As of April 7, 2020, we’re bringing our groundbreaking approach to fighting cancer to Gilead. Learn more by visiting Read press release.

Our Story

Empowered by a Promise

At the heart of all we do lies an unyielding dedication to deliver powerful new cancer therapies to patients. Our dedication, present from the very start, has resulted in a drive to understand a new therapeutic approach. Our goal is to leverage our scientific founders’ insights to develop novel therapies that activate the immune system, helping patients defeat their cancer.

Our Beginnings

The therapeutic potential of the innate immune system, the first line of defense against cancer, was not well understood and appreciated when Irv Weissman and his colleagues at Stanford University identified CD47-SIRP-alpha as a novel immune pathway. This discovery has the potential to lead to new therapies and empower patients to fight cancer with their own immune cells, in the hopes of one day saving lives.

This is the spirit and the legacy that Forty Seven was built on.

Founded on Conviction

In 2015, we founded Forty Seven on the belief that there is a more effective and compassionate way to target cancer. Our new class of immunotherapies offers a new pathway to people living with cancer, who may have no other option. We have partnered with leading experts in drug development to achieve our goal to bring anti-CD47 and other immunotherapies to people everywhere.

We have partnered with patients and their clinicians to enhance the value of our research, with the hope that we will one day bring anti-CD47 and other immunotherapies to patients in need.

Driven to Heal

Everyday more people are diagnosed with cancer adding to the multitudes who hope for a cure. In service to them, we will engage in this battle to defeat cancer and work to deliver life-saving therapies developed from cutting-edge science.


Mark McCamish, M.D., Ph.D.

President & Chief Executive Officer

Mark is President and Chief Executive Officer of Forty Seven. He is an international expert in biosimilars and biologics. Mark is passionate about mentoring and developing people while focusing on meeting patient needs through efficient, commercially viable efforts. He is a senior executive with extensive experience at multiple companies including Protein Design Labs, Abbott, Amgen and Novartis-Sandoz. He led pioneering efforts in filing and launching biosimilars worldwide. He has demonstrated a commercial mindset in establishing research and development strategies leading to approvals and commercial success in multiple therapeutic areas and regulatory categories including biologics, biosimilars, drugs, devices and medical foods. He held professorships at the University of California, Davis and The Ohio State University. After completing his Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from Penn State and M.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, he completed Residency and Fellowship Training at the University of California, Davis. Mark received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from University of California, Santa Barbara.

Craig Gibbs, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Chief Business Officer

Craig has spent 28 years in the biopharmaceutical industry including 24 years at Genentech and Gilead in a variety of research and business roles. Craig serves as the Chief Business Officer of Forty Seven. He is passionate about translating scientific innovation into benefits for patients. Craig also serves on the Board of Directors of Aridis Pharmaceuticals and previously was on the Board of Directors and was Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Tobira Therapeutics (acquired by Allergan). Prior to that, Craig spent 21 years at Gilead in leadership roles including Vice President of Commercial Strategy/Planning and Operations, Senior Director, Corporate Development and Senior Director, Biology Research, where he contributed to the development and launch of 12 FDA approved drugs. Prior to Gilead, Craig spent three years in the Protein Engineering Department at Genentech as a Visiting Post-doctoral Scientist. Craig has published over 50 scientific articles and is an inventor on three issued patents. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, a B.S. (Hons) in Biochemistry from Massey University, New Zealand and a M.B.A. from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

Norman Kruse, Ph.D., J.D.

Chief Patent Counsel

Norm has more than 20 years of experience as a patent attorney in the biotechnology industry. Prior to joining Forty Seven, he was Vice President of Intellectual Property and Chief Patent Counsel at Verinata Health, and, after Verinata’s acquisition by Illumina, was a Senior Director of Intellectual Property at Illumina. Prior to that, Norm was Vice President of Intellectual Property and Chief Patent Counsel at Maxygen. During his 11 years at Maxygen, he developed, defended and enforced an industry-leading patent portfolio in directed molecular evolution (ranked #1 in the MIT Technology Review Patent Scorecard in 2003 for biotechnology patent estates). This patent portfolio also formed the basis for several successful companies spun out or sold by Maxygen including, Codexis (IPO in 2010), Verdia (acquired by DuPont) and Avidia (acquired by Amgen). Prior to Maxygen, Norm was a patent attorney at Chiron Corporation where he was responsible for Chiron’s gene therapy patent portfolio. He began his legal career as an attorney at Townsend and Townsend and Crew, working on biotechnology patent prosecution and strategy. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington, a J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, and received a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis.

Ann D. Rhoads

Chief Financial Officer

Ann has spent over 20 years in the life science industry and serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Forty Seven. Ann previously served as Executive Vice President, CFO, Treasurer and Secretary of Zogenix. In these roles, she oversaw all areas of financial management of Zogenix, raising approximately $400 million through Zogenix’s initial public offering, subsequent public equity and debt financings and facilitating the in-licensing of Zogenix’s lead product candidate, ZX008. Prior to joining Zogenix in 2010, Ann was CFO of Premier, where she executed a long-term strategic plan that resulted in 91% revenue growth from 2000 to 2009 and led the acquisition of two companies. Earlier, she worked as a Vice President at Sprout Group, a venture capital affiliate of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, as a consultant for Bain & Company and as a member of the leveraged buyout and principal investment group at Merrill Lynch. Ann holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance, from the University of Arkansas.

Chris H. Takimoto, M.D., Ph.D, F.A.C.P.

Chief Medical Officer

Chris has over 20 years of experience in clinical oncology development and is the Chief Medical Officer of Forty Seven. Prior to Forty Seven, he held various positions at Johnson & Johnson ultimately becoming Vice President of Experimental Medicine Early Development in Oncology at Janssen. In 2000, he became an Associate Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA), where he subsequently held the Zachry Chair for Translational Research at the Institute for Drug Development/Cancer Therapy & Research Center. He was also a Professor (Adjunct) of Pharmacology at UTHSCSA, and in 2007, he helped to found an independent Phase 1 oncology clinical research center called South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics (START). While in San Antonio, he was a principal or co-investigator on over 250 early phase oncology clinical trials. Prior to START, Chris served as a Senior Investigator in the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Medicine Branch, where he also completed fellowships in Medical Oncology at the NCI and Clinical Pharmacology at the Uniformed Services University. Chris received his M.D. from the Yale University, his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Yale University and received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Stanford University. He has published over 160 research articles, reviews, editorials and book chapters and he has served on the editorial board of numerous oncology publications.

Mark Chao, M.D., Ph.D.

Founder and SVP, Head of Clinical Development

Mark is a founder of Forty Seven, and serves as the company’s Senior Vice President and Head of Clinical Development. He plays a leading role in the management of the company’s clinical trials and clinical development strategy. Mark is a physician-scientist who has spent over 15 years conducting translational research in hematology/oncology and stem cell biology. Mark has played a key scientific and clinical role in the development of the anti-CD47 antibody and subsequent first-in-human clinical trials. He conducted seminal research identifying the role of CD47 in cancer immune evasion and proof of concept studies demonstrating therapeutic efficacy of an anti-CD47 antibody in acute myeloid leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and several solid tumors. He has authored numerous publications and patents in the CD47 field. Mark received his medical degree, Ph.D. in Cancer Biology and completed his hematology fellowship training at Stanford University. He received his B.A. in Biology at Case Western Reserve University.

Kyle Elrod

SVP Planning and Operations

Kyle has over 28 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, diagnostic and life science industries. As the Senior Vice President of Planning and Operations of Forty Seven, Kyle manages company operations, project management, human resources and alliance management. Prior to joining Forty Seven, Kyle spent eight years at Virobay where he was the Senior Vice President of Project Management and Operations. In that role, he was responsible for alliance management and company operations and successfully brought three protease inhibitors into clinical trials. Prior to Virobay, Kyle worked at Life Technologies as both an R&D Leader and a Program Director developing high throughput genetic sequencers. Prior to Life Technologies, Kyle served in positions of increasing responsibility at Celera Pharmaceuticals in South San Francisco culminating in a position as the Director of Research and Development Projects. During his 12 years at Celera, Kyle published over 22 scientific articles and was an inventor on four issued patents. He received a B.A. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Mukul Agarwal

Vice President, Corporate Development

Mukul has over 18 years of experience in corporate development, commercial, and strategy/finance functions. He has led assessments, diligences, negotiations, contracts, and alliances for successful M&A, licensing, JV, and other transactions (both buy and sell side). As VP, Corporate Development for Forty Seven he is responsible for developing and executing strategic plans through financings, grants, acquisitions, collaborations and licensing agreements. Prior to joining Forty Seven, he held the role of VP, Business Development at Revance, Senior Director, Corporate Development and Strategy at Anacor (acquired by Pfizer), and Director, Global BD&L at Forest Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Allergan). He led global and US brand marketing and portfolio management roles at MedImmune (acquired by Astra Zeneca), GlaxoSmithKline and Genentech. Earlier in his career, Mukul started as a bench scientist at a start-up. He was a management consultant with PRTM (acquired by PriceWaterhouse Coopers) with a focus on strategy and operational excellence for biotech/pharma clients. Mukul received his M.B.A. from Carnegie Mellon University, M.S. from Ohio State University, and B. Tech. from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

Aimee Murphy

VP Development Operations

Aimee has over 20 years of experience in clinical trial operations at small to mid-size companies.  She most recently was at Aduro Biotech as the Vice President of Clinical Operations and Development where she spent 8 years overseeing clinical trials execution and strategic planning as the company expanded from 15 to over 180 people with 3 product development platforms in immuno-oncology.  In addition to leading clinical operations and development at Aduro, Aimee was an integral part of establishing the development organization and supporting corporate initiatives including partnerships, license agreements and the company’s initial public offering.  Prior to Aduro, Aimee led clinical trial operations at venture-capital funded start-up company Anza Therapeutics and worked in clinical trial management at Cerus Corporation, VaxGen, Coulter Pharmaceuticals, and Shaman Pharmaceuticals. Aimee received her B.S. in Biology at Pepperdine University.

Yasameen Qazen, Pharm.D.

VP, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance

Yasameen has over 17 years of experience in regulatory affairs. She leads the regulatory affairs and quality assurance groups here at Forty Seven. Her team is responsible for driving regulatory strategies for the company’s novel compounds and ensuring Forty Seven’s commitment to high quality standards in GMP and Clinical QA. Prior to joining Forty Seven, Yasameen was responsible for leading the NDA submission and ensuring on-time approval for Calquence at Acerta Pharma. She has led global regulatory strategy and execution for multiple small molecule and biologic drugs candidates ranging from IND to post-marketing including Rituxan indications in immunology. Yasameen earned her PharmD from the Thomas J Longs School of Pharmacy and her BS in Biochemistry from Rutger University. She is also Adjunct Professor of Pharmaceutics at the TJL School of Pharmacy.

Jens-Peter Volkmer, M.D.

Founder and VP Research and Early Development

Jens is a founder of Forty Seven and serves as the company’s Vice President of Research and Early Development. He oversees the company’s research to support ongoing clinical trials and leads the development of new therapeutic programs. He is a physician-scientist with more than 10 years of experience conducting translational research in urology and immuno-oncology. Jens has played a leading role in developing the anti-CD47 antibody through all stages of preclinical drug development to the first-in-human clinical trials. He conducted and directed proof-of-concept studies showing that anti-CD47 antibody therapy leads to a profound anti-tumor response by the innate and adaptive immune systems in various tumors. He has authored many publications and patents related to the CD47 program. Jens trained in Urology at the University of Duesseldorf and received his medical degree from the Heinrich-Heine University in Duesseldorf, Germany.

Qinghai Zhao, Ph.D.

VP Technical Development & Manufacturing

Qinghai has over 25 years of experience in biological CMC development and manufacturing and is the company’s Vice President of Technical Development and Manufacturing. Prior to Forty Seven he was Vice President of CMC/Manufacturing at AnaptysBio. Prior to that, he held various CMC leader positions including Head of CMC at NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Director of CMC Management at Teva Biologicals USA and Associate Director of Process Development at Cogenesys. Qinghai has extensive knowledge of all biological CMC functions with executive experience of developing CMC strategy from early stage to late stage for commercialization. Prior to Cogenesys, he was a Sr. Scientist of Lead Development at Human Genome Sciences and a Research Fellow at National Institute of Health and Georgetown University Lombardi Cancer Center. Qinghai received his Ph.D. for Biomedical Research at Uppsala University, Sweden.

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