Fahar Merchant, PhD
Dr. Merchant is a 25-year biotech veteran, a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Medicenna. Previously he was President and CEO of Protox Therapeutics (TSX.V and TSX; now Sophiris Bio, Nasdaq) where he established a late clinical stage urology company. At Protox he raised more than $70M through multiple PIPEs, including a $35M investment by Warburg Pincus. In 1992 he co-founded IntelliGene Expressions, Inc., a biologics CDMO, and built it to one of the fastest growing companies in Canada. In 2000, by strategic in-licensing, he co-founded Avicenna Medica, Inc., a clinical stage oncology company that was sold a year later to KS Biomedix (LSE) for $90M. Fahar was CTO and Director of KS Biomedix until its acquisition by Xenova (Nasdaq and LSE; now Celtic Pharma). Fahar has closed several transactions valued at more than $300M. He has a PhD in Biochemical Engineering from Western University.
Chandra Panchal, PhD
Dr. Chandra 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 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 multiple public company boards and was until recently, a board member of MaRS Innovation and Avivagen (TSXV:VIV). Dr. Panchal obtained a PhD in biochemical engineering from Western University.
Albert G. Beraldo CPA, CA
Mr. Albert G. Beraldo has more than 30 years’ experience in varying roles within the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry. He 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: TLGT), 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 served as an Independent Director of Helix Biopharma Corp. since January 28, 2016 and was an Independent Director of Telesta Therapeutics Inc. from November 2008 to November 2013. 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. Karen Dawes has been a key player in the successful development, launch and marketing of products including five that each exceeded annual sales of $1 billion dollars. Karen’s industry experience began at Pfizer in product management, development, and strategy leading to her position as Vice-President, Marketing, Pratt Division. Karen then moved to biotech pioneer Genetics Institute (GI), where, as Chief Commercial Officer, she built the company’s initial commercial operations. When GI was acquired by Wyeth (now Pfizer), 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 (NASDAQ: RGEN) and is a member of the board of directors of Assertio Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASRT) and Medicines360, a not-for-profit women’s health company. Karen has a combined B.A and M.A from Simmons College and a MBA from Harvard University.
Rosemina Merchant, MESc
Ms. Rosemina Merchant has 30 years of experience in the development of biopharmaceuticals. Most recently, Ms. Merchant was Senior VP of Development and Regulatory Affairs at Sophiris Bio (formerly, Protox Therapeutics) and responsible for development of PRX302 for prostate cancer and BPH. She transitioned PRX302, a discovery project to a late stage clinical program in less than 6 years. During that time, she executed multiple clinical trials, managed Canadian and US regulatory filings and led all CMC related outsourcing activities in the US and Europe. In 1992, Nina co-founded, IntelliGene Expressions, Inc., a biologics CDMO, where she was VP of Manufacturing and Chief Operating Officer. Nina also held a variety of senior level positions at KS Biomedix, Bioniche, GE LifeSciences, Sanof Pasteur and Alberta Innovates. Her education includes a MESc. in Biochemical Engineering from Western University.
Andrew Strong, JD
Mr. Andrew Strong has been a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman since 2015 and leads the Life Sciences Team (Houston, TX). Mr. Strong has represented numerous Fortune 500 clients as well as public universities, and state and local government entities in federal and state court litigation and regulatory proceedings.
From 2009 to 2011 Mr. Strong served as the General Counsel and Compliance Officer for the Texas A&M University System where he led efforts to secure a multi-billion-dollar federal contract to serve as a first line of defense for influenza pandemics and biological threats. As part of that effort, he led the formation of a state-owned biomanufacturing company (Kalon Biotherapeutics) and was subsequently appointed CEO of Kalon that would develop and manufacture biologics for clinical and commercial supply for pharmaceutical and biotech companies. In addition to raising capital, Mr. Strong oversaw the successful sale, in 2014, of Kalon to a subsidiary of FUJIFILM Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation. Mr. Strong has a J.D., Law from South Texas College of Law. Mr. Strong is a Director and Chair of the Compensation Committee for Ashford Hospitality Prime, which is listed on the NYSE.