Kees Been | President and Chief Executive Officer
Prior to joining EnVivo, Kees was CEO of Bionaut Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company using a proprietary cell-based discovery platform to advance drug candidates for cancer and inflammation. Prior to joining Bionaut, Kees spent four years at Biogen where he directed the Oncology Business Unit and, as Senior Vice President of Business Development, led all of Biogen’s deal-making efforts and portfolio management activities. Major deals he oversaw include the collaborations with Elan on Antegren (now Tysabri), with ICOS on the oral LFA-1 antagonist, and with EOS Biotechnology on breast cancer target discovery. Prior to joining Biogen in 1999, Kees held executive positions with Monsanto Life Sciences Company and was mainly involved in corporate change projects and large growth strategies in Latin America. From 1988-1995, Kees worked at Gemini Consulting where his last position was Vice President, responsible for building the pharmaceuticals practice. He began his career as a scientist on the Interferon-gamma project at Biogen in Geneva, Switzerland. He holds an MBA degree from INSEAD in France and graduated from the University of Agriculture in Holland, majoring in Molecular Biology and Process Engineering.
Gerhard Koenig, Ph.D. | Chief Scientific Officer
Gerhard Koenig brings more than 15 years of research and development experience to EnVivo Pharmaceuticals, with an important focus on neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s Disease. As Chief Scientific Officer, Gerhard is focusing on the daily scientific and operational management of the company. He has co-authored major scientific publications, patents and reviews of new research findings in prestigious journals. Previously, Gerhard spent 10 years at Bayer Corporation in West Haven, CT and at Bayer AG, Germany in various functions, including Director of the Dementia Research Department at Bayer AG, Germany. In his last function, he was responsible for the pre-clinical dementia research pipeline and that work resulted in the introduction of several compounds into development. Gerhard received his M.S. and his Ph.D. degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology, graduating Suma Cum Laude from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
Michael Palfreyman, Ph.D., D.Sc. | Vice President, Program Management and Drug Development
Dr. Palfreyman is a seasoned leader in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries with over 30 years experience. In 2003, he co-founded NOVACE Corporation, a network of entrepreneurs providing scientific, and strategic management solutions to the biotechnology industry and venture capital community; in 2000 he joined Psychiatric Genomics, where he was Founder, CSO and President of a biotechnology company developing genome-based approaches to drug discovery for the treatment of Mental Illness. From 1994-2000 he was Senior Vice President of Research & Development at Scriptgen (Anadys) Pharmaceuticals, that developed a genomic-based drug discovery platform in infectious diseases. From 1975 to 1994, Michael held a number of senior positions at Marion Merrell Dow Research Institute (Aventis), including Vice President Research, North America. From 1970 to 1975 Michael was Head of Biochemical Pharmacology at Beecham Pharmaceuticals (GlaxoSmithKline) where he pioneered rational biochemical approaches to drug discovery with three compounds demonstrating clinical effectiveness. Michael received both his Ph.D. and D.Sc. from the University of Nottingham in neuroscience and rational drug design of CNS active drugs, respectively. He has been an invited speaker and chairperson for a number of international and national conferences, is co-inventor on 35 issued US patents, 3 pending patents and co-author of over 150 scientific articles and book chapters.
Michael K. Ahlijanian, Ph.D. | Vice President, Research and Development
Dr. Ahlijanian has worked in Neuroscience for over 25 years with 15 years in CNS Discovery at Pfizer rising to the level of Executive Director. Ahlijanian has broad experience in small molecule drug discovery in both Neurodegenerative and Psychiatric diseases and has led or contributed to teams that have generated multiple compounds for clinical development. He also has significant experience in preclinical and clinical development. As VP of Research and Development, Michael is focused on the delivery of clinical candidates from Research and the preclinical development of these candidates prior to testing in human. Michael received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota (A. E. Takemori) and received post-doctoral training at the University of Colorado (D.M.F. Cooper) and the University of Washington (W.A. Catterall). He has published in key scientific and Neuroscience journals, is co-inventor on several issued US patents and has been an invited speaker to domestic and international meetings and symposia.
Jean-Marie Valet, Ph.D., MBA | Vice President, Business Development
Dr. Vallet joins EnVivo from Cyrma Consulting, LLC. Dr. Vallet has over 20 years experience in a variety of research, marketing and business roles in life sciences, including in 14 years the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to founding Cyrma, Dr. Vallet most recently served as Vice President of Business and Commercial Development at Guilford Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he led the company’s business development initiatives. Prior to Guilford, Dr. Vallet held senior level business development and marketing positions at Pierre Fabre (France), Parke-Davis (Germany), Warner Lambert (USA) and Bristol Myers Squibb (USA), completing numerous R&D, commercialization and M&A agreements with global pharmaceutical and life sciences companies in Europe and the US. Dr. Vallet started his career as a genetic engineer at the Geneva Branch of Battelle Institute, an American research contract and consulting organization. Progressing through a number of domestic and international positions, Dr. Vallet retired from BMS as a Vice President of Business Development for the European Region. He holds a Master of Biochemistry from University of Orsay Paris XI, France and a D.E.A. of Quantitative Genetics from the same university. He was a Research & Teaching Assistant in the Molecular Biology Department of the University of Geneva, Switzerland, which sponsored his doctoral work. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in 1985 and a Masters of Business Administration from IMD in 1988 (International Management Development, Switzerland). Dr. Vallet is a member of the Licensing Executive Society and a member of the Business Development Group of the US Bio-industry Association.
James K.T. Wang, Ph.D. | Senior Director, Head of Discovery
Jim Wang has twenty years experience in neuropharmacology research and biotechnology drug discovery. Most recently, he headed the Neuroprotection Program at Cogent Neuroscience, Inc. in North Carolina, and was responsible for the discovery of many novel neuroprotective genes and small molecules with therapeutic potential for stroke and other diseases of acute CNS and retinal injuries. Prior to that, he was a faculty member in the Neuroscience Department of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. Jim received his B.A. and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Columbia University, New York, and did his postdoctoral research in neurobiology at the Rockefeller University under the Nobel Laureate Paul Greengard.
Alan Gill, Ph.D. | Director, Head of Pharmacology
Alan Gill is an experienced pharmacologist/physiologist with a thorough understanding of practical investigation in complex in vivo animal systems. Prior to joining EnVivo, Alan spent 13 years at Biogen and Biogen Idec’s where he was responsible for the discovery of anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic drugs. His efforts led to the discovery of drug candidates which resulted in Biogen’s collaboration with Merck and Co. Prior to Biogen, Alan worked 12 years at Johnson & Johnson’s worldwide drug discovery research division. He was responsible for the discovery of antihypertensive drugs and collaborated on projects in ischemic heart disease, heart failure, atherosclerosis, thrombosis, renal physiology/pharmacology, and cardiac electrophysiology. As the Development Team Chairman, he also directed projects from discovery through IND, to Phase II clinical efficacy. Alan holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the M.S. Hershey Medical Center of thePennsylvania State University, and his M.S. in Physiology and Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of San Francisco.
Richard Chesworth, DPhil. | Principal Scientist, Chemistry
Christopher Cummings, Ph.D. | Director, Program Management, EVP – 3546
Chris Cummings research has defined new milestones in the understanding of neurodegenerative pathways. Most recently, Dr. Cummings was at AGY Therapeutics where he managed internal research programs and established core technologies. Prior to that, he was an Associate in R&D at Genencor International (Palo Alto). He received his B.A. degree in microbiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Texas.
Ann Barbier, M.D., Ph.D. | Director, Program Management, HDAC, Alpha7
Ann Barbier brings both a clinical perspective and extensive research experience in neuroscience to her current position at EnVivo. Prior to joining EnVivo Pharmaceuticals, Ann led drug discovery efforts in the neuroscience field at Johnson & Johnson and Aventis, now Sanofi-Aventis. She has worked in the schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis and cognition areas, with several projects progressing into the clinic. She has coauthored numerous publications and patent applications and was a contributor to the journal “Trends in Pharmacological Sciences”. Ann Barbier received both her MD and her PhD in pharmacology from the University of Gent, Belgium.
Scott W. Murphy | Director, Finance
Scott Murphy brings more than sixteen years of finance, accounting and management experience in biopharmaceutical manufacturing and research and development environments to EnVivo Pharmaceuticals. Scott spent twelve years with Serono Laboratories, Inc. in various positions of increasing responsibility, ultimately as Director of Operations Finance. In this role, he oversaw all financial aspects for the Manufacturing Operations division, established leadership roles on several global process improvement initiatives, and developed financial and operating metrics that were adopted for global management reporting. Subsequently, Scott was Vice President of Finance and Administration and Chief Operating Officer for Immunetics, Inc., Director of Finance for Antigenics, Inc., and Director of Finance for Dimension Data, Inc. Scott received a B.S. in accounting from Bentley College and an M.B.A. from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.