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: Christopher J. Schaber, Ph.D.
Soligenix, Inc., President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Schaber has over 29 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Dr. Schaber has been Soligenix’s President and Chief Executive Officer since 2006. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Soligenix, he has also served on the board of directors for the Alliance for Biosecurity and for the Biotechnology Council of NJ (BioNJ). He has been a member of the corporate councils for both the National Organization for Rare Disorders (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 PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Union Graduate School. During his career, Dr. Schaber has played a significant role in raising in excess of $300 million through both public offerings and private placements, as well as over $75 million through the achievement of government grant and contract awards.
Immediate Past Chair: James Sapirstein, R.Ph., MBA
RespireRx, Executive Vice Chairman
James Sapirstein has served over thirty-five years in the pharmaceutical industry. He has been part of almost two dozen drug product launches and specifically either led or has been a key member of several HIV product launches into different new classes of therapeutics at the time. He began his career in 1984 with Eli Lilly in Sales, moving to Hoffmann-LaRoche in 1987, where he served for almost a decade as part of its commercial teams in the US and abroad, rising to become a Product Director. He joined Bristol Myers Squibb as the Director of International Marketing in the Infectious Diseases group in 1996. While at BMS, he worked on several important HIV/AIDS projects including Secure the Future. Mr. Sapirstein started his career in smaller biotech companies when he later joined Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) in order to lead the Global Marketing team in its launch of Viread (tenofovir). In 2002, he accepted the position of Executive Vice President, Metabolic and Endocrinology, for Serono Laboratories. Later, in 2006, he became the founding CEO of Tobira Therapeutics, then a private company. In 2012, Mr. Sapirstein became the CEO of Alliqua Biomedical at Alliqua, Inc. Thereafter, he served as CEO of Contravir Pharmaceuticals from March 2014 until October 2018. All of these are publicly listed companies. Mr. Sapirstein has raised over $120 Million dollars in venture capital and public capital markets financing in his various engagements as CEO. He was named as a Finalist for Ernst&Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2015 as well as in 2016. Mr. Sapirstein holds board positions on Enochian Biosciences (ENOB), RespireRx Pharmaceuticals (RSPI), Nanoviricides (NNVC) and Leading Biosciences. He is the Chairman of the Board for BioNJ, an association of biopharma industries in New Jersey. In addition, he is a Board Director for BIO, the leading Biopharma Industries Organization promoting public policy and networking in the healthcare space, where he sits on both the Health Section and Emerging Companies Section Governing Boards. He also holds the Executive Chairman position for Marizyme Biotech Inc. and Vice Chairman position or RespireRx. Mr. Sapirstein received an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1997, and a BS (Pharmacy) from Rutgers University in 1984.
President and CEO: Debbie Hart, MS, CAE, APR
BioNJ, President and CEO
Debbie 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.
Debbie was recently named by Governor Murphy to the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology; as co-chair of the New Jersey Higher Education Strategic Plan Research, Innovation and Talent Working Group; and the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Business Partnership. Debbie served as chair of the bipartisan, bicameral New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force which was charged with making recommendations to the Legislature for fostering the growth of the biotechnology industry in New Jersey. The report was issued in June 2018. Debbie is a founding board member and officer of OpportunityNJ, a non-profit organization working toward a strong and sustainable State economy; and serves on the boards of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and Choose New Jersey.
Debbie serves on the New Jersey Presidents Council’s branding and marketing task force for New Jersey institutions. Debbie was appointed to the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and Business Partnerships and to the NJ Council on Innovation. She was named to the Advisory Boards of the New Jersey Innovation Institute and the Institute for Life Sciences Entrepreneurship at Kean University. She served as a member of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (EDA) Technology Advisory Board and is a former member and Chair of EDA’s Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT). Additionally, she 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, Debbie 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.
Debbie 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, Debbie 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.
Debbie 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.
Debbie 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. In 2015, she was named as one of HudsonMod Magazine’s list of Women in Power and one of New Jersey’s Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs & Business Owners by Leading Women Entrepreneurs.
More recently, Debbie was named one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People in Biotechnology by Scientific American Worldview; to ROI-NJ’s 2019 Influencers Power List; to the 2019 NJBIZ Health Care Power 50, to PharmaVOICE‘s 2019 100 Most Inspiring People list; one of New Jersey’s top CEOs by COMMERCE Magazine and for the seventh time in 2019 to the NJBIZ Power 100, a listing of the 100 most influential people in New Jersey business.
Debbie 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
Prior to joining OncoSec Medical, 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.
Treasurer: Monika A. Vnuk, M.D.
Vice President, R&D Business Development, Pfizer, Inc.
Dr. Monika Vnuk is Vice President of R&D Business Development for Pfizer Inc. In this role, Dr. Vnuk leads an international team responsible for executing all pre-clinical business development transactions for Pfizer.
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, in support of Pfizer’s Innovative Medicines and Established Medicines businesses across developed and emerging markets.
Before joining Pfizer, Dr. Vnuk was a Vice President at Banc of America Securities. During her time with Banc of America, Dr. Vnuk helped life science companies complete initial public offerings, private placements and strategic transactions. Prior to her position at Banc of America, Dr. Vnuk was a Principal at Oxford Bioscience Partners, a venture capital firm focused on early stage biotechnology investments. During her five years with Oxford, she worked with the investment team in forming several biotechnology and medical device start-ups in addition to helping portfolio companies complete private financing transactions. Prior to her role with Oxford Bioscience, 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.
Secretary: Michele Korfin
Tyme Technologies, Inc., Chief Operating Officer
Michele Korfin is an accomplished Oncology Biotech Leader with expertise in Market Access, Government Affairs, Marketing, Sales, and Project Leadership.
Michele recently joined Tyme, Inc. as their Chief Commercial Officer. Tyme is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing novel cancer therapeutics, intended to be safe and effective across a broad range of tumor types.
Prior to joining Tyme, Michele served as the Vice President, Market Access for Kite, a Gilead company. Kite is focused on the development and commercialization of novel cancer immunotherapy products designed to harness the power of a patient’s own immune system to eradicate cancer cells.
Michele’s responsibilities at Kite included overseeing Government Affairs, Payer Relations, Reimbursement Support, Health Economics, and Kite KonnectTM. Kite KonnectTM initiates the Chain of Identity for Kite CAR-T therapy and also provides patient support. Michele worked closely with Regulatory Affairs, Supply Chain and Manufacturing to develop Kite KonnectTM. In her role at Kite, Michele worked closely with internal and external partners to establish the overall Market Access plan for Kite.
Prior to joining Kite, Michele 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, Michele 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.
Michele also worked at Schering-Plough in Commercial roles, at Bain Consulting in Boston, and at Merck in the Manufacturing Division.
Michele has a B.S. in Pharmacy from Rutgers University and an MBA from Harvard University. Michele is a licensed pharmacist in New Jersey. She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Andy, and their two children, Amanda and Jake.
Sol J. Barer, Ph.D.
Celgene Corporation, Former Chairman
Edge Therapeutics, Inc. and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Chairman of the Board
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, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and private company Centrexion, is Lead Director of ContraFect. 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.
Sanofi, Vice President, Head of North America Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility
As Head of North America Communications and CSR, Sanofi, Ms. Bechan is responsible for building and overseeing external and internal communication strategies and activities for the North America region, including messaging, media outreach, digital strategy, product communications and executive and internal communications. She also is responsible for the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, including corporate giving, volunteerism and social commitments.
Having worked in the communications field for more than 20 years, Ms. Bechan brings to the role extensive experience, both in the U.S. and internationally, to enhance the image and reputation of Sanofi in North America and drive communications excellence in our ever-changing healthcare environment. In addition to her North America responsibility, Ms. Bechan also serves on Sanofi’s Global Communications Leadership Team. Additionally, she sits on the Board of Directors for the Sanofi Foundation and serves as the executive sponsor of both the Women Inspiring Sanofi Excellence (WISE) employee resource group and the Sanofi Diversity & Inclusion Council.
Prior to joining Sanofi, Ms. Bechan worked at Takeda Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. for 13 years, where she was most recently Vice President of Corporate Communications responsible for all corporate communications for the company’s four international commercial regions and global manufacturing, including the United States, Emerging Markets, Europe and Canada and North Asia. Ms. Bechan demonstrated her leadership experience in a variety of cultural contexts most notably spending significant time working in Takeda’s Japanese headquarters in Tokyo and living and working in Switzerland. Prior to Takeda, she held positions of increasing responsibility at Edelman Public Relations Worldwide and Andersen Consulting (Accenture).
Ms. Bechan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. She also completed executive leadership studies at INSEAD and The London Business School.
Photocure Inc., President
Mr. Bellete is the President of Photocure Inc a position that he has held since January 2012. He has nearly 29 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical and medical device industry. Prior to joining Photocure he ran two startup companies from inception to commercialization. Mr. Bellete is a global biopharma, diagnostic and medical device senior executive who has worked in multiple therapeutic areas including running various business units at Pharmacia and Sanofi. Prior to joining Photocure, he was the President of Medical Compression Systems. He has been a Trustee of BioNJ since April 29, 2015.
Bradley L. Campbell
Amicus Therapeutics, Inc., President and Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Campbell is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Amicus Therapeutics and is also a member of the Board of Directors. He brings over 15 years of experience in the Orphan Drug industry. Mr. Campbell joined Amicus in 2006 and leads the global organization responsible for the commercialization of GalafoldTM for the treatment of Fabry Disease. He also oversees the Technical Operations, Market Access, and Program Management functions.
Prior to Amicus, Mr. Campbell spent time in various commercial and business development roles at Genzyme and Bristol-Myers Squibb and as a strategy consultant for Marakon Associates.
Mr. Campbell currently serves as a Director of Progenics Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: PGNX) and as a member of the BioNJ Board and of the Corporate Advisory Board for the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association. He received a B.A. in Public Policy from Duke University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
President, Janssen Oncology and a Member of the Janssen Americas Leadership Team
Tom is a results-focused leader with an ability to navigate through complex environments, develop talent and motivate diverse teams. He joined Janssen in September, 2017 after a successful career at Celgene where he led the U.S. Hematology/Oncology business. As Corporate Vice-President and General Manager, Tom’s leadership was instrumental to exceeding business objectives through innovative approaches, including an enhanced customer engagement initiative that better prepared the organization for future product launches and line extensions. Prior to this role, Tom was Vice President of U.S. Hematology Sales and Marketing, where he led the U.S. launch of REVLIMID® (lenalidomide) in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma and pre-launch activities for IDHIFA® (enasidenib).
Over the course of 14 years at Celgene, Tom held leadership positions of increasing responsibility in marketing, general management, medical affairs, and product development. He was responsible for the initial product launch of REVLIMID and life cycle strategy for REVLIMID and POMALYST® (pomalidomide). As Vice President and Global Head of Marketing for Hematology, Tom led the design and implementation of disease area strategies for new and in-line products, including portfolio prioritization and resource allocation. His extensive global experience includes two roles in Europe as General Manager of Celgene’s business in Spain and Head of EMEA Marketing in Switzerland.
Tom joined Celgene from Pharmacia, where he held roles in sales and product management. He began his career as a chemist and pharmacy technician. Tom holds a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from North Carolina State University. He lives with his wife and three children in New Jersey.
Paul G. Howes
Executive Vice President, Translatum Medicus, Inc.
Paul Howes currently serves as the Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Business Development and board member for Translatum Medicus Inc., a pre-clinical ophthalmic drug development company uniquely focused on macrophage modulation in blinding retinal diseases. Mr. Howes is the former Executive Chairman and President of ThromboGenics, Inc., the U.S. operating subsidiary of Belgian biotech company Oxurion, NV. 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 30 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 boards of Kish Bank of Belleville, PA, the national charity Prevent Blindness and the biotech industry trade organization BioNJ.
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.
Jade River Pharma, President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Maki previously served as CEO of Vicus Therapeutics, 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 30 years of industry experience and has been founding investor and/or board member of twelve 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 Vicus Therapeutics, and immune-oncology company, 3DMatrix, a medical device company and Jade River Pharma. 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 and the acquisition of Kolltan Pharmaceuticals in 2016. 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.
Celgene, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, US Inflammation and Immunology
Mr. Oakes joined Celgene in July, 2017 as Corporate Vice President & General Manager, US Inflammation & Immunology. He is responsible for commercializing Celgene’s I&I portfolio in the United States.
Previously, Mr. Oakes served as Vice President & Head Biopharmaceuticals, North America, Sandoz Inc., a Novartis Division. He led the Sandoz biopharmaceuticals business and was responsible for the development and commercialization of the portfolio, which includes biosimilars, in the US and Canada. Mr. Oakes has more than 20 years of pharmaceutical experience and serves as a member of the Sandoz US Executive Committee. He also served as Vice President and Head of Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporations (NPC) US Managed Markets, Market Access and Primary Care & Established Medicines Business Unit. In addition to having overall responsibility for marketing, sales and the Patient and Specialty Services group, he was able to affect change aligning and strengthening the company’s value proposition across the portfolio to leading customers, including Pharmacy Benefit Managers, Insurers, Medicare, Medicaid, Chain Pharmacies, Specialty Pharmacies, GPO’s, Wholesalers, and Systems of Care. Mr. Oakes served as a member of the US General Medicines Executive Committee.
Prior to joining Novartis in January, 2010, Mr. Oakes worked at Schering-Plough Pharmaceutical Corporation as General Manager, Czech Republic and Slovakia, where he led a high-performing team of more than 200 colleagues. He also held positions of increasing responsibility within sales and US managed markets, including Vice President, US Managed Markets responsible for the company’s Corporate Account, Specialty Market, Federal/Department of Defense, Customer Marketing, Hospital Account, Generic, Retail Trade and Distribution segments.
Greg has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing/Business Administration from Edinboro University, and a Master of Business Administration from Clemson University.
Stuart W. Peltz, Ph.D.
PTC Therapeutics, Inc., Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Peltz founded PTC Therapeutics in 1998 and has served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors since the company’s inception. Under his leadership, PTC has grown from a research organization to a publicly traded, global commercial organization with multiple approved products and a foundation of strong technology platforms that continues to drive a robust discovery pipeline for patients with rare disorders. 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 is a recognized scientific leader in RNA biology in the area of post-transcriptional control processes involving mRNA turnover and translation, with more than 30 years of research and over 100 publications in this area. Dr. Peltz has received a number of business and scientific awards. Notably, he was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science in 2010. He was recognized as PharmaVoice’s 100 Most Inspiring People in 2009 and received the Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision Innovation and Leadership in 2014. Dr. Peltz received a Ph.D. from the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin.
Matthew Roden, Ph.D.
Bristol-Myers Squibb, Head of Strategic Corporate Development and Global Business Development Assessment
Matthew Roden, Ph.D., is Head of Strategic Corporate Development and Global Business Development Assessment at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), where he oversees the global Mergers & Acquisition team accountable for acquisitions, structured transactions, strategic equity investing, and divestitures, as well as leading Business Development Search and Evaluation activities for all therapeutic categories. Prior to joining BMS, Matthew was Head of Biotechnology Equity Research at UBS Investment Bank. Earlier, he was a Senior Equity Analyst covering biotechnology at J.P. Morgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and was an Associate at Credit Suisse First Boston.
Matthew is on the Advisory Boards of Abingworth LLP (UK) and Life Science Partners (EU), both industry-leading venture capital funds; he is a Board Observer with IFM Tre, a biotechnology company; he serves on the BioNJ Board of Trustees; he participates in the NJ Governor’s Innovation Evergreen Fund Roundtable; and is an Advisory Committee Board member for various BIO conferences.
Matthew holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Earlier, he was awarded a pre-doctoral clinical research fellowship in immuno-oncology at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. 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.
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.
IQVIA, Vice President & General Manager, U.S. Healthcare Solutions and Integrated Engagement Services
In his role, Mr. Barton is responsible for leading IQVIA information, services and technology solutions for their payer, provider, medical device and government customers. He is also responsible for leading IQVIA’s Integrated Engagement Services solutions which encompasses contract sales, market access, medical affairs, call center services, clinical nurse educators and medical communications working with pharmaceutical and medical device customers. In addition, Mr. Barton is responsible for U.S. innovation initiatives and U.S marketing activities.
Mr. Barton joined IMS Health in November 2011 from SDI, a healthcare consulting firm specializing in providing advanced analytics to the life sciences industry where he was leading the patient analytics practice. Before that, he spent 18 years at GlaxoSmithkline (GSK) where he was Vice President of Data Management responsible for information management and commercial analytics supporting the North American Pharmaceutical Division. He also spent time in a variety of other roles at GSK including brand management, field sales and commercial operations. Mr. Barton holds a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Scranton.
Steven M. Cohen
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Partner
Chair of the firm’s emerging business and technology practice, Steven M. Cohen represents entrepreneurs, private equity investors, and venture capital funds. He advises clients in such industries as technology, life sciences, chemicals, consumer products, digital health, and fintech. Mr. Cohen counsels mid-Atlantic region investors and emerging growth companies in a variety of business transaction including equity financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), divestitures, initial public offerings (IPOs), joint ventures, and international strategic partnerships.
With a knack for creating connections between investors and entrepreneurs, Mr. Cohen helps develop and implement growth strategies, working with companies throughout their entire lifecycle. Widely recognized on the East Coast for his knowledge and skill, Mr. Cohen lectures frequently on emerging technology topics such as planning profitable exit strategies and obtaining angel and venture capital financing for early-stage companies. Mr. Cohen also is also managing partner of the firm’s Princeton office.
Rajeev Dadoo, Ph.D.
Dr. Dadoo joined SR One in 2003 and is an alum of the Kauffman Fellows Program. He has been involved with SR Ones investments in Cydex, Hypnion, iPierian, Inc., Predix Pharmaceuticals, Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Octoplus, Trigen, Nucleonics and Pinnacle Pharmaceuticals. In addition to his role at SR One, Dr. Dadoo spent time with the Competitive Excellence group within GSK working on company-wide strategic projects for GSKs Corporate Executive Team. Prior to SR One, he worked at Genentech, where his role included technology and clinical development, and at Bio-Rad Laboratories in a product development role. Dr. Dadoo also worked at Genome Therapeutics in the business development role. He was a co-founder of Unimicro Technologies, a company that was created to develop and commercialize instrumentation for biomedical analysis.
Dr. Dadoo received his BA degree in Chemistry and Mathematics from Knox College, his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and his PhD in Chemistry from Stanford University.
Andrew L. Pecora, M.D., FACP, CPE
Hackensack Meridian Health, Chief Innovations Officer and President of Physician Enterprise
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, Dr. Pecora has transformed the cancer program at Hackensack University Medical Center into one of the nation’s top cancer centers. At Hackensack Meridian Health, Dr. Pecora holds the titles of Chief Innovations Officer and President of Physician Enterprise. He founded and serves as Executive Chairman of COTA, a healthcare software analytics company focused on enabling value-based care delivery. Dr. Pecora is instrumental in the continued expansion of Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA), one of the largest oncology physician networks in the country. As Founder of RCCA, his goal is to create world class cancer care and access to research close to home for patients. Dr. Pecora also co-founded PCT Caladrius, L.L.C.; 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. Dr. Pecora received his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed his fellowship in hematology/oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Ernst & Young, Partner, Northeast Assurance Life Science Market Leader
Mr. Torrington is a partner in Ernst & Young’s assurance practice, with over 26 years of experience serving principally high growth life sciences clients at various stages of development. His technical background focuses principally on SEC accounting, auditing, and reporting matters. Mr. Torrington currently serves as the Assurance Market Leader for the NE Life Sciences Market Board (FY 2015-2018), and prior to that served as the SGM Leader for the NJ Market Board (FY 2014). He has extensive experience with life sciences companies and has successfully navigated through more than 25 initial public offerings, including the following most recently completed transactions: Myovant Ltd, Agile Therapeutics, Omthera Pharmaceuticals, PTC Therapeutics, Stemline Therapeutics, Ophthotech and ContraFect Corporation.
Mr. Torrington’s current public client responsibilities include Catalent, Aralez Pharmaceuticals, Axovant Ltd, Myovant Ltd and Insmed Pharmaceuticals. He has also served on numerous other public and private companies in the life sciences sector, including: The Medicines Company, Agile Therapeutics, Stemline Therapeutics, PTC Therapeutics and ContraFect Corporation, Covance, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Amicus Therapeutics, Medarex, Immunomedics, Delcath Systems, Genentech, Nektar Therapeutics, Barrier Therapeutics, Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Avigen Pharmaceuticals, Axys Pharmaceuticals, ESP Pharma, Esprit Pharma, Sangamo Biosciences, InterMune Pharmaceuticals, MIM Corporation, Titan Pharmaceuticals and many others.
Mr. Torrington is a certified public accountant in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania and is a member of the New Jersey State Society of Public Accountants, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He earned a BS in Accounting from Rider University.