SHAWN MOJTAHEDIAN, PH.D.; FOUNDER, PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Dr. Mojtahedian received his doctorate from the University of Southern California (USC) under the tutelage of Richard F. Thompson, Ph.D. Dr. Thompson is an internationally renowned senior neuroscientist who has achieved numerous honors and awards in delineating the fundamental mechanisms underlying the neuronal substrates of learning and memory.  Before his doctoral training, Dr. Mojtahedian also spent several years training in the laboratory of Arnold B. Scheibel, M.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  Dr. Scheibel is a highly distinguished world-renowned neuroscientist with over 50 years of teaching and research experience, and is presently one of the highest ranking professors at UCLA.  His research is focused on substrates of consciousness and higher cognitive functions, aging, and central nervous system (CNS) disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and schizophrenia.  During this time, Dr. Mojtahedian also gained very valuable industry experience as a Senior Analyst at a leading molecular diagnostics company in West Los Angeles, CA called National Genetics Institute (NGI), which provides advanced genetic testing services for blood screening, medical testing, and clinical research.  NGI was subsequently acquired by Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp). 

Dr. Mojtahedian received his B.Sc. degree in Biology, with Honors in Major and College Honors, from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from USC.

VINCENT F. SIMMON, PH.D.; VICE PRESIDENT OF REGULATORY & CORPORATE AFFAIRS

Dr. Simmon received his doctorate from Brown University and conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University.  He was employed by SRI International for six years rising to Assistant Director in the Department of Toxicology.  He then joined Genex Corporation in 1979 and was Senior Vice President, Research when he was hired by W.R. Grace & Co to manage all of their biotechnology assets.  After five years at Grace, Dr. Simmon became CEO of Alpha 1 Biomedicals, Inc.  His next career move was to Cortex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he was appointed CEO until 2002.  After three years as COO of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA, he returned to Irvine, CA, as CEO of Xytis, Inc.  Dr. Simmon has been affiliated with the biotechnology industry for over 33 years with two of the companies, namely, Cortex and Xytis, being involved specifically with the central nervous system (CNS).

Dr. Simmon received his B.A. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Amherst College, M.Sc. in Plant Physiology from University of Toledo, and Ph.D. in Molecular and Microbiology from Brown University.  He has also completed coursework at the MBA Executive Management Programs at Stanford University and W.R. Grace.

JAMES W. LARRICK, M.D., PH.D.; CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER

Dr. Larrick is a pioneer of the biotechnology industry.  He is an outstanding biomedical entrepreneur with an international reputation in cytokines, therapeutic antibodies, molecular biology, and pharmaceutical drug development.  During his 25-year career, he has written or coauthored eight books, over 250 papers/chapters, over 30 patents, and has served on the editorial boards of six journals.  His work on therapeutic antibodies and other protein therapeutics has spanned the entire range of biopharmaceutical product development from target discovery, process science to advanced clinical trials.  Dr. Larrick has also served as chairman of the biomedical screening committee of the Life Science Angels.

Dr. Larrick began his biotechnology career as a founding scientist at Cetus Immune Research Labs, one of the very earliest biotechnology companies, starting in 1982.  He became Director of Research in 1985.  Cetus later became Chiron, which was ultimately acquired by Novartis for $5.1 billion.  While at Cetus, Dr. Larrick developed technologies that were critical to the practical development of recombinant antibodies as a new class of biotherapeutics (encompassing many blockbuster drugs today).  In 1991, Dr. Larrick founded the Panorama Institute of Molecular Medicine (PRI).  The PRI team has discovered and initiated development of a diverse and innovative portfolio of drug candidates addressing major unmet needs in cancer, infectious, autoimmune, cardiovascular, neurological, and metabolic diseases.  PRI has incubated more than 20 life science projects, which have led to Dr. Larrick co-founding the Palo Alto Institute of Molecular Medicine and more than a dozen other companies.  To date, PRI-initiated projects and/or companies have led to five initial public offerings and numerous successful acquisitions.

Dr. Larrick holds both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Duke University School of Medicine where he was a Medical Scientist Training Program scholar.  He completed house staff training in internal medicine at Stanford Medical Center followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in the Stanford Cancer Biology Research Labs working on therapeutic human monoclonal antibodies for cancer and infectious diseases.  Currently, he continues his roles at PRI and Life Science Angels, and serves on the boards of several biotechnology companies.  Dr. Larrick also supports the hospital in Turmi, South Omo Valley, Ethiopia, and serves on the Boards of two non-profits, namely, the Sustainable Sciences Institute and the Sankofa Center for African Dance and Culture, focused on education, diagnosis, and therapy of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Ghana.

WILLIAM C. STEVENS, JR., PH.D.; DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Dr. Stevens is a business development professional that has successfully worked with several different companies.  As Vice President of Business Development for Granlen, a chemistry-based contract research organization (based in Zhengzou, China), he assisted in building a very sustainable and growing business overseas.  Most recently, he has been working with a group of independent business professionals to improve the profitability of several different organizations.  Prior to engaging in business development, Dr. Stevens spent several years working with Exelixis where he was instrumental in leading two major projects to partnership and clinical trials.  In total, the mineralocorticoid antagonist (MR) program provided Exelixis with over $70 million in guaranteed near-term payments, over $1 billion in potential development and commercialization milestones, and substantial royalties.  The liver X receptor program was partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb for up-front payments of $17.5 million and research and development funding of about $10 million per year over an initial two-year period.  Exelixis was also entitled to $140 million in development and regulatory milestone payments per product for up to two products as well as downstream royalties.

Dr. Stevens received a B.Sc. from Virginia Commonwealth University, a M.A. from Lehigh University in Physical Organic Chemistry, and a Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry from the University of Virginia.  He was a NIH psychoneuroimmunology postdoctoral trainee with the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation at the University of Minnesota where he discovered the most potent non-peptide antagonist of the kappa-opioid receptor.

BENJAMIN B. TRAN, PH.D., MBA; CONSULTING CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER & SHAREHOLDER

Dr. Tran specializes in cross-border M&A, private equity and merchant banking advisory.  He is currently Chairman of of Asia Pacific Capital, a global private equity advisory firm and was also President of an Asian-based JV with Brean Murray Carret & Co., a New York-based investment bank that has transacted over 100 IPOs/APOs/SPACs and raised over $4 billion for U.S. and Asian companies.  Dr. Tran often formulates M&A executions via going public with various financing options for SMEs via globalization strategies. Dr. Tran has been seasoned international consultant providing corporate development and interim senior management to emerging-growth companies in Silicon Valley and Asia Pacific region.  He also served as board director, CFO, corporate strategist, and executive advisor for several distressed companies, managing turn-around situations. He also serves as Chairman of International Western Oil and board member of Key Legend Group, an energy-focused private equity firm.  As a Silicon Valley high-tech veteran, Dr. Tran brings over 20 years of diversified experience, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity, strategic marketing and international business development.  Prior to his investment and corporate advisory career, Dr. Tran worked for technology leaders including Micron Technology, Fujitsu Microelectronics, Mitsubishi Electric, Philips Semiconductors, holding various senior technical and marketing management positions.

Dr. Tran holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration, an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University, California.