Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Dr. Krassner's career spans nearly four decades of experience in positions of increasing responsibility at the University of California at Irvine, most recently as Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology at the School of Biological Sciences. While at University of California, Irvine (UCI), he developed and reinforced FDA and NIH compliance procedures for UCI-sponsored human clinical trials, established UCI's first Institutional Review Board, and at one time headed all contract and grant activities. Dr. Krassner has also been retained by pharmaceutical, medical device and other companies, including Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Lasermed Corporation, Automated Microbiology Systems, and In Vitro International, among others, to provide scientific and regulatory advisory services, including FDA compliance.
Dr. Krassner's work has been published in numerous peer-reviewed U.S. journals. He is Professor Emeritus, University of California, Irvine, and has lectured at both U.S. and international academic institutions, including Harvard Medical School, Rockefeller University, Johns Hopkins University, St. Petersburg University and University of Edinburgh, among others.
Dr. Krassner is a member of the American Academy for the Advancement of Sciences, and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, among others. Dr. Krassner received his Sc.D. from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Brooklyn College.
- William L. Ashton
William Ashton is a former Fortune 100 senior executive with over 40 years’ experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical business. Mr. Ashton has retired from an extensive career at Amgen Inc. While with Amgen he served in various positions including Vice President of U.S. Sales for Amgen. He also served as Vice President/General Manager of the Corporate Accounts, Business Unit. This unit has responsibility for the sales and marketing to Amgen's largest customer base including health systems, managed care organizations, commercial and government payers, distribution channels, GPO’s and the corporate pricing group.
Since the beginning of 2013, Mr. Ashton has been a principal at Harrison Consulting Group, LLC, a privately held biopharmaceutical consulting firm with expertise in commercialization, payer strategy, and reimbursement.
Mr. Ashton currently serves on the board of a publicly traded company, Recro Pharma. He previously served on the boards of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals and Galena Bio Pharma. In addition, he has served on the boards of the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Friends of the National Library of Medicine, and is a Commissioner on the Medical Representatives National Certification Commission.
- Raymond W. Cohen
Mr. Cohen has been a director of Spectrum since June 2013. He is an accredited public company director and a veteran life-science executive with over 30 years in the healthcare industry. Currently, Mr. Cohen serves as the Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Axonics Modulation Technologies, Inc., an Irvine, CA based venture capital-backed developer of implantable neuromodulation technology. Mr. Cohen also serves as Chairman of the Board at a number of publicly traded and privately-held U.S. and European medical technology companies including Lombard Medical (NASDAQ: EVAR), a UK-based publicly traded commercial stage manufacturer and marketer of abdominal aortic aneurysm stent graphs; BioLife Solutions, Inc., (NASDAQ: BLFS) a Seattle-based, commercial-stage publicly traded manufacturer of preservation media products used to extend the viability of human cells; JenaValve Technology Inc., a Munich-based privately-held, commercial-stage manufacturer and marketer of transcatheter-delivered aortic valve systems and Syncroness, Inc., a Westminster, CO privately-held contract engineering firm.
From June 2010 to November 2012, Mr. Cohen was the Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Vessix Vascular, Inc., a privately-held developer of a novel renal denervation system for the treatment of hypertension which was acquired by Boston Scientific in November 2012. From 1997 to 2006, Mr. Cohen served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NASDAQ-listed Irvine, CA based Cardiac Science, Inc., a manufacturer of external automatic defibrillators which was ranked as the 4th fastest growing company in North America by Deloitte in 2004. In 2008, Mr. Cohen was named by AeA as the Private Company Life Science CEO of the Year. Mr. Cohen was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002 by the Orange County Business Journal. Mr. Cohen holds a B.S. in Business Management from Binghamton University.
Mr. Cohen brings to the Board of Directors over 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, including currently serving as Chairman at several life science companies. As a result, Mr. Cohen is well qualified to serve on our Board of Directors.
- Gilles Gagnon M.Sc., MBA, ICD
Gilles Gagnon spent over 30 years in the management of healthcare related organizations in both hospital administration (8 years) and in the pharmaceutical industry (22 years) where he held several executive positions. Prior to forming his current company, Prodev Pharma Inc., he was President & CEO of Æterna Zentaris, a biopharmaceutical company focused in oncology and endocrinology. He joined Æterna Zentaris in September 1999 as VP Corporate Development, became President and COO in 2001 and then President & CEO in January 2003 following the acquisition of Zentaris from German based Degussa AG in December 2002. Prior to joining Æterna Zentaris, he was VP, External Affairs for Novartis Pharma Canada Inc. (1996-99), Executive Director, Corporate Planning and Business Development, Senior Director, Strategic Alliances, General Manager, Governments Affairs and Access to Market and Director of Professional services at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Inc. (1989-1996). He started his career at Atomic Energy of Canada as a sales representative for the Radiopharmaceutical Division. Mr. Gagnon is an invited speaker at many management conferences and is co-author of numerous scientific and business related articles. Throughout his career in the pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Gagnon, in addition to general management functions, was especially involved in corporate development, alliance management, as well as marketing functions where he participated to the launch of several (9) innovative pharmaceutical products.
Gilles Gagnon also participated in several international committees and strategic advisory boards. As a commitment to participate in the building of a strong biopharmaceutical sector in Canada, Mr. Gagnon served five years on the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D) where he represented members from the Biopharmaceutical sector and pioneered the Rx&D's biopartnering initiative. He was recently re-elected to the Board of Rx&D Canada. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Ceapro Inc.(CZO-TSX-V), BioQuebec (chairman), Montreal In Vivo and Sherbrooke Innopole. He is currently President of Spectrum Pharma Canada Inc.
Gilles Gagnon holds post-graduate degrees in pharmacology (M.Sc.) and administration (M.B.A.) from the Université de Sherbrooke and a certificate in General Management from the London Business School, UK. He completed the Directors Education Program at the Rotman School of Management of University of Toronto and is a member of the Canadian Institute of Corporate Directors.
- Anthony E. Maida III, PhD, MA, MBA
For 25 years, Dr. Maida has focused on the clinical development of immunotherapies to treat patients with cancer.
Dr. Maida is currently Senior Vice President – Clinical Research for Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc., a cancer vaccine company focused on therapy of patients with glioblastoma multiforme and prostate cancer. Dr. Maida was formerly Vice President of Clinical Research and General Manager, Oncology, World-wide for PharmaNet, Inc. Prior to coming to Pharmanet, Dr. Maida served as Chairman, Founder and Director of BioConsul Drug Development Corporation and Principal of Anthony Maida Consulting International, servicing pharmaceutical firms, venture capital, hedge funds and Wall Street, in the clinical development of therapeutic products and product/company acquisitions.
Over the past 18 years Dr. Maida has served in a number of executive roles, including, Chairman, CEO, COO, CSO, CFO and business development. Dr. Maida was formerly the President and CEO of Replicon NeuroTherapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the therapy of patients with tumors (both primary and metastatic) of the CNS.
Prior to Replicon Dr. Maida served as Interim CEO for Trellis Bioscience, Inc. In 2000 Dr. Maida served as President of CancerVax Corporation. Over recent years Dr. Maida has raised, or assisted in financings, in excess of $200 million for start-up and emerging biotechnology companies. Dr. Maida was President and Chief Executive Officer of Jenner Biotherapies, Inc., and has served as Vice President of Finance and CFO for Lockheed DataPlan, a wholly owned subsidiary, and Senior Financial Controller of Lockheed Missiles, a $1.7 billion division, of Lockheed Missiles and Space Company.
Dr. Maida serves or has served on the advisory board of EndPoint BioCapital, Sdn Bhd (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), and as an advisor, consultant and technical analyst for CMX Capital, LLC, Sagamore Bioventures, Roaring Fork Capital, Toucan Capital, North Sound Capital, The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and Pediatric BioScience, Inc.
Dr. Maida holds a B.A. degree in Biology, a B.A. Degree in History, a MBA, a MA in toxicology and a Ph.D. in Immunology. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the Society of Neuro-Oncology (SNO), the International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer (iSBTc) and the American Chemical Society. Dr. Maida holds a number of patents and patent applications associated with various therapeutic modalities and approaches.
- Joseph W. Turgeon
Mr. Turgeon brings more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including various executive leadership roles at Amgen Inc. He had recently served as Spectrum’s President and Chief Operating Officer from April 2014 to December 2017, and had previously served as the Company’s Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer from October 2012 to April 2014. Prior to joining Spectrum, Mr. Turgeon spent 22 years at Amgen Inc. as Vice President of Sales. At Amgen he built and led the sales organization across multiple areas, including oncology, inflammation and bone health. Mr. Turgeon was responsible for launching most of the drugs and their dramatic growth at Amgen. He brings depth of experience in the oncology marketplace.
Mr. Turgeon holds a B.S. from Jacksonville University where he studied microbiology and economics.
- Jeffrey L. Vacirca, MD, FACP
Jeffrey Vacirca, MD, FACP is a board certified hematologist and oncologist at New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, where he serves as CEO and managing partner. His specialties include breast cancer, prostate cancer, and complicated cancers.
Currently, Dr. Vacirca is the president of the Community Oncology Alliance (COA), medical director for Amerisource Bergen specialty group, a Scientific Advisory Board Member for Caris Life Sciences, president and co-founder of National Translational Research Group, and serves as a medical board advisor for Flatiron Health.
Additionally, he is the vice-chairmen of the board for Odonate Therapeutics, a company dedicated to the development of best-in-class therapeutics that improve and extend the lives of patients with cancer. Furthermore, he has joined the Board of Directors for One Oncology, an oncologist-led company providing oncologists with innovative tools to help keep cancer care in the hands of the providers.
Dr. Vacirca received his undergraduate degree from the University at Albany and his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine along with his fellowships in hematology and medical oncology at Stony Brook University Hospital. In his final year of training, he was named chief fellow.
- Dolatrai M. Vyas, PhD
Dr. Vyas has 31 years' tenure in oncology drug discovery research at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company ("BMS"), a NYSE-listed pharmaceutical company, most recently as a Group Director and Distinguished Research Fellow. In 1980, he joined BMS in the Antitumor Chemistry department and was involved in National Cancer Institute/National Institute of Health funded collaborative research efforts on discovery of novelv natural product based cytotoxics to treat human neoplasms (tumors).
In 1984, he was promoted to Research Fellow and in subsequent years he held positions as an Associate Director, Director and Group Director, which culminated in 1999 in his last promotion at BMS as a Distinguished Research Fellow (Executive Level) in Oncology Discovery Chemistry at the Wallingford, Connecticut site. Dr. Vyas is considered one of the pioneers of the BMS oncology medicinal chemistry discovery efforts based on natural products derived cytotoxics. During this period he was also involved in BMS's pioneering research on antibody drug conjugate ("ADC") technology to target cytotoxics selectively to tumors. This technology in recent years has yielded valuable new biologics for treating a variety of cancers.
In the last 15 years of his oncology research career at BMS, he was involved in discovery and development of personalized medicine research involving small molecule molecular targeted oncology therapeutics (e.g. kinase inhibitors). During his tenure at BMS in oncology drug discovery, he has participated in the discovery and development of 12 small molecules and one biologic (ADC) as clinical development candidates with one US Food and Drug Administration approved NDA.
He has authored/co-authored over 110 publications and written numerous book chapters and review articles. He is also an inventor/co-inventor on more than 40 patents. He has been a plenary and invited speaker at conferences and at academic institutions in the US and abroad. In 1994 he was a co-organizer of American Chemical Society (ACS) Medicinal Chemistry Symposium on "Advances in Medicinal Chemistry of Taxol and Taxoids" at the 207th ACS National Meeting in San Diego, California. He is an elected member of the Connecticut Academy of Sciences and Engineering ("CASE") and is also on the editorial board of Medicinal Research Reviews. He has participated in National Institute of Health and CASE study sections to review small business industry research proposals and biomedical research proposals for funding in Connecticut, respectively.
Dr. Vyas retired from BMS in 2011 and has subsequently formed a research and development consulting company, Dinesh Vyas, LLC. Currently, he is consulting for two India-based pharmaceutical companies.
Dr. Vyas received a B.Sc. with honors degree in Chemistry/Geology from University College Nairobi (Kenya), University of East Africa in 1967 and a Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from Queens University, Kingston, Canada in 1972.
- Bernice R. Welles, MD, MBA
Dr. Welles has both investing experience and extensive experience building and leading development organizations, expanding company pipelines of assets, and overseeing the commercial development of innovative therapeutic products across a range of areas. Dr. Welles started her career at Genentech, where she spent nearly a decade, initially as a Clinical Scientist, then as Director and Senior Director of the Specialty Therapeutics Unit and ultimately as Vice President of Product Development. Following that she joined MPM Capital as a Venture Partner. After her time with MPM, Dr. Welles held several operating roles in San Francisco Bay Area start-ups as well as consulting for various life science companies and venture capitalists. Currently, Dr. Welles is a found partner and Managing Director with IPF Partners, an alternative financing provider focused on the healthcare sector.
Dr. Welles has a B.A. in Music from Brandeis University, an M.S. in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University, an M.D. from Albany Medical College, and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. She has Medical Licensure, State of California, Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine and Diplomate, Endocrinology and Metabolism.