Directors and Advisors
Peter Parker, Former CEO of Cequent Pharmaceuticals, General Partner at Ampersand Ventures. Peter Parker was the founding CEO and President of Cequent Pharmaceuticals until its merger into Marina Biotechnology [NASDAQ: MRNA], valued at $46MM. In this function, he led Cequent from seed-stage to a clinical stage RNAi Therapeutic company with its first therapeutic candidate about to enter clinical trials. This drug for the indication of Familial Adenomatous Polyposis will be the first-ever oral RNAi therapeutic world-wide. Peter is a close advisor to the ViThera team on finance, business and licensing questions. For 18 years, Peter Parker was responsible for the Life Science portfolio at Ampersand Ventures, a Boston based Venture Capital Firm. He has served as a Director of numerous biotechnology and specialty chemical companies including ACLARA Biosciences, Tomah Products, VITEX, Magellan Biosciences, Dynex and Pentose Pharmaceuticals and as Chairman of Alexis, NOVEX, CoPharma, Huntington Laboratories, Protein Ingredient Technologies, Cyclis Pharmaceuticals, Nanodyne, Panacos Pharmaceuticals, AC Tech, Boston Heart Lab and TekCel. Prior to Ampersand, Peter spent fourteen years at AMAX, Inc. where he was President of Climax Performance Materials Corporation and Corporate Director of Research and Development. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Columbia University. (top)
Philippe Langella (PhD) (Co-Founder and Scientific Advisor)
Professor Langella is a Cofounder of ViThera and an active contributor to ViThera's science projects, particularly in the development of the ENLACT™ platform. He is a specialist in genetic engineering of lactic acid bacteria and Head of the Commensal and Probiotic Bacteria Unit at the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) near Paris, France. Professor Langella obtained his PhD from the University of Rennes, France in 1988 and has been working at INRA since 1983. He was named a Research Director in 2003. His research experience includes >15years research into lactic acid bacteria as carriers of beneficial properties for human health. He is a faculty member at INRA and has published over 70 peer reviewed publications in the area of lactic acid bacteria. Dr. Langella acts as a reviewer for Applied and Environmental Biology, Cancer Research, ONAS, Microbes and Infection, Vaccine. (top)
Pamela Fekete (JD, MD), Dr. Pamela Fekete is a Registered U.S. Patent Attorney and has over 14 years of combined research, legal and regulatory experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. She is a shareholder at Polsinelli Shughart, in IP litigation and Life Sciences practice areas. Formerly VP, Intellectual Property and Legal Affairs at Cequent Pharmaceuticals, Pamela currently serves as VP, Intellectual Property and Legal Affairs at GnuBIO, Inc., Advisor at Cambridge Biolabs and VP, Business Development at BioInnovation. Pamela's research career started at Neurogen Corporation followed by Bayer's Pharmaceutical Division where she focused on oncology, cardiovascular diseases, neurological and metabolic disorders. Her legal practice started at Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP, and focused on IP litigation and FDA counseling for pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients. Following FLH, Pamela was Intellectual Property Counsel for Rembrandt IP Management, where she worked on medical devices and telecommunications. Pamela received her BS in Biology from the University of New Haven, cum laude with honors, and her MS in Biology at Southern Connecticut State University. She received her JD in Intellectual Property and Communications Law from Yeshiva University, Cardozo School of Law. Pamela received her MD from the University of Medicine and Health Sciences, St. Kitts. She publishes on legal and public policy issues in pharma and biotech.
R. Balfour Sartor (MD), Dr. Sartor is the Director of the Multidisciplinary Center for IBD Research and Treatment at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he holds the Midgett Distinguished Professorship in Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology. He is a nationally and internationally recognized authority on mucosal immunology and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. His research has focused for over two decades on the role of the gastrointestinal flora in health and disease and his work has shaped the field's understanding of the interplay of the bacterial flora with the epithelial mucosa specifically in the context of IBD. He directs the National Gnotobiotic Rodent Resource Center of the NIH, providing research support for national and international researchers, and he is the Chief Medical Advisor to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). Dr. Sartor is the Head of ViThera's Scientific Advisory Board and he is a close advisor to the ViThera team in all questions relating to the treatment of IBD.
Dirk G. Brockstedt (PhD), SVP of Research and Development at Aduro BioTech. Dr. Brockstedt has more than 15 years experience in the fields of immunology and oncology originating with his PhD from Stanford University. At Cerus Corporation and Anza Therapeutics he developed attenuated and killed strains of Listeria monocytogenes as a therapeutic vaccine platform for the treatment of cancer and infectious disease. His experience covers the therapeutic use of genetically modified bacteria from bench to bedside, having led the development of bacterial therapeutics as Director of Immunology at Cerus Corporation through his current position. Prior to Cerus Corporation, Dr. Brockstedt spent 4 years at Aventis in the Immunotherapy and Anti-Angiogenesis group developing novel therapies against cancer. Dr. Brockstedt is the author of more than 20 peer-reviewed scientific articles and is a named inventor on 4 patents. His work is regularly published in high ranking journals including JCI, Infection and Immunity, Nature Medicine and PNAS. (top)
Chiang J Li (MD), Prior to founding Boston Biomedical, Inc., Dr. Li was the CSO & EVP of ArQule Inc. (Nasdaq: arql), where his management responsibility included drug discovery, preclinical development, clinical trials, Pharmaceutical development, and intellectual property. Dr. Li established ArQule’s R&D unit (ArQule Biomedical Institute), which led to the transformation of ArQule from a world leading chemistry service business to a R&D focused company. Dr. Li was one of the main architects of the ArQule-Roche oncology partnership ($276 million), managed the M&A between ArQule and Cyclis and has led or participated in financing efforts at private and public companies. Dr. Li was the scientific founder of Cyclis Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a faculty member and a physician at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Li has performed research for twenty years with over 50 publications, including a number of highly cited articles in top journals, and is an inventor of over 30 issued or filed patents, including ACTSM (Checkpoint pathway activation therapy), ARQ 501/ARQ 171 (E2F1 pathway activators), ARQ 197 (the first selective c-Met inhibitor in clinical trials), and tkRNAi (transkingdom RNA interference). He currently serves as the Chairman of ArQule’s Scientific Advisory Board, founder & a board director of Cequent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Li graduated from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology, received M.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School and completed clinical residency and fellowship at Brigham& Women’s hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical center. (top)
Catherine Grillot Courvalin (MD, PhD), Associate Professor at the Pasteur Institute, Unit of Antibacterial Agents, Paris, France. Dr. Grillot-Courvalin trained as a pediatrician with a specialty in immunology and was appointed Assistant Professor at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in 1980. She has pioneered the field of bacterial delivery and her group was the first to describe efficient delivery of plasmid DNA with engineered /E.coli/ into a variety of mammalian cells in a landmark article in Nature Biotechnology in 1998.
Numerous laboratories worldwide are using her technology to engineer E.coli as carriers for both DNA or protein therapeutics, and she is one of the most widely published and cited scientists in the area of bacteriofection. She is an editor of BioBugs, a publication focusing on the use of genetically modified bacteria for therapeutic purposes. Dr. Grillot-Courvalin’s laboratory is currently focusing on the improvement of bacterial delivery vectors for their use in gene therapy and vaccine development. (top)
Thomas E. Spike (PhD) is founder and CSO of Biota Biosciences, Inc. Dr. Spike is highly skilled at identifying cutting edge technology that can be applied to animal health. In capacities which have included Sr. Research Scientist and Global Senior Technical Advisor with Elanco Animal Health, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, Dr. Spike is noted for his extensive expertise in the animal health industry with global marketing strategies, product technical support and training, and clinical study design and execution. Dr. Spike received Elanco’s first R&D Innovation Award in 2006, is published in numerous animal science journals and has been an invited presenter at many international animal science symposia. Formerly the owner-manager of an award winning 400-cow dairy, Dr. Spike established one of the first computer based record keeping systems for dairy herd management. He was founder and President of MicroSpike AgriSoftware, a global provider of farm management software. Dr. Spike received his B.S. in Dairy Science and M.S. in Biochemistry from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry / Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. (top)