BioPontis Alliance is led by industry veterans who are committed to advancing novel biological research by bringing their collective experience in technical, regulatory, commercial, and scientific development into early stage biomedical product creation; a commitment fueled by the clear understanding that medicine will not advance without a solution to the feasibility gap.
BioPharmaceutical executive with 30 yrs commercial international experience within early stage and Fortune 100 Pharma/Biotech including licensing, M&A, product development and launch in anti infective, cardiovascular, immunological, dermatologic and metabolic disease segments. Mr. Basile has participated in the launch of more than 15 pharmaceutical and biological products including two top 5 global products, ciprofloxacin and nifedipine, as well as leading biotechnology and protein therapeutic products including rfVIII and IV immune globulin. Appointed VP of corporate strategy, finance, and business development of a $1.2 billion international biologics business unit with responsibility for licensing, M&A, JV, financial planning and reporting, and R&D Alliances, Mr. Basile played a leadership role on the senior executive team in the consolidation of a new global business unit at Bayer AG. (Bayer Biologicals). Prior to that appointment, Mr. Basile served in several senior marketing , sales and strategic marketing capacities’ at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, and was President and General Manager of a Bayer subsidiary, Rhein Chemie Corporation. More recently, Mr. Basile was the founding CEO of Entegrion (formerly Hemocellular Therapeutics), an early stage biotech company founded on UNC-CH invention in homeostasis, Executive VP at MylanBertek, and was the global commercial head of Diosynth Biotechnology, part of Organon Biosciences where he also served on the executive management team of Organon (now Merck & Co) responsible for biotechnology business development, with focus on oncology and immunology. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Handelin is a veteran entrepreneur and molecular medical geneticist who has pioneered the responsible application of genetics to clinical medicine over a 20 year career. In 1987 Dr. Handelin established one of the first commercial DNA testing laboratories at Integrated Genetics (now Genzyme Genetics). After co-founding a gene therapy company in 1995 (Genovo), Dr. Handelin began her own consulting practice, Handelin Associates. She delivered consulting services to venture capital investors, start ups, biomedical universities, as well as established biotechnology, diagnostics, genomics, pharmacogenomics and bioinformatics companies. In late 2000, she founded a biosimulation company, Kenna Technologies, where she has served as CEO until its acquisition by DNA Print Genomics in October 2005. At DNAG she served as Director of Diagnostics and Computational Modeling leading the development of new pharmacogenetics diagnostic tests until 2008 when she returned to consulting. Dr. Handelin served 3 years on the board of RedPath Integrated Pathology, Inc. and on advisory boards of several genomics companies (eg. EXACT Sciences). She served 10 years as a board member of Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) as well as on a variety of federal committees and advisory panels on ethics in genetic testing, including the Secretary’s Advisory Panel on Genetics, Health and Society. email@example.com
Dr. Hohnke was a general partner with the early stage venture capital firm Tullis-Dickerson for 16 years with primary responsibility in sourcing deals and leading Fund investments in 19 life science portfolio companies. Dr. Hohnke 's portfolio investments led to positive returns for investors and resulted in sales of companies worth in excess of $800MM. Dr. Hohnke's professional career began at Pfizer Central Research where he served in successive positions and headed research and development of therapeutic agents for digestive diseases. He later joined the University of Connecticut Health Center as Vice President for Research and Director of Patents and Licensing. Dr. Hohnke subsequently founded and served as President of the University of Connecticut Research and Development Corporation where he co-founded several healthcare related University spin-off ventures including TargeTech, a highly successful gene therapy company. Concurrently, he led a state effort to establish Connecticut Seed Ventures, a $12 million venture capital fund comprised of state and corporate monies. Dr. Hohnke also served as a general partner for Heart Land Seed Capital Fund in Des Moines, Iowa from 1991-1993 where he managed all investment activities of the fund. In 1994, he led a leveraged buy-out team to purchase Diamond Animal Health, an agricultural biotechnology company from Bayer, Inc. where he served as Chairman & CEO until merging the company in 1996 with Heska Corporation, a publicly traded animal healthcare company. Dr. Hohnke has served on the board of many public and private life science/biotechnology companies and currently chairs the board of directors for Vaxin, Inc. Dr. Hohnke is a graduate of Western Michigan University (B.A.), the University of Oregon (M.A., Ph.D.), UCLA School of Medicine (Postdoctoral Fellow) and the Hartford Graduate Center (M.B.A.)
Dr. Higgins' pharmaceutical experience spans over 40 years in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies most recently as VP, Preclinical Development at Viamet Pharmaceuticals. Dr Higgins began his career with Pfizer Central Research (UK), where he played major roles in the discovery and early development of block buster drugs amlodipine (Norvasc™) and dofetilide (Tikosyn™). Dr. Higgins also brings broad platform experience in metabolomics, biomarker discovery and translational medicine (Cogenics, formerly Paradigm Genetics then Icoria, Inc.) and executive leadership in non-clinical biology technologies (Nobex Corporation). He served in senior management positions with Allelix Biopharmaceuticals, Oncogene Science and Hoffman-La Roche where he was Director of Cardiovascular and Neurobiology Research and Director of Metabolic Diseases. Dr. Higgins received his B.Sc. in biochemistry from University of Edinburgh, and his Ph.D. in pharmacology from the Council for National Academic Awards in the UK. He has served on the committee of the British Society for Cardiovascular Research and the Technical Advisory Board for the Metabolomics Society, and currently holds an appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina.
Mr Dubberly joins the team at BioPontis to lead our IP strategy and tactical operations from asset selection through management of patent portfolios. He is ideally suited for our enterprise in that he was first trained in biochemistry (Virginia Tech BS and University of California, Davis, MS) with research experience in both academia and industry. Becoming a patent agent in 1997, followed by his JD (Rutgers University Law) led Mr. Dubberly to a broad patenting career first at the law firm of McAulay Nissen Goldberg Kiel & Hand, LLP and counsel over a decade at biopharmaceutical companies including Hoffman LaRoche, Aventis and Organon. Mr Dubberly has since developed an independent contractor practice serving young innovative biopharmaceutical companies such as Aestus Therapeutics (NJ).
BioPontis Alliance will execute its strategy and corporate governance with the support of the BPA Corporate Advisory Board, and is establishing a group of leading clinical and scientific leaders comprising a Scientific Advisory Board. Today we are already honored to have the generous support and confidence of a stellar group of business and scientific advisors:
Katina Dorton, JD, MBA – Ms. Dorton has over 20 years of investment banking and Wall Street experience. As a Managing Director in Morgan Stanley's Corporate Finance Group, Ms. Dorton assisted biotech, pharmaceutical and other life sciences companies in capital raising and strategic mergers and acquisitions. At Morgan Stanley, Ms. Dorton led business groups in the US and in Germany. She also served in a senior executive role in Morgan Stanley's Asset Management Group, where she had responsibility for identifying and acquiring hedge funds and traditional asset managers to add to the portfolio of investment opportunities that Morgan Stanley offered its institutional investor clients. Subsequently, Ms. Dorton led the life sciences team at Needham & Co, a boutique investment bank. Prior to her investment banking career, Ms. Dorton practiced law with Sullivan & Cromwell in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and securities law. She holds a BA degree in Economics from Duke University, an MBA from George Washington University and a JD from the University of Virginia.
Elma Hawkins, Ph.D. – Dr. Hawkins's 25 year career encompasses the pioneering of biotechnology drug discovery to executive roles in corporate development and investment strategy. Currently, as President of Cerulean BioVentures, she provides counsel to financial investors (e.g. Atlas Ventures and Credit Suisse Proprietary Europe); while as President/CEO of Viridian Pharmaceuticals she recently led the development of three antitumor and infectious disease products, approved and marketed in the US and Europe. At Advanced Viral Research Corp., as President, CEO and Director she helped land the first IND for the systemic use of a novel immunomodulator, AVR118. As Vice Chairman at Antigenics Inc., she was lead in the Company’s IPO, two follow-on offerings and two private equity placements. At Genzyme Corporation, Dr. Hawkins was Director of Corporate Development, responsible for international licensing, merger and acquisition transactions for four divisions. Dr. Hawkins's career followed multiple academic degrees: BS in Mathematics and Chemistry, MS in mathematics and Organic Chemistry, a PhD in Organic Chemistry and an MBA with specialization in entrepreneurship.
Henri S. Lichenstein, Ph.D. - Dr. Lichenstein has over 20 years of drug development experience at Amgen, CuraGen Corporation and Topotarget. As a member of the Senior Management teams at CuraGen and Topotarget (VP, Product Development; Chief Development Officer, respectively), Dr. Lichenstein had strategic scientific decision and budget responsibilities that enabled value enhancement of company product candidates using disciplined portfolio management principles. Throughout his professional career, Dr. Lichenstein has led numerous successful development efforts resulting in the advancement of protein, monoclonal antibody and small molecule therapeutics from discovery through preclinical and beyond IND into clinical development. Dr. Lichenstein's product development efforts have originated from internal Research & Development (R&D) programs coupled with strategic outsourcing, as well as from collaborations established with both academic and corporate partners. In addition to leading internal R&D efforts across numerous disease indications, Dr. Lichenstein has led scientific due diligence teams and closed a number of product development deals (both in- and out-licensing) worth in excess of $600M. At Topotarget and CuraGen Corporation, Dr. Lichenstein led the global pre- and clinical development of the histone deacetylase inhibitor, belinostat in over 20 oncology clinical trials, including a registration study in peripheral T-cell lymphoma. Dr. Lichenstein’s responsibilities also included leading alliances with Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Topotarget, Abgenix and the National Cancer Institute. Dr Lichenstein earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is co-author and inventor on approximately 50 publications and 30 patents, respectively.
Joyce Lonergan, MBA – Ms. Lonergan brings over 25 years of experience in the investment, financing, development and management of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to BioPontis' mission. Transitioning early from bench technician into the business of biotechnology, Ms Lonergan spent six years on the biotech investment research team at Cowen & Co, widely viewed as among the top sell-side analyst teams; Lonergan rose from VP to Director at Cowen before becoming operating partner at Vector Fund Management, co-leading investments of $600MM in both private and PIPE equity investments. At Chiron, as VP for corporate development, Ms Lonergan co-founded Chiron Venture Capital fund and executed on four corporate M&A deals in the US and EU: Sagres, Powderject, Matrix, PathoGenesis and one partnership (XOMA). Most recently Ms Lonergan has served as Principal, then Managing Partner and President at SROne, responsible for placement of $25MM per year in investments across a portfolio of 30+ companies. Ms Lonergan took her BS in Biology at Emmanuel College and MBA from Simmons College School of Management.
Costas Loullis, Ph.D. – Dr. Loullis has served as a company officer and key member of a number of executive management teams in four biotechnology companies (Trega Biosciences, PharmaPrint, Ancile and Intrexon) where he headed R&D and was fully engaged in strategic planning, operations, fund raising and business development as well as budget generation and oversight. Prior to this, he served in various scientific and management roles of increasing responsibility in big Pharma R&D, within American Cyanamid and Rhone Poulenc Rorer. He has over twenty-five years of broad experience in all aspects of Research and Development in many therapeutic areas, and a keen sense for product positioning in the marketplace. He has focused his efforts on streamlining these processes using a combination of internal and external contract resources. He has successfully shepherded drug products from research into preclinical and clinical trials many times, while fostering translational medicine and project management principles. Dr. Loullis founded Anixis Biomedical Consulting, providing the pharmaceutical industry with strategic planning, drug and business development services. These include a wide range of Research, Preclinical and Clinical drug development services, formulating and assessing business plans, and assessing technology platforms, drug candidates and other assets, with respect to business and business development goals.
Wiebe Olijve, Ph.D. – Dr. Olijve is a veteran senior research executive having led Microbiology, Target Discovery, Biotechnology and Biochemistry departments for 20 years at Organon. He was a pioneer in the introduction of recombinant veterinary vaccines in 1981 and subsequently led the development of recombinant FSH (Puregon®, Follistim®) in 1996. Dr Olijve's leadership in founding Organon's Biologics Research Center in Cambridge and his VP role at SP BioPharma (DNAX) provide BioPontis Alliance highly current and deep knowledge in the challenges of biologics discovery to development advancement. Dr. Olijve received his PhD degree in Microbiology from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands (1978) and since 1990 has been Professor of Applied Biology at the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Dennis Schmatz, Ph.D. – Dr. Schmatz recently concluded a stellar 30-year career in basic research and executive management at Merck Research laboratories capped with his final position as Vice President and Site Head Merck-Banyu Tsukuba Research Institute where he also served on the Executive Committee. Dr. Schmatz brings his leadership experience in establishing fully integrated drug discovery organizations in oncology, metabolic disease and neurosciences including target discovery and validation, lead discovery/optimization, preclinical evaluation, and clinical biomarker development to the advisement of BioPontis. As VP in Basic Research in the US and Spain Dr. Schmatz led the discovery of CANCIDAS and brought a new strategies for identifying novel antibiotics which produced novel antimalarial and natural products antibiotics. Dr. Schmatz's research career is represented by 100+ peer review publications and 16 US patents. He took his BS in Preveterinary Medicine from Cook College and his MS and PhD in Cell Biology and Biochemistry from Rutgers University.
Robert J. Spiegel, M.D., FACP – Dr. Spiegel has been a distinguished clinical research executive in the pharmaceutical industry for over 26 years, most recently as Chief Medical Officer at Schering-Plough for 11 years. He brings to BioPontis' advisory team extensive drug development experience; e.g. developing alpha-interferon through Ph. 1-3 and achieving first FDA approval for a biologic protein; advancing anti-androgen flutamide to approval for prostate cancer, and developing temozomolide from Ph. 1 through approval for brain cancer. In addition, Dr. Spiegel has developed anti-inflammatory/immunology molecules, antibiotics, anti- fungals, and anti-virals through successful registrations worldwide, including anti-HIV indications. As VP and SVP of Worldwide Clinical Research, Dr. Spiegel built a high caliber leadership team for clinical development in all therapy areas and oversaw Ph. 1-3 development in allergy, respiratory, cardiovascular, immunology, dermatology, as well as oncology and infectious diseases. Dr Spiegel is an Associate Fellow in the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics. He serves as an Advisor to Warburg Pincus and serves on the Boards of Geron Corporation, Capstone Therapeutics, Clavis Pharma and Talon Therapeutics. Dr. Spiegel earned his B.A. from Yale University and M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Following his residency in internal medicine he completed a fellowship in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute, NIH. Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Spiegel served as director of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at New York University Cancer Center and as assistant professor at New York University Medical Center (Department of Medicine). He served as adjunct assistant professor at NYU until 2005. Dr. Spiegel has published over 70 scientific papers and serves on the Board of Directors of Cancer Care, Inc.
Warren Strittmatter, M.D. – Dr. Strittmatter is Professor and Chief of Neurology at Duke University Medical Center. He received his M.D. and Neurology Residency training at Duke, and then subsequently did post-doctoral research at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Strittmatter is recognized for his basic research in Alzheimer's and Huntington’s disease. He was elected to the Association of American Physicians, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and received the Alzheimer’s Association Zenith Award. He was recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as the “Top 20 Scientists” in Neuroscience and Behavior for the decade 1992-2002. Dr. Strittmatter has published over 100 papers in peer-reviewed academic journals and has been awarded 12 U.S. Patents. Dr Strittmatter took his AB at Dartmouth College and his MD at Duke University.
Phillip Smith, Ph.D. – Dr. Smith brings much valued strategic investment experience from his six-year tenure as Investor/General Partner at SR One Limited, the Corporate Venture Group for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) where he was principal partner and served as Director on the Boards of Avantium Technologies, CyDex Pharmaceuticals Onyvax, OctoPlus, Redpoint Bio and Trinity Biosystems. Also at GSK, Dr. Smith held senior Head and Director leadership positions over 18 years of R&D experience in Drug Delivery. He serves on editorial boards of numerous journals including American Journal of Physiology, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, Pharmaceutical Sciences, European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Dr. Smith received his Chemistry BA from the University of Maine and his PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from Northeastern University.
Samuel Wright, Ph.D. – Dr. Wright began his research career at Rockefeller University where his research team identified CD14 as the long–sought receptor for endotoxin; the subsequent paper, published in Science, has been cited over 2400 times. He transitioned to drug discovery and development at Merck as Executive Director, Lipid Biochemistry and then to Executive Director, Atherosclerosis and Endocrinology. Dr. Wright's contributions and leadership in drug research programs include the discovery of the mechanism of the key side effect of niacin, leading to the development of Tredaptive; the discovery of HSD inhibitors and the FLAP protein, potential breakthrough agents to reduce risk and treatment of coronary heart disease. Dr. Wright led the global team that launched and implemented Merck’s cardiovascular research strategy culminating in his advancement to Vice President and Worldwide Basic Research Head where he served until his retirement in 2008. Dr. Wright has held Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Rockefeller University since 1996, serves on editorial boards of the Journals of Laboratory & Clinical Medicine, Immunology and Experimental Medicine and is represented in the scientific literature by more than 150 peer reviewed papers. Dr. Wright took his BA in Biology (Phi Beta Kappa) from Carleton College and his MA and PhD from Harvard University.