The Company’s management team has worked together since 1993 and includes experienced scientists from both academic and pharmaceutical settings. Dr. John DeBernardis, President, CEO and Director, was with Abbott Laboratories for 16 years and Dr. Peter Davies, the Company’s founding scientist is world renowned as an Alzheimer’s disease researcher. Bruce N. Barron, Chairman, has been a senior executive of a number of biotechnology companies and has considerable experience in the management of development stage biotechnology companies.
The Directors, executive officers, and certain key scientists and advisors of the Company are as follows:
John F. DeBernardis, Ph.D., has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company since August 1999. He joined the Company in August 1993, as Director of Chemistry and Pharmacology, was promoted to Vice President of Discovery, and Senior Vice President, Research and Development. He was Secretary of the Company from April 1995 to August 1999, and was appointed a director of the Company in November 1995. Prior to joining the Company, Dr. DeBernardis spent sixteen years at Abbott Laboratories, where he began his career as a research chemist and progressively earned several promotions, ending with his position as the Area Head of Cardiovascular Research within the Pharmaceutical Products Division supervising an 85 person staff. During his tenure, a number of IND candidates were identified. Dr. DeBernardis received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1974 and worked two years as an NIH postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry at MIT. He is co-author on 70 scientific publications and holds 35 U.S. patents.
Bruce N. Barron, has been Chairman of the Board since August 1999. Previously, he had been President of the Company from April 1995 to August 1999 and CEO from April 1995 to September 2004. He had also been Chief Financial Officer of the Company from September 1993 on a part-time basis and on a full-time basis from April 1994 to April 1995. He has been a director of the Company since June 1994. Mr. Barron is currently a principal in Origin Ventures, a private equity fund. From 1989 until June 1994, Mr. Barron was a director and Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Xtramedics, Inc. and from 1988 to 1989, a Vice President of Finance, in all instances on a part-time basis. Xtramedics was merged into Athena Medical Corp. in June 1994. From 1985 to August 1993, Mr. Barron was a director and Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Gynex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in addition to serving in various other capacities, including Vice Chairman from 1988 to 1989, in all instances on a part-time basis. Gynex was acquired by BioTechnology General Corp. (now Savient Pharmaceuticals) in August 1993. From 1985 to 1992, Mr. Barron also served as a director and part-time executive officer of Pharmatec, Inc. (now Pharmos Corp.) in various capacities including President, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Vice President. Mr. Barron was a member of the Board of Directors of Trimedyne, Inc., a publicly traded manufacturer of lasers for use in various medical applications from 1985 until February 2001.
Daniel J. Kerkman, Ph.D., joined the Company in August 1993 as Group Leader of Chemistry and now serves in his role of Vice President, Research and Development. Prior to joining the Company, Dr. Kerkman spent thirteen years at Abbott Laboratories where he began his career as a research chemist initially in the cardiovascular area followed by several positions within both the immunoscience and neuroscience areas. A series of promotions ended with his position as the Project Leader in Adrenergic research within the Pharmaceutical Products Division supervising a 35 person staff. During his tenure, a number of IND candidates were identified. Dr. Kerkman received his Ph.D. degree from MIT in 1979 and worked one year as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry at MIT. He is co-author on more than 40 scientific publications and holds 16 U.S. patents.
Michael Sorell, MD, was appointed a director of the Company in June 2004. Since 2004, Dr. Sorell has been the CEO of Neurologix, Inc. Prior to that, he was the Managing Member of MS Capital since 1996. Previous positions have included Associate of Clinical Research at Schering-Plough Corporation from 1983 to 1985; a Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals Analyst at Morgan Stanley from 1986 to 1992 an Emerging Growth Strategist at Morgan Stanley from 1994 to 1996; and a Portfolio Manager and Managing Member of MSX Life Sciences from 1992 to 1994. Dr. Sorell also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SCOLR, a publicly traded drug delivery company.
Jay B. Langner, was appointed a director of the Company in July 2005. Mr. Langner has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Montefiore Medical Center for the past 21 years, and began his career in 1954, serving as president of Langner Leasing Corporation. For more than 40 years, Mr. Langner served as Chairman and CEO of the Hudson General Corporation, which was sold to Luftansa Airlines in 1999. He has a long and distinguished career in business, finance and public service.
Robert S. Vaters, was appointed a director of the Company in October 2005. Mr. Vaters is the Executive VP, Strategy and Corporate Development of Inamed Corporation, and has a broad range of senior executive accomplishments with top-flight companies in industries that range from health care to internet infrastructure to advertising to telecommunications.
Peter Davies, Ph.D., is the founding scientist of the Company's core Alzheimer’s technology. From 1986 to the present, Dr. Davies has been a Professor of Pathology and Neuroscience at Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he focuses on Alzheimer's disease. He has pioneered discoveries of biochemical abnormalities in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease and has been involved in Alzheimer's research since 1974.
David Ellison, CPA, has been Chief Financial Officer of the Company since May 1996 and Corporate Secretary since August 1999. Previously, he had been Chief Financial Officer of a long-term care facility specializing in Alzheimer’s care and prior to that he was a senior manager in a Chicago-area public accounting firm.