John H. Abeles, M.D.
A world-class leader of numerous and successful private and publicly-traded companies, Dr. John H. Abeles is well-known within Wall Street and the biotech sector for his talent for introducing new solutions to old problems. Given his efforts in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, he has successfully orchestrated the emergence or reinventions of both small and large companies that all share one common characteristic: disruptive proprietary technology. Dr. Abeles has demonstrated a problem-solving ability that spans across the entire spectrum of the biotech industry. His unique solutions also safeguard old and new companies that are well on their way toward new eras of growth and expansion. The key to his success has always been a focus on building organizations with talented people that can sustain a growth trajectory well into the future.
Dr. Abeles was born in 1945 in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He received his Medical degree as well as a degree in Pharmacology from the University of Birmingham, England, in 1969.
He practiced Medicine in London before joining the Pharmaceutical Industry in 1971 as a Senior Medical Executive with Sterling Drug in the United Kingdom, and then relocating to the USA to work for Pfizer, Inc. and Revlon Health Care in 1973.
In 1975 he became the first, full-time Wall Street healthcare analyst with MD qualifications, at Kidder Peabody, until 1980 when he formed MedVest, Inc.
As President of MedVest, Inc., a business and financial consulting firm, Dr. Abeles was instrumental in helping promote many early stage medical and other companies; some are still private and several have emerged into the public arena. Some of those have been acquired by major industrial and financial groups.
During this time, he had a part-time, general internal medicine practice in Westport, Connecticut.
In 1982, Dr. Abeles was the Founder, Sole Investor and General Partner of Northlea Partners Ltd., a venture and private capital family partnership. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, Northlea has had numerous investments, both active and passive, in the healthcare field.
He was a Managing Member of ProMed Capital LLC, a New York investment group funding medical venture companies and investments.
Three of the most notable investments ProMed initiated are:
- Althera Medical (which brought to market a local, alpha-particle brachytherapy treatment of solid tumors);
- Allium–previously Endogun Surgical–(which developed a system for gynecology and urology surgery);
- HDH Medical (which created a stitch less vascular anastomosis system).
- Other investments include Pi-Cardia, Circ-Med, BeatMed, MediSense, ViaSurgical, MazeBolt Trendlines, Credorax, Blender, Vigor Medical and various placements at OurCrowd.
Dr. Abeles was a former Director of Althera Medical. He was also an initial investor in Vigor Medical, an early stage, emergency medical device company (Vigor comes from the same inventor associated with HDH Medical).
Dr. Abeles was a Founder, and has served on the Board, of I-Flow Corporation, a company that produces infusion devices (and was acquired by Kimberly-Clark for approximately $324 million).
He was an Advisor and past Director of DUSA Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company that manufactures dermatology and photodynamic therapy products (acquired by Sun Pharma [NSE: SUNPHARMA] for approximately $200 million).
Regarding public companies in which he is or was recently active, they include:
- Medite (OTCMKTS: MDIT), which is marketing lab equipment and researching cancer diagnostic equipment;
- Neurotrope, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRP), a company he named and founded, as well as was Chairman of. It develops human stage therapeutics for Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative conditions, in cooperation with the Blanchette Rockefeller NeuroSciences Institute (U of W Virginia).
Dr. Abeles recently founded, and is Director of, BryoLogyx, which develops biosource pharmaceuticals and derivatives with Stanford University to treat HIV infection and improve cancer immunotherapy.
Additional past associations with public companies include: his role as Founder/Director of Procyte, Inc. (an organization he named, later acquired by Photomedex [NASDAQ: PHMD]); Imre Corp (acquired by Fresenius [NYSE: FMS]) and Epitope Inc (now owned by Orasure [NASDAQ: OSUR]). He also served as a Director of, and investor in, SysteMed, a company acquired by Merck (NYSE: MRK).
Regarding private companies in which he is active, he is Chairman and Founder of Unimedica (medical education).
He is an early Investor/Director of Centaur Inc (biomedical products for large animal veterinary markets).
He is an Investor/Director of Etubics (new generation viral vectors for gene delivery), recently acquired by a prominent, private biomedical company.
He is a Founder, shareholder and Director of Insonus Medical, an advanced hearing aid company in the San Francisco Bay Area, and acquired by Sonova (VTX: SOON) of Switzerland, the leading hearing aid company in the world.
He is an investor in and Director of OHK Medical, an Israeli/USA company marketing a novel device for enabling bloodless operating fields in orthopedic surgery as well as cardiovascular emergency usage.
Dr. Abeles was a Co-Founder, past Director, and major early investor who named ContraFect Inc (NASDAQ: CFRX) (which developed an anti-infective monoclonal antibody used for immunology and lysin enzymology).
He recently was an early Investor in and joined the Board of Serpin Pharma, an early-stage, but substantially de-risked, small peptide company in the immuno-regulatory and anti-inflammatory fields.
He is also a Founder/Director of a new company, OncoLyze (novel anticancer modality through specific membrane-porating peptides)
A new biotech company Orpheus BioScience has recently been co-founded by Dr. Abeles. It is developing targeted biotherapeutics for specific autoimmune disorders.
Dr. Abeles has also recently joined the Board of CytoCom, which develops immuno-modulatory and anti-inflammatory therapies; and he became a Consultant to an affiliated public marketing company, Immune Therapeutics (OTCMKTS: IMUN), which recently has obtained approvals overseas for drugs licensed from Cytocom.
Dr. Abeles has served as an Advisory Board Member of the College of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley.
He is an external member of the SPARK program, which sponsors early stage life sciences opportunities emerging from Stanford University Medical School.
Dr. Abeles is on the Advisory Board of the Higuchi Biosciences Institute at the University of Kansas.
He is on the Board of Israel Brain Technologies, a foundation dedicated to Israeli neuroscience.
He is Director of the Institute for Music Therapy in Neurologic Function in New York, an organization devoted to scientific study of music therapy for neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric conditions.
Dr. Abeles is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, London.
He was also a Director of AlmaLinks, a growing institute committed to provide mentorship to and encourage networking among young entrepreneurs in Israel and worldwide.
He is a member of the Players Club in New York, which supports the dramatic and performing arts.
He is active in supporting charities, including Israeli (Moona; Friends of Life) and African ones.
He is an avid football (Niners) and baseball (Giants; Athletics) fan, and a fitness (exercise walking and swimming) enthusiast.
In his earlier years, he studied music at the Rhodesian Academy of Music (piano and violin). He thanks the Fates for good and worthy movies (a strong passion of his) which have illuminated his life. Dr. Abeles has been married 42 years to Mimi, a classical singer. They have three grown children (David, Lynne and Daniel), all successful NYC performing artists in drama and music. Through Dalyda Finance, the family makes investments in film and stage productions, as well as sponsoring promising young performing artists.
Dr. Nicholas Plotnikoff, Non-Executive Chairman
Dr. Plotnikoff has a Ph.D. in pharmacology, with over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, having worked in pharmacology, toxicology, and clinical research. He was a professor of pharmacology at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago and played a pioneering role in investigations of the immunological effects of MENK. Dr. Plotnikoff also successfully managed the project teams that developed the NDAs on Traxene (a Valium-like tranquilizer) and Cylert (a non-amphetamine psychostimulant). In basic research, he was the first to identify the central nervous system effects of hypothalamic-releasing factors (brain hormones), resulting in their clinical development for treatment of depression and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Plotnikoff has co-authored 25 publications with Dr. Andrew Schally, covering basic research in the fields of depression and Parkinson’s disease, and held a number of international patents for the use of MENK in HIV/AIDS and cancer. He is further credited with achieving major breakthroughs in the treatment of certain cancers and of HIV/AIDS. Along with the late Dr. Bernard Bihari (see page xx), Dr. Plotnikoff completed Phase I and early Phase II clinical trials in the U.S. using MENK, and has collaborated with Dr. Joseph Wybran from Belgium on clinical trials for treatment by MENK in patients with HIV/AIDS. Trials continue in China with the support of China Medical University and Professor Shan using MENK, which began in 2007 (as described on page xx). Immune Therapeutics is now partnering with Professor Shan on treating cancer patients with IRT-101 and IRT-102 in China.
Roger Bozarth is Founder and President of The Insurance Advantage, Inc. and Planning for Wealth Preservation, LLC, located in Orlando, Florida, which he founded in 1995. His firm specializes in estate, business, and charitable planning for affluent clients throughout the United States.
In addition to his business experience, Mr. Bozarth is involved in a number of charitable organizations, including the U.S. Dream Academy in Baltimore, MD, and Desire Street Ministries in Atlanta, GA, while serving on the board of Edgewood Children’s Ranch and Love Orlando in Orlando, FL.
Mr. Bozarth attended the University of South Florida where he pursued an Electrical Engineering degree.
Dr. Chalil MD, MBA, FACHE
Dr. Chalil MD, MBA, FACHE is Associate Director, Health Science Executives of Boehringer Ingelheim, the world’s largest privately held pharmaceutical company. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, the Company operates globally in more than 50 countries. In 2012, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of 19.1 billion (USD); R&D expenditure in the business area of prescription medicines reached a quarter of its net sales.
In addition to his responsibilities at Boehringer Ingelheim, Dr. Chalil is the Co-Chair for the Industry Physician Committee of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and has served as Scientific Advisor to AAPI for the past three years. AAPI is the second largest physician organization in the U.S. second only to AMA, and the largest ethnic medical organization in the country. Dr. Chalil is also a Consultant in HIV/STDs President, AIDS Society of India (ASI).
As the former CEO of Clinical Consultants International, he represented prominent healthcare companies, including GE Healthcare, Genpact, HIRCO Group, Godrej Ltd., KLE University, Somaiya Group, Pushpanjali Crosslay Hospital, Excel Life Sciences and various international pharmaceutical firms over the past decade.
Dr. Chalil completed his higher studies in University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Davenport University, JJM Medical College and Baylor College of Medicine. He has been a Visiting Professor at various Universities and serves on various company Boards.
Terry Grossman, M.D.
Dr. Grossman is the founder and medical director of the Grossman Wellness Center in Denver, Colorado. His longevity medical practice attracts patients, including many VIPs (such as coauthor Ray Kurzweil) from around the country and the world. He graduated from Brandeis University in 1968 and the University of Florida School of Medicine in 1979. He spent 15 years (from 1980-1995) working as a community family doctor in the Colorado mountains. Dr. Grossman undertook the study of nutritional and anti-aging medicine in 1994 and in 1995 opened the Grossman Wellness Center in Denver, which quickly grew into one of the largest complementary medical centers in the country. He is a member and board certified by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine as well as the American Holistic Medical Association. His special field of interest is nutritional medicine (the treatment of illness with nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and natural hormones) and anti-aging medicine. Dr. Grossman is a widely sought lecturer on longevity medicine throughout the U.S. and has presented keynote addresses at anti-aging seminars in Japan, South Korea, South Africa, and elsewhere. He is the author of the Baby Boomers’ Guide to Living Forever (2000), and coauthor with Ray Kurzweil of Fantastic Voyage (2004), and TRANSCEND: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever (2009).
Mak Jawadekar, PH.D.
Mak Jawadekar, Ph.D., is an independent pharmaceutical industry consultant and currently serves on several U.S. and international company boards in scientific advisory and business management capacities. After completing his Ph.D. (Pharmaceutics) at the University of Minnesota, he started working at Pfizer, Inc., and his tenure was over 28 years in length until March 2010, when he opted to take an early retirement. Mak was a Director, R & D Portfolio Management & Performance with the World Wide R & D Division of Pfizer Inc. in Groton/New London, CT, where he was leading efforts in R&D benchmarking metrics for speed, quality and costs to enhance Pharmaceutical R&D productivity.
Mak also advised Pfizer’s R&D business on system solution approaches and best practices, and served as an advisor to Pfizer’s President of Global R&D on Asia-related strategic matters. Prior to that, he spent many years with Pfizer’s Pharmaceutical Sciences Group as a leader, where he held responsibility for Strategic Outsourcing of Drug Products activities and Drug Delivery Technology Assessment functions. Mak also managed strategic-level decisions on external alliances and collaborations, including partnerships, due diligence activities, and licensing and development. His extensive previous Bench R & D experience includes dosage form development/formulations/drug delivery R&D, clinical manufacturing, tech transfer and scale-up operations, and worked closely with Pfizer Global Manufacturing and Consumer Health care divisions.
Dr. Jill Smith
Dr. Jill Smith, an Advisor to the company, is a former Professor of Medicine in the Gastroenterology Division of the Department of Medicine, Hershey Medical Center, Penn State University. Dr. Smith has a long track record of conducting pre-clinical scientific research as well as translational clinical trials in patients. Over the course of her twenty-two years at Penn State University, she has mentored thirty-eight post-doctoral Fellows and students, thereby ensuring continuing excellence in medicine for future generations.
Dr. Smith’s research focus is on disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and pancreas. In her role as a Professor in the College of Medicine’s Internal Medicine Department she treats patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
Simultaneously, in her role as Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology she teaches and conducts basic science research in the graduate school. For over two decades, Dr. Smith has conducted industry-sponsored trials and investigator-initiated research involving inflammatory bowel disease. One of her areas of expertise is in translational medicine.
Another area of expertise for Dr. Smith involves her research on pancreatic cancer. Dr. Smith’s team discovered that growth of pancreatic cancer is controlled by a small protein called gastrin. They further discovered a novel receptor on human pancreas cancer through which gastrin exerts its effects. Dr. Smith’s discovery led to her being the recipient of the Basic Science Research Award, a prestigious award given by the European Pancreas Society for outstanding discoveries in science. Ongoing research using this novel receptor or targeting therapy and early detection of pancreatic cancer is underway. Dr. Smith is also is a co-discoverer of the role of another protein called OGF (Opioid Growth Factor) that inhibits growth of pancreatic cancer. This discovery has been confirmed in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials treating patients with advanced pancreatic cancer with OGF.
Dr. Smith was the first ever researcher to carry out a clinical trial of low dose naltrexone. The results of the successful trial in patients suffering from Crohn’s disease has spearheaded ongoing clinical trials by other researchers at several institutions worldwide.
Dr. Smith has been elected as the first woman President of the American Pancreas Association. For three years, she has served as the Chairman of the American Gastroenterology Association’s Research Committee and she currently serves on National Institutes of Health review panels for research grants.
Dr. Smith has chaired a National Cancer Institute workshop on pancreatic cancer and her expertise in pancreatic cancer and translational research has made her a sought-after international speaker in these fields.
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