Walter Lau, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Walter Lau has served as Chief Executive Officer of Seven and Eight Biopharma since 2016, after serving its board as a founding investor and the managing director of the company. He has been instrumental in building a pipeline through internal discovery and acquisition of immuno-oncology products for the treatment of tumors which have become refractory to anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapies.
Dr. Lau has over 25 years of experience in life sciences, including biomedical research, corporate business development, venture start-ups, management of venture backed private companies, sales and marketing. Dr. Lau also has extensive experience in venture and private equity investment, especially in China. In 2010, after specializing in healthcare investment at Fidelity Asia Ventures (predecessor of Eight Roads), he co-founded Cenova Capital which currently has over USD $500M under management.
Dr. Lau spent nearly 20 years in the United States prior to going back to China as a venture investor. While in the US, Dr. Lau was in Corporate Development at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for investing in worldwide product opportunities through mergers and acquisitions and licensing. He was also involved in managing relationships with Bayer and the joint medication sorafenib (Nexavar), which was the first targeted therapy approved for the treatment of liver cancer.
Prior to Onyx, Dr. Lau held positions with increasing responsibilities in Corporate and Business Development at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS), focusing on global business development and mergers and acquisitions. He was in charge of global licensing activities for the BMS oncology discovery franchise and led external alliance efforts to rebuild the oncology pipeline at BMS. He completed numerous transactions ranging from acquiring novel therapeutics such as ipilimumab (Yervoy), the first check point inhibitor approved to treat cancer. Dr. Lau in-licensed novel technologies including biologics and companion diagnostics such as cetuximab (Erbitux), ixabepilone (Ixempra) and dasatinib (Sprycel). He established and managed strategic collaborations with companies such as Exelixis and out-licensed BMS non-core assets. Dr. Lau was also the head of business development at the former DuPont Pharma after it was acquired by BMS.
Prior to BMS, Dr. Lau held positions of increasing responsibilities in field sales, product marketing, and business development at GlaxoSmithKline in the United States.
Dr. Lau’s accomplished career began at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) where he received his Ph.D. in biophysics and M.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. He received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with honors from California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He obtained business and management training from the University of California Berkeley and University of Pennsylvania.
Lixin Li, M.D., Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Head of Research
Dr. Lixin Li is a co-founder of Seven & Eight Biopharma and the scientific innovator behind the diverse and robust immuno-oncology pipeline. He leads the development from discovery to IND filing in the company. With over 20 years of research and drug development experience, Dr. Li has established an extraordinarily deep understanding of immunology, immuno-oncology and the scientific expertise in moving innovative compounds forward in the development process.
Before founding Seven and Eight Biopharma, Dr. Li served in a leadership role at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Shanghai where he successfully built the Biologics Group and pipeline from inception to first-in-class clinical assets. Prior to GSK, he served at Tanox Inc. in increasing responsibilities, first in US, and then as the head of Tanox Inc. Shanghai, where he oversaw the translational research and business strategy for bringing omalizumab (Xolair), the first anti-IgE monoclonal antibody, into China.
Dr. Li’s distinguished international research career began as an Instructor at Harvard Medical School where he completed his post-doctoral training in immunology in the Department of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He received his Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of New South Wales Sydney and his medical degree from China. Dr. Li has authored more than 36 scientific publications, reviews and book chapters. He is an inventor of proprietary technology and a holder of numerous patents.
Robert Andtbacka, MD,CM, FACS, FRCSC
Chief Medical Officer
As the Chief Medical Officer of Seven and Eight Biopharma, Dr. Andtbacka leads the global clinical development of oncology research from early to late stage.
Dr. Andtbacka is an internationally renowned surgical oncologist and leader in melanoma and intratumoral immuno-oncology. He has over 20 years of experience in immuno-oncology clinical research and device development.
Dr. Andtbacka held numerous notable positions in academic research before joining Seven and Eight Biopharma. During his 12 years at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Dr. Andtbacka served as a tenured Professor of Surgery, Director of the Melanoma Clinical Research Program and Co-Director of the Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology Program. Under his leadership, he established an internationally recognized comprehensive surgical and clinical research program in intratumoral immuno-oncology. Dr. Andtbacka was the principal and lead investigator for over 30 clinical trials, evaluating over 20 different novel immuno-oncology therapies. He was the lead investigator on the OPTiM Phase III clinical trial, which lead to the FDA approval of talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) in patients with unresectable metastatic melanoma.
While in Utah, Dr. Andtbacka also served as the Chief Medical Officer and Director of Clinical Research at Vestan Medical Imaging. He lead the clinical development of novel fluorescent sentinel lymph node imaging methods in patients with melanoma and breast cancer.
Dr. Andtbacka served as a member on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) melanoma committee for over 10 years and was the Utah State Chair to the Commission on Cancer.
Dr. Andtbacka’s impressive career began at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where he completed a 3-year fellowship in surgical oncology and research. He received his Doctor of Medicine and general surgery training at McGill University School of Medicine.
Dr. Andtbacka has presented his research at over 100 national and international meetings and authored over 70 peer-reviewed publications, many which have appeared in Cell, New England Journal of Medicine, and Journal of Clinical Oncology. He has also authored 4 book chapters and presented over 50 webinars and podcasts.
Dr. Andtbacka is certified by the American Board of General Surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada.