Team – Public Markets

Our Team

Behzad Aghazadeh, PhD
Managing Partner & Portfolio Manager

Behzad is the Managing Partner and Portfolio Manager of venBio Select Advisor LLC, the SEC registered manager for venBio’s Long/Short Equity strategy. Behzad has more than 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, with over 10 years of experience as an institutional investor. Additionally, he has six years of general management consulting experience in the healthcare sector from his work with Booz Allen, where he led major strategic and operational initiatives for companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Behzad currently serves as the Chairman of Immunomedics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing monoclonal antibody based products for the targeted treatment of cancer, autoimmune disorders and other serious diseases. Behzad received his Master’s degree in Physics from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University (Munich, Germany) and a PhD from Cornell University in Biochemistry & Biophysics.


Senai Asefaw, MD, MBA
Senior Analyst

Senai is a Board Certified internist practicing at Yale-New Haven Hospital and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. He received his M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine. Senai also has an MBA from Yale University School of Management and completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard University. Senai joined the venBio team in 2014 and is primarily involved in evaluating mid-to late-stage stage biotechnology investment opportunities.


Andy Washkowitz, PhD
Senior Analyst

Andy earned his M.A. and PhD in genetics from Columbia studying stem cells and pluripotency. While at Columbia, Andy was a fellow at the Technology Ventures office, focusing on out-licensing discoveries from Columbia labs. After graduate school, Andy worked in sell-side equity research at Stifel focusing in the biotechnology sector. Andy joined the venBio team in 2015 and is primarily involved in evaluating platform technologies and early clinical development programs.


Kasia Konopacki
PhD | Investment Analyst

Kasia received her PhD from the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, where she focused on the study of regulatory T cell function in health and disease. During her time at MSKCC, Kasia was on the executive board of InSITE, a top fellowship program focused on advising early-stage companies on market strategy and financing, and worked with Mid-Atlantic Bio Angels, a life science angel investing group. Kasia joined venBio Select in 2018 and will focus her research efforts at on immunology and early clinical development programs.


Robert Raphael
Trading

Robert has over 10 years of trading and operations experience. Prior to joining venBio, Robert helped launch and was Head Trader at Jafra Capital Management. Before Jafra, he was a Trader at Jericho Capital Asset Management. He began his career on the Trade Operations team at TPG Axon. Robert holds a BA Cum Laude in Political Science from the University of Rochester. Robert joined venBio Select in 2019.


About Us

The biotechnology sector is navigating through a period of transformative innovation across a variety of diseases while regulatory authorities are finding equally innovative approaches to support advancement of novel therapies that address unmet medical needs. Additionally, large pharma continues to proactively seek out growth opportunities via partnerships and M&A, rendering assets with differentiating characteristics highly valuable. Our seasoned team of investment professionals aims to capitalize on the opportunity set by actively managing positions across core areas of focus to maximize the portfolio’s return potential.