The Compass approach
At Compass, we take an unbiased approach to drug discovery by leveraging our proprietary antibody discovery engine to broadly drug the immune system and identify optimal combinations empirically. Through our StitchMabs™ and common light chain platforms, these combinatorial insights can be rapidly translated into tailored bispecifics with monoclonal-like manufacturability.
To date, we have drugged over 40 immune targets and generated a diverse pipeline of monoclonal and multispecific therapeutic candidates with potential to transform care for patients with cancer or autoimmune diseases.
We are targeting the immune synapse with a new generation of antibody therapeutics
Ana Anderson, PhD
Ana Anderson, PhD is an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, associate scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an associate member of the Broad Institute, and a core faculty member of the Evergrande Center for Immunologic Disease. She has deep expertise in both autoimmunity and cancer immunology – two core areas of focus for Compass Therapeutics. Her most recent immunology work is on inhibitory molecules and how they regulate T cell response to tumors. Prior to her work on cancer, she published groundbreaking research on T cell cross-reactivity in autoimmunity. Ana is on the editorial board for OncoImmunology, Cellular Immunology, and Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer.
Ana earned her PhD from Harvard University. During her PhD, she was awarded a fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
José Conejo-Garcia, MD, PhD
José Conejo-Garcia , MD, PhD is chair of the Department of Immunology and co-leader of the Immunology Program at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida. He has devoted his research to understanding the tumor microenvironment and exploring the mechanisms by which it can disable the immune response. His particular focus is understanding and targeting mechanisms of immunosuppression in gynecologic malignancies.
José earned his MD from the University of Zaragoza and his PhD from the University of Alcalá in Spain.
F. Stephen Hodi, MD
F. Stephen Hodi, MD is the director of both the Melanoma Center and the Center for Immuno-Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, the Sharon Crowley Martin Chair in melanoma at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Stephen is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Melanoma Committee, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, and a founding member of the Society for Melanoma Research. He is internationally known for his work leading to FDA approval of ipilimumab, a checkpoint inhibitor used to treat melanoma. He led the first human trial, and later the Phase 3 registration trial, for ipilimumab. More recently, Stephen has focused on the clinical development of PD-1 and PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors, and led groundbreaking trials that combined checkpoint blockade drugs with other anti-angiogenesis agents. His work has led to improved treatments for lung and kidney cancer, as well as melanoma.
Stephen earned his MD from Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University. He completed his postdoctoral training in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and medical oncology training at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Robert A. Kramer, PhD
Robert Kramer, PhD is an advisor to several biotech companies. He is an accomplished pharmaceutical executive who led successful oncology research teams as vice president, oncology, and immunology drug discovery at Bristol Myers Squibb; and as vice president, global head oncology drug discovery at Janssen Pharmaceuticals. In those roles, he provided direct management oversight for more than 40 development candidates that advanced into clinical development, resulting in several approved cancer drugs.
Robert earned his PhD in pharmacology from the University of Vermont. Early in his career, he served as an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.
Mark Smyth, PhD
Mark Smyth, PhD is a senior scientist and immunology coordinator at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia. He is a leading expert in cancer immune surveillance and defined immune-mediated cancer dormancy. He has pioneered new methods for classifying natural killer cell subtypes. Mark is a past winner of the Copley Medal and Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Prize in cancer research, and is the highest cited immunologist in Australia. He is a senior editor with Cancer Immunology Research and an advisory board member with Science.
Mark earned his PhD from the University of Melbourne.
Phil Ferneau, MBA, JD
Managing Director and Co-founder, Borealis Ventures
Phil Ferneau, MBA, JD directs Borealis Ventures’ healthcare investing, leveraging 20 years of experience working with early-stage entrepreneurs to commercialize innovation. He currently leads Borealis’ investments in Adimab, Avedro, Avitide, Compass Therapeutics, and Vets First Choice. Phil was also responsible for the firm’s prior investments in GlycoFi (acquired by Merck & Co.) and M2S (acquired by AIG Altaris Health Partners). He previously served as the founding executive director of the Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. Phil remains an adjunct member of Tuck’s faculty teaching venture capital and entrepreneurship topics. Earlier in private legal practice, he consulted technology startups, Fortune 500 companies, and foreign governments on sensitive trade, tax, and investment matters.
Phil received an AB degree from Dartmouth College, a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, and an MBA (with High Distinction) from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
Carl L. Gordon, PhD, CFA
Chairman of the Board, and Founding Partner and Co-head of Global Private Equity, OrbiMed Advisors
Carl L. Gordon, PhD, CFA has been a member of the Compass board since the company’s inception in 2014. Forbes, for the past six years, has named Carl to its Midas List as one of the top venture capitalists in the world. He is a founding partner, co-head of global private equity, and a member of OrbiMed Advisors LLC (OrbiMed), an investment firm focused on the healthcare sector. Before OrbiMed, Carl was a senior biotechnology analyst at Mehta and Isaly from 1995 to 1997, and a fellow at The Rockefeller University from 1993 to 1995.
Carl received a PhD in molecular biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA from Harvard College. He serves on multiple boards of private and publicly traded companies, including Compass Therapeutics, Good Start Genetics, Adimab, Arsanis Biosciences, Passage Bio, Singulex, Alector, Igenica, Armo Biosciences, and ORIC Pharmaceuticals.
Brett Kaplan, MD
Chief Financial Officer, Prevail Therapeutics
Brett Kaplan, MD is the Chief Financial Officer of Prevail Therapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage gene therapy biotechnology company, focused on neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Kaplan joined Prevail in 2018, which has raised $175 million, including its $125 million IPO. From August 2010 to November 2018, Dr. Kaplan worked at Evercore, an investment bank, where he most recently served as Managing Director. At Evercore he was involved in numerous strategic and financing transactions including advising Bristol-Myers Squibb on its acquisitions of Celgene and Amylin; Takeda on its acquisitions of Shire and of Ariad and Akebia on its merger with Keryx. Prior to Evercore, Dr. Kaplan was an Equity Research Analyst at Cowen and Company, an investment bank, from 2007 to 2010. Previously, Dr. Kaplan served as Director of Corporate Development at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company acquired by Merck & Co., Inc. in 2014, Manager of Strategic Medical Marketing at Biopure Corporation, and Manager of Corporate Development and Strategy at Eli Lilly and Company. Dr. Kaplan received an MBBCh and an MBA from the University of Witwatersrand.
Thomas J. Schuetz, MD, PhD
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Compass Therapeutics
Thomas J. Schuetz, MD, PhD has over 20 years of experience in oncology, biopharmaceutical drug development and life science venture investing. He co-founded Compass in 2014 following conceptual discussions while he was a venture partner at OrbiMed. As a physician-scientist and serial entrepreneur, he aspired to create an antibody therapeutic company based on novel biology, protein engineering, and key medical insights gathered throughout his career. While at OrbiMed, Thomas co-founded Audentes Therapeutics, now a publicly-traded biotechnology company where he remains a director. Also at OrbiMed, he was responsible for the investments in Enobia Pharma, Relypsa, and Arteaus Therapeutics, and served as a director at each of those companies. Enobia was acquired by Alexion Pharmaceuticals in 2011, Relypsa was acquired by Galencia in 2016, and Arteaus was acquired by Eli Lilly in 2014. Thomas has multiple years of clinical strategy, development, and operations experience, including roles as chief medical officer of Therion Biologics Corporation, a cancer vaccine company, and as vice president of clinical affairs at Transkaryotic Therapies, a company acquired by Shire.
Thomas completed his medical training at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he served as the chief medical resident. He completed a medical oncology fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Thomas holds a BS in chemistry from Xavier University, an MD from Harvard Medical School, and a PhD in genetics from Harvard University. Thomas is board certified in medical oncology.
Stephen Squinto, PhD
Venture Partner, OrbiMed Advisors
Stephen Squinto, PhD is a venture partner with OrbiMed with more than 25 years of biotechnology industry experience. Stephen was a co-founder of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and recently served as its executive vice president and chief global operations officer. Prior to 2013, he was Alexion’s global head of research and development. From 1988 to 1992, Stephen held various positions at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Previously, he held a joint academic position at both the Tulane University and LSU Medical Schools. He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards from academic and professional organizations for his scientific work.
Stephen received his BA in chemistry and PhD in biochemistry and biophysics from Loyola University of Chicago.
Managing Partner and Co-founder, Biomatics Capital Partners
Julie Sunderland, MBA, is the co-founder of and a managing partner at Biomatics Capital Partners. Before founding Biomatics in 2016, Julie was director of program-related investments for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In that role, she led the foundation’s $1.5 billion strategic investment pool, funded 50 investments (including 30 in health care), and built a team of ten investment professionals. Julie also chaired the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s investment committee, which reviews all program-related investments. Previously, she advised foundations, development finance institutions, and governments on venture capital, SME financing, and technical assistance programs.
Julie holds a BA from Harvard University, an MBA from Wharton Business School, and an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She is a member of the board of directors for several of Biomatics’ portfolio companies, including Aledade, BlackThorn, eGenesis, and Verana Health.