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Management

Alistair Duncan, B.Sc., C.A.

Co-founder of the Company in 2008 Mr. Duncan serves as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Company.  From 2009 to present, Mr. Duncan was co-founder, Director, and has served as interim Chief Financial Officer for Agrisoma Biosciences Inc., a company building a high performance crop seeds business for the development of new genetically modified crops for renewable fuels. From 1998 to 2008, Mr. Duncan was President and CEO of Chromos Molecular Systems Inc., where he was also a co-founder and Director. Prior to that, he was a Principal with the Ernst & Young Corporate Finance and International Life Sciences Group where he provided high technology and life sciences companies with corporate advisory services in strategic planning, valuations, financing, divestitures, and mergers and acquisitions. Currently, Mr. Duncan also serves as a director on the board of Metro Vancouver Properties Corp.  Mr. Duncan is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia and holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of British Columbia.

David Granville, Ph.D., F.A.H.A.

Co-founder and scientific founder of the Company in 2008, Dr. Granville serves as the Company’s Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and is a Full Professor and Director of the GEM Facility at the Providence Heart + Lung Institute at St. Paul’s Hospital, University of British Columbia (UBC). Dr. Granville completed his Ph.D. at UBC and post-doctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA). He worked in preclinical pharmacology at QLT Inc. from 1994-2000. Dr. Granville was recruited to UBC in 2003 as a Tier II Canada Research Chair and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar. Since then, Dr. Granville has received numerous awards for his scholarly and research achievements including a Canada Top 40 Under 40™ award, 2010 Business in Vancouver Forty Under 40 award, 2006 UBC Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, 2007 Simon Fraser University Academic Alumnus Award, 2008 Canadian Academy of Pathology Scientist award and was a finalist for the prestigious 2007 Louis and Arnold Katz Basic Science Prize at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. Dr Granville is a Fellow of the American Heart Association (F.A.H.A.) and Scholar of the Royal Society of Canada.

 Jeff Charpentier, C.A.

Mr. Charpentier is a veteran of the biopharmaceutical industry with over 25 years of experience. Jeff has held a series of senior financial roles at several public and private companies in the pharmaceutical and technology sectors where he led multiple equity financings, raising in excess of $150M and concluded a number of corporate partnering/product sale transactions. Jeff previously served as CFO for Lifebank Corp. (through to successful company sale in 2012), Inex Pharmaceuticals Corporation (now Arbutus Biopharma Corp.), and Chromos Molecular Systems Inc. Jeff has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia and is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC.

 Beth Allison, Ph.D.

Dr. Allison serves as Director, Drug Development. Her experience spans 20 years in academia, contract research, and biotechnology. Most recently Dr. Allison served as a founder and VP, Scientific and Business Development, at IonsGate Preclinical Services Inc. and as Director, Biology at Cardiome Pharma Corporation. Here she contributed to the development of Vernakalant IV (BrinavessTM) for conversion of recent onset atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm. Dr.  Allison is a lead inventor of Visudyne®, the first drug developed for Age Related Macular Degeneration by QLT Inc. She was involved in the development of this drug at QLT Inc. for five years, from 1997-2002. Previously, Dr. Allison was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Vascular Surgery, at UBC. Dr. Allison holds a Ph. D. in Microbiology and Immunology from UBC and a BSc. in Biochemistry from McMaster University.

Vicki Morgan

As Vice President, Business Development, Ms. Morgan leads and facilitates viDA’s corporate partnering efforts. She identifies research collaborations and evaluates licensing opportunities for the development of viDA's technology. Most recently she has worked with several small start-up companies in the life sciences sector, functioning as the Business Development lead, to license key technologies and develop corporate strategy for company positioning and growth through New Perspectives, Inc. Prior to New Perspectives, Ms Morgan held a position with Nektar Therapeutics as Director of Business Development responsible for licensing activities of Nektar’s proprietary products in gastroenterology, pain and oncology therapeutics. Ms. Morgan is a member of the Licensing Executives Society and served on the Advisory Board of Envion International. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and an M.B.A. from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

 Dale Cameron, Ph.D., M.C.I.C

Dr. Cameron serves as Associate Director, Medicinal Chemistry, and nominal Head of Drug Discovery.  His professional experience over the past 18 years includes a variety of roles in Computational Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry and Intellectual Property (IP) at small and large pharmaceutical companies and as a private consultant.  From 2009 to 2012 he operated as a consultant to two companies in a variety of roles including computational chemistry, intellectual property, and business development support.  Prior to that he served in several roles at local biotech company, MIGENIX (Micrologix Biotech), most recently as Director, Research (Anti-Infectives) and Manager, Intellectual Property (in a concurrent role) and was responsible for Drug Discovery Research activities in antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal programs. He also managed the IP portfolio and other roles including evaluation of potential licensing opportunities.  Prior to this Dr. Cameron spent almost 6 years at Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd, in Laval, QC where he most recently served as the Head of Structural Research as a Sr. Research Scientist in Computational Chemistry.  In this he was awarded, as part of a team, the 2000 Boehringer Ingelheim R&D Award for his role in the identification of BILN2061, the first Hepatitis C Virus Protease inhibitor to proceed to human clinical trials. He is coauthor on over 30 scientific publications and is named as inventor on at least 12 patent families.  He has a Bachelor of Science (Hons., Subject of Specialization) in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Chemistry both from Queen’s University.

Board of Directors

Robert P. Ryan, Ph.D.

Currently serving as CEO of Innova Therapeutics, Dr. Ryan brings significant orphan and rare disease development experience to viDA.  Prior to that he co-Founded and served as President and CEO of Scioderm LLC, a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focused on the development of an innovative topical treatment for Epidermolysis Bullosa. Prior to Scioderm, LLC, Robert held senior regulatory positions at three leading CRO’s, PPD, INC Research, and Quintiles where he also served as the Chief Regulatory Officer for Quintile’s very successful PharmaBio division. Robert’s diverse pharmaceutical career covered senior preclinical, regulatory and clinical activities with Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), UCB, Atherogenics, and Pfizer. Robert is board certified in Toxicology and has a Ph.D. in Toxicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Masters in Genetics and Pharmacokinetics.

Julia Levy, Ph.D.

Dr. Levy served as Chair of the Board and Founder of QLT.  Dr. Levy served in several key senior posts at QLT including Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President as well as President and CEO from 1995 to February 2002. Following her doctorate degree in immunology from the University of London, Dr. Levy was awarded an Industrial Professorship in the Department of Microbiology from the University of British Columbia and is the recipient of several honorary degrees. A fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and former President of the Canadian Federation of Biological Sciences, Dr. Levy has earned numerous awards and honors including an appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001, the Female Entrepreneur of the Year for International Business in 1998, Pacific Canada Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000 and the Future of Vision Award from the Foundation Fighting Blindness in 2001. In 2002 she received the Friesen-Rygiel prize for medical research and the Prix Galien Canada research award. Along with Dr. Gustav Huber of Novartis, she was presented with the 2003 Helen Keller Prize for Innovation in Eye Care.

Marlene Haffner, Ph.D.

Founder of Haffner Associates, LLC in 2009, . Dr. Marlene Haffner was the Director of the Office of Orphan Products Development at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for 20+ years.  During her tenure in that program, it became THE orphan products program in the world. In addition to assisting in the development of more than 300 products in the US, she is credited with assisting in the development of programs in Japan, the European Union, Australia, and beyond.  Trained as an internist and hematologist, Dr. Haffner graduated from the George Washington University School of Medicine and did further training at the Columbia University School of Medicine and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City. She received her Masters of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Following her tenure at FDA and prior to forming Haffner Associates, Dr. Haffner served as Executive Director, Global Regulatory Intelligence and Policy for two years at Amgen, the largest biotech company in the world.

Don Campbell

Mr. Campbell is the senior strategy advisor at Davis LLP providing non-legal advisory services to the firm's clients in connection with their business strategies, with a particular emphasis on strategies dealing with governments and governmental agencies in Canada and internationally. Prior to joining Davis, Mr. Campbell was Executive Vice-President of CAE Inc. He joined CAE in September 2000 and served as Group President of the Military Simulation and Training Division until June, 2006. Prior to his time at CAE, Mr. Campbell had a distinguished career with Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. As Assistant Deputy Minister, Mr. Campbell was deeply involved in the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement and as Deputy Minister of International Trade he supervised the negotiation of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Mr. Campbell was formerly Deputy Foreign Minister (1997-2000), the Prime Minister's Personal Representative for G-8 Summits (1997-2000), Canada's Ambassador to Japan (1993-1997), Deputy Minister for International Trade (1989-1993), the Assistant Deputy Minister (United States) (1985-1989) and Canada's Ambassador to Korea (1984-1985). Mr. Campbell currently serves as a Director for Toyota Canada Inc., Canfor Pulp Holding Inc., Davie Yards Inc. and the Perimeter Institute.

Alistair Duncan, B.Sc., C.A.

See Management.

Dominque Bélanger, B.Eng., M.B.A.

Dominique Bélanger is Managing Partner, Fund Investments with BDC Capital.
Before joining BDC in 2010, Dominique was co-founder and President of Gamerizon Studio, Inc. He was previously Chief Financial Officer of the venture-backed Quazal Technologies, Inc. (acquired by Ubisoft). He also advised various technology companies and private investors on investments, financing, start-ups and restarts. Dominique began his professional career as a communications officer for the Canadian Armed Forces in 1994. He went on to carry out several IT strategy operationalization mandates across multiple industries for Deloitte Consulting in Houston, Texas. In 2003, he joined the VC firm Innovatech Montreal as Investment Manager, IT and Telecom. Following the privatization of Innovatech’s portfolio by the Quebec government, he joined the Multiple Capital team to manage the portfolio on behalf of Coller Capital. Dominique holds an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada as well as an MBA from the Université de Montréal business school, HEC Montréal, as well as a certificate in entrepreneurship from MIT.

Gosse Bruinsma, MD.

Dr. Gosse B. Bruinsma has over 25 years of experience in the medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields and has held numerous senior executive and Director positions in private and public companies in Europe and USA. Previously President of Axonyx Europe BV in the Netherlands, in February 2001 Dr. Bruinsma became a Director and COO of Axonyx Inc., based in NYC, President of Axonyx Inc. in Sept. 2003 and CEO in February 2005. In Oct 2006, Dr. Bruinsma successfully merged the company with a private USA based company. In January 2007, Dr. Bruinsma established Ciurem Pharma Inc. whose core focus is to maximize asset value and minimize the risk profile for investors in and shareholders of biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Bruinsma is currently acting-CEO of Vivendy Therapeutics Ltd., in Basel, Switzerland, CEO of IDEA AG in Munich, Germany as well as non-Executive Director of ProteoNic BV based in Leiden, Netherlands. Dr. Bruinsma received his undergraduate degree from McGill University, Montreal and his medical degree from the University of Leiden, The Netherlands.

 

Science Advisory Board

Michael Abrams, Ph.D.

Chair of the Science Advisory Board, Dr. Abrams has been active in the research, discovery and development of pharmaceuticals for over 20 years. In 1984, Dr. Abrams joined Johnson Matthey plc (together with its affiliates, “JM”) and in 1991, was promoted to Manager, Biomedical Research, worldwide for JM. In June 1996, Dr. Abrams AnorMED Inc. and served as President & CEO from 1996 to 2006.  He is an inventor on the patents that led to the development of the Bristol-Myers Squibb technetium-99m heart imaging agent, Cardiolite® and is a co-inventor on several products currently in clinical trials.  He is also a named inventor on an additional 15 patents and has authored over 60 scientific articles. Dr. Abrams is the Chief Executive Officer for Inimex Pharmaceuticals and serves on the Boards of Indel Therapeutics, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp. and the Centre for Drug Research and Development.  Dr. Abrams received a BA from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1978 and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983.

Ron Nardi, Ph.D.

Dr. Nardi currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer of Scioderm LLC, an Amicus Therapeutics company, focused on the development of an innovative topical treatment for Epidermolysis Bullosa.  Dr. Nardi brings more than 35 years of drug discovery, regulatory affairs and manufacturing as well as corporate management, including strategic direction assessments and integration of commercial research and development goals.  Dr. Nardi previous roles included executive vice president of regulatory affairs and quality assurance at International Partnership for Microbicides, chief scientific officer for Ferring Pharmaceuticals A/S and later for BioValve Technologies, Inc.  Dr. Nardi has been instrumental in obtaining regulatory approvals for a number of medical devices and novel therapeutics.Dr. Nardi received his Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from Rutgers University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Cancer Research at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Bruce McManus, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.S.C., F.C.A.H.S.

Dr. McManus serves as member of the Science Advisory Board, and is Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, at the University of British Columbia. He serves as Director of the UBC James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research and of the Providence Heart + Lung Institute at St. Paul’s Hospital. Since 2008, Dr. McManus also directs the Centre of Excellence for the Prevention of Organ Failure (PROOF), one of the federally-funded Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR). Dr. McManus served as the inaugural Scientific Director of the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, from December 2000 until April 2006. Dr. McManus received BA and MD degrees from the University of Saskatchewan, an MSc in Applied Physiology from Pennsylvania State University, and the PhD in Exercise Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Toledo. Dr. McManus is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the College of American Pathologists, the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Chest Physicians. He was co-recipient of the prestigious Max Planck Research Award with Dr. Reinhard Kandolf in 1991. He was elected to the Royal Society of Canada as a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences in 2002.  He received a UBC Killam Research Prize-Senior Scientist Category, and was elected as Fellow of the International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences in 2003. In 2005, he was elected as an inaugural Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and was honored with the Research Achievement Award of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.  In 2006 Dr. McManus received the BC Innovation Council’s Lieutenant Governor’s Technology Innovation Award. He has been honored with the 2007 UBC Distinguished Medical Lecturer Award and 2008 David F. Hardwick Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. McManus was awarded the 2009 CSATVB Scientific Excellence Award of the Canadian Society for Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, and recently, he was recognized as recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Achievement Award of the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology.

Robert Young, Ph.D.

Dr. Young is an outstanding scientist with 30 years of experience as a pharmaceutical chemist at Merck Frosst Canada. Most recently, he held the position of Vice President of Medicinal Chemistry (1994-2006). In addition, he acted as Head of Research at the Merck Research Laboratories Neuroscience Research Centre in Terling Park, UK for 2004-2005. Recognized world-wide for his significant work in the area of pharmaceutical research, his contributions to medicinal chemistry have been recognized with prestigious awards, including the UK and the Canadian Prix Galien (1998 and 2000, respectively) pharmaceutical industry awards and the Heroes of Chemistry award from the American Chemical Society (2003) for the discovery and development of Singulair, an efficacious, oral asthma therapeutic that is safe for use in children as young as 2 years old and that has sales of over $3 billion US per year.  Among numerous noteworthy professional honours and affiliations, Dr. Young is an appointed Member of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (2005), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2005-present), a Member of the Order of Canada (2004), and a recipient of the Ottawa Life Sciences Council National Merit Award (2002) for his "outstanding leadership and contribution to medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical research in Canada".

David Granville, Ph.D.

See Management.

Partners & Collaborators

University of British Columbia

UBC's research offices support the development of outstanding research in all disciplines including research carried out by graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research associates. Their goals include increasing research funding from all sectors and to encourage local national and international research partnerships and exchanges. Additionally, UBC research encourages and supports technology transfer and commercialization of research discoveries through patents, licenses and spin off company creation and develop new models for knowledge translation. In fact, UBC was listed in a 2005 article in The Scientist magazine as one of North America's top 10 universities for both the quantity and quality of life sciences patents issued.

Center for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)

Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, CDRD is the only national drug development and commercialization engine providing the expertise and infrastructure to transform basic health research in our academic institutions, as well as early-stage therapeutic technologies in Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), into commercialized products improving human health. Our single mandate of commercialization results in cost-efficient collaboration and development using CDRD’s existing networks, facilities, and infrastructure.

Rick Hansen Institute 

The Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) was established in 2007 with a mission to advance greater collaboration across the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) community, and to accelerate progress towards a cure for paralysis after SCI. The Institute is designed to influence all elements of SCI treatment and care for newly, acutely and chronically injured individuals, including developing new therapies and decreasing the time required for research to be translated into real-life benefits.

Institute for Heart and Lung Health

The Institute for Heart + Lung Health embraces heart and lung researchers, clinical innovators, and trainees from across British Columbia, as well as collaborators around the world. In spanning organizational, disciplinary, sectoral, and geographical boundaries and working from molecules through to populations, we bring greater synergy and enjoyment, a wide range of efficiencies, and a higher plane of performance and impact in furthering heart and lung health and in addressing the global burdens of heart and lung diseases.

Providence Health Care Research Institute

Providence Health Care Research Institute (PHCRI) is the research partner of Providence Health Care (PHC).  As a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, we take pride in our researchers and our research programs that actively explore areas of research to improve the health of people within our community. At PHCRI, our research expertise includes laboratory, clinical, and epidemiological research in the fields of HIV/AIDS, heart disease, renal disease, gastro-intestinal diseases, psychiatry, geriatrics, and much more.  At the PHCRI, our vision is to dramatically improve the treatment and overall health of patients and residents at PHC and beyond through relevant, ethical and inspired health research.

Genome British Columbia

Genome British Columbia is a catalyst for the life science’s cluster on Canada’s West Coast, and manages a cumulative portfolio of over $550 million in research projects and science and technology platforms.  Working with governments, academia and industry across sectors such as forestry, fisheries, agriculture, environment, bioenergy, mining and human health, the goal of the organization is to generate social and economic benefits for British Columbia and Canada.

Paladin Labs

With headquarters in Montréal, Canada, Paladin Labs Inc. is a leading specialty pharmaceutical company focused on acquiring or licensing emerging pharmaceuticals for the Canadian market. Their dedicated sales and marketing organization has propelled Paladin to become one of Canada’s pioneers in specialty pharmaceuticals. Paladin is an operating company of Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP), a highly focused generics and specialty branded pharmaceutical company delivering quality medicines to patients through excellence in development, manufacturing and commercialization.

 
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