Uli Hacksell, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Board
Dr Hacksell serves as Chairman of our Board of Directors, a position he has held since July1, 2018. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cerecor Inc. since May 2015 and as President and Chief Executive Officer of Cerecor from January 2016 to August 2017.
Prior to Cerecor, Dr. Hacksell served as Chief Executive Officer of ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or ACADIA, from September 2000 to March 2015 and was a member of its Board of Directors. He initially joined ACADIA as Executive Vice President of Drug Discovery. Prior to ACADIA, Dr. Hacksell held various senior executive positions at Astra AB, or Astra, a pharmaceutical company, including Vice President of Drug Discovery and Technology, President of Astra Draco, one of Astra’s largest research and development subsidiaries, and Vice President of CNS Preclinical R&D at Astra Arcus, another Astra subsidiary. Earlier in his career, Dr. Hacksell held the positions of Professor of Organic Chemistry and Department Chairman at Uppsala University in Sweden and also served as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Hacksell is currently a member of the Board of Directors of InDex Pharmaceuticals, Medivir, Beactica and Uppsala University. He received a Master of Pharmacy and a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from Uppsala University.
Mr. Moscato is a serial pharmaceutical entrepreneur who has amassed his knowledge during more than 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry, including c-suite leadership and commercial roles. He has successfully built companies from the ground to an integrated organization. Mr. Moscato served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Cerecor, Inc. (NASDAQ: CERC) from November 2017 until March 2018, and he served on the Board of Directors of Cerecor Inc. from November 2017 until May 2018. Mr. Moscato co-founded Zylera Pharmaceuticals, LLC and served as the CEO for over six years until it was acquired by Cerecor, Inc. in November 2017. Prior to that, Mr. Moscato served as Chief Operating Officer of Deston Therapeutics LLC. Mr. Moscato initially built his career in commercial roles of increasing responsibility with GlaxoSmithKline, where he was a member of the brand team that led the launch of Wellbutrin XL – one of the fastest launches in pharmaceutical history. Mr. Moscato earned an A.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from SUNY Farmingdale, a B.S. in Healthcare Management from St. Francis College and an M.B.A. from Iona College.
Vuong Trieu, Ph.D.
Dr. Trieu, an expert in pharmaceutical development and commercialization, currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the Autotelic consortium of companies including Oncotelic, Stocosil, IthenaPharma, LipoMedics, and Autotelic Inc. Previously he was President and CEO of Igdrasol, a developer of 2nd generation Abraxane, where he pioneered the regulatory pathway for approval of paclitaxel nanomedicine through a single bioequivalence trial against Abraxane. When Igdrasol merged with Sorrento Therapeutics, he became CSO and Board Director. At Stocosil he again pioneered the regulatory pathway for taking Olostar, a rosuvastatin/olmesartan FDC into the US as an NDA using only Korean data. He has also been Board Director of Cenomed, a company focusing on CNS drug development. Before that he was Director of Pharmacology, Pharmacokinetics, and Biology at Abraxis Bioscience, where he led the development of albumin encapsulated therapeutics along with building high throughput platform for small molecules, mirRNA, kinases. The Autotelic consortium of companies include the highly successful exit at Igdrasol where it was acquired for up to $1.2 billion by NantPharma and the $10 million equity stake in LipoMedics by Fangsheng Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. Dr. Trieu obtained his doctorate in Microbiology/Molecular Biology from the University of Oklahoma.
Mr. Blech, an experienced biotechnology entrepreneur and investor, brings to Marina over 35 years of expertise in the biotech industry. He has founded and served on the board of a number of companies that have produced major advances in a broad array of diseases, including the diagnosis of chlamydia, herpes, syphilis and HIV, and the treatment of cystic fibrosis, sexual dysfunction, multiple myeloma and many forms of cancer and hematological disease. Among the companies he has established are Celgene Corporation, the world’s leading company in cancer and hematology, ICOS Corporation, which developed the drug Cialis and was purchased by Eli Lilly, Nova Pharmaceutical Corporation, which developed a new treatment for brain cancer, Gliadel, which was purchased by Johnson & Johnson, Pathogenesis Corporation, which developed the leading drug for cystic fibrosis and was purchased by Chiron, and Genetics Systems Corporation, which developed the first rapid accurate diagnostic for chlamydia and the first accurate test to safe guard the world’s blood supply from the AIDS virus and was later purchased by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Among the boards Mr. Blech currently serves on are Cerecor, Inc., a CNS company, ContraFect Corporation, an infectious disease company and Edge Therapeutics, Inc., a company that treats life-threatening neurological conditions.
Mr. Emerson has served as the Chief Commercial Officer of the Company since June 22, 2017. Mr. Emerson has served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Symplmed Pharmaceuticals since he founded that company in 2013. During his time at Symplmed Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Emerson led that company to the submission, approval and commercial launch of Prestalia, and to the eventual sale of such assets to the Company in June 2017. He also spearheaded the development and launch of Symplmed’s DyrctAxess technology, a patented software designed to manage prescription fulfillment and patient monitoring. DyrctAxess has demonstrated a significant impact on patient conversion to treatment, long-term compliance and overall patient retention. Prior to founding Symplmed, Mr. Emerson served as the head of Commercial Development at XOMA from 2010 to 2013, and as Director of Marketing at Gilead Sciences from 2007 to 2010. Mr. Emerson began his career at King Pharmaceuticals in sales, sales training and marketing. Mr. Emerson, age 47, graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a specialization in Administration and Organization.
Mr. Boris is an experienced General Counsel and business executive who has served on or been legal advisor to executive and leadership teams in multiple industries. He served as the President of SpendSmart Networks, Inc. from April 19, 2016 until March 2017. Mr. Boris served as General Counsel and Secretary of SpendSmart Networks, Inc. from January 20, 2015 and February 21, 2015, respectively, until March 2017. Mr. Boris previously served as Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Restorgenex Corporation (currently Diffusion Pharmaceuticals) from August 2011 until January 19, 2015. He received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Michigan and a juris doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law.
Donald A. Williams
Mr. Williams has served as a director since September 2014. Mr. Williams is a 35-year veteran of the public accounting industry, retiring in 2014. Mr. Williams spent 18 years as an Ernst & Young (E&Y) Partner and the last seven years as a Partner with Grant Thornton (GT). Mr. Williams’ career focused on private and public companies in the technology and life sciences sectors. During the last seven years at Grant Thornton, he served as the National Leader of Grant Thornton’s Life Sciences Practice and the Managing Partner of the San Diego Office. He was the lead partner for both E&Y and GT on multiple initial public offerings; secondary offerings; private and public debt financings; as well as numerous mergers and acquisitions. From 2001 to 2014, Mr. Williams served on the Board of Directors and is past President and Chairman of the San Diego Venture Group and has served on the Board of Directors of various charitable organizations in the communities in which he has lived. Mr. Williams is a graduate of Southern Illinois University with a B.S. degree.