Management

Portrait

Daniel J. O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer

Mr. O’Connor has been serving as our Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer since inception. He is also a founder and the manager of Larkspur Health LLC. Between September 2017 and June 2021, Mr. O’Connor served as the Chief Executive Officer, President and Director of OncoSec Medical Incorporated, a New Jersey-based biotechnology company developing intratumoral cancer immunotherapy that utilizes IL-12. While serving as the Chief Executive Officer of OncoSec, Mr. O’Connor has launched two KEYNOTE studies combining Merck’s Keytruda® in PD-1 checkpoint refractory metastatic melanoma and in late-stage chemo-refractory triple negative breast cancer, raised more than $150 million and in 2019, successfully coordinated a $30 million strategic financing and collaboration with well-established biopharma partners. Prior to joining OncoSec, Mr. O’Connor served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Advaxis Inc., where he successfully up-listed the company to NASDAQ, implemented a turnaround strategy that resulted in more than $300 million raised in funding and licensing deals and established major partnerships with companies such as Amgen Inc., Merck & Co. and Bristol Myers Squibb. Under his leadership, Advaxis Inc. advanced four new cancer immunotherapy drug candidates into clinical trials and several PD-1 combination clinical studies with Keytruda® and Opdivo®, which ultimately transformed Advaxis Inc. into a patient-focused, leading cancer immunotherapy company. Earlier in his career, Mr. O’Connor was the General Counsel and Senior Vice President for ImClone Systems where he led the clinical development, launch and commercialization of ERBITUX®, and positioned ImClone for sale to Eli Lilly in 2008. Mr. O’Connor served as General Counsel at PharmaNet (today, Syneos Health) and was part of the senior leadership team that grew PharmaNet from a start-up clinical research organization (CRO) into a well-established leader in clinical research. Mr. O’Connor is a founding member of the Board of Directors of Seelos Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SEEL) and is the Chairman of the Audit Committee. Mr. O’Connor was a member of the Board of Trustees of BioNJ from 2015 to 2021and previously served as its Vice Chairman and Chairman of its Nominating Committee for several years. In 2015, Ernst & Young named Mr. O’Connor Entrepreneur of the Year® in New Jersey. Also in 2015, he was the “Highly Commended” award winner for the 8th Vaccine Industry Excellence Award (ViE) Best Biotech CEO. In 2017, he was appointed by the governor of New Jersey to serve on the New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force. The Task Force was created to improve communication between State government and the industry to find ways to help retain and attract biotechnology companies to New Jersey. In 2018, he received Irish American Magazine Healthcare & Life Sciences 50 Honoree. In May, 2021, he was named a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® in New Jersey. He is a 1995 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and previously served as a Trusted Advisor to its Dean. Mr. O’Connor graduated from the United States Marines Corps Officer Candidate School in 1988 and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Marines, attaining the rank of Captain and was deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield. Prior to his career in drug development, Mr. O’Connor was a former criminal prosecutor in Somerset County, New Jersey.

Portrait

David S. Briones , Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Briones is the founder and managing member of the Brio Financial Group (“Brio”), full-service financial consulting firm that brings experienced finance and accounting expertise to both public and private companies. Since 2010, Brio has served over 75 companies as well as numerous banks, hedge funds, venture capital funds and private equity firms. Mr. Briones has provided several public companies in financial reporting, internal control development and evaluation, budgeting and forecasting services. He has developed a specialty representing private companies as the outsourced CFO/Financial reporting specialist as a private company navigates toward becoming a public company through a self-filing, a reverse merger or through a traditional initial public offering. Mr. Briones’s client list crosses various industries: Technology/Internet, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Food and Beverage, Bio-technology, Software, Medical Device, Entertainment, Hedge Funds and Insurance. Prior to founding Brio, Mr. Briones had managed the Public Company and Hedge Fund practices at Bartolomei Pucciarelli, LLC (“BP”). Within that capacity, he performed audit services, outsourced CFO functions, and/or consulted with clients through difficult SEC comment periods particularly through application of complex accounting principles for a vast public company client base. Also, prior to joining BP, Mr. Briones was an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in New York, New York. He specialized in the financial services group, and most notably worked the MONY Group, Prudential Financial, and MetLife initial public offerings. He was promoted to Sr Associate after only 8 months of service at PwC and acted in managerial roles within his first two years at PwC. He holds Bachelor of Science in accounting from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Board of Directors

Portrait

Daniel J. O’Connor, J.D.

Mr. O’Connor has been serving as our Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer since inception. He is also a founder and the manager of Larkspur Health LLC. Between September 2017 and June 2021, Mr. O’Connor served as the Chief Executive Officer, President and Director of OncoSec Medical Incorporated, a New Jersey-based biotechnology company developing intratumoral cancer immunotherapy that utilizes IL-12. While serving as the Chief Executive Officer of OncoSec, Mr. O’Connor has launched two KEYNOTE studies combining Merck’s Keytruda® in PD-1 checkpoint refractory metastatic melanoma and in late-stage chemo-refractory triple negative breast cancer, raised more than $150 million and in 2019, successfully coordinated a $30 million strategic financing and collaboration with well-established biopharma partners. Prior to joining OncoSec, Mr. O’Connor served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Advaxis Inc., where he successfully up-listed the company to NASDAQ, implemented a turnaround strategy that resulted in more than $300 million raised in funding and licensing deals and established major partnerships with companies such as Amgen Inc., Merck & Co. and Bristol Myers Squibb. Under his leadership, Advaxis Inc. advanced four new cancer immunotherapy drug candidates into clinical trials and several PD-1 combination clinical studies with Keytruda® and Opdivo®, which ultimately transformed Advaxis Inc. into a patient-focused, leading cancer immunotherapy company. Earlier in his career, Mr. O’Connor was the General Counsel and Senior Vice President for ImClone Systems where he led the clinical development, launch and commercialization of ERBITUX®, and positioned ImClone for sale to Eli Lilly in 2008. Mr. O’Connor served as General Counsel at PharmaNet (today, Syneos Health) and was part of the senior leadership team that grew PharmaNet from a start-up clinical research organization (CRO) into a well-established leader in clinical research. Mr. O’Connor is a founding member of the Board of Directors of Seelos Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SEEL) and is the Chairman of the Audit Committee. Mr. O’Connor was a member of the Board of Trustees of BioNJ from 2015 to 2021and previously served as its Vice Chairman and Chairman of its Nominating Committee for several years. In 2015, Ernst & Young named Mr. O’Connor Entrepreneur of the Year® in New Jersey. Also in 2015, he was the “Highly Commended” award winner for the 8th Vaccine Industry Excellence Award (ViE) Best Biotech CEO. In 2017, he was appointed by the governor of New Jersey to serve on the New Jersey Biotechnology Task Force. The Task Force was created to improve communication between State government and the industry to find ways to help retain and attract biotechnology companies to New Jersey. In 2018, he received Irish American Magazine Healthcare & Life Sciences 50 Honoree. In May, 2021, he was named a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® in New Jersey. He is a 1995 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and previously served as a Trusted Advisor to its Dean. Mr. O’Connor graduated from the United States Marines Corps Officer Candidate School in 1988 and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Marines, attaining the rank of Captain and was deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield. Prior to his career in drug development, Mr. O’Connor was a former criminal prosecutor in Somerset County, New Jersey.

Portrait

David S. Briones

Mr. Briones is the founder and managing member of the Brio Financial Group (“Brio”), full-service financial consulting firm that brings experienced finance and accounting expertise to both public and private companies. Since 2010, Brio has served over 75 companies as well as numerous banks, hedge funds, venture capital funds and private equity firms. Mr. Briones has provided several public companies in financial reporting, internal control development and evaluation, budgeting and forecasting services. He has developed a specialty representing private companies as the outsourced CFO/Financial reporting specialist as a private company navigates toward becoming a public company through a self-filing, a reverse merger or through a traditional initial public offering. Mr. Briones’s client list crosses various industries: Technology/Internet, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Food and Beverage, Bio-technology, Software, Medical Device, Entertainment, Hedge Funds and Insurance. Prior to founding Brio, Mr. Briones had managed the Public Company and Hedge Fund practices at Bartolomei Pucciarelli, LLC (“BP”). Within that capacity, he performed audit services, outsourced CFO functions, and/or consulted with clients through difficult SEC comment periods particularly through application of complex accounting principles for a vast public company client base. Also, prior to joining BP, Mr. Briones was an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in New York, New York. He specialized in the financial services group, and most notably worked the MONY Group, Prudential Financial, and MetLife initial public offerings. He was promoted to Sr Associate after only 8 months of service at PwC and acted in managerial roles within his first two years at PwC. He holds Bachelor of Science in accounting from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Portrait

Raj Mehra, Ph.D., J.D.

Dr. Mehra is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Seelos Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to founding Seelos, Dr. Mehra spent nine years at Auriga USA, LLC as a managing director focused on private and public equity investments in global health care companies. Prior to Auriga, Dr. Mehra was the sector head for health care equity investments at Bennett Lawrence Management, LLC in New York. He also founded and managed a long/short equity hedge fund at Weiss, Peck & Greer LLC. Dr. Mehra started his career as an investment professional at Cowen Asset Management, LLC. Dr. Mehra holds M.S., M.Phil., Ph.D., J.D. and MBA degrees from Columbia University in New York. He is also a graduate of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, where he was ranked first in his class.

Portrait

Gregory Skalicky

Mr. Skalicky is EVERSANA’S Chief Revenue Officer. EVERSANA is a leading provider of global commercial services to the life sciences industry and serves more than 500 organizations, including innovative start-ups and established pharmaceutical companies to advance life science solutions for a healthier world. With more than 25 years of executive leadership, Mr. Skalicky understands all facets of the pharmaceutical industry, spanning clinical operations to commercial success. We serve more than 500 organizations, including innovative start-ups and established pharmaceutical companies to advance life science solutions for a healthier world. Mr. Skalicky’s previous roles include Chief Enterprise Business Officer and Executive Vice President and General Manager at a Syneos Health, a global bio-pharmaceutical solutions organization, where he successfully managed business units and teams of several thousand employees. He has worked in the pharmaceutical industry since 1995 and has a diverse background in both clinical development and product commercialization. He has functioned in a variety of executive leadership positions including global operations, business development and executive management with full P&L responsibility. Specific positions include Chief Revenue Officer, Chief Commercial Officer, Chief Business Officer and EVP/General Manager. Mr. Skalicky bring a very strong experience working across private equity backed organizations and served as front line leader representing 3 successful company transactions. As an executive leader, he also offers expertise spanning the entire product life-cycle (clinical development and commercialization) combined with large scale organizational oversight including the management of business units/teams representing several thousand employees across 50 countries. Mr. Skalicky holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Temple University and a Master of Business Administration from Villanova University. He is an active member across several industry panels and consortiums.

Portrait

Christopher Twitty, Ph.D.

Christopher Twitty, Ph.D. has served on our board of directors since July 2021. Dr. Twitty has over 20 years of experience in tumor immunology and cancer immunotherapy and is currently the Chief Scientific Officer of Onchilles Pharma where he is responsible for leading the development of its first-in-class therapeutics based on novel neutrophil immunobiology. This groundbreaking work has revealed that therapeutic modulation of this innate immune axis has the potential to selectively kill many cancer cell types while sparing non-cancer cells and for universal anti-cancer activity, independent of genetic mutation. Prior to his role at Onchilles Pharma, Dr. Twitty was the Chief Scientific Officer of OncoSec Medical Incorporated, where he oversaw its R&D program and was responsible for the development of its clinical immune monitoring and biomarker program. Dr. Twitty earned his PhD from Oregon Health & Science University where his work focused on novel tumor vaccine strategies and was awarded an American Cancer Society fellowship training grant for his post-doctoral studies in Dr. Bernard Fox’s Molecular Tumor Immunology Laboratory. After developing a pre-clinical and clinical immunological program focused on glioblastoma at Tocagen. Previously, Dr. Twitty held scientific positions at Bayer Pharmaceuticals and Cell Genesys, Inc.