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Eugene Williams is a former SVP at Genzyme, with senior roles integrating commercialization, drug development, and deal making. He is also an entrepreneur, as the founder and director of Adheris, which became the largest company in the patient adherence area. He was previously a strategy consultant at Bain and Corporate Decisions Inc. (a Bain Spin off, now part of Oliver Wyman), where he was co-Head of Healthcare and spent extensive time on speeding and improving the drug development process and on commercialization strategies. Mr. Williams was most recently the CEO of Dart Therapeutics, an Orphan Disease drug development company. Mr. Williams holds a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Dr. Elliot Goldstein
Elliot Goldstein brings a unique track record in the clinical, regulatory and commercial development of new pharmaceuticals. Dr. Goldstein began his career with Sandoz Pharmaceuticals (now Novartis), a fourteen-year period on drug development in France, Basel, Switzerland Global Headquarters, including as Head of Clinical R&D in the United States. He subsequently held positions as SVP of Strategic Product Development at SmithKline Beecham (now GSK), CEO of British Biotech (Oxford, UK), Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer of Maxygen, and President and CMO of a startup biotech devoted to development of biosimilar monoclonal antibodies. Dr. Goldstein holds an M.D. from the University Aix-Marseille II, Marseille, France, and a B.Sc. from McGill University, Montreal.
Dr. Neil Cashman
Dr. Cashman is a physician and scientist focused on neurodegenerative diseases. His first academic posting was at Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University. From 1998 to 2005, he was the Diener Professor of Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Toronto. In 2005, Professor Cashman moved to the University of British Columbia, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Neurodegeneration and Protein Misfolding Diseases, and serves as the Director of the UBC ALS Centre. He has procured over $50 million in research grant funding from the CIHR, CRC, NCE, NIH, and various corporations for his work involving protein misfolding and prion technologies. He was awarded the Jonas Salk Prize for biomedical research in 2000, and was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences in 2008. He is recognized worldwide as one of the leading research scientists pioneering the emerging fields of prion biology and protein misfolding diseases, in particular Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Steven Plotkin, Ph.D
Prof. Steven Plotkin is a theoretical and computational biophysicist whose research focuses on protein folding and misfolding in neurodegenerative disease, protein evolution and cellular differentiation, and the molecular mechanisms of cancer. He has been a professor at UBC in the Department of Physics and Astronomy since 2001, where he was appointed as the Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Molecular Biophysics. He was an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in 2005-2006, a Killam Faculty Research Fellow in 2010, and is now an associate member of the Genome Sciences and Technology Program, the Bioinformatics Program, and the Institute for Applied Mathematics at the University of British Columbia. Several of his publications have received the Faculty of 1000 designation, placing them in the top 2% of published articles in biology and medicine. Plotkin is recognized internationally for his fundamental contributions to the energy landscape theory of protein folding, and presents his research findings in protein misfolding and neurodegeneration, and protein geometry and disorder as an invited speaker at several annual conferences and symposia. His research is currently supported by grants from CIHR, NSERC, APRI, ALS-Canada, and Compute Canada.
Johanne Kaplan, PhD
Johanne Kaplan is a former VP of Research at Genzyme, a Sanofi Company. Over the course of her 24-year career at Genzyme, Dr. Kaplan directed pioneering research leading to the implementation of multiple clinical trials in the fields of gene therapy, cancer immunotherapy and autoimmunity. Most recently, as VP of Neuroimmunology Research, Dr. Kaplan led the contribution of the Genzyme science team supporting the approval of Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) and Aubagio (teriflunomide) for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. She also established partnerships for the development of novel therapies for neuroinflammatory disorders. Prior to joining Genzyme, Dr. Kaplan was an Associate Immunopathologist at SmithKline Beecham where she established an Immunotoxicology program. Her work has resulted in over 60 scientific publications and multiple patents. Dr. Kaplan holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and conducted post-doctoral studies at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, USA.
Daniel Geffken is a Founding Managing Director of Danforth Advisors, LLC, a consulting firm providing finance, operations and strategic support to life science companies. He brings more than 25 years of experience in the life science industry to his work with ProMIS, ranging from start-ups to publicly traded companies with $1 billion+ market capitalizations. He previously served as COO or CFO of four publicly traded and four privately held life science companies, in addition to his consulting clients. Daniel has been chief financial officer of Homology, Inc, GenePeeks, Inc., Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc., Cidara, Inc., Apellis, Inc. and Stealth BioTherapeutics, Inc. He has raised more than $1 billion in equity and debt securities for life science companies. Daniel holds a B.S. from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Ernest D. Bush, PhD.
Dr. Bush has 35 years of experience working in the field of biomedical R&D, driving development of innovative therapies for treatment of human diseases. He has served as a consultant in non-clinical development providing advice and insight into IND enabling programs, pre-clinical data-set analysis for due diligence and prioritization of investment decisions, and evaluation and audits of GLP bioanalytical and toxicology facilities and studies. In recent years, Dr. Bush has served as Chief Scientific Officer at Akashi Therapeutics, Inc., providing expertise to the development of drugs in Duchene Muscular Dystrophy. In previous positions, Dr. Bush worked as Senior Research Director and Head of Non-Clinical Drug Safety at Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc. where among other duties he led the assembly and review of preclinical data packages for all potential in-licensing and acquisition drug candidates and companies. He has utilized this experience to help small pharmaceutical companies and non-profit patient advocacy organizations plan and execute strategies to move them forward expeditiously and cost-effectively. Dr. Bush received his PhD. in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Washington, and an MS in Chemistry and a BA in General Sciences from the University of Oregon.
Mr. Blacher is Principal and founder of Biopharmaceutical Development Consulting and is an experienced research and development professional for biologic drug compounds. He has more than 30 years of experience in bridging the gap between research and development programs in a variety of corporate environments including virtual biotech start-ups and big pharma. Mr. Blacher has successfully developed a variety of drug candidates and advanced them into clinical trials in both the U.S. and Europe and has actively participated in the programs of several currently marketed biopharmaceutical products including: human insulin (Humulin®), Interferon Alpha (Roferon®), Interleukin-2 (Proleukin®), anti-CD11a (Raptiva®) and anti-EGFR (Vectibix®). He is knowledgeable in all phases of protein/antibody therapeutic drug development including creation of cell lines, upstream and downstream manufacturing, analytical methods development and formulation and is experienced in managing multiple outsourced contract research and manufacturing organizations, quality and compliance programs and is current in Good Manufacturing Practices. He has also authored numerous Chemistry, Manufacturing, Controls sections for regulatory submissions, holds several patents and published more than 50 scientific papers. Mr. Blacher earned his BA in Biochemistry from Thomas A. Edison State College, NJ.