, Dr. Bhagwat served as Senior Group Leader, Neuroscience Research at Abbott Laboratories, where he managed medicinal chemistry, combinatorial chemistry, and structure based drug design activities. Beginning in 1985, Dr. Bhagwat contributed to the drug discovery research at Ciba-Geigy Corporation, where his work led to the identification of three candidates for clinical development. Dr. Bhagwat has published over 50 papers and is an inventor on over 50 issued or pending patents. He received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and conducted postdoctoral research at Columbia University.


Charles A. Glass, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Senior V.P Research

Dr. Glass founded Zacharon to develop drugs that inhibit glycans, a novel class of drug targets that are under-recognized in the pharmaceutical industry. His experience and vision have steered Zacharon to continually add value to its scientific portfolio and to attract top quality scientists and advisors.

As a Senior Scientist at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute (PRI, La Jolla) (1994 -1999) he recognized the intense competition for novel drug targets. Dr Glass saw an opportunity in the glycan field where there is an entire class of untapped scientifically validated drug targets.

Dr. Glass studied glycans (Assistant Project Scientist 1999 – 2004) with Dr Jeff Esko at UCSD and co-founded Zacharon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2004. By focusing the company on the development of the companies' proprietary high throughput inhibitor screen, Zacharon opened the class of glycan targets to drug development. This value approach has enabled Zacharon to attain numerous NIH grants and more recently Venture Capital funding from Avalon Ventures.

Dr. Glass received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. His graduate work, his postgraduate research with Dr. Elaine Fuchs at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (1984 – 1988) and his research as a Senior Scientific Associate at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA (1988-1994) focused on key classes of proteins in cell differentiation and development.


Douglas J. Downs
Chief Financial Officer

Douglas Downs joined Avalon Ventures as Chief Financial Officer in late 2007 and possesses over 20 years of senior financial and operational experience in both public and private technology organizations. In addition to the CFO role at Avalon Ventures, Doug is acting CFO in a number of the early stage portfolio companies.

Prior to Avalon Ventures, Doug provided part-time CFO services to a variety of high technology companies including Avalon Ventures financed, Chumby Industries, Inc. In addition, Doug has experience as a board member and audit committee chair and as CFO has led multiple public offerings, venture financings and has financed growth through domestic and international debt placements.

Prior to starting his CFO services business, Doug was the CFO and VP of Operations for Extensis, Inc., a venture-backed, graphics Software Company that for several years was Oregon's fastest growing enterprise. Additionally, Doug was the CFO of NASDAQ-listed GTI Corporation, a supplier of networking components and network access equipment to OEMs in the local, wide-area and telecommunications industries, which grew to $175M in revenues.
Doug began his career in financial planning and analysis for a Fortune 500 company.
He has a B.S. in Accounting from San Diego State University.


Brett E. Crawford, Ph.D.
Co-founder and V.P Research

Dr. Crawford founded Zacharon and has played a major role in developing Zacharon's drug discovery platform. Previously, Dr Crawford trained with Dr. Esko studying the role of glycans in cancer. His graduate work, where he made a number of important discoveries correlating glycan structure and expression with function combined with his work at Zacharon have made Dr Crawford a prominent investigator in the glycan field.

Prior to entering the glycan field Dr. Crawford worked as a Molecular Biologist at List Biological Laboratories (Campbell, CA) a manufacturer of biological toxins used for research as well as for industrial and medical applications. By applying modern molecular biology to List's manufacturing process, Dr Crawford dramatically improved their production.

Dr. Crawford received his B.S with honors from the University of California, Davis where he was in the Phi Sigma Biological Honor Society, Gamma Delta Chapter.

Dr. Crawford received his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.


Sergio Duron
Director, Medicinal Chemistry

Dr. Duron is director of medicinal chemistry at Zacharon Pharmaceuticals where he is responsible for leading their small molecule drug discovery program focused on identifying glycan inhibitors.

Prior to joining the Zacharon team, he was a principal scientist in the medicinal chemistry group at Kalypsys, Inc. During his time at Kalypsys, he has led and/or contributed to several projects spanning screening to IND in metabolic diseases, pain/inflammation and oncology. He was a key contributor in the identification of KD3010, which entered clinical trials.

Dr. Duron received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and served as a post-doctoral fellow in organic chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute.