Annexon Biosciences Expands Senior Leadership as it Advances its Novel Complement Approach to Autoimmune and Neurodegenerative Disorders

July 09, 2019

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA --()--Annexon Biosciences, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of first-in-class therapies for classical complement-mediated autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases, today announced the following additions to its senior leadership team:

  • Sanjay Keswani, MBBS, BSc, FRCP, Chief Medical Officer
  • Jennifer Lew, Chief Financial Officer
  • Lesley Stolz, PhD, Chief Business Officer

“Sanjay, Jen and Lesley bring extensive strategic and operational expertise to our team which will greatly enhance our ability to advance Annexon’s clinical development and corporate goals,” commented Doug Love, Esq., President and Chief Executive Officer of Annexon. “We are encouraged by the clinical progress of our lead programs to date and look forward to advancing these and other programs over the next several months. We enthusiastically welcome Sanjay, Jen and Lesley to the Annexon family at this important juncture.”

“I’m excited to help realize the tremendous therapeutic potential of Annexon’s pioneering work in C1q, the most upstream molecule in the classical complement pathway,” stated Sanjay Keswani. “We believe our dual approach to prevent tissue damage inflicted by autoantibodies and to protect against loss of functional synapses has broad relevance to several autoimmune, neurodegenerative and ocular diseases, where we could positively impact patients and their families.”

Dr. Keswani brings more than 20 years of research and drug development experience to his new role, particularly in the areas of neurology, ophthalmology and autoimmune disorders. He previously served as SVP and Global Head of Neuroscience, Ophthalmology and Rare Diseases Research & Development at Roche. Prior to Roche, Dr. Keswani held senior roles at other global pharmaceutical companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly & Co. Dr. Keswani completed his medical residency in Neurology and fellowships in Neuroimmunology and Neurophysiology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and his MBBS in medicine at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. In addition, Dr. Keswani holds a first-class honors degree from St. Mary’s Hospital, London in Pathology & Basic Medical Sciences (Immunology) and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP). Dr. Keswani is a former Neurology faculty member at Johns Hopkins.

Ms. Lew joins Annexon with 15 years of financial operations experience in the biotechnology sector. Most recently, Ms. Lew served as Chief Financial Officer of Aduro Biotech, overseeing fundraising, investor relations, strategic planning and board governance. She also played a lead role in the preparation and execution of Aduro’s initial public offering. Ms. Lew previously held various finance leadership roles at Dynavax Technologies Corporation, where she was responsible for finance and accounting operations, and she began her career at Ernst & Young. Ms. Lew holds a B.A. in Economics/Accounting and Government from Claremont McKenna College and is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).

Dr. Stolz has more than 20 years of experience in the biotech industry encompassing business and corporate development. Dr. Stolz was previously with Johnson & Johnson Innovation, where she negotiated transactions and ran the West Coast JLABS business. Prior to Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Dr. Stolz held leadership roles at BioTime, Sutro Biopharma and Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for corporate strategy, fundraising and all aspects of partnering. Dr. Stolz received her MSc and PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Rochester and performed postdoctoral research in biochemistry at Harvard Medical School.

About Annexon’s Product Pipeline

Annexon’s pipeline of novel therapies includes two clinical-stage product candidates, ANX005, a monoclonal antibody, and ANX007, a fragmented monoclonal antibody, as well as other compounds in preclinical development. ANX005 is currently in a Phase 1/2 study in patients with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). Annexon also plans to evaluate ANX005 in complement-mediated neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington’s disease. ANX007 is in a Phase 1b study as a potential neuroprotective approach for progressing glaucoma patients.


Caroline Rufo, PhD

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