Neil Desai, PhD
Chairman of the Board and CEO

Neil is the Founder of Aadi Bioscience, Inc. He was former SVP, Global R&D, Abraxis Bioscience; VP, Strategic Platforms, Celgene Corp; Inventor of the nab® technology, Abraxane® and ABI-009. He successfully led the Abraxane team through all development stages. He has over 25 years of experience in novel therapeutic delivery systems with over 100 issued patents, over 40 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and over 200 presentations at scientific meetings. He is an active participant in FDA and EU Nanotechnology initiatives and a member of the Steering Committee for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer. He holds board and advisory positions in various start-ups. He holds a M.S and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, USA, and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, India.

Carlo Montagner, Board Member
CEO Specialised Therapeutics, Australia

Carlo has extensive medical and pharmaceutical experience in the United States, Europe, China, Japan and Australia. Before forming Specialised Therapeutics, his roles included President of Abraxis Bioscience Inc; Global Head of Bayer-Schering Oncology; Global Team Leader of Sanofi-Aventis Oncology; Hospital Business Unit Head of Aventis Australia; and Director of the Hospital Business Unit at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer. Carlo holds a Masters of Science (Psychology) from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.

Richard Maroun, JD, Board Member

Richard Maroun is an executive partner at Frazier Healthcare Partners, a private equity and venture capital firm specializing in healthcare-focused investments. Before joining Frazier in 2015, Maroun was senior vice president and general counsel of Aptalis Pharmaceuticals from 2012 to 2014. He has also held numerous senior executive roles for APP Pharmaceuticals, Abraxis BioScience and American BioScience Inc. Mr. Maroun has worked with major financial organizations and independent law firms, and has held both legal and financial positions with companies including Merrill Lynch, Deloitte & Touche and McDonough, Holland & Allen. Mr. Maroun currently serves on the board of Leiter’s Enterprises, a private portfolio company of Frazier Healthcare Partners, and the Board of Trustees of John Carroll University. Mr. Maroun holds a J.D. from Santa Clara University Law School and a B.S. from John Carroll University.

Jerry Xiao, PhD, Board Member

Jerry is CEO of HermedCapital, which is a VC fund focusing on the healthcare industry investment. He is Ph.D. in Pharmacology, member of Bio China Advisor Committee, finished his Postdoctoral training in Rochester University, during which he co-founded a pharmaceutical company with Dr. Paul Okunieff, and won STTR support from US government. He was BD head of FosunPharma, the deputy chief of the IPO team for Fosun Pharma Listing in Hong Kong Exchange, the vice general manager of Fosun Pharmaceutical Technological Center, in charge of the evaluation of new technology, R&D and investment, he reviewed more than 150 projects per annum. He also served as a board member of FochonPharma (new drug development), Henlius (Biosimilar, antibody) and BeyondSpring (BYSI, Nasdaq), helping with the financing and technology transfer.

Mahendra Shah, PhD, Board Member

Dr. Shah is a venture partner at Vivo Ventures, a health-care focused venture capital firm. He is the founder and executive chairman of Semnur Pharmaceuticals. He was the founder, chairman, and CEO of NextWave pharmaceuticals, a pediatric focused specialty pharmaceutical company. Prior to founding NextWave Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Shah was the chairman and CEO of First Horizon Pharmaceuticals, which was sold to Shionogi Pharmaceuticals for $1.4B. Dr. Shah had also held various scientific and managerial roles in Fujisawa USA (Astellas), Schering-Plough and Bristol Myer-Squibb. Dr. Shah currently serves as chairman of the board of Essentialis Therapeutics, board member of Fortis Inc., Crinetic pharmaceuticals, and a member of the board of trustees of St. John’s University. He is also a board member and charter member of EPPIC and a charter member of TIE. Dr. Shah received his BS degree in Pharmacy from LM College of Pharmacy in Gujarat, India, and his PhD degree in Industrial Pharmacy from St Johns’s University.


Aadi Bioscience, Inc. (Aadi), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on treating diseases driven by mTOR activation, today announced the completion of a $23 Million Series A round. The financing was led by Hermed Capital with participation from Celgene Corporation, Vivo Capital, Decheng Capital, the Helsinn Investment Fund and Star Summit Ventures. The company will use the capital to drive the clinical programs for ABI-009, its targeted albumin-bound mTOR inhibitor.

“We are extremely pleased with the participation and interest of our investors and now stand poised to develop the potential of what we believe is a best-in-class mTOR inhibitor,” said Neil Desai, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Aadi.

Aadi is currently enrolling its registration trial for advanced Perivascular Epithelioid Cell tumors (PEComa), an extremely rare form of sarcoma. Aadi received agreement from the FDA on the design of its phase 2 registration study for the treatment of advanced PEComa with ABI-009. The study will enroll approximately 30-35 patients and the primary endpoint for the study is the overall response rate. Earlier this month, an independent data monitoring committee (DMC) reviewed the available data and concluded that the study should continue without modification.

Aadi’s other planned clinical programs include pulmonary hypertension (phase 1), early stage bladder cancer (phase 2) and pediatric cancers (phase 1). It continues to investigate applications of ABI-009 in cancer indications as well as cardiovascular and other diseases.

Dr. Desai is also pleased to welcome new directors to the board of Aadi including Carlo Montagner (Specialised Therapeutics), Richard Maroun (Frazier Healthcare Partners), Jerry Xiao (Hermed Capital) and Mahendra Shah (Vivo Capital).

About Aadi and ABI-009

Aadi is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company led by Dr. Neil Desai, an inventor of ABRAXANE®, ABI-009 and the nab® technology platform. Aadi’s lead product is ABI-009, a nanoparticle albumin-bound mTOR inhibitor based on sirolimus or rapamycin, also known as nab-rapamycin. Aadi aims to develop the full potential of the albumin-bound mTOR inhibitor in diseases that are driven by mTOR activation and where the mTOR inhibitors have not or cannot be effectively exploited due to problems of effective drug delivery, safety or effective targeting to the disease site. In a phase 1 study ABI-009 was well tolerated at intravenous doses significantly higher than other mTOR inhibitors and its pharmacokinetic profile, with high Cmax and AUC, is very different from the approved mTOR inhibitors. In animal models, ABI-009 has greater antitumor efficacy than the oral mTOR inhibitors at the same dose. Similar to ABRAXANE®, albumin-bound rapamycin is expected to have high tumor penetration due to mechanisms of albumin uptake in tumors and other areas with tissue remodeling or inflammation. ABI-009 was licensed to Aadi in 2014 by Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG).

ABRAXANE® and nab® are registered trademarks of Celgene Corporation.