The Path to Better

TIO Bioventures cultivates groundbreaking science to drive better outcomes. We are scientists. We are doctors. We are lawyers, accountants, and Wall Street professionals. But above all, we are entrepreneurs dedicated to launching biopharmaceutical companies with the promise to make real differences for patients.

We Are:

Better Science

  • Fostering innovation based on new discoveries in cancer and
  • Advancing TIO Discovery, a wholly owned drug discovery engine, and in-licensed first-in-class and best-in-class targets and clinical candidates
  • Committed to deep due diligence to lower risk and address significant unmet patient needs

Better Insights

  • A uniquely engaged global network of world-class drug developers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and investors dedicated to rapidly advancing programs
  • Providing continuity of leadership within our portfolio companies through long-term founder involvement
  • Harnessing diverse expertise across the world’s key biotech centers: Boston, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, and Hong Kong

Better Investing

  • Controlling interests in global assets through key points of value inflection
  • Focused on maximizing non-dilutive financing opportunities
  • Realizing the value of breakthroughs for patients and investors

TIO Bioventures Fund I

In 2020, we will close our first fund and execute on our vision to launch companies steeped in world-class science, drug discovery, and cancer drug development. Click here for details on our innovative Portfolio Companies.

TIO Discovery
First-in Class-Therapies. Efficiently.

The TIO Bioventures family of companies leverages a unique business model. TIO Discovery is an early stage drug discovery engine for TIO Bioventures with operations in Boston, New York, Toronto, and Hong Kong. Born out of the Therapeutic Development Group at the Campbell Family Institute for Cancer Research in Toronto, TIO Discovery provides R&D and management services to TIO Bioventures portfolio companies.

TIO Discovery, in collaboration with the laboratories of renowned innovators including Drs. Tak Mak, Fred Alt, and Mark Davis, has validated multiple novel targets, developed next-generation biologic platforms and differentiated cell therapy technologies, and has advanced three first-in-class/best-in-class small molecule therapeutic candidates into clinical development. These innovations form the foundations of three of the first five of TIO Bioventures’ portfolio companies, including Treadwell Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focusing on first-in-class small molecules addressing unmet needs in Cancer.

Not only serving as TIO Bioventures’ research and development arm, TIO Discovery also provides flexible management talent and advisory to the firm’s portfolio companies, further leveraging our global network of experts to rapidly and efficiently advance breakthrough therapeutics.

To date, the majority of financing for TIO Discovery and TIO portfolio company drug discovery and development  efforts has come from non-dilutive funds from philanthropic and competitive grant awards, such as those from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the collaborative funding partnership between The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and the Cancer Stem Cell Consortium (CSCC), and the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) Foundation.

Senior Leadership

Tak Wah Mak, PhD
Co-founder and Managing Director

Perhaps best known for discovering and first cloning the T cell receptor and identifying the function of the CTLA-4 immune checkpoint protein, Dr. Tak Wah Mak is recognized as one of the world’s leading scientists. As Director of the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and through his role at TIO Bioventures, Tak is continuing his quest to study and find cures for the most complex forms of cancer. Tak is also co-founder of TIO Bioventures’ flagship portfolio company Treadwell Therapeutics. He has had a uniquely distinguished career in the life science industry having participated in the development of multiple blockbuster oncology therapeutics while Vice President of Research at Amgen, having decades of experience advising global life science venture funds, including Lombard Odier and Aravis, and having co-founded and led multiple successful biopharmaceutical companies, including Agios Pharmaceuticals and Miikana Therapeutics. Tak is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a recipient of the Gairdner International Award for Science, an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a laureate of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (2009). The author of more than 900 scientific publications, Tak has received many distinguished prizes, including the Sloan Award (1996), the Novartis Prize in Immunology (1998), and the Paul Ehrlich Prize (2004). He currently serves on multiple scientific advisory boards, most notably Stand Up To Cancer.

Shane Burgess, OD, MBA
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director

A co-founder and managing director of TIO Bioventures, Dr. Shane Burgess brings significant entrepreneurial and management experience in the healthcare industry to the company. At TIO, he oversees the business activities, legal, financial, and operations management of the organization and currently serves as CEO of TIO Bioventures’ flagship portfolio company Treadwell Therapeutics. In addition to co-founding several successful international companies, including FYiDoctors, Shane has held senior executive roles in organizations ranging from seed-funded start-ups to leading, global companies and has consistently established and led high performing teams to drive innovative product development, deliver entity-wide strategic and operational effectiveness, and achieve transformative corporate and business development results. Shane holds Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Optometry degrees from Canada’s University of Waterloo, and an MBA from Simon Fraser University. Having spent much of his career in Toronto and New York, Shane is based in Hong Kong.

Mark Bray, PhD

Dr. Mark Bray is a partner in TIO Bioventures while also leading the firm’s research and development entity, TIO Discovery. Mark has more than 20 years of experience in drug discovery, preclinical drug development, and research project management in environments ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to large biopharmaceutical companies. Since 2012, he has directed all activities of the multi-disciplinary drug discovery and development team at Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research, University Health Network at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, where multiple programs have been advanced from discovery to clinical trials under his leadership. Mark is also co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of TIO Bioventures’ flagship portfolio company Treadwell Therapeutics. Prior to joining the CFIBCR, Mark was Vice President, Research for Rockville, MD-based EntreMed, Inc (now CASI Pharmaceuticals). Dr. Bray co-founded, along with Drs. Tak Mak and Gail Eckhardt, and served as Director of Research of Miikana Therapeutics until the company was acquired by EntreMed in 2006. Mark previously held positions at Amgen, including as scientific liaison, initiating and leading early stage discovery programs into therapeutic development, between the Toronto-based Amgen Research Institute, (ARI) and Amgen’s California headquarters. He holds a bachelor of science degree in microbiology from the University of Toronto – Victoria University and a PhD in microbiology, protein chemistry and enzymology from the University of Guelph.

Michael Tusche, PhD MBA

Dr. Michael Tusche is a Partner at TIO Bioventures, a Biotechnology focused venture creation fund. He brings over a decade of experience as a Scientist, Investor and Entrepreneur in the Biotech Space. Previously, Michael was the Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder of Nirsum Laboratories, Inc., a startup Biotechnology company developing small molecule therapeutics for Neuroscience indications. At Nirsum, Dr. Tusche was the Co-inventor of the company’s foundational Intellectual Property and a Principal Investigator of an NIH/NIDA grant, funding the company’s operations into mid-stage clinical studies. Prior to Nirsum, Michael was the Senior Biotechnology Analyst at Mountain Brook Capital Management, LLC, a Healthcare focused Long/Short equity only Hedge Fund, where his focus was Investments in publicly listed Biopharmaceutical companies. Before Mountain Brook, Dr. Tusche was an Associate at MLV and Co., a boutique investment bank with a focus on capital raising and advisory work for Life Science based companies. Dr. Tusche also led Biologic drug discovery at the Campbell Family Institute in Toronto, Canada, where he managed a multidisciplinary R&D team in the pre-clinical development and validation of novel drug candidates. Michael started his career as a Scientist in drug discovery at Bayer AG in Japan, where he worked on early stage development of small molecule GPCR antagonists for allergic and inflammatory diseases.

Dr. Tusche received his B.Sc. (with Distinction) in Biochemistry from the University of Victoria. He also received a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Toronto where he trained in the laboratory of Dr. Tak Mak. Michael received his M.B.A. from the University of Toronto. He is co-author on several peer-reviewed publications, the recipient of numerous scientific and business awards, and named inventor on issued US patents focusing on small molecule and biologic therapeutics.

Ryan Dietz, JD

Ryan Dietz is a partner in TIO Bioventures, bringing more than 20 years of experience in technology evaluation, intellectual property generation, licensing and partnering transactions, and company formation efforts to the firm. Ryan also serves as Vice President, Corporate Development of TIO Bioventures’ flagship portfolio company Treadwell Therapeutics. Prior to joining TIO, Ryan was a licensing executive with Boston Children’s Hospital, where he oversaw the hospital’s two largest research programs across all stages of development. During his industry career, Ryan led technology development and intellectual property generation efforts for various prominent start-up biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies including Moderna, Scholar Rock, Magenta Therapeutics, and Morphic Therapeutic. Each of these companies successfully completed IPOs in 2018 or 2019, including the largest IPO in biotechnology history with Moderna raising $620M at a $7.5B valuation. Ryan also has extensive business development and alliance management experience and is an inventor and developer of multiple consumer products for musicians. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and criminal justice from Indiana University Bloomington, and a JD in intellectual property and licensing from Suffolk University Law School.