Leadership team

Chang Yi Wang,  PhD | Founder, Chairperson and CEO of UBI group

United Biomedical (UBI) was cofounded by Dr. Chang Yi Wang and her husband Nean Hu in 1984. Dr. Wang serves as the executive Chairwoman of the Board of Directors and Chief Scientific Officer of UBI. At the invitation of the Taiwanese government in 1998, Dr. Wang set out to establish UBI-Asia, a joint venture between United Biomedical, Inc. (UBI) based in the US and the Taiwan government. She launched a state-of-the-art protein and antibody drug development platform within UBI Asia employing monoclonal antibody B4 as a touch stone and built a competent team with integrated platform technologies to enable development of antibody and protein products from DNA to BLA filings. Other antibody and long acting protein drugs followed, leading to the establishment of United BioPharma (UBP), an innovative antibody drug company, as a spinoff from UBI Asia.  

Dr. Wang’s invention, UB421, is the first antibody product in UBP’s pipeline. UB421 is an anti CD4 antibody having a unique HIV competitive binding inhibition property. UB421 is currently in multiple Proof of Concept (POC) phase II trials in combination with ART for functional cure, as well as a multinational monotherapy phase III trial for ART substitution. With CD4 being an important immune modulatory molecule, this class of antibodies with characteristic features resembling UB421 have many important first-in-human clinical applications. 

In addition to antibody and long acting protein products as biologics for disease treatment, Dr. Wang is a pioneer in using designer synthetic peptides in multiple biomedical applications. Her early inventions in synthetic peptide based HIV and HCV blood screening tests have sold hundreds of millions in the global market; since 2007, her first high precision epitope based vaccine against Foot and Mouth Disease in the animal health field has sold over 4 billion doses in China, the largest global swine market; her second high precision peptide based LHRH targeted immunocastration vaccine has also been launched in the global swine market. These initial inventions have provided UBI with commercialization expertise to become an industry leader in many high precision peptide vaccine applications in disease intervention as immunotherapeutics. 

Dr. Wang has received several prestigious awards, including the 2007 Inventor of the Year award from the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA) for her high precision UBITh immunogen designs, and the 2018 Pioneer in Technology Award from the Brain Mapping Foundation for her contribution in the development of vaccines for the treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases. 

Prior to founding UBI in 1985 and its subsequent group of companies to facilitate commercialization of her platform derived inventions, Dr. Wang was a Principal Investigator and director of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, endowed by the Arthur J. and Leslie Levine fund, at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a faculty member at the Sloan Kettering Institute and an adjunct associate professor at the Cornell University Medical School.  

During her research career in the US, she received over US$20 million in grants and contracts from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) of National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Wang has over 120 scientific publications in peer-reviewed high impact journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Science, Journal of Experimental Medicine, and Journal of Infectious Diseases etc. and over 100 issued patents and additional pending patent filings. Dr. Wang received her B.S. in chemistry with honors from National Taiwan University and her Ph.D. in immunology and biochemistry from the Rockefeller University, New York, USA.

James Wen-Jiun Peng, PhD | Executive Vice President, United Biomedical, Inc., Asia

James Wen-Jiun Peng, Ph.D., joined the UBI group of companies in 2000, and has successfully assumed increasing responsibilities. He is the COO and Principle Investigator in the Research & Development Center at UBIP in Taiwan and the president of UBIP-SH and UBIP-YZ in China. Dr. Peng and his research team have contributed essential immunological characterizations for the proof and optimization of UBI immunotherapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics and antibody drugs, including the products for infectious disease, oncology, autoimmune disease, neuron degenerative disease and other unmet-need disease. Dr. Peng has led his team to establish the platform for high-yield monoclonal antibody and recombinant protein expression system in mammalian cells, participated in the CHO Pilot Plant GMP construction and helped in the establishment of many GLP and GCP related practices as required for the development of our proprietary immunotherapeutic products. He also led his team to successfully develop the products related to the biobetter drugs, monoclonal antibodies, human and animal vaccines, protein complex medical devices and avian-flu diagnostic kit. In addition, Dr. Peng is the inventor of several key technologies for protein drug developments and the co-inventor of the company’s animal vaccine product and helped UBI group to receive several National Innovation Awards. Dr. Peng received his Ph.D. from the Institute of Bio-Medical Sciences of National Tsing-Hua University, and his M.S. in Life-Science from the Institute of Life Science of National Tsing-Hua University in Taiwan.

Mei-June Liao, PHD | Executive Vice President, UnitedBiopharma, Inc.

Dr. Liao is currently Executive Vice President of Product Development and a member of the Board of Directors at United Biomedical (UBP). She served as the President of UBP during its formative stage from 2014 to 2018. Dr. Liao has over 35 years’ experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining UBP in January 2014, she was vice president of UBI, responsible for regulatory affairs for biological products and was a key member in UBI’s NIH-funded HIV Therapeutic Vaccine program. From 2003 to 2007, she was vice president of research & development and quality control for Hemispherix Biopharma, Inc., responsible for product development for natural leukocyte interferon (Alferon®) and therapeutic RNA (Ampligen®). She also served from 1983 to 2003 at Interferon Sciences, from a bench scientist with increasing responsibilities to vice president of research and development, where she directed all R&D projects in the major areas of protein biochemistry, cell biology, and molecular biology. Dr. Liao is accomplished in the development of therapeutic biological products, from research to preclinical testing, human clinical trials, and final approval by the US FDA and other regulatory agencies. 

She received her B.S. in chemistry from National Tsing Hua University, in Taiwan, her M.S. and Ph.D. in physical biochemistry from Yale University. Dr. Liao completed postdoctoral training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the direction of Nobel Laureate Professor H. Gobind Khorana. She is the author of numerous publications and holds several patents in the area of alpha interferons.

Be-Sheng (Ben) Kuo, Ph.D. | Senior Vice President, UnitedBiopharma, Inc.

Dr. Kuo is Senior Vice President, Preclinical/ ImmunoPharmacology at United Biomedical (UBP); he joined UBP (2014) from United Biomedical, Asia (UBIA) between 2009 and 2010. Dr. Kuo has a 30 year of track record in drug development ranging from monoclonal antibody, synthetic peptide vaccine, protein and small molecule compounds. Dr. Kuo's strong research and background includes quantitative protein and cellular analysis, immunopharmacology, pharmacokinetics and safety/toxicology studies.  His milestones in innovative drug research and development include 10+ monoclonal antibodies used in respiratory, immunology, infectious diseases and oncology therapeutic areas. Dr. Kuo was Senior Scientist in the United States for Marion Merrell Dow (now Sanofi), Parke Davis (now Pfizer), IDEC Pharmaceutical (now Biogen Idec). and as Senior Director in Taiwan for AbGenomics and Fountain Biopharma.  Dr. Kuo graduated from Pharmacy School of Taipei Medical University and received his Ph D in Biopharmaceutics from the College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati, Ohio. He continued his postdoctoral training in cardiovascular pharmacology at Duke University and Jefferson Medical Center. Dr. Kuo published 40 peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Chei-Hsiang Chen, PhD | Chairman and General Manager, UBI Pharma, Inc.

Dr. Chei-Hsiang Chen is the President and a member of the Board of Directors at UBI Pharma Inc. (UBIP). Dr. Chen has more than 30 years of working experience in biotech-related industry. Prior to joining UBIP in July 2018, He was the President of Taiwan Leader Biotech Corp. and Senior Vice President of Maxigen Biotech Inc., responsible for corporate business management, separately. From 2003 to 2011, He was appointed as the Director of Biotech and Pharmaceutical Industry Program Office (BPIPO) by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), Taiwan Government and was responsible for the strategic planning and the promotion of national Biotech and Pharmaceutical Industry development of Taiwan. After the completion of his postdoctoral training supported by the Fellowships from the Welch Foundation, Texas and USDA, he was invited and came back Taiwan to join the Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB), Taiwan, a non-profit R&D Biotech Institute, financially supported by Taiwan government, as a research scientist at the Microbiology Department in 1988. Later on, due to his outstanding scientific achievements and leadership, he was promoted to Senior Research Fellow, the Director of Environmental Biotech Program and the Director General of Industrial Promotion and Business Development Division of the Center. He had been working with the Center for more than 25 years until his left and joined the private business since 2014. Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. in Microbiology with the major on microbial biochemistry and physiology from the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas in 1985, TMBA program from the Department of Business Administration, National Cheng Chi University and M.S. from the Graduate Institute of Agricultural Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taiwan. 

Yen-Ning Kuo, Ph.D. |Chief Operation Officer, UBI Pharma, Inc. 

Dr. Yen-Ning Kuo graduated from Tunghai University with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine in 2003 with a scholarship for his doctoral dissertation. Dr. Kuo specializes in chemical process design and biomedical engineering, and has published two papers in relevant fields. Dr. Kuo is currently the COO of the Pharmaceutical Business Center at UBI Pharma. He is responsible for the product line planning, R&D management, marketing, sales and distribution of our human-use pharmaceutical products. Dr. Kuo joined our team in 2005 and began his work at UBI Pharma in the formulation R&D of peptide vaccine products and quality control methods. He was later put in charge of developing our first US-marketed sterile injectable product. During the development, Dr. Kuo reinforced our CMC and quality systems, in order to comply with the U.S. and European standards. In 2013, UBI Pharma successfully obtained the first product license from the U.S. for our sterile injectable product, as well as developed a top-quality regulatory team with experience in U.S. licensure application for pharmaceuticals. From the end of 2010 to 2011, Dr. Kuo joined Jiangsu Meide Biotech, a subsidiary of Vita Gnomics Inc. located in China, where he was responsible for new drug development, product licensing, and strategic alliances in the China market.

Tae-Wook Chun , Ph.D. | Scientific Advisor 

Dr. Chun is our collaborator on UB-421 clinical development. He is currently the Chief of the HIV Immunovirology Unit at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), of National Institutes of Health (NIH).Dr. Chun received his Ph.D. from the biochemistry, cellular, and molecular biology graduate program from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he discovered and characterized latently infected, resting CD4+ T cells in HIV-infected individuals. Dr. Chun began his postdoctoral research work in the Laboratory of ImmunoRegulation (LIR) under Dr. Anthony Fauci at NIAID in 1997. He was the first to demonstrate that the latent HIV reservoir persists in virtually all infected individuals receiving antiretroviral therapy despite effective suppression of plasma viremia. In addition, he demonstrated that early initiation of antiretroviral therapy leads to a decay of the latent viral reservoir and introduced the concept of “virus purging” in HIV-infected individuals.Dr. Chun was appointed to the position of staff scientist in 2001, and was selected as one of the Earl Stadtman Investigators, and appointed a tenure track investigator position in the LIR in June 2016. Dr. Chun is the author/coauthor of numerous peer-reviewed publications in high impact journals such as New England Journal of Medicine and Nature Medicine, and participated in several pioneering clinical trials in HIV treatment.

Hao Wu , M.D. | Scientific Advisor 

Dr. Hao Wu is currently the Chief of Infectious Diseases Department of Beijing Youan Hospital, Capital University of Medical Sciences (首都医科大学附属北京佑安医院). He is also the professor of Capital Medical University.Dr. Wu has been conducting research in the area of Infectious Diseases for more than 25 years. He has made extensive scientific and medical contributions in HIV/AIDS public health and clinical arena and is a renowned HIV research expert in China. Dr. Wu is the founder of the Beijing Acute HIV Infection Cohort Study which is the largest cohort among MSM (Men who have Sex with Men) population in China and also serves on the panel of experts in HIV treatment, organized by Ministry of Health, China.Dr. Wu has edited 5 books, wrote numerous chapters for textbooks of infectious diseases, and is an author/co-author of over 100 scientific publications. Dr. Wu received his M.D. in Infectious Diseases from Capital University of Medical Sciences in 1993.

Chang, Tse-Wen, Ph.D.| Scientific Advisor 

Dr. Chang is an immunology researcher, whose career spans across academia and industry. His early research in the Immunoglobulin E (IgE) pathway and antibody-based therapeutics led to the development of omalizumab (Xolair®), a highly successful mAb medicine that has been approved for the treatment of severe allergic asthma and severe chronic spontaneous urticarial (CSU). He is also a co-inventor of the advanced generation anti-IgE mAb, UB-221.Dr. Chang is the co-founder of Tanox, a biopharmaceutical company specialized in anti-IgE therapies for the treatment of allergic diseases and acquired by Genentech. Dr. Chang returned to his alma mater National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan in 1996 and served as the Dean (1996–1999) of the College of Life Sciences. Dr. Chang was appointed by the Taiwanese government as the Chief Executive Officer of the Development Center for Biotechnology (DCB) in 2000, and served as a Science and Technology Advisor of the Executive Yuan from 2002 to 2006. From 2006 to 2016, he was tenured as a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, and a distinguished Visiting Chair of Genomics Research Center at Academia Sinica since 2016. He founded Immunwork, Inc. in 2014. Dr. Chang received both his B.S. and M.S. in chemistry from National Tsing Hua University in 1972 and obtained his Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard University in 1977. He completed his postdoctoral fellow training at Center for Cancer Research, M.I.T., from 1977 to 1980.

Jeffrey Cohen, M.D. | Scientific Advisor 

Dr. Cohen is currently the Chief of Laboratory of Infectious Diseases and also Chief in Medical Virology at NIAID, NIH. He received his M.D. from The Johns Hopkins University and was a resident in medicine at Duke University. Following a medical staff fellowship at NIH, he was a clinical fellow in infectious diseases at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an instructor in medicine at the Harvard University. Dr. Cohen is a world expert on human herpes viruses studies, including Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Dr. Cohen is collaborating with UBP on evaluation of the neutralizing ability of UB-621 against HSV-1 and HSV-2 clinical isolates and the strains resistant to approved anti-HSV drugs. He also participates actively in many clinical trials including a Phase I study of a replication defective herpes simplex virus vaccine, study of patients with severe viral infections to define genetic variants associated with the disease, study of patients with EBV diseases, study with a respiratory syncytial virus challenge, and attempts to identify novel viruses in patients with unexplained syndromes.

Mei Mei Hu, J.D.| Chief Executive Officer, Vaxxinity

Mei Mei is Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Vaxxinity and is also a member of the executive committee of United Biomedical, Inc. She has overseen the launch of one of the first endobody vaccines in the world and the successful spin-out of five companies, including Vaxxinity’s IPO on NASDAQ. She currently leads an active pipeline of chronic disease immunotherapeutic candidates including for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and hypercholesterolemia as well as variant-inclusive COVID booster. Mei Mei was formerly a consultant at McKinsey & Company where she advised pharmaceutical companies on strategic, operational and organizational issues. Mei Mei is also co-founder of an investment and advisory group with active investments in real estate, energy and life sciences. She has been named to Time 100 Next list, Fortune 40 under 40, and is a member of the Young Global Leaders of World Economic Forum. She holds a B.A. from University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Lou Reese| Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board, Vaxxinity

Lou is one of our two co-founders, is the Executive Chairman of Vaxxinity. Lou is also a member of the executive committee of United Biomedical, Inc. He is also the co-founder of an investment and advisory firm with active investments in real estate, energy, hospitality and life sciences. Lou’s investments focus on achieving global impact in critical important areas through innovative models and approaches. Lou was formerly an investment banker at J.P. Morgan. He received his B.A. from University of Pennsylvania and attended Columbia Business School.

Peter Powchik, M.D.| Director, Vaxxinity

Dr. Peter Powchik was the Senior Vice President of Clinical Development at Regeneron, where he built an international clinical drug development organization and oversaw the company’s first five drug approvals. Earlier in his career, Peter was Chief Medical Officer of Chugai Pharma USA and held senior development positions with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., Sepracor Inc. and Pfizer Inc. In addition, Peter was a faculty member at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He earned his M.D. degree from the New York University School of Medicine and a B.A. in chemistry, with honors, from SUNY College at Purchase.

Farshad Guirakhoo, Ph.D.| Senior Scientific Advisor, Vaxxinity

Dr. Guirakhoo is the Chief Scientific Officer of Vaxxinity. Farshad was named in 2014 as no. 22 in the list of The Most Influential People in Vaccines. He is the co-inventor of the ChimeriVaxTM-technology platform, the world’s first recombinant viral vector platform that was approved for any human vaccine. Farshad has broad experience in the application of genetics, gene expression technologies and molecular virology for the constructions and productions of recombinant proteins, human antibodies and attenuated viral vectored vaccines for prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and cancers. He is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications, including book chapters, and holds dozens of issued patents. Farshad received his Ph.D. in Virology from the University of Vienna, Austria, holds an M.Sc. in Genetics and a B.Sc. in Biology. He has been awarded the National Research Council Post-Doctorate Award and studied at the CDC, Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, in Fort Collins, CO.

Jon Harrison| Chief Government Officer, Vaxxinity

Jon Harrison is the Chief Government Officer of Vaxxinity. Most recently Jon served as Senior Advisor for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the Department of State. His portfolio included protecting the public’s health from biological threats and infectious diseases; supporting American science, technology and innovation; combating wildlife crimes; and space, polar and ocean diplomacy. Concurrently Jon also served as a member ex officio of the International Wildlife Conservation Council, and of the Arctic Subcommittee of the National Petroleum Council. Jon has been a member of the US delegations to the UN General Assembly, the Arctic Council, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, the Pacific Island Forum, and the World Meteorological Congress. As an entrepreneur Jon helped build and grow a number of companies, including a NASA JPL spin-out manufacturing renewable energy technologies to power underwater autonomous systems, and a startup developing software for the editing, sharing, visualization and 3D printing of topographical data. Earlier in his career he worked on a range of international issues inside and outside of government. Jon received his B.S. from the University of Southampton.

Amy Fix| Chief Regulatory Officer, Vaxxinity

Ms. Fix is Chief Regulatory Officer with responsibility for regulatory strategy and interactions with global regulatory agencies, which oversee the development and commercialization of Vaxxinity’s vaccine candidates. Prior to joining Vaxxinity, Ms. Fix was Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality at Arcellx and a Principal Consultant for Scendea, a regulatory consulting firm. Prior to joining Arcellx in September 2019, Ms. Fix was Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and part of the Senior Management team at Novavax, leading the development of multiple late-stage vaccine development programs, including a Phase 3 global maternal immunization clinical trial being conducted in 11 countries, and two Phase 3 older adult programs for the RSV and influenza franchises. Prior to joining Novavax in April 2013, she was Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs at Emergent Biosolutions after serving in Regulatory Affairs positions of increasing responsibility at a number of biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies, including Human Genome Sciences, Shire, MedImmune and Baxter. During Ms. Fix’s career, she has successfully conducted numerous global regulatory meetings, and has been responsible for multiple INDs, BLAs, NDAs, and post-marketing programs, has been a key member of business development/due diligence teams, has worked with the World Health Organization on global health initiatives, and has built successful Regulatory departments from the ground up. Ms. Fix received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Illinois, her Master of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Virginia’s Biotechnology program, and her Master of Business Administration degree in Management from Johns Hopkins University.

Francine Volz | Board Secretary and Chief Administration Officer, UnitedBiomedical, Inc.

Francine Volz joined UBI in 1992 and is the Executive Director of Business Administration and Human Resources for United Biomedical, Inc. She is involved in the coordination, planning, and implementation of all business activities of UBI. She assists in the creation and direction of initiatives and programs to fulfill corporate objectives and maintains a high level of communication and responsiveness. Her experience in the biotech field, coupled with her analytical and communication skills has led to her developing a unique expertise in the areas of business administration, human resources, corporate communications, and public relations. Ms. Volz also serves as the Assistant Secretary of the Board of Directors of UBI. She holds PHR Certification from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).