Daniel J. O’Connor

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.