Management Team

Xyphos is led by a team with decades of experience in the research, development and commercialization of biotech-based human therapeutics within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries and leading research institutions.

James L. Knighton

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Knighton is a Co-founder of Xyphos. Before Xyphos, he held executive roles within general management, marketing and finance in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including DuPont/DuPont Merck (1985-1994), Chiron (1994-1998), Sugen (CFO 1998-1999), Caliper Life Sciences (President 1999-2004), and AvidBiotics (Co-founder and President 2004 – 2017).  He earned a MBA degree from the Wharton School of Business, and a MS in Genetics from the University of Pennsylvania.

David W. Martin, MD

Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Martin is a Co-founder of Xyphos. He has previously held executive and scientific leadership roles in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies including SVP of R&D at Genentech (1982-1990); Executive VP of R&D at DuPont Merck (1991-1993); President of Chiron Therapeutics (1994-1995); and Founder and CEO of Eos Biotechnology (1997-2003); and Co-founder and CEO of AvidBiotics (2004-2017). Additionally, he has served as Director and Lead Director of Cubist Pharmaceuticals and Varian Medical Systems, each for more than a decade. Dr. Martin trained at Duke Medical School, was Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at University of California, San Francisco, and Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is currently a member of the Oversight Committee for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Thorsten Melcher, PhD

Chief Business Officer

Dr. Melcher joined Xyphos in April 2018 to lead the business and corporate development activities. Previously he served in business development roles at Calico, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Varian Medical Systems, and Saegis Pharmaceuticals. Earlier in his career, he led scientific teams and was co-founder of AGY Therapeutics and EnVivo Pharmaceuticals. He earned his MSc equivalent degree from the University of Hannover, and a PhD equivalent degree from the Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH) in Heidelberg. Subsequently, he conducted postdoctoral research at ZMBH and the University of California, San Francisco.

Kaman Kim, PhD

Vice President of Research

Dr. Kim was a scientific lead at Avidbiotics from 2013-2017 where she explored the application of the company’s antibacterial platform in the animal health sector and promoted the development of a collaborative relationship with a key industry partner. In 2015 she transitioned into the immuno-oncology field, first becoming a lead scientist then VP of Research at Xyphos in 2018. She earned her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University and conducted postdoctoral training at University of California, San Francisco.