Dinesh V. Patel, Ph.D., Director, President & CEO, Protagonist Therapeutics

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Dr. Patel has served as a member of the board of directors and as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Protagonist since December 2008. He has 33 years of executive, entrepreneurial, and scientific experience that span the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries. Prior to joining Protagonist Therapeutics, Dr. Patel served from 2006 to 2008 as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Arête Therapeutics, a privately held company focused on novel drugs for metabolic syndrome. Previously, he was the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Miikana Therapeutics, an oncology based company, from 2003 until acquired by Entremed (later renamed CASI Pharmaceuticals) in 2005. Prior to Miikana, Dr. Patel held positions of increasing responsibility at Versicor (later renamed Vicuron) from 1996 to 2003, most recently as Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery and Licensing. Vicuron research and development efforts led to two marketed drugs, anidulafungin (Eraxis®), and Dalbavancin (Dalvance®), and the Company was acquired by Pfizer in 2005 in a $1.9 billion cash transaction. From 1993 to 1996, Dr. Patel was a director of chemistry at the combinatorial chemistry company Affymax. Dr. Patel was a medicinal chemist at Bristol-Myers Squibb from 1985 to 1993. Dr. Patel received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Rutgers University, New Jersey and his B.S. in Industrial Chemistry from S. P. University, Vallabh Vidyanagar, India.

David Y. Liu, Ph.D., Chief R&D Strategy Officer

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Dr. Liu has served as our Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) since May 2013 and has served as CSO and Head of Research and Development since February 2016. Prior to Protagonist Therapeutics, Dr. Liu was the Chief Operating Officer and a co-founder of Trenovus, Inc., from 2010 to 2012. Prior to Trenovus, Dr. Liu was Vice President of Research at FibroGen Inc., from 2002 to 2010. Prior to Fibrogen, Dr. Liu served as Director of Inflammation Research at Scios, Inc., now part of Johnson & Johnson, from 1992 to 2002. Dr. Liu held a position as an academic researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and was Instructor and Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, from 1976 to 1986. Dr. Liu received his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Michigan State University, and his B.S. in chemistry from The University of Chicago.

Asif Ali, Chief Financial Officer

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Mr. Ali joined as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in April 2022. Mr. Ali previously served as Chief Accounting Officer at Theravance Biopharma, overseeing various departments including FP&A, taxation, accounting and financial reporting, strategic sourcing, and finance operations. Among other notable achievements while at Theravance, he was part of the team that successfully raised $130 million in equity financing in February 2020, and a further $115 million in June 2021. Before that, he was Vice President and Corporate Controller at Depomed, where he supported five product launches and four successful product acquisitions. Mr. Ali is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, a qualification that he obtained in conjunction with studying accounting at the University of North London, UK, the US equivalent of a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting.

Suneel Gupta, Ph.D., Chief Development Officer

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Dr. Gupta joined as Chief Development Officer in Jan 2019. Dr. Gupta serves on the scientific advisory boards of several pharmaceutical companies. Prior to joining Protagonist, he was Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of Impax Pharmaceuticals from 2008 to 2019. Prior to Impax, he was Senior Vice President (SVP) and Distinguished Research Fellow at Johnson & Johnson, where he led the early development from 2002-2008. Prior to J&J, he was at ALZA from 1989-2001, where he had increasing levels of responsibility until promoted to Vice President of Clinical Pharmacology & Product Discovery. Dr. Gupta received his PhD in Pharmacokinetics from the University of Manchester, UK in 1987 and did a postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco.

Samuel Saks, M.D., Clinical Development Advisor

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Dr. Saks serves as our Clinical Development Advisor. His leadership in drug development spans decades. Prior to his work with Protagonist, Dr. Saks served as Chief Development Officer and board member at Auspex Pharmaceuticals until the time of its acquisition by Teva Pharmaceuticals. Before his tenure at Auspex, Dr. Saks was a co-founder of Jazz Pharmaceuticals where he also served as Chief Executive Officer. Earlier in his career, Dr. Saks held positions as company group chairman of ALZA Corporation and member of the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Operating Committee. Dr. Saks has also held leadership and management positions at Schering-Plough, Xoma and Genentech. Dr. Saks serves on the boards of directors of Quanta Therapeutics and Hinge Bio. Dr. Saks received a B.S. in Biology and his M.D. from the University of Illinois.

Matthew Gosling, Executive Vice President, General Counsel

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Mr. Gosling joined Protagonist as Executive Vice President, General Counsel in September 2020. He has more than 20 years of legal expertise advising Bay Area life sciences and pharmaceutical companies. Prior to Protagonist, Mr. Gosling served as General Counsel of Depomed, a commercial stage specialty pharmaceutical company, for 12 years. Prior to Depomed, he was a partner in the global law firm of Heller Ehrman, where his practice focused on general corporate, securities, M&A and collaboration matters for public life science companies. Mr. Gosling holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in Economics from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

Mohammad Masjedizadeh, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Chief Technical Officer

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Dr. Masjedizadeh has served as Executive Vice President & Chief Technical Officer since June 2021 and has served as EVP/VP of Pharmaceutical Development from 2017-2021. Prior to joining Protagonist, he was VP and Senior Director of Technical Operations at Principia Biopharma (2012-2017), focusing on CMC development of Reversible Covalent BTK inhibitors. He worked at Roche Pharmaceuticals both in Palo Alto, CA and Nutley, NJ from 1991 to 2012 with increasing responsibilities leading to his promotion to Director of Drug Substance & Supply. Dr. Masjedizadeh received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and conducted his post-doctoral work also at UCSB.

Scott Plevy, M.D., Executive Vice President and Therapeutic Head, Gastroenterology

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Dr. Plevy is a gastroenterologist and molecular immunologist who most recently served as Chief Scientific Officer at Senda Biosciences. He previously held the role of Chief Scientific Officer at Synlogic Therapeutics, and also served as Vice President, Immunology Research and Development at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, where he contributed to the discovery, development, launch and label expansion of several important drugs, including Stelara®. Since the start of his career, Dr. Plevy has published over 110 peer-reviewed scientific papers in areas including novel immunologic interventions in inflammatory bowel disease and other immunologic disorders. He has completed multiple early-phase clinical trials where he served as the lead investigator. Dr. Plevy earned B.A. and M.D. degrees from Columbia University. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Ashok Bhandari, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Chief Drug Discovery and Preclinical Development Officer

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Dr. Bhandari has served as Executive Vice President & Chief Drug Discovery and Preclinical Development Officer since January 2022 and has served as Senior Vice President and Vice President of Chemistry and Process Research from 2017 to 2021. Ashok joined Protagonist in 2011 as Director of Chemistry and focused on the discovery of novel peptide therapeutics leading to Protagonist’s clinical pipeline. Prior to joining Protagonist, Dr. Bhandari worked at Affymax for 14 years, from 1994 to 2008, where he worked on a variety of peptide drug discovery, preclinical and clinical development programs on targets of protein-protein interactions. Dr. Bhandari received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) and conducted his post-doctoral work also at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Abha Bommireddi, Senior Vice President, Program Management

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Carter King, Senior Vice President, Business Development

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Jami Taylor, Vice President, Corporate Affairs

Carena Spivey, Vice President, Human Resources

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Advisors

Craig Ostroff, PharmD, R.Ph., Interim Head of Regulatory Affairs

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Tracy Woody, Commercial Strategy Advisor

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