Board of Directors
Uli Hacksell, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Board
Dr. Hacksell serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors, a position he has held since May 2015. Prior to Cerecor, Dr. Hacksell served as Chief Executive Officer of ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 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, 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 Chairman of the Board of Directors of Marina Biotec and is a member of the Board of Directors of InDex Pharmaceuticals, Medivir AB, Beactica AB, and Uppsala University. He received a Master of Pharmacy and a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from Uppsala University.
Mr. Blech served on the Board of Directors since March 2012 and as lead independent director since March 2016. Mr. Blech's current roles also include Vice Chairman of Edge Therapeutics, Inc., a company that treats life-threatening neurological conditions, and Director at ContraFect Corporation, a company developing therapies for infectious diseases. He is a Director at Medgenics, Inc., a company creating new treatments for rare diseases, Vice Chairman of Centrexion Corporation, which is developing new modalities of pain control, Vice Chairman of Regenovation, Inc., a company developing new ways to regenerate human tissue, Vice Chairman of X-4 Pharmaceuticals, a cancer immunology company, and Vice Chairman of Sapience Therapeutics, an oncology company. He also serves as Vice Chairman of WaveGuide Corporation, a company developing the world's smallest NMR machine, Vice Chairman of root9B Technologies, Inc. a cyber security company, and Vice Chairman of The SpendSmart Payments Company, an electronic rewards company. Over the past 35 years, Mr. Blech has helped found some of the world's leading biotechnology companies, including Celgene Corporation, ICOS Corporation, Pathogenesis Corporation, Nova Pharmaceutical Corporation, and Genetic Systems Corporation. These companies are responsible for major advances in oncology, infectious diseases, and cystic fibrosis. Mr. Blech received his B.A. from Baruch College.
Steven J. Boyd
Mr. Boyd is the Chief Investment Officer of Armistice Capital. He founded Armistice in 2012, which was named "best new hedge fund" by Hedge Funds Review the following year. Prior to Armistice, Mr. Boyd had been an analyst at Senator Investment Group and York Capital. He started his career at McKinsey & Company. Mr. Boyd received a B.S. in Economics as well as a B.A. in Political Science from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Greenleaf joined our Board in May 2017 and became CEO in March 2018. From March 2014 to February 2018, Mr. Greenleaf served as CEO and Chairman of Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCMP). Sucampo was focused on the development and commercialization of medicines to meet major unmet medical needs of patients suffering from rare diseases. Sucampo was sold in February 2018 to U.K. pharmaceutical giant Mallinckrodt PLC. From June 2013 to March 2014, Mr. Greenleaf served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Histogenics Corporation, a regenerative medicine company. From 2006 to 2013, Mr. Greenleaf was employed by MedImmune LLC, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, where he most recently served as President. From January 2010 to June 2013, Mr. Greenleaf also served as President of MedImmune Ventures, a wholly owned venture capital fund within the AstraZeneca Group. Prior to serving as President of MedImmune, Mr. Greenleaf was Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations of the company, responsible for its commercial, corporate development and strategy functions. Mr. Greenleaf has also held senior commercial roles at Centocor, Inc. (now Janssen Biotechnology, Johnson & Johnson) from 1998 to 2006, and at Boehringer Mannheim (now Roche Holdings) from 1996 to 1998. Mr. Greenleaf currently chairs the Maryland Venture Fund Authority, whose vision is to oversee implementation of Invest Maryland, a public-private partnership to spur venture capital investment in the state. He is also currently a member of the board of directors of Antares Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NASDAQ: ATRS), EyeGate Pharmaceuticals, Inc (NASDAQ: EYEG), and Chairman of the board of directors of BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc (NASDAQ: BDSI). Mr. Greenleaf earned a M.B.A. degree from St. Joseph's University and a B.S. degree from Western Connecticut State University.
Mr. Gutry has served as an independent director on our Board since April 2015. He has over 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry in a variety of senior investment, business development, and strategic roles. Mr. Gutry currently serves as Chief Business Officer at Kronos Bio. He previously led oncology business development and strategy at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Regeneron, he served as Principal at MPM Capital where he led new company formation and venture investments in oncology and neuroscience, and managed MPM's Janssen and Astellas partnerships. From 2006 to 2011, Mr. Gutry worked in Corporate Development at Gilead Sciences, where he focused on M&A and licensing in oncology, respiratory, liver, and infectious diseases. Prior to Gilead, Mr. Gutry invested in commercial-stage life science companies at Riverside Partners. He began his career with The Wilkerson Group, a healthcare focused consulting firm. Mr. Gutry received his M.B.A. from The Wharton School and an A.B. from Dartmouth College.
Simon Pedder, Ph.D.
Dr. Pedder has served as an independent director on our Board since April 2018. Dr. Pedder currently serves as the Chief Business and Strategy Officer, Proprietary Products at Athenex, Inc (NASDAQ: ATNX), a global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapies for treatment of cancer. Simon has a long career in drug development including more recently leadership roles as President and CEO of Cellectar Biosciences, President and CEO of Chelsea Therapeutics, Vice President of Oncology Pharma Business at Hoffmann-LaRoche, Life Cycle Leader and Global Project Leader of Pegasys/IFN, Head of Hepatitis Franchise at Hoffmann-LaRoche, and Vice President and Head of Drug Development at Shearwater Corporation. Formerly, he was faculty in the Department of Pharmacology in the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, where he obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmacology. In addition, Dr. Pedder obtained a M.S. in Toxicology from Concordia University, a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and completed the Roche-sponsored Pharmaceutical Executive Management Program at Columbia Business School.
Magnus Persson, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Persson has served as an independent director on our Board since August 2012. Dr. Persson is currently serving as CEO of Karolinska Institutet Holding AB in Stockholm, Sweden. He has also served as an Associate Professor in Physiology at Karolinska Institutet since September 1994. Dr. Persson has served as a practicing pediatrician at CityAkuten in Stockholm, Sweden, since December 2012. Dr. Persson served as a Partner at HealthCap, a Swedish-based venture capital firm from January 2008 through December 2009, and as a Managing Partner at The Column Group, a San Francisco based venture capital firm, from January 2010 through November 2011. Dr. Persson co-founded Aerocrine AB, a medical technology company in 1994. Dr. Persson has also served on the boards of Karolinska Institutet Innovations AB, a technology transfer company, since December 2011, Galecto AB, a biotechnology company, since January 2013, AscendxSpine Inc., a medical device company, since December 2012, SLS Ventures AB, a life science venture capital firm since March 2012, Karolinska Institutet Information AB, a healthcare IT-software company since October 2015, Immunicum AB a biotechnology company since December 2015, and Albumedix AS, a biotechnology company since January 2016. Dr. Persson received his M.D. and Ph.D. in physiology from Karolinska Institutet.