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 BA from Harvard University and an MBA 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 MD from the University Aix-Marseille II, Marseille, France, and a BSc 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).
James W. Kupiec, MD
Dr. James Kupiec most recently served as VP, Global Clinical Leader for Parkinson’s Disease, and Clinical Head of the Neuroscience Research Unit in Cambridge for Pfizer, Inc. He began his career practicing Internal Medicine, serving on faculty at both the University of Rochester School of Medicine and the SUNY Upstate Medical University before joining Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals in 1991. Dr. Kupiec joined Pfizer in 2000 after seven years at Sanofi-Synthelabo.
Over the last 25+ years, Dr. Kupiec has led both early and late stage development teams working on investigational therapies for a wide variety of neurologic and psychiatric disorders. Much of his work during the last decade has focused on developing potential disease-modifying and symptomatic therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. As project leader and Clinical Head, Dr. Kupiec created and implemented global drug development strategies, met with worldwide regulatory authorities, and chaired numerous joint development committees with other pharmaceutical companies.
He earned his BS with Honors in Biochemistry at Stony Brook University and his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Steven Plotkin, PhD
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 Sanofi Genzyme. Over the course of her 23-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 70 scientific publications and multiple patents. Dr. Kaplan holds a PhD 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 30 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 several privately held life science companies, in addition to his consulting clients. Daniel has been chief financial officer of Homology, Inc., Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc., Cidara, Inc., Cabaletta Bio, 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 BS from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and MBA 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.
Board of Directors
Anthony J. Giovinazzo
Anthony J. Giovinazzo has over 38 years of professional experience, including seven years as an international corporate tax specialist and eight years in investment banking and private equity. For the last 25 years he has solely focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of neurodegenerative disease therapeutics. His tenure has been split equally between Alzheimer’s related therapeutics and on Parkinson’s disease. Currently Mr. Giovinazzo is retired and serves as the Executive Chairman on the Board of Sublimity Therapeutics Ltd., where he led their US $64 million financing. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of Variant Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Prior to his retirement, he was the President & CEO of Sunovion CNS Development Canada ULC., a successor company to Cynapsus Therapeutics Inc., which was purchased by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, a member of the Dainipon Sumitomo Pharma group of Japan, for CAD $842 million. At Cynapsus, he served as President, CEO and a Director and was one of the original inventors and patent holders of the company’s Parkinson’s disease-focused technology. Anthony managed the company’s lead therapy development program through to late stage Phase 3 studies. He also led the company’s up-listing from the TSX Venture exchange to the TSX and then to the NASDAQ, attracting bulge bracket investment banks and large institutional life science investors.
Anthony has co-authored peer reviewed papers and authored papers on strategic and financing issues in the biopharmaceutical industry. He is a Chartered Director and Audit Committee Certified, both from The Directors College of Mc Master University, Hamilton Canada. Anthony obtained his MBA from IMD, Geneva Switzerland; a Graduate Certificate Studies in Canadian Law from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto; and his BA in Economics and Accounting from McMaster University.
Richard Gregory joined ImmunoGen as Chief Scientific Officer & Executive VP for Research in January of 2015. In this capacity he provides leadership and direction to the Research organization and is responsible for the generation of development candidates based upon ImmunoGen’s Antibody Drug Conjugate technology. Prior to ImmunoGen, Richard held a variety of roles at Genzyme and Sanofi-Genzyme, including Vice President for Gene Therapy, Head of Corporate Research and Head of R&D for the Sanofi/Genzyme R&D Center. Rich received his BSc in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech, his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts, and did his post-doctoral training in cancer genetics at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology. He is the co-author of over 60 peer-reviewed publications and 23 issued U.S. patents in the area of biotechnology. Richard is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.
Senior partner at Kirwin LLP, has been advising and representing businesses in a range of industries and sizes from local to multinational for over 30 years. He obtained his BA in Economics (First Class Standing) from the University of Alberta in 1978 followed by his JD from the University of Toronto, Faculty of law in 1982. He practiced initially with the Canadian Federal Department of Justice from 1982 to 1986 then founded the predecessor to Kirwin LLP where he currently practices in Edmonton Alberta.
William W. Wyman began his career at the management consulting firm Booz Allen and Hamilton. After working for the firm in New York, Duesseldorf Germany, Athens Greece, and Dallas Texas, he returned to New York to become the President of the Management Consulting Group, a member of the executive committee, and a member of the Board of Directors. Subsequently, Mr. Wyman co-founded the management consulting firm, Oliver Wyman & Co. Now part of Marsh & McLennan, the firm employs 3,700 professionals in 26 countries.
Mr Wyman has served as director to more than eighteen public and private companies, mostly smaller companies in the technology and finance sectors. He also has served as an advisor to several private equity partnerships.
Mr. Wyman received his BA from Colgate University, and his MBA from the Harvard Business School. He also served in the U.S. Navy for four years. He resides in Hanover, NH.
Johannes Minho Roth
Mr. Roth is the founding director and partner at FiveT Capital Holding AG, a Swiss-based innovative financial holdings firm with activities in quantitative tailored investment and risk management solutions for institutional investors and high net-worth individuals with sophisticated wealth management, investment and risk requirements. He has many years of experience as a CIO and portfolio manager for FiveT Capital AG and as an equity specialist and proprietary trader at Baaderbank AG. Mr. Roth holds a masters degree in economics from Hohenheim University and is a board member of Insilico Biotechnology AG, a Stuttgart/Germany-based global leader in providing solutions and software for the simulation of living cells.
Dr. Neil Cashman
(bios already under Management Team)
Johannes Minho Roth
Harnessing the power of precision medicine to conquer Alzheimer’s disease.