Our monthly roundup of ‘people on the move’ in Canada’s life science and biotech sectors.
BiOasis Technologies Inc. has appointed Christopher P. Lowe, MBA, as chief financial officer and board advisor. Lowe will report to Mark Day, president and chief executive officer of biOasis and will be responsible for the company’s corporate and financial strategy that includes transactions and fundraising.
Lowe has over fifteen years of senior management experience as president, chief building officer, and chief financial officer of various private and public life sciences, medical technology and technology companies.
More recently, Lowe has been a partner at FLG Partners, a leading CFO service and board advisory firm in Silicon Valley. Prior to being a partner at FLG, he served as a strategy, financial and management consultant to several public and private companies. He has also served as a member of the board of directors to both public and private companies and has chaired audit and compensation committees. Lowe contributes to companies by assisting them with corporate and financial strategy, successive fundraising, public company advising, Wall Street communications, licensing transactions, mergers, and acquisitions.
Lowe has successfully raised over five-hundred million in private and public financings, completed over one-billion in merger and acquisition transactions, negotiated over three-hundred million in debt instruments for companies and has overseen three SOX-404 implementations.
Montreal based BioAmber Inc. has appointed Richard P. Eno as its new chief executive officer and a new member of the board. Eno brings over thirty years of related management experience to the table from sectors such as the energy, chemical, biotechnological and material industries. He was a president, CEO, and board member of a publicly traded industrial biotechnology company for over five years.
Eno began his career in Chevron’s chemical operations with roles in engineering, manufacturing, and construction operations. Later, he began management consulting where he specialized in addressing critical strategic and operational issues and company leadership in the chemical and energy industries. Additionally, he had a leadership role in the biotechnology company, Metabolix, and was a senior partner at a global management consultancy.
“The board is pleased to have found an individual with an ideal industry background as well as public company experience to assume leadership of BioAmber. Rick is uniquely qualified to lead BioAmber successfully into the future,” said Ray Land, BioAmber’s chairman of the board.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has named Mona Nemer to be Canada’s new chief science advisor. She is currently vice president of research at the University of Ottawa, where she oversees research strategies, infrastructure, and commercialization; and is also a professor in the faculty of medicine and director of the molecular genetics and cardiac regeneration laboratory.
Her work with industry partners, government leaders, granting councils and other research institutions create an influential and motivating environment for research in Canada and for the benefit of Canadian society.
Nemer’s office will have a two-million-dollar budget, and she will report to both Trudeau and minister of science, Kirsty Duncan. Her will mandate include providing scientific advice to government ministers, helping to keep government-funded science accessible to the public, and protecting government scientists from being hushed. She will also deliver an annual report to the prime minister and science minister on the state of federal government science.
Akcea Therapeutics Canada appointed Nelly Komari B. Pharm., MSc., as medical director. Bringing almost twenty years of biopharmaceutical experience and knowledge, Komari has an extensive knowledge of the cardiovascular and thrombosis systems. Akcea Therapeutics Canada, the Canadian subsidiary of Akcea Therapeutics, Inc., an affiliate of Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is focused on developing and commercializing drugs to treat patients with serious cardiometabolic diseases caused by lipid disorders.
Prior to joining Akcea, Komari held several strategic positions at Sanofi, including Medical Advisor, and was a member of Sanofi’s global medical launch team. Most recently, Komari was involved in the Canadian launch of the cholesterol-fighting drug, Praluent, a PCSK9 inhibitor. She received her pharmacy degree from Laval University in Quebec City and holds a graduate diploma in clinical pharmacy from the same university.
As the medical director for Akcea Therapeutics Canada, Komari will lead the company’s medical affairs function and work directly with the Canadian healthcare community to improve patient care for Canadians suffering from lipid disorders. She will be responsible for the development and implementation of the programs, be the link between Akcea and Canada’s medical community, as well as work with leading healthcare providers involved in the treatment of patients with lipid disorders.
Emerald Health Therapeutics appoints Chris Wagner as the new chief executive officer and a director of EHT. Wagner has spent over twenty-five years in marketing for pharmaceutical products and the building of biotechnology companies. Wagner will replace Huang, who will continue to focus on the management and growth of one of the company subsidiaries.
He worked with Eli Lilly for ten years, mounting to global team leader and working in Europe, North America, and Asia. He worked on the global marketing of several notable products, including Prozac, Cialis, and Zyprexa. Then went on to Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Inc. as vice president in business development and global marketing, where he aided in the negotiations of global alliances with Roche and Chugai.
Most recently, he served as chairman, president, and CEO of Contextual Genomics Inc, a molecular bioinformatics company that has worked with AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Sanofi to develop and commercialize genomic cancer diagnostic products.
BIOQuébec has appointed Frank Béraud, president, and CEO of Montréal InVivo, Maha Katabi, Jean-Frédéric Lafontaine, director of government relations for AstraZeneca Canada Inc. and Suzie Talbot, president and chief executive officer of Diex Recherche, as directors on the board of directors at BIOQuébec.
Frank Béraud is currently the president and chief executive officer of Montréal InVivo and has nearly twenty-five years of experience in the life sciences sector. Before joining Montréal InVivo in 2010 as project director, Béraud worked at BIOQuébec as the director of strategic development and policy. He also worked as a business development manager for an SME in biotechnology. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble and an MBA from the Université du Québec à Montréal.
With over fifteen years of experience in private investment, Maha Katabi joined the sectoral asset management team in 2008 before being promoted to partner in 2012. Prior to this, she was vice president of Ventures West, a private venture capital firm with more than seven-hundred-million in Canadian-based management. She has managed investments in biotechnology across Canada and the United States and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a PhD in Pharmacology from McGill University.
Jean-Frédéric Lafontaine has held the position of director of government relations for AstraZeneza Canada Inc. for almost ten years He also serves as president of the life sciences committee of the Quebec Federation of Chambers of Commerce, and aids in the administration of Héma-Québec and the NEOMED Institute. He holds a bachelor’s degree in neurobiology from McGill University and a master’s degree in health law from the Université de Sherbrooke.
Suzie Talbot has twenty years of clinical research experience and founded DIEX Recherche with her partner, Jean-François Lessard, in 2006. She was the president and chief executive officer. She also served as co-chair of SAGE-Innovation in the eastern townships, a community that brings together more than forty healthcare companies to promote the development of innovations and structuring projects. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the Université de Montréal and an MBA from the Université de Sherbrooke.
BIOQuébec believes that “their professional background, coupled with their many skills, leadership and extensive experience in the sector make them exceptional candidates.”