Dr. Daniel Yohannes

COO, Zovis Pharmaceuticals


Dr. Daniel Yohannes is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Zovis
Pharmaceuticals, a startup company focused on the development of PIM2
inhibitors for high-risk multiple myeloma patients. Dr. Yohannes has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the life- sciences industry ranging from academic technology transfer through startup &
small biopharmaceutical companies to big pharma. He was most recently Executive Director for Ophidion Pharmaceuticals, a small neuroscience and brain drug-delivery technology company. Prior to that, Daniel was an Associate Professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine, where he also co-founded and led the Therapeutics Accelerator for five years as Director at Wake Forest Innovation, the School of Medicine’s technology transfer group. Dr. Yohannes was also an inaugural member of Wake Forest’s Center for Research on Substance Use and Addiction. Before his academic roles, he was recruited to Targacept Inc., a company commercializing nicotinic acetylcholine receptor therapeutics, to lead their Drug Discovery and Development group; under his
leadership, his team delivered seven drugs to the clinic in seven years. At Targacept, Daniel served a matrix role as the Therapeutic Area Lead for Addictions, and lead the smoking cessation project team. Dr. Yohannes came to Targacept after increasing management and divisional responsibilities at Infinity Pharmaceuticals and then ArQule, Inc. Dr. Yohannes started his career at Pfizer’s Neuroscience Drug Discovery group, where over an eight year period, he lead a high-speed medicinal chemistry lab, was a founding member of the
nicotinic drug discovery program that delivered Chantix (a smoking cessation drug), managed a multi-year collaboration with Neurogen Inc., and was a member of several Early Candidate Management Teams.
Dr. Yohannes earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at Purdue University, and completed an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University. His undergraduate degree was completed at Sterling College in Kansas. He also is the recipient of an MBA from the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Yohannes maintains an active pharmaceutical consulting practice supporting startup companies in the Southeast.

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