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 the 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.
Elizabeth Williams, CPA, CA
Chief Financial Officer
Elizabeth Williams has more than 15 years of experience in biotech, working with publicly listed entities in both Canada and the United States. She has extensive financing experience, having played an integral role in raising more than $150 million in financing. Prior to joining Medicenna, Ms. Williams was the Vice President of Finance and Administration at Aptose Biosciences Inc. (previously Lorus Therapeutics Inc.), a biotechnology company listed on both the TSX and NASDAQ capital markets. While at Aptose, she held several positions, including Acting Chief Financial Officer during a lengthy transition period, and was responsible for a broad range of activities including financings, financial reporting, and regulatory compliance. She is a CPA and CA and received a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.
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.
Martin Bexon, MD
Head of Clinical Development
Dr. Martin Bexon, MD, has more than 15 years of experience in early and late stage clinical development including medical affairs in various therapeutic areas, particularly in oncology and hematology. He has recently worked as a strategic adviser, study medical expert, and medical monitor in a number of oncology programs (U.S. and E.U.), in both solid tumors and hematological malignancies. While at CSL Behring (Bern, Switzerland) he led multiple global clinical studies across a range of indications including orphan diseases. As Global Medical Director, Dr. Bexon also led their medical affairs function for immunoglobulin products, generating more than 50% of the company’s revenues. At Hoffman-La Roche (U.K. and Switzerland) he designed and implemented multiple global clinical trials enrolling more than 10,000 subjects to support product commercialization. He has also led teams to file numerous regulatory submissions on both sides of the Atlantic and Japan. Prior to joining pharma, he practiced in the clinic as a pediatrician. He obtained his MBBS (MD equivalent) from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.