The Members of the BioNJ Board of Trustees are thoughtful, engaged, and committed to the work of BioNJ and we are deeply indebted for their passion for Patients and for inspiring our work each day.
Chairman: James Sapirstein, R.Ph., MBA
ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Sapirstein brings over thirty years of pharmaceutical industry experience to ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CTRV:NASDAQ). After beginning his career in 1984 with Eli Lilly, he accepted a position at Hoffmann-LaRoche in 1987, where he served for almost a decade as part of its sales and marketing teams. He held a number of positions at Hoffmann-LaRoche, including Product Director and International Operations Manager, and was actively involved with numerous product launches including several antivirals. In 1996, he became the Director of International Marketing of the Infectious Disease Division at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS). Mr. Sapirstein directed the international HIV product marketing strategy at BMS and was an integral part of the international development and launch of a number of infectious disease products while at BMS.
Mr. Sapirstein then decided to move into the Biotech arena at Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD). He served in the Global Marketing group at Gilead, beginning in 2000 where he led and developed the global marketing strategy for its flagship HIV drug, Viread. He played a key role in the development of the drug combination strategy that resulted in Gilead’s acquisition of Triangle’s nucleoside portfolio. That acquisition ultimately led to the launch of Truvada, Gilead’s multi-billion dollar combination HIV drug. In 2002, he accepted the position of Executive Vice President for Serono Laboratories where he led a team of over 100 professionals to rebuild a struggling HIV and pediatric growth hormone business. As the founding CEO of Tobira Therapeutics, a New Jersey based biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel HIV and infectious disease compounds, he was instrumental in helping to raise over $60 million in venture capital and research funding to enable Tobira to further its scientific development. As a result of those efforts, he was named one of New Jersey’s top 50 most influential people in healthcare in 2010 by NJBiz.com. Tobira was acquired earlier this year by another New Jersey based company, Allergan. Just prior to joining Contravir, James was CEO of Alliqua Therapeutics at Alliqua, Inc., where he helped lead the transformation of transdermal wound care and drug delivery technology into a premier wound care organization. Mr. Sapirstein developed the growth strategies for the organization and was responsible for several key licensing opportunities which lead to an increased return on investment for all of the shareholders.
Immediate Past Chair: Stuart W. Peltz, Ph.D.
PTC Therapeutics, Inc., Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Peltz is a co-founder of PTC and has served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors since the company’s inception in 1998. Prior to founding PTC, Dr. Peltz was a Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University. Dr. Peltz has published over 80 publications in the area of post-transcriptional control processes and has received a number of scientific awards, including being elected as a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Peltz received a Ph.D. from the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin. He was the 2014 recipient of the BioNJ Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision, Innovation and Leadership.
President and CEO: Debbie Hart, MS, CAE, APR
BioNJ, President and CEO
Ms. Hart, founding President and CEO of BioNJ, is dedicated to the mission and work of BioNJ. She worked alongside New Jersey’s biotechnology industry leaders to establish BioNJ in 1994 and has been dedicated to the organization since then. Debbie has been active on the boards and committees of numerous government and academic institutions.
Ms. Hart was recently named to the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Business Partnerships and appointed as Chair to the New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force. She is also a founding board member and officer of OpportunityNJ, a non-profit organization working toward a strong and sustainable State economy; is on the board of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Board of Directors for Choose New Jersey.
She was appointed to the NJ Council on Innovation and named to the Advisory Boards of the New Jersey Innovation Institute and the Institute for Life Sciences Entrepreneurship at Kean University. She is a member of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (EDA) Technology Advisory Board and a former member and Chair of EDA’s Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT). Debbie served on the transition teams of two former New Jersey governors and was appointed by two Governors to the New Jersey Israel Commission for her work in economic development.
Past government support activities include the Prosperity New Jersey Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Cluster Study commissioned by a former Governor and conducted by Professor Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School, the Jobs Growth and Economic Development Commission established by a former Governor and chaired by Dr. Roy Vagelos as well as the Task Force on Higher Education Quality and Competitiveness of the State. She also served on the Business Task Force established by the New Jersey State Legislature in 2011.
A strong advocate for advancing education, Ms. Hart serves as a board member of the Rutgers University Blanche and Irwin Lerner Center for the Study of Pharmaceutical Management at Rutgers University Business School, and has served on the Advisory Board of the College of Science and Mathematics at Montclair University, the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Silberman College of Business and the Science Advisory Board at Rider University as well as the advisory boards for the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s (NJIT) Biomedical Engineering Program, Monmouth University’s School of Science, Technology and Engineering and as a Director of the Liberty Science Center’s Women’s Leadership Council.
Ms. Hart served on the advisory board that guided the establishment of the nationally recognized Monmouth County Biotechnology High School and as a member of the New Jersey Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Advisory Board. In 2005, she delivered the Commencement Address at Raritan Valley Community College’s graduation ceremonies.
As an advocate for the industry, Ms. Hart has testified before State and federal legislative committees. She is also a frequent speaker at industry events, including serving as the Keynote speaker at the Russian Pharmaceutical Forum in St. Petersburg, Russia; the Knowledge for Growth Conference in Ghent, Belgium; the Women’s Clinical Leadership Forum at the Partnerships in Clinical Trials conference in Orlando, Florida; and the Shanghai Bio Conference in Shanghai.
Ms. Hart was honored by the Women’s Fund of New Jersey as a Woman Advancing Science, and she and BioNJ were recognized by NJIT with a New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame Award.
Ms. Hart is an NJBIZ New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business honoree. In March 2014 in commemoration of Women’s History Month, she was nominated by Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt and honored by the New Jersey General Assembly as a Woman Advancing Science. In May 2014, Debbie was named to PolitickerNJ’s Health Care Power List of 2014.
Most recently, Ms. Hart was named one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People in Biotechnology by Scientific American Worldview; as one of HudsonMod Magazine’s 2015 list of Women in Power; one of New Jersey’s top CEOs by COMMERCE Magazine; one of New Jersey’s 2015 Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs & Business Owners by Leading Women Entrepreneurs and for the fifth time in 2017 to the NJBIZ Power 100, a listing of the 100 most influential people in New Jersey business.
Ms. Hart holds an M.S. from the S. I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University where she graduated cum laude and a B.A. from Trenton State College, now The College of New Jersey, where she graduated magna cum laude.
Vice Chairman: Daniel J. O’Connor, J.D.
OncoSec Medical, Inc., Chief Executive Officer
Most recently, Mr. O’Connor served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Advaxis Immunotherapies. He successfully turned around the company, raising more than $250 million in funding and transforming it into a patient-focused, leading cancer immunotherapy company. He was also instrumental in establishing major partnerships with companies that include Amgen Inc., Merck & Co. and Bristol Myers Squibb. In addition, under Mr. O’Connor’s leadership, the company advanced four new cancer immunotherapy drug candidates into clinical trials, as well as several PD-1 combination clinical studies with Keytruda® and Opdivo®. Previously, he was Senior Vice President for ImClone Systems where he supported the clinical development, launch, and commercialization of ERBITUX®, and the sale of the company to Eli Lilly in 2008. Mr. O’Connor served as General Counsel at PharmaNet (inVentiv Health) and was part of the senior leadership team that grew the company from a start-up contract research organization into a leader in clinical research.
Mr. O’Connor is a 1995 graduate of the Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and currently serves as an Entrepreneur Trusted Advisor to its Dean. He graduated from the United States Marines Corps Officer Candidate School in 1988 and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marines, attaining the rank of Captain while serving in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield. Mr. O’Connor is currently the Vice Chairman of BioNJ and was a former New Jersey criminal prosecutor.
Secretary: Christian Kopfli, Esq.
Chromocell Corporation, Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Kopfli co-founded Chromocell in 2002, serving initially as General Counsel before becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2005. Prior to joining Chromocell, he was an Associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell, working in its New York City, Tokyo and Frankfurt offices. At Davis Polk, Mr. Kopfli worked extensively in Mergers & Acquisitions, Capital Markets and Private Equity Transactions.
Mr. Kopfli received a doctoral degree in law (magna cum laude) from the University of Zurich in 2000 and earned his LL.M. from Columbia Law School in New York City in 1998. He is a Board Member of BioNJ and admitted to the Bar in New York and Switzerland.
Treasurer: Scott White
Janssen Immunology, Janssen Biotech, Inc., President
Mr. White is a seasoned business leader with more than 27 years at Johnson & Johnson in positions of increasing responsibility in the commercial and research & development organizations. In his current role as President, Janssen Immunology, he sets strategic direction and drives business opportunities for the Immunology franchise in the U.S. Mr. White also serves as a member of the Janssen Americas Leadership Team and on the BioNJ board of directors as the representative for Janssen.
Most recently, Mr. White was President of Janssen Oncology where he was responsible for commercialization of the Janssen U.S. oncology portfolio during a period of unprecedented growth. With the launch of two transformational oncology brands – IMBRUVICA® for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and DARZALEX® for multiple myeloma, Janssen Oncology is now one of the fastest growing Oncology companies.
Previously, Mr. White held the position of Vice President, Strategic Customer Group serving all Janssen U.S. businesses. In this role, he was the market access leader on the Janssen North America Pharmaceuticals Leadership Team and led the organization’s transition to working within a new healthcare environment under the Affordable Care Act. Mr. White has also served as Vice President of Marketing for Janssen Immunology where he was responsible for growing its immunology portfolio. He began his career at Johnson & Johnson in drug discovery and clinical development where he worked for seven years prior to joining Janssen’s commercial operations.
Mr. White holds a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where he double-majored in molecular biology and philosophy. He also received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.
Sol J. Barer, Ph.D.
Former Chairman, Celgene Corporation
Chairman of the Board, Edge Therapeutics, Inc. and Teva Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Barer spent most of his professional career with the Celgene Corporation. He was Chairman from January 2011 until June 2011, Executive Chairman from June 2010 until Jan 2011 and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from May 2006 until June 2010. Previously he was appointed President in 1993 and Chief Operating Officer in 1994 before assuming the CEO position. He also served as Senior Vice President, Science and Technology, and Vice President/General Manager, Chiral Products, from October 1990 to October 1993, and Vice President, Technology, from September 1987 to October 1990. Dr. Barer was the founder of the biotechnology group at the Celanese Research Company which was subsequently spun out to form Celgene.
Dr. Barer serves as Chairman of the Board of the public companies Edge Therapeutics, InspireMD and Medgenics and private company Centrexion, is Lead Director of ContraFect and is on the Board of Directors of the public companies Amicus Therapeutics and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. He is a Venture Advisor to the Israel Biotechnology Fund as well as an advisor to biopharma companies.
In 2011 Dr. Barer was Chairman of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Governor’s Advisory Committee which resulted in sweeping changes in the structure of New Jersey’s medical schools and public research universities. He previously served as a Commissioner of the NJ Commission on Science and Technology. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Rutgers University (until 2013). He also served two terms as Chair of the Board of Trustees of BioNJ (2010-2012) the New Jersey biotechnology organization.
Dr. Barer was named to the “Worldview 100” (Scientific American’s 100 most influential figures in today’s world of biotechnology) in 2015, named one of “25 Leadership Legends of NJ” (NJBiz) in 2012, “The 50 Most Powerful People in N.J. Health Care,” in 2012, inducted into the NJBiz Hall of Fame in 2011 and was named as one of NJ’s top 10 scientists by New Jersey Business in 2008. Dr. Barer has received countless professional awards and honors.
Photocure, Inc., President
Mr. Bellete is the President of Photocure Inc a position that he has held since January 2012. He has nearly 27 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical and medical device industry. He has most recently ran two startup companies from inception to commercialization. Mr. Bellete has held senior executive positions across multiple therapeutic areas in business development, commercial operations, managed care, marketing and sales at companies such as Pharmacia and Sanofi. Prior to joining Photocure, he was most recently President of Medical Compression Systems. He has been a Trustee of BioNJ since April 29, 2015.
Bradley L. Campbell
Amicus Therapeutics, President and Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Campbell is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Amicus and brings over 15 years of experience in the Orphan Drug industry. After joining in 2006, he subsequently took on roles of increasing responsibility throughout the organization. In his current capacity, Mr. Campbell leads the strategy, design and leadership of global commercial operations to support the launch of migalastat, a small molecule personalized medicine in development for the treatment of Fabry Disease. He also oversees Technical Operations, Global Marketing, and Program Management functions.
Prior to Amicus, Mr. Campbell was with Genzyme, serving first as Product Manager for Myozyme® for Pompe disease and later as Business Director of their cardiac gene therapy programs. He has also worked in sales and marketing for Bristol-Myers Squibb and as a strategy consultant for Marakon Associates.
Mr. Campbell is active with various Boards and philanthropic organizations. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Progenics Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded pharmaceutical company focused developing innovative medicines to identify, target and treat cancer. He is also a member of the BioNJ Board as well as a past President of the Board of the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association where he currently serves on their Corporate Advisory Council. Bradley received a B.A. in Public Policy from Duke University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Meeta Chatterjee, Ph.D.
Merck Research Laboratories, Head, Business Strategy and Operations, Business Development and Licensing
Dr. Chatterjee has 30 years of broad strategic and operational experience in pharmaceutical research & development, in-licensing and externalization activities. In her current role, she is responsible for overseeing business strategy and operations, including departmental structure, governance, oversight and control within the research laboratories and across divisions. Additionally, she continues her role overseeing Merck’s Out-licensing efforts from her former position.
Previously, Dr. Chatterjee headed Merck’s Global Out-licensing and Asset Management team responsible for out-licensing activities. In this role, she expanded Merck’s business model to include the externalization of development compounds/programs, technologies, devices, and formulations to targeted partner organizations. Dr. Chatterjee started her career in the Cardiovascular Discovery Research group at Schering Plough. As head of the Vascular Biology group, she led research efforts in the areas of hypertension, atherosclerosis and obesity. These efforts ultimately led to the discovery and development of Zetia® and Zontivity®. She later served as Executive Director, R&D Licensing at Schering Plough Research Institute.
Dr. Chatterjee received her undergraduate education at St. Xavier’s University in Ahmedabad, India and Rutgers University (B.A., Hons Physics). She received a Ph.D. in Physiology from Rutgers University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Physiology at The University of Virginia School of Medicine. Meeta is active in several industry and licensing focused organizations including BIO and the Licensing Executives Society.
Celgene Corporation, President, Global Inflammation & Immunology (I&I)
Prior to joining Celgene in April of 2013, Ms. Curran was Merck’s Senior Vice President and GM of the Global Women’s Health franchise from 2009-2013. She had commercial responsibility for $3 Billion business, spanning the categories of contraception, fertility, HRT and osteoporosis. The UNFPA honored Ms. Curran with an award for the Health and Dignity of Women and Girls in 2012.
Ms. Curran previously served as General Manager for Schering-Plough Switzerland, which subsequently merged with Merck. In this role she led Sales, Marketing, Medical, Regulatory, Operations and Logistics and was accountable for establishing long-term strategic direction. Prior to moving to Switzerland, Ms. Curran was General Manager of Schering-Plough Australia/New Zealand and served on the Asia Pacific Regional Management Team. She originally joined Schering-Plough (Australia) as Director of Specialty Health Care, where she successfully launched Remicade.
Ms. Curran also served in a variety of sales, marketing and management roles at the former Pharmacia, including New Zealand Country President, Sales and Marketing Director, Group Product Manager. She has worked across many therapeutic categories including Immunology, Gastroenterology, Oncology, Rheumatology, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Metabolic and Pain and Women’s Health.
Ms. Curran earned her Bachelor of Science and Graduate Diploma of Marketing degrees from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. In November of 2016, Ms. Curran was appointed to the Board of Directors of Myovant Sciences, Ltd. and also served on the Board of Directors for H. Lundbeck A/S.
Paul G. Howes
ThromboGenics, Inc., Executive Chairman
Mr. Howes currently serves as Executive Chairman and President of ThromboGenics, Inc., the U.S. operating subsidiary of Belgian biotech company ThromboGenics, NV. He also serves as a Director on the parent company’s Board. Prior to ThromboGenics, Mr. Howes was the President & CEO of Inotek Pharmaceuticals, a NASDAQ-listed junior biotech company active in ophthalmic drug development. Mr. Howes has over 25 years of commercial strategy, product development and sales and marketing experience in pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
Prior to joining Inotek, Mr. Howes was President of the Americas Region for Bausch & Lomb with leadership responsibility for the United States, Canada, Latin America and South America across Bausch & Lomb’s Vision Care, Surgical and Pharmaceuticals business segments. Prior to joining Bausch & Lomb in 2003, Mr. Howes spent the previous 16 years in various senior management roles at Merck & Co. Inc. This experience included roles as Executive Director of Hospital Marketing, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Specialty Products, President & CEO of the DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company and President of Merck Frosst Canada, Inc. Prior to Merck, Mr. Howes spent 11 years at Price Waterhouse Canada.
Mr. Howes is a graduate of Harvard College and earned his MBA from York University in Toronto, Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants, and currently serves on the board of Prevent Blindness.
Kite Pharma, Inc., Vice President, Market Access
Ms. Korfin joined Kite in April, 2016. Her responsibilities at Kite include overseeing Payer Relations, Government Affairs, and Kite KonnectTM. Kite KonnectTM is being developed to assure a positive personalized experience for health care providers and the patients who may receive a Kite CAR-T therapy.
Prior to joining Kite, Ms. Korfin spent over 11 years at Celgene in a number of different roles spanning Commercial and Project Leadership. These roles included the Global Project Leader for Lenalidomide in Lymphoma, Head of U.S. Market Access, Oncology Team National Sales Director and leadership roles in U.S. and Global Marketing. While at Celgene, she led the creation of the nationally recognized Celgene Patient Support program. Celgene Patient Support was developed to be a dedicated team to assist patients and health care providers with access to Celgene Hematology/Oncology drugs. She also was integral for the successful launches of REVLIMID® for MDS and Multiple Myeloma, THALOMID® for Multiple Myeloma, ISTODAX® for CTCL and PTCL, and ABRAXANE® for NSCLC and Pancreatic Cancer.
Ms. Korfin also worked at Schering-Plough in Commercial roles, at Bain Consulting in Boston, and at Merck in the Manufacturing Division. She has a B.S. in Pharmacy from Rutgers University and an MBA from Harvard University. Ms. Korfin is a licensed pharmacist in New Jersey.
Vicus Therapeutics, President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Maki previously served as Managing Director of Technology Directors, Inc., as Managing Director of Audax Group and as Principal, Bain Capital, as well as consultant, Bain & Company.
Mr. Maki holds an AB degree from Harvard University. Mr. Maki has over 25 years of industry experience and has been founding investor and/or board member of eleven life science companies. In addition, four of Mr. Maki’s portfolio companies had successful IPOs and grew to a combined market capitalization exceeding $2.5 billion dollars. Mr. Maki currently serves on the boards of 3DMatrix, a wound healing device company and Vicus Therapeutics. Mr. Maki also serves on the Board of Trustees of BioNJ.
Anthony Marucci, MBA
Celldex Therapeutics, Inc., Founder, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Mr. Marucci is a Founder of Celldex and serves as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to his appointment as President and CEO in 2008, Mr. Marucci served as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary of Celldex. Celldex, founded in 2004 as a subsidiary of Medarex (Medarex is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bristol Myers Squibb), was initially spun out as an independent private company in October 2005 with the asset acquisition of CDX-110 from Alteris Therapeutics, Inc. and the acquisition of Lorantis Limited (Cambridge, UK). In addition to these acquisitions, Mr. Marucci is also responsible for the AVANT Immunotherapeutics, Inc. and Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. merger completed during the first quarter of 2008 and the acquisition of CuraGen Corporation completed in the third quarter of 2009. He was Treasurer of Medarex from December 1998 to March 2004, where he held a series of senior financial positions since December 1998. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of BioNJ and also served as its Treasurer through 2010. Mr. Marucci received a B.S. in Accounting from Kean University, an MBA from Columbia University and an MHL from Brown University.
Clive Meanwell, M.D., Ph.D.
The Medicines Company, Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Meanwell is the Chief Executive Officer of The Medicines Company, a New Jersey company which he founded in 1997 while a Managing Partner and Senior Managing Director at MPM Capital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is also Vice Chairman of BB Biotech and had been a director of the listed, Swiss corporation which invests in the field of biotechnology since 2003. Previously, Dr. Meanwell was Senior Vice President of Roche Life Sciences, Palo Alto and before then held a series of leadership positions in product development, regulatory affairs and marketing at Roche, mostly based in Switzerland. Earlier in his career he was a member of the Amgen-Roche team that developed and launched Neupogen®. Before joining the biopharmaceutical industry, Dr. Meanwell trained in medicine and then undertook a research fellowship in medical oncology at the University of Birmingham, and the Queen Elizabeth Medical Center, in the United Kingdom.
Andrew L. Pecora, M.D., FACP, CPE
Hackensack Meridian Health, President, Physician Enterprise and Chief Innovations Officer
Dr. Pecora is recognized internationally as one of the world’s foremost experts in blood and marrow stem cell transplantation, cellular medicine and immunology research. A certified hematologist and oncologist, he has transformed the cancer program at Hackensack University Medical Center into one of the nation’s top cancer centers. Dr. Pecora founded and serves as Executive Chairman of COTA, a healthcare software analytics company focused on enabling value based care delivery. Additionally, Dr. Pecora was founder and instrumental in the continued expansion of Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA), one of the largest oncology physician networks in the country. He also co-founded PCT Caladrius, a company focused on development, manufacturing and delivery of cell-based therapies that sold to Hitachi. Dr. Pecora is a Professor of Medicine and Oncology at Georgetown University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He has led award-winning research funded by the National Cancer Institute and the AHEPA Research Foundation.
Matthew Roden, Ph.D.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Vice President and Head of Strategic Corporate Development
Dr. Roden is Vice President and Head of Strategic Corporate Development at Bristol-Myers Squibb. In this role, Dr. Roden works in close collaboration with leaders across the organization to recommend creative options and proactive strategies to expand the R&D and product portfolio. Dr. Roden also oversees the Mergers & Acquisition (M&A) team responsible for acquisitions, structured transactions and divestitures. Prior to joining BMS, he was a Senior Equity Analyst and Head of the Biotechnology Equity Research Team at UBS, leading coverage of large, mid- and small-cap biotechnology stocks. In this role, Dr. Roden strove to be a Street leader in clinical trial analysis, commercial ramp projections and the regulatory and payer landscape. Earlier, Dr. Roden was a Vice President and Senior Biotech Analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan, the latter of which helped drive the Institutional Investor #2-ranked large cap biotech franchise. His equity research career started in 2005 at Credit Suisse First Boston as an Associate Analyst covering biotechnology. Dr. Roden holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and prior was a pre-IRTA Fellow in immuno-oncology at the National Cancer Institute. He also holds a M.S. degree from Georgetown University and a B.S. degree from George Mason University.
Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc., President & Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Rombotis joined Cyclacel as its first CEO in 1997 and has 30 years of experience with biopharmaceutical companies. He was previously Vice President, International Operations and Business Development; Managing Director, Europe; and Representative Director, Japanese joint venture, at The Liposome Company, subsequently acquired by Elan. He held various executive roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, most recently as Vice President, Pharmaceuticals Central and Eastern Europe. He was Head of European Marketing and Sales, Head of Corporate Development and one of the first employees of Centocor, subsequently acquired by Johnson & Johnson, and worked in Business Development at Novartis AG.
He holds a BA from Williams College and an MBA and Master’s degree in Hospital Management with honors, from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where he serves on the Kellogg Biotech Advisory Board. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of BioNJ.
Alan L. Rubino
Emisphere Technologies, Inc., President & Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Rubino joined Emisphere in 2012 as President and Chief Executive Officer. Upon joining, he was also appointed as Class II Director of the Company. Mr. Rubino’s career spans over 30 years at every level of the biopharmaceutical industry.
Previously, he was President and CEO of New American Therapeutics Inc., a private specialty pharmaceutical company that acquired, marketed and developed therapeutic products. New American Therapeutics Inc. achieved major success through the acquisition, marketing and eventual sale of its herpes drug, Denavir® where the team tripled sales in 18 months. Denavir® was then sold to Renaissance Pharmaceuticals, for a multiple of three times sales. Prior to New American Therapeutics Inc., Mr. Rubino served as CEO and President of Akrimax Pharmaceuticals, where he and his team acquired Tirosint® and NitroMist®, two key NDA approved launch products. Rounding out his background, he had also been President and COO of another publicly-held entity, Pharmos Corporation, where he led the transformation of the company through the acquisition of Vela Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Rubino also spent four years in senior leadership positions on the strategic services side of the healthcare sector with two other public companies, Cardinal Health and PDI Inc.
A major portion of Mr. Rubino’s career includes his twenty-four years spent at Hoffmann-La Roche, now Genentech (a subsidiary of Roche) which remains one of the world’s top 10 biopharmaceutical companies. At Roche, he was a corporate officer and member of the U.S. Executive Committee. He held a variety of key senior executive positions that encompassed business operations, business strategy, human resources, marketing, sales, corporate development and strategic planning.
Mr. Rubino currently serves on the Corporate Boards of Vericel Inc., Genisphere, Inc. and Sanuwave Health, Inc. For the past 17 years, he has served on the Board of Rutgers University School of Business and the Lerner Center for Pharmaceutical Studies. Mr. Rubino holds a B.A. in economics from Rutgers University along with a full minor in biology and chemistry. He also attended multiple executive education courses at Harvard Business School and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. He is also a on the Boards of BioNJ and HINJ.
Christopher J. Schaber, Ph.D.
Soligenix, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Schaber has over 27 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Dr. Schaber has been Soligenix’s President and Chief Executive Officer and a director since August 2006. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Soligenix, he also serves on the boards of the Alliance for BioSecurity and f BioNJ. He is a member of the corporate councils for both the National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD) and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT).
Prior to joining the company, Dr. Schaber served from 1998 to 2006 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Discovery Laboratories, Inc., where he was responsible for overall pipeline development and key areas of commercial operations, including regulatory affairs, quality control and assurance, manufacturing and distribution, preclinical and clinical research, and medical affairs, as well as coordination of commercial launch preparation activities. From 1996 to 1998, he was a co-founder of Acute Therapeutics, Inc., and served as its Vice President of Regulatory Compliance and Drug Development. From 1994 to 1996, he was employed by Ohmeda PPD, Inc., as Worldwide Director of Regulatory Affairs and Operations. From 1989 to 1994, Dr. Schaber held a variety of regulatory, development and operations positions with The Liposome Company, Inc., and Elkins-Sinn Inc., a division of Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories.
Dr. Schaber received his BA from Western Maryland College, his MS in Pharmaceutics from Temple University School of Pharmacy and his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Union Graduate School. During his career, Dr. Schaber has played a significant role in raising in excess of $200 million through both public offerings and private placements.
Marco Taglietti, M.D.
SCYNEXIS, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Taglietti joined Scynexis’ Board of Directors in 2014 as an independent Director becoming Scynexis’ CEO and President in April 2015. He served as Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer of Forest Laboratories, Inc. and also as President of the Forest Research Institute until its purchase by Actavis in 2014. During his career at Forest, Stiefel and Schering-Plough, Dr. Taglietti has brought to market more than 35 different products in the U.S. and internationally through a variety of regulatory strategies including NDA 505(b)1 and 505(b)2, 510k medical device, ANDA for generics and EMA MAA in many different therapeutic areas, including anti-infectives, oncology, psychiatry, neurology, cardiovascular, respiratory, dermatology, metabolism and internal medicine.
Monika A. Vnuk, M.D.
Pfizer Vaccines, Pfizer, Inc., Business Development Group Lead
Dr. Monika A. Vnuk leads business development activities for Pfizer Vaccines. Since joining Pfizer in 2008, Dr. Vnuk has been responsible for leading the evaluation, execution and negotiations of many business transactions, including licensing deals, collaborations, joint-ventures and mergers and acquisitions. Before joining Pfizer, Dr. Vnuk was a Vice President at Banc of America securities. During her time with Banc of America, Dr. Vnuk worked with life sciences companies helping clients complete initial public offerings, private placements and strategic transactions. Prior to her position at Banc of America, she was a Principal at Oxford Bioscience Partners, a venture capital firm focused on early stage biotechnology investments. During her five years with Oxford, Dr. Vnuk worked with the investment team in forming several biotechnology and medical device start-ups and helping portfolio companies complete private financing transactions. Prior to that job, Dr. Vnuk was a Fellow at the Health Care Entrepreneurship Program at Boston University.
Dr. Vnuk is a 2000 Inductee to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. Dr. Vnuk holds a B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy from Boston University and an M.D. from Boston University School of Medicine.
Ji Zhang, Ph.D.
Sanofi, Senior Vice President, Head of R&D Operations
As head of R&D Operations, Dr. Zhang’s teams integrate interdisciplinary scientific and clinical operations across the scientific platforms in preclinical, CMC development and clinical development areas, to provide expertise and high caliber support to R&D projects, delivering new medicines with high quality, reduced cycle time and well controlled cost. He has overall responsibility for operational strategy, infrastructure and capital investment, and productivity improvements in R&D operations. Prior to joining Sanofi in 2003, Dr. Zhang worked at Merck Research Laboratories. Dr. Zhang has been extensively published in clinical development research areas. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in mathematics, probability and statistics from Peking University, China and earned a Ph.D. in statistics from North Carolina State University.