About Us

Board of Directors

Michael S. Weiss

Michael S. Weiss has served as the Company's Executive Chairman, and President and CEO since December 2011. Mr. Weiss is currently a director of the Company. Mr. Weiss is a co-founder of, and has been a managing partner and principal of Opus Point Partners since 2008. Mr. Weiss earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School and his B.S. in Finance from The University at Albany. He began his professional career as a lawyer with Cravath, Swaine & Moore. In 1999, Mr. Weiss founded Access Oncology which was later acquired by Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: KERX) in 2004. Following the merger, Mr. Weiss remained as CEO of Keryx and grew the company to close to a $1BB market capitalization company at its peak. While at Keryx, he raised over $150MM in equity capital through public and private offerings, executed a $100MM+ strategic alliance, negotiated multiple Special Protocol Assessments ("SPA") agreements with the FDA and managed multiple large clinical trials.

 

Laurence N. Charney

Laurence Charney was nominated to our Board in March 2012.  Since 2007, Mr. Charney has served as a business strategist and financial advisor to Boards, CEOs and investors. Previously, from 1970 through June 2007, Mr. Charney was a senior audit partner at  Ernst & Young, LLP, a registered public accounting firm, retiring as a practice leader in the Americas Quality and Risk Management Group. Mr. Charney currently serves as a director and audit committee chairman of Pacific Drillings S.A. In addition, Mr. Charney previously served as a director and audit committee member of Marvel Entertainment, Inc., Mrs. Fields Original Cookies, XTL Biopharmaceuticals, Ltd.,  Pure Biofuels, Inc., and Iconix Brand Group, Inc. In addition to his extensive experience on the boards of various corporate entities, Mr. Charney is also very active on the boards of several non-profit organizations. Mr. Charney graduated with a B.B.A. degree from Hofstra University and completed the Executive MBA in Business program at Columbia University.

 

William J. Kennedy, PhD.

William J. Kennedy, PhD. was nominated to our Board in March 2012. Dr. Kennedy is a regulatory affairs professional with over 27 years of domestic and international experience. Prior to his retirement, Dr. Kennedy was Vice President for Regulatory Affairs for Zeneca Corporation. Dr. Kennedy has successfully managed the development, preparation, submission and approval of dozens of NDAs and major SNDAs. Dr. Kennedy has helped shape regulatory policy in the United States continuously since 1988, as a member and Chairman of PhRMA's Regulatory Affairs Coordinating Committee, as PhRMA's Chief Negotiator with Congress and FDA for FDAMA, and as the Co-Chairman of PhRMA's PDUFA III Steering Committee. Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Kennedy was an Associate Research Professor at Yale Medical School. Dr. Kennedy is the author of several articles and is an often sought after speaker for his insight into the regulatory process. He co-founded the website PDUFADate.com which provides regulatory opinions to the financial community. Dr. Kennedy was the recipient of RAP's prestigious Special Recognition Award in 1998. Dr. Kennedy has been an independent consultant to the pharmaceutical industry since 1999.

 

Mark Schoenebaum, M.D.

Mark Schoenebaum, M.D. was nominated to our Board in March 2012. Dr. Schoenebaum is a Senior Managing Director and heads ISI’s Health Care Research Team. He is also ISI’s Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals major analyst. He has been ranked Institutional Investor’s #1 biotechnology analyst for the past nine years. In 2013, his second year competing in the category, Dr. Schoenebaum was also ranked by Institutional Investor as the #1 Pharmaceuticals/Major Analyst. In 2013, Mark was inducted into Institutional Investor's All-America Research Team Hall of Fame, an award given to analysts who have earned at least ten #1 rankings.  Prior to joining ISI in 2010, Dr. Schoenebaum spent two years at Deutsche Bank as a Managing Director and Senior Biotechnology Analyst. Prior to that, he held a similar position at Bear Stearns. Dr. Schoenebaum graduated from Indiana University with highest distinction in 1996 with a B.A. and received an M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2000.

 

Yann Echelard, Ph.D.

Yann Echelard, was nominated to our Board in November 2012.  Dr. Echelard, President of rEVO Biologics since 2012, has over 25 years of research and biopharmaceutical experience. Dr. Echelard holds a Ph. D. from Université de Montréal, and has completed post-doctoral studies at Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research in Montreal (McGill University). As a visiting scientist at the Roche Institute and at Harvard University (Developmental Biology), he had a key role in the isolation and characterization of the Hedgehog genes, the first identified vertebrate morphogens. From 1994 to 2010, he progressed through various positions of increasing responsibility at Genzyme Transgenics Corporation and at GTC Biotherapeutics, including Vice President of Research and Development. In 1998, he led the scientific team that first performed goat somatic cell nuclear transfer (cloning). Focusing on Corporate Development, Dr. Echelard spearheaded the creation of a collaborative Joint Venture with LFB Biotechnologies in 2006, which was focused on the development of recombinant plasma proteins and monoclonal antibodies. This close collaboration led to the acquisition of GTC Biotherapeutics, Inc. by LFB in December 2010.
 

Kenneth Hoberman 

Kenneth Hoberman was nominated to our Board in December 2014. Mr. Hoberman is currently the Chief Operating Officer and Corporate Secretary of Stemline Therapeutics, Inc. where he was a key member of the founding team. He was instrumental in the company’s financings from early private, including institutional, rounds through the IPO and subsequent follow-on offerings. He has extensive financial, accounting, investor relations, corporate governance and business development experience including M&A, strategic alliances and partnerships both domestic and international. His operational expertise includes regulatory oversight, human resources, manufacturing and clinical development. He was previously Vice President of Corporate and Business Development of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., where he was instrumental in the success of the company. He also helped secure multiple sources of capital including over $200 million in equity investments through public and private offerings. He also initiated and executed a $100 million strategic alliance and originated, negotiated and closed dozens of licensing and operational contracts, helping to grow the company’s market capitalization to over $1 billion. He also led the team that originated, in-licensed, and developed Auryxia™ which recently gained FDA approval. He received a B.S.B.A. in Finance from Boston University and completed post-baccalaureate studies at Columbia University.
 

Daniel Hume  
Daniel Hume was nominated for a position on our Board in April 2015.  Mr. Hume is currently a partner in Kirby McInerney, LLP's New York office and is a member of the firm's management committee.  Mr. Hume's law practice focuses on securities, structured finance, and antitrust litigation and regulation.  He joined McInerney, LLP in 1995.  Since then, Mr. Hume has advised corporate, public, and individual clients, including some of the largest institutional investors in the world, and helped them recover billions of dollars in losses throughout the course of his career.  His work has earned him assorted honors and recognition, including most recently being named to both the National Law Journal "hot" list and law360 "most feared" list for 2013.  Mr. Hume is admitted to the New York State Bar and federal courts around the country, including the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, and Fifth Circuits, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, First Judicial Department, and the United States Supreme Court. He graduated from the State University of New York at Albany magna cum laude (B.A. Philosophy, 1988) and from Columbia Law School, where he served as Notes Editor for the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law (J.D., 1991).