Mark Yu, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chairman of Abimmune Biopharmas, is a serial entrepreneur with four biopharmaceutical companies under his belt. He has been a prominent fixture in San Diego’s biotech scene since 1993, when he became the very first mainland Chinese immigrant to establish a new drug development company in the United States.
Mark first served as the scientific co-founder of Immusol, where he led multiple programs researching the use of gene therapy to treat HIV, HBV, and HCV. Under his leadership, the programs initiated a $60M corporate partnership with Pfizer, which led to the first human trials for MY-2, a drug named for him. This clinical trial marks the first published use of ex-vivo procedures to treat AIDS patients. Now, 20 years later, the ex-vivo procedures his team innovated serve as the foundation for the CAR-T techniques used to treat cancer patients. Afterwards, in 1998, Mark co-founded CFY Biomedical while securing multiple rounds of VC financing. In 2002, CFY’s lead product won the historic CONNECT Award for Most Innovative New Product.
However, the pinnacle of his entrepreneurial career thus far is Ansun Biopharma, founded in 2003. Its broad spectrum drug “Fludase” received FDA “Breakthrough” status, and in its capacity as an emergency drug, its cousin “Paradase” has already saved over 100 American lives. Both drugs are currently being fast-tracked by the FDA for market clearance to treat a variety of different respiratory viral infections. To date, the company has received many prestigious accolades such as the “Scientific American 50” (2005), the “Fierce 15” (2018), and the BioSpace “Top 20 Life Science Companies” (2019).