Leadership Team


John L. Xu, Ph.D.


A molecular immunologist and translational scientist, Dr. Xu has served as Cytovant’s President since its inception. He is responsible for the company’s overall R&D strategy, corporate development, investor relations, and daily management. Prior to joining Cytovant, Dr. Xu held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility at several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. He initially began his career at Novartis as a Sr. Investigator for Biomarker Development, then joined GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as Associate Director for Biologics Discovery. Following GSK, he served as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at Shanghai Benemae Pharmaceutical Corporation and  then joined Mab-Legend Biotech as President and CSO, where he was responsible for overall R&D strategy and execution. In these roles, Dr. Xu drove a number of mAb discovery programs from target choice through candidate selection, led the IND-enabling studies and IND and NDA filings for a GLP-1 receptor agonist, and contributed to the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics assessment for a number of INDs in First-in-Human and Proof-of-Concept clinical studies.


Dr. Xu received his B.S. degree in Biology from Peking University, his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from Harvard University, and completed postdoctoral training in Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Jingxian Liu, Ph.D.
Head of TCR Discovery


Dr. Liu is Head of TCR Discovery at Cytovant Sciences. Dr. Liu has expertise in structural informatics, biologics design, and T-cell receptor discovery, with over 13 years of R&D and project management experience in both academia and the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Liu previously worked at Singapore Immunology Network (Agency for Science, Technology and Research, A*STAR) where his research focused on MHC structural informatics, activating KIR receptors of NK cells, and antibodies. He served as Head of Structural Biology at ChemPartner in the Biologics Department and focused on small/large molecule drug discovery, antibody characterization and antibody CADD (Computer aided drug design).


Dr. Liu received his B.S. degree in Chemistry, M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Minor in Computer Science from Xi’an Jiaotong University, and Ph.D. in Biochemistry at National University of Singapore. He conducted additional postdoctoral training at Nanyang Technological University.


Taichang Yuan, Ph.D.
Head of Translational Sciences


Dr. Yuan is the Head of Translational Sciences at Cytovant Sciences. He has more than 10 years of R&D and project management experience in both pharma and academia, with expertise in pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics studies. He was previously an associate director at 3D Medicines, where he led the preclinical and translational studies for several oncology programs and acted as the project leader for a cross-functional team charged with running a Phase I trial of a selective FGFR TKI in solid tumors. As the key biologist in project teams in Roche China and GSK China, he led the preclinical pharmacology studies for oncology and Alzheimer's disease programs.


Dr. Yuan received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Nanjing University and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, CAS. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in Cancer Biology at University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Center.

Peifeng Tang, Ph.D.
VP of Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Control


Dr. Tang is the Head of CMC at Cytovant Sciences. He has expertise in biopharmaceutical CMC as well as GMP facility design and system set-up, with more than 10 years of international industrial and management experience. Previously, Dr. Tang served at Bristol Myers Squibb with a focus on upstream & downstream process development, at Mab-Venture Biopharm as head of upstream process development & manufacturing, and at Elpiscience Biotech as Director of CMC. Dr. Tang has successfully filed several IND/CTAs in US, China, and Australia.


Dr. Tang received a dual-B.S. in Chemistry and Economics from Peking University, and a joint Ph.D in Bioprocess Engineering from State University of New York & Syracuse University.

Huimin Ma, MBBS, MSc
Head of Clinical Development


Ms. Ma is the Head of Clinical Development at Cytovant Sciences. She has over 20 years of broad industry experience in medical and clinical development in various functional roles and therapeutic areas, including neurology, cardiovascular and oncology. Ms. Ma previously served at Otsuka as Project Leader, where she led the clinical development of Tolvaptan. At Sanofi, Ms. Ma led the first large-scale multi-center multiple sclerosis trial in China for Teriflunomide. She has led the start-up activities for Tisagenlecleucel trials in pediatric ALL and adult DLBCL at Novartis Australia and worked on a DLBCL CAR-T trial as a Medical Director at JW Therapeutics. Ms. Ma has also overseen the clinical development of dendritic cell vaccines for solid tumors over the past 4 years.


Ms. Ma received her B.S. in Clinical Medicine from Capital University of Medical Sciences, followed by a MSc in Public Health & Health Service Research at School of Medicine, University of Aberdeen, UK.