An M.D., D.D.S., M.B.A., C.E.O., C.O.B., Jack Kavanaugh is a noted doctor and business leader in the biotechnology and medical world.
Over the course of his career, Kavanaugh as Founder, CEO or Chairman of the Board, has helped commercialize numerous health related and other technologies and has created and led companies like Calhoun Vision to create next-generation medical treatments.
Kavanaugh began his distinctive career as a highly successful dentist. A major skiing accident in which he broke his neck and shattered his leg, prevented him from practicing dentistry again. From this turning point, Kavanaugh went on to earn his M.B.A. from U.C.L.A., then worked in mergers and acquisitions with a former partner who had been managing director / senior partner at McKenzie International. In 1984, they formed International Strategy Consulting Group a management and M.B.A. consulting firm.
As Kavanaugh’s career segued into private equity, he simultaneously returned to medical school, earned his M.D. degree from U.S.C. and completed his surgical residency at U.C.L.A’s Jules Stein Institute. He remained a part time visiting professor at U.C.L.A. until 2008, teaching eye surgery to residents and fellows. During the first year of his residency, Dr. Kavanaugh founded Amerident, a health care service provider which was honored with over 30 community service awards and a state congressional medal of honor for its work with infants. During his tenure as Chairman and CEO, he raised the workforce to hundreds, eventually selling the company in 1999 started Tech Team, a computer support and hosting company, served as Chairman and CEO then sold it during the last month of his residency.
In the late ‘80’s. Dr. Kavanaugh brought Tech Team, later known as Team Global, public. The share price rose from an initial investor price of 11 cents to approximately $27 per share.
He continued in private equity and in 2000 held the first board meeting of Calhoun Vision, Inc. a biotechnology firm that developed the world’s first and only light adjustable intraocular lens for cataract surgery, at his home. He served as a board member from 2000 and then served as Chairman from 2008 to 2012. In 2008, Dr. Kavanaugh designated a new CEO. The company just recently completed FDA Stage III clinical trials in the U.S., and is poised for what could be a capital event in the billion dollar plus category.
Also in 2000, Dr. Kavanaugh became associated with Dr. Bob Grubbs, the 2005 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and joined the board of Materia Inc., a post he held through March, 2014. Materia Inc. licensed Dr. Grubb’s Nobel prize-winning technology catalyst platform for industrial use. Materia Inc., which holds over 300 patents, has notched numerous ground-breaking advancements which has translated into impressive revenue and profitability for the company.
Dr. Kavanaugh also served on the board of PreCash, a telecommunications and financial services company, where, in 2001, he staved off imminent insolvency proceedings and orchestrated a major turnaround. Two years later, Inc. Magazine singled out PreCash as one of the fastest growing companies in profits in the U.S. He remains an active consultant to the Board.
In 2008, Dr. Kavanaugh founded ZetaRx Biosciences, Inc., a company at the leading edge of immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer. He held both CEO and Chairman posts until June, 2012 but remained a consultant to the Board. In late 2013, ZetaRx was sold and became the core component of Juno Therapeutics. In 2014, Juno was the largest biotech IPO of the year and reached a market cap of 5.5 billion.
In 2014, Dr. Kavanaugh co-founded Novonco Therapeutics, Inc., with Dr. Larry Overman and Dr. David Horne which Kavanaugh chairs. Novonco has proven to be a leader in epigenetics and other platform therapeutic research and combines intellectual properties from City of Hope, U.C. Irvine and The University of Athens. The company is focused on several approaches to cancer therapeutics also known as histone methyl transferase inhibitors.
Dr. Kavanaugh’s interests also extend to the developing energy field. As co-founder and Chairman of Nanotech Energy, Inc., he has licensed from U.C.L.A. leading supercapacitor intellectual property that can markedly expand the high-speed storage and delivery technology of energy at much higher rates than currently available. Prototype cells have already been developed and an operational factory is in the developmental stages.
His relationship with U.C.L.A. has also resulted in the creation of SuperMetalix, Inc., which has exclusively licensed the intellectual property behind the creation of super hard metals more than twice as hard as carbide. Prototypes for multiple applications are being fabricated and the establishment of a manufacturing site is currently underway. He is the company’s Co-founder and Chairman.
Kavanaugh and his wife, Leslie are supporters of numerous charitable efforts based in and around Los Angeles, including City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. It is one of only 41 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States authorized by the National Cancer Institute to eradicate several deadly diseases. They also support Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, The Virginia Robinson Gardens, Aviva and Art of Elysium.
Kavanaugh and his wife Leslie, a real estate executive, have two sons, Ryan, Founder and CEO of Relativity Media, and Matthew, an attorney and CEO of Knight Global.