Board of Directors

Dr. Ronald Blanck, Chairman

Ronald R. Blanck, DO has served as a director since December 2009 and as Chairman since September 2011. Dr. Blanck has served as chairman of Martin, Blanck & Associates, a federal health services consulting firm based in Falls Church, VA since January 2010. He began his military career in 1968 as a medical officer and battalion surgeon in Vietnam, retiring 32 years later as a Lieutenant General and Surgeon General of the U.S. Army and commander of the U.S. Army Medical Command. He also served as commander of Walter Reed Medical Center and the North Atlantic Region Medical Command. His background also includes serving as president of the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.

John Kelley

John P. Kelley joined our company as Chief Executive Officer in November 2013, and has served as a director since December 2013. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Kelley co-founded Phyxius Pharma, Inc. (“Phyxius”) and held the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Director from January 2010 until November 2013. Prior to Phyxius, Mr. Kelley served as President and Chief Operating Officer of The Medicines Company, a provider of medical solutions to hospitals, from December 2004 to December 2009 and as a director from February 2005 to December 2009.  Prior to The Medicines Company, Mr. Kelley held a series of positions at Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Aventis”), an international pharmaceutical company.  From September 2003 until September 2004, Mr. Kelley served as Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Medical at Aventis, where he was accountable for worldwide brand management of Aventis’ core strategic brands and managed strategic alliances with partner companies.  From September 2002 to September 2003, he served as Senior Vice President, Strategic Risk Officer for Aventis, advising the Management Board and Chief Executive Officer.  From January 2000 to September 2002, Mr. Kelley served as Vice President, Head of Strategic Development of Aventis where he was responsible for leading the strategic planning process of the pharmaceutical division of Aventis as well as merger and acquisition activity. Prior to the formation of Aventis, he served as a Vice President, Commercial Director, U.S. at Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc., a life sciences firm focused on pharmaceuticals and agriculture, from March 1998 through December 1999 and Mr. Kelley served as Vice President of Marketing of Hoechst Marion Roussel from 1995 to 1998.  Mr. Kelley currently serves on the Board of Directors of Acorda Therapeutics.  Mr. Kelley received a B.S. degree in Biology from Wilkes University and an M.B.A. from Rockhurst University.

Anthony DiTonno

Anthony A. DiTonno has served as a director since December 2011. Since February 2013, Mr. DiTonno has served as Chief Executive Officer of Avantis Medical Systems, Inc., a medical device company that develops and manufactures catheter-based endoscopic devices.  From April 2003 until December 2011, Mr. DiTonno was President and Chief Executive Officer of Neurogesx Inc., a biopharmaceutical company based in the San Francisco Bay area (“Neurogesx”). During his time at Neurogesx, Mr. DiTonno also served on its board of directors.  Mr. DiTonno has funded companies through a variety of financial arrangements including private and public financings, partnerships and debt. He has also been successful in gaining regulatory approvals in both the United States and European Union. Previously, he was Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Enteric Medical Technologies Inc., which was acquired by Boston Scientific Company; President and Chief Executive Officer of Lifesleep Systems, Inc.; and Vice President and General Manager of Olcassen Pharmaceuticals, which was sold to Watson Laboratories. Early in his career, he held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility at Rorer Group, Inc. (Rhône Poulenc Rorer) and Wyeth Laboratories. Mr. DiTonno received an M.B.A. from Drexel University and a B.S. in Business Administration from St. Joseph’s University.

James Mitchum

Mr. Mitchum is an experienced, highly-regarded pharmaceutical executive and has served as the chief executive officer of Heart to Heart International, a non-profit humanitarian organization, since September 2014. From 2009 to July 2012, Mr. Mitchum served as president of the Americas for EUSA Pharma (USA), Inc., where he oversaw the streamlining of that business as well as the development, FDA approval and successful launch of a pediatric oncology drug in 2011. Previously, he served as president and chief executive officer of Enturia, Inc., a privately owned drug-device company based in Kansas City. From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Mitchum served as the president and chief executive officer of Sanofi-Aventis Group Japan, and he was chief executive for Aventis Pharma UK from 2000 through 2002. He has also worked in a variety of other senior financial roles. Mr. Mitchum currently serves as a director for NephroGenex Inc., a company developing drugs to treat kidney disease, and has also served as a director on numerous private company and organization boards. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee and a B.S. in Business and Math from Milligan College.

Gregory Pepin

Gregory Pepin has served as a director since August 2009.  From July 2008 until April 2010, he was engaged as a Senior Vice President at Melixia SA (“Melixia”), an investment management company based in Switzerland.  In that position he participated in the formation of Vatea Fund, a stakeholder in our company, and has served as a Managing Director of that fund since June 2009.  In May 2010, he co-founded EOS Investment, Ltd. (“EOS”), an investment company based in the Cayman Islands, which serves as investment manager of Vatea Fund and as investment manager and managing director of OXBT Fund, one of our principal stockholders.  EOS serves as the investment manager and the managing director for two other funds that are not affiliated with us.  In May 2010, Mr. Pepin co-founded Independent Wealth Management, SA, an investment management company based in Switzerland, and he has served as a financial analyst for the company since that time.  From September 2005 through the end of June 2008, Mr. Pepin was employed as a consultant in finance and insurance by Winter & Associates located in Paris, France.  In July 2005, Mr. Pepin earned the degree of Master of Science and Economy, Finance and Actuaries, from HEC Lausanne.

Gerald Proehl

Gerald T. Proehl has served as a director since April 2014. Currently, Mr. Proehl is a Founder, President, CEO and Director of Dermata Therapeutics, LLC, a private biotechnology company. From January 2002 to January 2014, Mr. Proehl was the President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Santarus, Inc. (“Santarus”), a company that he helped to found in 1999. From March 2000 through December 2001, Mr. Proehl was President and Chief Operating Officer of Santarus, and from April 1999 to March 2000, Mr. Proehl was Vice President, Marketing and Business Development of Santarus. Mr. Proehl helped lead the sale of Santarus to Salix Pharmaceuticals for $2.6 billion in January of 2014. Prior to joining Santarus, Mr. Proehl was with HMR, for 14 years, where he served in various capacities, including Vice President of Global Marketing. During his career at HMR he worked across numerous therapeutic areas, including CNS, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal. Mr. Proehl currently serves on the Board of Directors of of Sophiris Bio Inc., a publicly traded company developing a late-stage, targeted treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, and Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly traded company developing therapeutic products that modulate the human gut microbiome to treat gastrointestinal diseases. Mr. Proehl also serves on a number of private company boards including Kinetek Sports, Inc., Patara Pharma, LLC and MDRejuvena, Inc.. Mr. Proehl holds a B.S. in education from the State University of New York at Cortland, an M.A. in exercise physiology from Wake Forest University and an M.B.A. from Rockhurst University.

Chris A. Rallis

Chris A. Rallis has served as a director since December 2011. Mr. Rallis is an Executive-in-Residence at Pappas Ventures, a life science venture capital firm based in Durham, NC. From April 2006 until June 2007, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of ImmunoBiosciences, Inc., a vaccine technology company formerly located in Raleigh, NC. He has served as a consultant for Duke University and Panacos Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and is the former President and Chief Operating Officer of Triangle Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Triangle”), which was acquired by Gilead Sciences in January 2003 for approximately $465 million. While at Triangle, he participated in 11 equity financings generating gross proceeds of approximately $500 million. He was also primarily responsible for all business development activities which included a worldwide alliance with Abbott Laboratories and the in-licensing of 10 compounds. Earlier, he served in various business development and legal management roles with Burroughs Wellcome, Co. Mr. Rallis serves on the boards of Aeolus Pharmaceuticals and Adherex Technologies and chairs the Audit Committee of both boards. He received his A.B. degree in economics from Harvard College and a J.D. from Duke University.