A company committed
to change

Built on the groundbreaking immuno-neurology research of our scientific founder, Dr. Edgar Engleman, and his team at Stanford, Tranquis is focused on the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutics designed to target and normalize myeloid immune cell dysfunction linked to immune-mediated and mitochondrial diseases. Our goal is to revolutionize and advance the management of a broad range of neurodegenerative and non-CNS disorders by modifying underlying disease, reducing disease burden, and making a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and families.

Proven leadership

Tranquis Therapeutics is led by an accomplished team of industry veterans with decades of entrepreneurial and R&D experience and specialized expertise in immunology, cell metabolism, mitochondrial biology and neurodegenerative diseases. We are currently building our world-class team in preparation for rapid expansion of our discovery and development capabilities.

Sanjay Kakkar, MD, MSc, MPH
President and CEO
Sanjay Kakkar, MD, MSc, MPH
President and CEO

Sanjay Kakkar, MD, MSc, MPH is a biotech entrepreneur and executive with over 25 years of experience in multinational, early-stage and high growth enterprises. He has a track record of building innovative companies in the life sciences industries in Europe, Asia and the US and advancing novel technologies for the improvement of human health. Prior to Tranquis, he served as CEO at Peptilogics, Armetheon, and Trigen (which he also co-founded), and was the founder and chairman of Jai Medica. Before becoming a serial entrepreneur, he held R&D roles at Pharmacia (now Pfizer) and Novartis. Sanjay received his medical degree from King’s College, University of London, holds a Master’s degree in healthcare management from Harvard University and a Master’s degree in preventive cardiology from Imperial College.

Frederic Godderis, MSc
Chief Operating Officer
Frederic Godderis, MSc
Chief Operating Officer

Frederic Godderis, MSc is a biopharmaceutical R&D leader and entrepreneur with extensive strategic and operational drug development experience. Throughout his career, he has contributed to the development of numerous drugs and established operating models, capabilities, and leadership structures in a variety of large and startup organizational settings. Before joining Tranquis, Frederic served as co-founder and CEO of LARRK Bio Inc. and led R&D Operations, Program Leadership, and Program & Portfolio Management functions at Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Prothena Biosciences. Frederic began his career at Janssen and worked for several J&J entities across Europe and the US. Frederic received his MS from K.U. Leuven, Belgium.

Jonas Hannestad, MD, PhD
Chief Medical Officer
Jonas Hannestad, MD, PhD
Chief Medical Officer

Jonas Hannestad, MD, PhD, has more than 20 years of translational and early clinical development experience. His academic work focused on immuno-neurology, particularly on the effect of systemic inflammation on myeloid cells in the brain. His expertise spans multiple disease areas, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS. Previously, he served as SVP of Clinical Development at Alkahest, Medical Director at Denali Therapeutics, and Director of Neuroscience Discovery Medicine at UCB Pharma. Prior to his industry work, Dr. Hannestad led the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit at Yale School of Medicine. He did postdoctoral work and residency training at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Duke School of Medicine and UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. He received his PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Messina, Italy, and his MD from the University of Oviedo, Spain.

Norah Conway, MPharm
VP, Program Management & Development Program Leadership
Norah Conway, MPharm
VP, Program Management & Development Program Leadership

Norah Conway, MPharm, has extensive experience in drug development having held Global Program Leadership positions through all phases of development and has established PM operating models and structures to optimize efficiencies. Prior to her Program Management experience, she held various leadership positions in Regulatory Affairs in the US, EU, and South Africa. Before joining Tranquis, she worked at Catalyst Biosciences, Ultragenyx and in four countries with Bayer. Norah trained as a pharmacist and received her MPharm degree from the University of Pretoria.

Clarence R. Hurt, PhD
VP, Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Discovery
Clarence R. Hurt, PhD
VP, Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Discovery

Clarence R. Hurt, PhD, has over 25 years of experience as a medicinal chemist in companies ranging from early-stage start-ups to large pharmaceutical companies. Most recently, he served as the VP of Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery at Prosetta Biosciences. Prior to Prosetta, Clarence has held a number of positions with increasing responsibilities at ChemoCentryx, Plexxikon, Pfizer and Amgen. He is also a cofounder for two early-stage start-up companies (IL-2Rx and Link Therapeutics) which are focused on novel therapeutics in immunology, metabolism, and oncology. Clarence received his PhD from the University of Michigan in Medicinal Chemistry followed by postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley.

Janet Hurt, BS, MPH
SVP, Clinical Evidence Generation
Janet Hurt, BS, MPH
SVP, Clinical Evidence Generation

Janet Hurt, BS, MPH, has 30 years of early and late-stage clinical development experience. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Clinical Operations at Jasper Therapeutics where she established and led the Clinical Operations function, which included Clinical Data Management and Clinical Outsourcing. Prior to Jasper, Janet has led Clinical Operations, Clinical Data Management and Clinical Outsourcing at a number of biopharmaceutical companies including Denali Therapeutics, Onyx, Bavarian Nordic, XenoPort, and Amgen. Janet received her MPH and BS from San Jose State University.

Diane Ingolia, PhD
VP, Regulatory Affairs
Diane Ingolia, PhD
VP, Regulatory Affairs

Diane Ingolia, PhD, joined Tranquis in April 2020 as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs. She has 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and has held positions of increasing responsibility in regulatory affairs and clinical quality control at Jasper Therapeutics, Vir Biotechnology, Ascendis Pharma, Dermira, Affymax, and Genitope Corporation. Her regulatory experience spans early development to marketed products in many therapeutic areas and product types. Dr. Ignolia received a PhD in Biochemistry from Baylor College of Medicine and was a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Irving Weissman’s laboratory at Stanford University Medical Center.

Andrew Lam, BS
SVP, Technical Operations
Andrew Lam, BS
SVP, Technical Operations

Andrew Lam, BS, has over 30 years of experience in pharmaceutical product development and has contributed to the NDA registration and regulatory approvals of multiple products in the US, EU, Japan, and China. Prior to Tranquis, Andrew held senior management positions at Espero, Armetheon, Altheos, Exelixis and ALZA, a Johnson and Johnson company. He advanced discovery compounds in late-stage optimization to IND clinical development and directed chemical development, product scale-up, registration, and global product launch. Andrew was the recipient of the Johnson Medal, the highest scientific award at J&J, for development of Concerta®. Andrew earned his BS degree in Chemical Engineering with high honors from the University of California, Davis.

Enchi Liu, PhD
VP, Translational Sciences
Enchi Liu, PhD
VP, Translational Sciences

Enchi Liu, PhD, has more than 20 years of experience in drug development, spanning translational, early, and late development. Her research spans CNS (mood, pain, sleep), neurodegenerative disorders (AD, HD, ALS, PD), and rare diseases (AL and ATTR amyloidosis, LSDs). She is expert in integration of biomarkers into preclinical and development programs. Prior to joining Tranquis, she was PTL for Neurology at Annexon, lead Clinical and Translational Sciences at Escape Bio, PTL at Prothena, and Clinical Biomarker Leader at Janssen for multiple CNS programs. She did postdoctoral research at the University of Arizona and received her PhD from Cornell University.

Jate Samathivathanachai, MBA, CLP
VP, Finance
Jate Samathivathanachai, MBA, CLP
VP, Finance

Jate Samathivathanachai, MBA, CLP, has 20 years of investment banking, corporate development and principal investing in the biopharmaceutical and consumer sectors. Jate was most recently Senior Director of Business Development and Licensing at Horizon Therapeutics, where he led the company’s venture capital initiatives. Prior to joining Horizon, Jate spent seven years as Country Head for Allexcel | Red Bull Malaysia and Executive Director of Strategy & Investments for Allswell | Red Bull Singapore. Before moving to Asia, Jate spent close to a decade in the Global Healthcare Investment Banking groups of Evercore, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch in the Bay Area. Jate received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, his BS in Molecular Environmental Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a Certified Licensing Professional.

Charmi Turner, BS
VP, People
Charmi Turner, BS
VP, People

Charmi Turner, BS, is an experienced life sciences industry human resources executive who brings deep expertise and leadership development and organizational alignment to Tranquis. As the VP of People, Charmi leads the growth of talent, cultivates successful culture, and builds leadership within the organization, championing Tranquis’ values and the strength of its people. Prior to joining Tranquis, she most recently led organizational effectiveness and a Human Resources team at Coherus BioSciences. She has also held senior roles, growing the human resources function and building headcount for over 30 biotechnology organizations during a span of nearly 20 years as owner of an HR consulting firm. Charmi holds a BS from Middle Tennessee State University.


Board of directors

CP Liu, PhD
Co-Founder & Chairman,
Scientist, entrepreneur and venture capitalist in the biotech industry

CP Liu, PhD
Co-Founder & Chairman,
Scientist, entrepreneur and venture capitalist in the biotech industry

Edgar Engleman, MD
Co-Founder & Director
Professor of Pathology and Medicine, Stanford University

Edgar Engleman, MD
Co-Founder & Director
Professor of Pathology and Medicine, Stanford University

Rajeev Dadoo, PhD
Director
Managing Partner, SR One

Rajeev Dadoo, PhD
Director
Managing Partner, SR One

Taro Inaba, MBA
Director
Founder and Managing Partner,
Remiges Ventures

Taro Inaba, MBA
Director
Founder and Managing Partner,
Remiges Ventures

Mahendra Shah, PhD
Director
Managing Director,
Vivo Capital

Mahendra Shah, PhD
Director
Managing Director,
Vivo Capital

Sanjay Kakkar, MD, MSc, MPH
Director
President and CEO

Sanjay Kakkar, MD, MSc, MPH
Director
President and CEO

Investors

Contact us

For scientific or medical inquiries or to explore partnership or investment opportunities, please contact us.

Tranquis Therapeutics, Inc.
3 Lagoon Dr.
Suite 130
Redwood City, CA 94065