Raju Mohan, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Raju is a co-founder and has served as our Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board of directors since the company’s inception. Prior to Escalier, Raju founded Akarna Therapeutics, which was acquired by Allergan in 2016 for up to $1.2B and co-founded Ralexar Therapeutics, a dermatology-focused specialty pharmaceutical company. From 2006 to 2011, Raju served as Vice President and head of the San Diego site for Exelixis and Vice President of Chemistry at X-Ceptor Therapeutics (acquired by Exelixis). Raju started his pharmaceutical career at Berlex Biosciences, a subsidiary of Bayer/Schering AG where he held positions of increasing responsibility. Raju is responsible for the discovery of multiple small-molecule candidates that have entered clinical trials. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and is an inventor on 50 issued US patents. Raju received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Illinois and his Master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology.
Chris Krueger, J.D., M.B.A.
Co-Founder, Chief Business Officer
Chris is a co-founder and has served as our Chief Business Officer since the company’s inception. Prior to Escalier, Chris was Chief Business Officer of Akarna Therapeutics, which was acquired by Allergan in 2016 for up to $1.2B. Chris has negotiated and closed a broad range of strategic partnerships, R&D collaborations, technology licenses and mergers and acquisitions. He has completed numerous equity and debt financings, including IPOs, PIPEs, preferred stock financings and convertible debt offerings. Previously, Chris served as a senior executive at Ardea Biosciences (acquired by AstraZeneca), Xencor, X-Ceptor Therapeutics (acquired by Exelixis) and Aurora Biosciences (acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals) with operational responsibility and leadership for multiple functional areas, including business development, legal affairs and corporate finance. Earlier in his career, he was a corporate lawyer at Cooley LLP. Chris received a J.D. and an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego.
John Nuss, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
John has served as our Chief Scientific Officer since January 2017. Prior to joining Escalier, John was Vice President of Drug Discovery at the Ferring Research Institute where he was responsible for global drug discover activities. Prior to Ferring, John was Senior Vice President Chemistry at Exelixis where he was the co-inventor of CometiqTM, and discovered and advanced 21 development candidates. Prior to Exelixis, John was Director of Chemistry with Chiron. John received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Kansas and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University.
Allison Luo, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Allison has served as our Chief Medical Officer since November 2017. Prior to joining Escalier, Allison was Vice President of Clinical Development at Ophthotech where she was responsible for the completion of two Phase 3 studies and the submittal of a New Drug Application with the Food and Drug Administration. Prior to Ophthotech, Allison was Executive Director with Bristol-Myers Squibb where she was responsible for leading their Inflammatory Bowel Disease strategy and led several Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical development programs. Allison received her Doctor of Medicine and Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Northwestern University.
Esther van den Boom, C.P.A.
Chief Financial Officer
Esther has served as our Chief Financial Officer since 2016. Prior to joining Escalier, Esther was Chief Financial Officer at Patara Pharma, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing drugs for treatment of inflammatory and fibrotic diseases and MediciNova, Inc., a public, clinical-stage biotech that develops novel therapeutics for neurological, respiratory and liver diseases. Prior to MediciNova, Esther was a Senior Manager with Ernst & Young where she worked with public companies both in the biotechnology and technology industries assisting them with SEC filings and registrations and complex accounting and auditing matters, as well as working closely with many early stage, venture backed companies, including several through their successful transition to a public company. Esther received a B.A. in Economics from University of California, San Diego and a M.S. in Accountancy from San Diego State University and is a licensed CPA.