BioNJ Welcomes New and Returning Members to the Board of Trustees

TRENTON (January 28, 2010) – At its 17th Annual Meeting on January 28, BioNJ’s Board of Trustees announced the appointment of three new board members, and reappointment of five board members. The mission of the Board is to help foster a positive culture for biotechnology companies to prosper in New Jersey.

Elected to their first two-year terms were: Francois Nader, M.D., President and CEO, NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Spiro Pombotis, President and CEO, President, Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and James  Sapirstein, R.Ph., MBA, President and CEO, Tobira Therapeutics, Inc.

The returning board members include John Crowley, President and CEO, Amicus Therapeutics, Inc.; Christian Kopfli, Esq., CEO, Chromocell Corporation; Marvin Miller, Director, Unigene Laboratories, Inc.; Elizabeth Posillico, Ph.D., President and CEO, Elusys Therapeutics, Inc.; and Gary Reedy, Worldwide Vice President, Biopharmaceutical Public Policy & Services, Johnson & Johnson.


John F. Crowley
President and CEO, Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. 

John Crowley was appointed President and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics in January 2005, after having served as a Director since 2004. Previously he was founding President and CEO of Orexigen Therapeutics. Preceding Orexigen, Mr. Crowley was Senior Vice President at Genzyme Therapeutics, a position he assumed after overseeing the sale of Novazyme Pharmaceuticals to Genzyme in September 2001. As the founding president and CEO of Novazyme, he was working to develop a novel treatment for Pompe disease.

Before joining Novazyme, he served at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS) as Director of the Executive Committee for the U.S. Medicines Group, Director of Business Strategy for the U.S. Pharmaceuticals Group, and Director of U.S. Area Marketing for the Neuroscience and Infectious Disease Division. Prior to joining BMS, Mr. Crowley worked as a Business Strategy Consultant for Marakon Associates. His professional career began as a litigation associate in the Health Care Practice Group of the Indianapolis-based law firm of Bingham, Summers, Welsh & Spilman.

Among other responsibilities, John Crowley serves as President of the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association and enjoys involvement in charitable and community organizations. He is also on the Research Advisory Board of the national Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Board of Directors of St. Peter’s University Hospital. Mr. Crowley’s involvement with biotechnology stems from the 1998 diagnosis of two of his children with Pompe disease – a fatal neuromuscular disorder. Mr. Crowley and his family have been a subject of a Hollywood movie, “Extraordinary Measures.” They have also been featured on the cover of The Wall Street Journal and on The Today Show, CNBC and The Paula Zahn Show. In addition, he is a commissioned officer in the United States Navy Reserve (active). Mr. Crowley earned his B.S. degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, his J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Christian Kopfli, Esq.
CEO, Chromocell Corporation

Christian Kopfli, currently the CEO of Chromocell Corporation, served as an Associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell at their New York City, Tokyo and Frankfurt offices. At Davis Polk, he gained extensive experience in mergers & acquisitions, capital markets and private equity transactions. He received a Doctoral degree in Law (magna cum laude) from the University of Zurich in 2000 and his L.L.M. from Columbia Law School in New York City in 1998. Mr. Kopfli is a Board Member of BioNJ and admitted to the Bar in New York and Switzerland.

Marvin L. Miller
Director, Unigene Laboratories, Inc.

Marvin L. Miller has a broad background in senior management of health care enterprises, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, laboratory services and instruments. He is on the Board of Directors of Unigene Laboratories, Inc. Mr. Miller was President and CEO of Nextran, a division of Baxter Healthcare Corporation. He also served as Vice President of American Cyanamid which was acquired by Wyeth. At Johnson & Johnson, he was Vice President, Johnson & Johnson International and had P&L responsibility for nine international companies. His career began at Hoffman-LaRoche, where he was the original Product Manager for Valium. He then became a Corporate Vice President of Roche and took responsibility for three of its divisions.

Active in several associations, Mr. Miller is a founding Board Member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). He serves on the Boards of the National Center for Genome Resources and BioNJ.

Mr. Miller received a B.S. in Pharmacy from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and an M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin.

Elizabeth (Tibby) Posillico, Ph.D.
President and CEO, Elusys Therapeutics, Inc.

Dr. Elizabeth Posillico has 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and has held senior positions in general management, business development, marketing and operations. She joined Elusys in 2002 as Vice President of Business Development and subsequently was promoted to Sr. Vice President of Operations and then President and CEO in January, 2005. Prior to joining Elusys, she served as Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Physiome Sciences, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Apoptogen, Inc., a Canadian biotech company developing novel therapies for the treatment of apoptosis-related diseases. She was also a member of the Management Committee for Canadian Medical Discovery Fund, an early-stage venture capital fund. Dr. Posillico spent eight years at Genzyme Corporation in several positions including Director of Sales and Marketing for ImmunoBiological Products and ultimately as General Manager and Senior Vice President in the Diagnostics Division.

She currently serves on the New Jersey Governor’s Economic Growth Council and is a member of the Board of Directors of BioNJ, the Biotechnology Council of New Jersey, and the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey. Dr. Posillico earned a BA degree from the State University of New York at Potsdam and a Ph.D. from Duke University.

Gary M. Reedy
Worldwide Vice President, Biopharmaceutical Public Policy & Services, Johnson & Johnson

Gary Reedy serves as Worldwide Vice President, Biopharmaceutical Public Policy and Services with Johnson & Johnson, the world’s most comprehensive healthcare manufacturer. He is responsible for spearheading initiatives to influence global health policy for the company’s biopharmaceuticals business. Additionally, he has responsibility for the Johnson & Johnson Political Action Committee and grassroots initiatives.   

Mr. Reedy started as Group Director of Marketing for Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Johnson and Johnson in 1993. He also was a founding member of Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, where he served as Vice President of Marketing before joining Ortho Biotech as Vice President of Sales and Marketing in 1996. Mr. Reedy was appointed President of Ortho Biotech in May 2000, with commercial responsibility for both the United States and Canada. He assumed his current corporate responsibility in April 2003. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, he held positions of increasing responsibility at SmithKline Beecham and Centocor.

Mr. Reedy is currently serving as Chairman of the Development Committee to the American Cancer Society Foundation Board of Trustees, and as Foundation Trustee Liaison to the American Cancer Society National Board of Directors. He also sits on the Board of Directors of C-Change, is a charter member of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer and serves as Chairman of the CEO Cancer Gold StandardTM Task Force.

Francois Nader, M.D., MBA
President & CEO, NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dr. Francois Nader took the lead of NPS Pharmaceutical, Inc. as President and CEO in March 2008 after serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from 2006 March 2008. Before joining NPS, Dr. Nader was a venture partner at Care Capital, LLC from July 2005 to June 2006, during which time he served as Chief Medical Officer of its Clinical Development Capital unit. From 2000 to July 2005, Dr. Nader was with Aventis Pharmaceuticals where he served as Senior Vice President, Integrated Healthcare Markets and Senior Vice President, North America Medical and Regulatory Affairs. He was also Vice President, North America Medical and Regulatory Affairs and Vice President, US Medical Affairs and Global Health Economics at Hoechst Marion Roussel. Previously, he served as Head of Global Commercial Operations at the Pasteur Vaccines division of Rhone-Poulenc.

Dr. Nader received a French State Doctorate in Medicine from St. Joseph University (Lebanon) and a Physician Executive M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee.

Spiro Rombotis 
President & CEO, Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc

Spiro Rombotis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Berkeley Heights, NJ and Dundee, Scotland), joined the company in August 1997 as the founding CEO.  During this period the company raised approximately $300 million in capital and completed three acquisitions.  He was previously Vice President of International Operations and Business Development; Managing Director, Europe; and Director, Japanese Joint Venture, at The Liposome Company, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed biotechnology company subsequently acquired by Elan Corp. Mr. Rombotis also served as Vice President of Pharmaceuticals for Central and Eastern Europe and as Director of International Marketing at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. He was one of the first employees of Centocor, Inc., and served as Head of European Marketing and Sales and Head of Corporate Development. He began his career in pharmaceuticals in Switzerland at the business development group of Ciba-Geigy AG, subsequently Novartis AG. He previously worked at the Mergers & Acquisitions group of First Boston Corp. under Joe Perella and Bruce Wasserstein.

Mr. Rombotis has been widely recognized for his contributions to the advancement of the biosciences. In 2003 he was named a Technology Pioneer and addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos on new drugs for treating cancer. He addressed Romano Prodi, then President of the Commission of the European Union (EU), and six EU Commissioners on factors affecting the growth of the bioscience industry. He was appointed by the European Commission as an independent expert for the evaluation of co-operative research grants. 

He testified at a hearing of the U.K. House of Commons Select Committee on Cancer. He was named by the U.K. Prime Minister’s Office and the U.K. Minister for Health member of an advisory group to evaluate the strategic competitiveness of the U.K. bioscience industry. In 2001 he was voted as having made the “Most Significant Contribution to Biotech by an Individual” by his peers and Scotland’s leading financial daily. He accompanied the U.K. Secretary of State for Trade & Industry in a mission to Silicon Valley and was appointed by the Scottish First Minister to his Knowledge Economy Task Force. He served as a business adviser to a bioscience venture fund controlled by the Government of Singapore. Mr. Rombotis speaks seven languages and enjoys sailing and classical music. 

James Sapirstein
President and CEO, Tobira Therapeutics, Inc.

ames Sapirstein is CEO and President of Tobira Therapeutics, a Princeton – based biopharmaceutical company developing novel compounds for HIV/AIDS and inflammatory diseases. Prior to Tobira, his most recent role was as the Executive Vice President of the Metabolic and Endocrinology Business Unit at Serono, Inc., where he worked with biological products. He joined Serono in 2002 with the responsibility for turning around a failing HIV/AIDS franchise while growing a struggling pediatric growth hormone business. In his role as Business Unit Head, James built and led a team of over 100 people that commercialized Serostim®, Saizen® and Zorbtive® in the United States. Prior to joining Serono, Mr. Sapirstein worked at Gilead Sciences where he was responsible for the global launch of Gilead’s flagship product, Viread®.

Previously, he served at Bristol-Myers Squibb as the head of International HIV business and also worked on the company’s Infectious Disease marketing teams. There, he not only led the development and commercialization of some of the most-successful drugs, but also helped in the launch of SENTRY (Bristol-Myers Squibb’s worldwide Surveillance program for Infectious Diseases with Ron Jones of the University of Iowa). Mr. Saperstein was also instrumental in initiating Bristol-Myers Squibb’s 100 million dollar “Secure the Future” program which provided funding for clinical trials and educational development throughout Southern Africa. Prior to Bristol-Myers Squibb, he spent almost ten years with Hoffmann- LaRoche in a variety of capacities ranging from marketing and sales positions to international posts. Mr. Sapirstein started his career at Eli Lilly in sales right after attaining his pharmacy degree. In addition to his pharmacy degree from Rutgers University and Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, he holds an M.B.A. from Farleigh Dickinson University.


Bill O’Donnell
Director of Public Affairs
O) 609-890-3185 
C) 609-802-3091