Donald C. Fresne, Founder and Executive Chairman has more than 20 years experience in the biotechnology industry. He was the founder and CEO of Egenix, Inc. Egenix was a privately held, New York based biotechnology company focused on the development of innovative cancer therapeutics.
In addition, Mr. Fresne has extensive management experience in the plastics and chemical industry. He is the former Chairman and CEO at Texas Chemical and Plastics, Inc. and the former Chairman and CEO at Resorcinol PR, Inc.
Paul H. Schwartz, DVM, COO is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with extensive practices throughout New York. He is accomplished in the care of small animals and equines. In his practice, he has remained on the forefront with the development of new procedures and technologies in veterinary science.
In addition to developing and managing his Veterinary Centers, Dr. Schwartz is experienced in bringing new technologies to market and running several for profit enterprises. He is currently the President of Equine Nutriceuticals, LLC, in Bloomsbury, NJ, and previously was President of the Veterinary Medical Division of Drug Delivery Systems Inc, NYC, NY.
Dr. Schwartz has a BS in Statistics and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida Gainesville, FL. His post Baccalaureate Training includes Advanced Orthopedics Canine/Equine (OSU), and Advanced Ultrasound Imaging/Echocardiography. In addition, he holds certification in Tibial Plateau Leveling (TPLO/Slocum Inst.) and Veterinary Acupuncture (IVAS).
Chris Tewell has played a significant role in the financing and operations of biochemical, energy, transportation and infrastructure companies during his 45 year career. Currently he is an advisor and board member of PBF, a Peruvian importer and distributor of refined petroleum products. Prior to that, he was a senior advisor to Plainfield Asset Management; in this capacity he started a fuel pellet business, served on a variety of boards and became CFO of Myriant Technologies, a biochemical firm. During this time, he also served as a director of Trans Advantage, the captive leasing activity of UniGroup, the parent of United Van Lines and Mayflower Transit. Previously Mr. Tewell was chief of staff to the chairman of GATX and responsible for that firm’s subsidiary, American Steamship, the largest vessel operator on the Great Lakes. Before joining GATX he was President and CEO of Triton Container International, the world’s largest container lessor. In the 1990s Mr. Tewell was Acting President of GE Capital Asia Pacific based in Hong Kong. He also has worked at various financial institutions in leasing and project finance. Mr. Tewell has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a BA with honors in Economics from Trinity College.
Robert B. Perni, Ph.D., is currently Principal, JMD Pharma Creativity, LLC, a pharmaceutical research consulting firm. Dr. Perni is a medicinal chemist with extensive experience (30 years)in all aspects of medicinal chemistry/drug discovery through early stage process development of clinical candidates. He also is an expert in outsourcing and managing external research efforts both domestically and overseas. Areas of expertise include but are not limited to:
♦ All aspects of medicinal chemistry
♦ Drug discovery and design strategies
♦ Synthetic chemistry
♦ SAR analysis
♦ Structure-based drug design
♦ Hit-to-lead chemistry
♦ Evaluation and drafting of NCE Intellectual Property
♦ Due diligence data review
♦ Managing external (partnered) collaborations
♦ Outsourcing and managing external (CRO) chemistry
♦ Compound management
♦ Resource management
Dr. Perni founded and is currently Principal at JMD Pharma Creativity, He is also currently serving on the Advisory Boards of the Barnett Institute at Northeastern University and WntRx Pharmaceuticals. Prior to founding JMD Pharma Creativity, Dr. Perni was Vice President, Chemistry at Sirtris Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, MA) until 2013. His responsibilities
encompassed medicinal chemistry, synthetic chemistry, chemistry outsourcing, compound management and biophysics. His efforts leading Sirtris Chemistry resulted in the identification of three clinical candidates for multiple indications as well as numerous publications. Dr. Perni joined Sirtris in early 2007 as Sr. Director, Chemistry following nine years at Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, MA, 1998-2007) where he played a number of roles. He initially joined the HCV protease inhibition research team at Vertex as head of the HCV medicinal chemistry team. Shortly thereafter he assumed the position of Project Head taking on responsibility for all aspects of the HCV program while remaining as head of the HCV protease medicinal chemistry group. This effort led to the discovery of Incivek™ (VX-950, telaprevir)
which was approved for sale in 2011 in the US, Europe and Japan. Subsequently, he was also head of the Hits-to-Leads group at Vertex and managed worldwide chemistry outsourcing.
Prior to joining Vertex, Dr. Perni was Director of Chemistry at Avid Therapeutics (Philadelphia, PA, 1995-1997) focusing on antiviral drug discovery and development against hepatitis B. He began his career in the Medicinal Chemistry Department at Sterling Winthrop (Albany NY and Upper Providence, PA), working in antibacterial, antiviral and oncology drug discovery research where he was responsible for the identification of multiple clinical candidates for oncology indications (1986-1995).
Dr. Perni held a post-doctoral appointment at the University of Rochester (1984-1986) and performed his graduate work in the total synthesis of indole alkaloids at Dartmouth College where he was awarded a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry (1983). He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Northeastern University (1979). He is the author or coauthor of 170 research publications, abstracts, review articles, invited lectures, issued patents and published IP applications.