Board of Directors
Fahar Merchant, PhD
PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Dr. Merchant is a biotech veteran with 30 years’ of experience as a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Medicenna. Previously he was President and CEO of Protox Therapeutics Inc. where he transitioned a pre-clinical start-up to a Phase 3 ready uro-oncology company in six years (2005-2011). In 1992, he co-founded IntelliGene Expressions, Inc., a biologics cGMP compliant CDMO, and built it to one of the fastest growing companies in Canada ensuring profitability during his tenure as CEO. In 2000, by strategic in-licensing, he co-founded Avicenna Medica, Inc., a clinical stage oncology company and sold it a year later to KS Biomedix (LSE) for $90 million. Fahar was CTO and Director of KS Biomedix until its acquisition by Xenova (NASDAQ and LSE) in 2003. He has raised over $150 million from public and private sources to fund development of targeted therapies for oncology and closed corporate transactions valued at over $250 million. Fahar holds a BSc in Biochemistry and Pharmacology from Aston University, MSc in Biotechnology from Birmingham University and a Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from Western University.
Albert G. Beraldo, CPA, CA
LEAD INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR
Mr. Beraldo, CPA, CA, has over 30 years’ experience in varying roles within the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry. Mr. Beraldo has been the President of Idoman Limited since July 2008, a company dedicated to improving the lives of women through the manufacture and distribution of innovative, minimally invasive medical solutions. Mr. Beraldo was the founder and President and Chief Executive Officer of Alveda Pharmaceuticals Inc., a leading supplier of pharmaceuticals to the Canadian health care market, from 2006 until November 2015. Alveda was acquired by Teligent, Inc. (formerly IGI Laboratories, Inc., NASDAQ), a New Jersey-based specialty generic pharmaceutical company. Mr. Beraldo formerly served as President and CEO of Bioniche Pharma Group Limited until 2006. Mr. Beraldo has sat on the board of Pure Global Cannabis Inc. (TSXV), Helix Biopharma Corp. (January 2016 to July 2017) and was an Independent Director of Telesta Therapeutics Inc. (July 2011 to February 2014). Mr. Beraldo worked in public accounting with Ernst and Whinney until he joined Vetrepharm Canada Inc. as Financial Controller in 1983. Mr. Beraldo obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Windsor and a Chartered Accountant designation from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Karen Dawes, MA, MBA
With 20+ years of commercial and executive management, Ms. Dawes has been a key player in the successful development, launch, and marketing of products in the Cardiovascular, CNS, Oncology, Metabolic, Infectious Disease, and Women’s and Men’s Health areas, including five blockbuster therapeutics. Karen’s industry experience began with 10 years of commercial and executive management at Pfizer, where she gained increasing responsibility in product management, development, and strategy leading to her position as Vice-President, Marketing, Pratt Division. Karen then moved to the biotech pioneer Genetics Institute (GI), where, as Chief Commercial Officer, she built the company’s initial commercial operations including strategic and operational marketing, sales, medical affairs, public relations, and market research. When GI was acquired by Wyeth, Karen was appointed by the new parent company as Senior Vice-President, Global Strategic Marketing. Subsequently, Karen moved to Bayer Corporation as Division Head for the company’s U.S. Pharmaceuticals Division. Ms. Dawes is currently President of Knowledgeable Decisions, a biopharmaceutical consulting firm focusing on corporate and commercial strategy. Ms. Dawes also serves as the chairperson of the board of directors of Repligen Corporation (NASDAQ: RGEN) and is a member of the board of directors of Medicines360. Karen has a combined B.A. and M.A. from Simmons College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Dr. John (Jack) Geltosky, Ph.D.
Dr. Geltosky is currently Managing Director of JEG and Associates, LLC, a business development consulting firm focused on biotech and pharmaceuticals, a position he has held since September 2011. Dr. Jack Geltosky is an experienced pharmaceutical licensing executive with a strong R&D background. He has extensive commercial development and deals portfolio from his role as Vice President External Science, Technology & Licensing at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) as well as Vice President, Scientific Licensing, Worldwide Business Development at SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline). Dr. Geltosky also held roles of increasing responsibility within Johnson & Johnson over a 10-year period. He began his career as a research scientist at E.I. DuPont. Dr. Geltosky is currently the Chairman of the Product Development Review Council for Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) and previously served as Senior Vice President of Business Development, Life Science at Arizona Technology Enterprises. Jack is currently Managing Director of JEG and Associates, LLC, a business development consulting firm focused on biotech and pharmaceuticals. He holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology.
Rosemina Merchant, MESc
Chief Development Officer
Ms. Merchant has over 30 years of experience in the development of biopharmaceuticals. Prior to co-founding Medicenna, Ms. Merchant was Senior VP of Development and Regulatory Affairs at Protox Therapeutics, Inc (TSX), and responsible for the development of PRX302 (Topsalysin) a PSA activated protoxin for localized prostate cancer and BPH. She transitioned PRX302, a discovery project to Phase 3 readiness in 6 years. During that time, she executed multiple clinical trials, managed Canadian and the United States regulatory filings and led all CMC related outsourcing activities in the United States and Europe. In 1992, Nina co-founded, IntelliGene Expressions, Inc., a biologics cGMP compliant CDMO, where she was VP of Manufacturing and Chief Operating Officer. Nina also held a variety of senior level positions at KS Biomedix, GE LifeSciences, Alberta Innovates, Bioniche, and Sanofi Pasteur. She holds a B.Sc in Pharmacology and Chemistry from Aston University, MSc in Applied Organic Chemistry from Birmingham University, and M.E.Sc. in Biochemical Engineering from Western University.
Chandra Panchal, PhD
Dr. Panchal is the Founder of Axcelon Biopolymers Corp., a biotechnology company where he is Chairman, CEO and CSO. From 1989 to 1999 he was Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Procyon Biopharma Inc., which he took public on the TSXV in 1998 and later on the TSX in 2000. Thereafter, Dr. Panchal was CSO at Procyon until its merger with Cellpep, Inc (2006). He was then Senior Executive VP of Business Development at the merged entity, Ambrilia Biopharma Inc. During his term at Procyon and Ambrilia, he led several licensing and M&A transactions with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies relating to cancer and HIV drugs developed by the company. Dr. Panchal sits on the boards of Canadian Oil Recovery & Remediation Enterprises (TSXV:CVR), Avicanna Inc.(as Chairman) (TSX:AVCN) and was until recently, a board member of MaRS Innovation, Pure Global (TSX.V:PURE), and Avivagen (TSXV:VIV). Dr. Panchal obtained a Ph.D. in biochemical engineering from Western University.
John H. Sampson, MD, PhD, MBA
Dr. John H. Sampson is the Robert H. and Gloria Wilkins Distinguished Professor of Neurosurgery at Duke University School of Medicine. He is also President of Private Diagnostic Clinic, Duke’s physician practice with revenue of over $1 billion and a member of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine. He has served on multiple Scientific and Governance Boards at publicly traded biotechnology companies and major non-profit health delivery organizations. Dr. Sampson is the National Institutes of Health’s top funded neurosurgeon, has helped develop various immune-based therapies, and has served as the lead investigator in dozens of early and late-stage clinical trials. He has published more than 270 peer-reviewed papers in journals such as Nature, Journal of the American Medical Association, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and has been an editorial board member for major journals in his field. As part of his research efforts, he is actively investigating new modalities of direct brain tumor infusion and the development of novel immunotherapies. Dr. Sampson has an MD from the University of Manitoba, a PhD from Duke University, and an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.