Management

Frank Gleeson, MBA

Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer, Board Member

Mr. Gleeson is an accomplished business leader with a depth of experience as a business executive, venture capitalist and start-up entrepreneur. During his career, Mr. Gleeson has been involved in over 20 biomedical companies and has negotiated numerous financing and M&A transactions valued in excess of $500 million. Prior to founding Satellos in early 2018, he spent four years with the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC) where as Chief-Commercial Operations Mr. Gleeson was instrumental in building a global radiopharmaceutical manufacturing business and supporting the creation of two spin-out companies. Prior to CPDC, he served as an Executive-in-Residence with the Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (FACIT), an innovative nucleator, where he supported or led the creation, financing and exits of 3 new entities. In 2008 Mr. Gleeson co-founded, with Dr. Rudnicki, a stem-cell biotechnology company which they successfully merged into Fate Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: FATE) in 2010. Earlier, Mr. Gleeson was founding CEO of MDS Proteomics Inc., a strategic corporate play focused on mapping the proteome, where he made and integrated 3 acquisitions, built leading-edge sequencing infrastructure, a 200-person team, and raised in excess of $100M. From 1994-2000, Mr. Gleeson was a senior vice president and venture partner with MDS Capital Corp. (now Lumira), where he was lead partner on a fund with over $250M under management focused on creating drug discovery companies based on novel Canadian science. Prior to his tenure with MDS, Frank enjoyed a 17-year operational career with ICI plc (now AstraZeneca), a global chemicals, pharmaceuticals and advanced materials company, during which he was involved in technology commercialization in several fields both in Canada and internationally. Mr. Gleeson has served on numerous Boards of private and public companies and not-for profit entities. He is a member of the investment advisory committee of Fighting Blindness Canada.

Dr. Michael Rudnicki, OC, PhD, FRS, FRSC 

Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer

An acknowledged world thought leader and scientific authority on muscle stem cell function and their role in muscle regeneration, in a landmark 2007 Cell paper, Dr. Rudnicki was the first to define so called muscle stem cells (a.k.a. ‘satellite cells’) and characterize a subpopulation as bona fide multipotent stem cells capable of both selfrenewal and regeneration. Building on this seminal work, Dr. Rudnicki has established a continuous record of foundational findings and discoveries spanning a 25-year research career. In so doing, he has transformed the field’s understanding of the nature and role muscle stem cells play in the lifelong repair and growth processes of skeletal muscle, the body’s largest organ. Of extraordinary significance, Dr. Rudnicki and his team made the breakthrough identification of a signalling role for dystrophin in orienting muscle stem cells to divide asymmetrically to produce muscle progenitor cells.  This seminal discovery transforms the classical understanding of Duchenne muscle dystrophy as a disease of muscle fragility to a new paradigm in which defective muscle regeneration can be seen as a root cause of the progressive muscle loss experienced by patients living with Duchenne. These findings offer new hope for the development of an entirely novel potential therapeutic approach to treating Duchenne and possibly other incurable and fatal muscle disorders. Dr. Rudnicki is the Scientific Director of the Canadian Stem Cell Network, Director of the Regenerative Medicine Program at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Cell Biology as well as Cell Stem Cell.  He has published 235 scientific articles, authored 14 patents, with an hindex of 96 based on 44,000+ citations of his work. Dr. Rudnicki’s contributions have been recognized with numerous honours including being named a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Canada, a past International Research Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for the maximum allowable two consecutive terms, and an Officer of the Order of Canada. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa and trained at the postdoctoral level at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Whitehead Institute under Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch. 

Warren Whitehead

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Warren Whitehead is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) who has held multiple senior financial management positions in several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and is currently a Board Member of Aptose Biosciences. Mr. Whitehead was the former Chairman and Board Member of Plantform Corporation and a former Board Member of Telesta Therapeutics (TSX), which was acquired by Prometic Life Sciences in 2016. He served as the Chief Financial Officer of ProMIS Neurosciences Inc. (formerly Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd.) from 2013 to 2015, a TSX-listed company targeting detection and effective treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Previously, from 2006 to 2008, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Arius Research Inc., a TSX-listed company developing anti-cancer antibodies, where he provided financial guidance and leadership during the acquisition of Arius by Roche in 2008. He was also the former Chief Financial Officer of Labopharm Inc. from 2000 to 2006, where he completed a series of public equity financings, including a cross-border Nasdaq offering. Other positions include Chief Financial Officer of Resolution Pharmaceuticals Inc., and a position in finance and business development at Glaxo Canada (now GlaxoSmithKline). Mr. Whitehead holds an MBA and BComm from the University of Windsor and a BA from the University of Western Ontario.

Dr. Sridhar Narayan, MBA

Vice President, Drug Discovery and Program Leadership

Sridhar Narayan is an accomplished drug hunter who brings a wealth of experience and from both big Pharma and biotech startups. He has a track record of successful program leadership from discovery through early development, and his expertise spans rare diseases, oncology, immunology/ inflammation, metabolic disorders, CNS and infectious diseases. Prior to Satellos, Dr. Narayan held leadership positions in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery at Navitor Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca and Eisai Inc. From 2015 through 2020, he also served as Project Director and Member of the Scientific Advisory Board at Appili Therapeutics. In these roles, he led global multi-disciplinary teams spearheading programs that delivered multiple candidates into clinical development. Based in Boston, Dr. Narayan is deeply engaged in the life science community and is frequently called upon to serve on expert panels, advisory boards, and as a reviewer for top journals. Dr. Narayan received his PhD from the University of Michigan and carried out postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate K. Barry Sharpless at the Scripps Research Institute. He also holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Dr. Ryan Mitchell

Director, Business Development

Prior to joining Satellos, Dr. Mitchell worked with Bloom Burton Securities Inc. as a scientific consultant where he contributed to monetization planning efforts for clients ranging from pre-seed start-ups to large multinational pharmaceutical companies. Ryan completed his graduate work at the McMaster University Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute where he authored numerous publications in high impact journals such as Nature and Cell.

Board of Directors

Chair, Geoff MacKay

President & CEO AVROBIO, Inc.

Geoff is a pioneer in cell and gene therapy with a track record of successful leadership at innovative biotechs. He is the former CEO of Organogenesis Inc., the world’s leading cell therapy company. During his tenure at the helm, the company treated 1 million patients with living cell therapies, received the first approval of an allogeneic cell therapy from the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research and led the field of regenerative medicine. Geoff is also the founding CEO of eGenesis, a biotech dedicated to applying CRISPR Cas-9 gene editing to xenotransplantation. Earlier in his career, Geoff spent 11 years at Novartis in senior leadership positions within the global transplantation and immunology franchise. Geoff sits on the boards of Talaris Therapeutics and Satellos Bioscience. Past activities include chairman of the board of MassBio, chairman of the board of the Alliance of Regenerative Medicine, and a member of the advisory council to the Health Policy Commission for Massachusetts.

Adam Mostafa

Board Member and Chair, Audit Committee

Mr. Adam Mostafa is a seasoned and accomplished financial leader. He is the current Chief Financial Officer of X4 Pharmaceuticals, working closely with the Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors on all strategic and financial matters, including the close of its 2019 reverse merger with Arsanis and subsequent NASDAQ public listing and follow-on financings. In his role Mr. Mostafa oversees teams including finance, business development, commercial and corporate communications, leading all IR and PR initiatives and building strong ties with the investor and investment banking communities. Prior to joining X4, Mr. Mostafa served as chief financial officer of Abpro Corporation, a biotechnology company focused on antibody therapeutics. Previously, Mr. Mostafa was a managing director in the healthcare investment banking group at Cantor Fitzgerald, and a senior banker in the healthcare investment banking group at Needham & Company. Mr. Mostafa has also held positions of vice president in the investment banking group at CRT Capital Group, portfolio management associate in the global stock selection group at AQR Capital, and analyst in the healthcare investment banking group at Salomon Smith Barney. Mr. Mostafa holds an A.B. in Economics from Brown University.

Brian Bloom

Board Member

Board Member – Brian Bloom (Co-founder, Chairman & CEO Bloom Burton & Co) – Brian serves on the Board of Directors of Triumvira Immunologics, Appili Therapeutics, and Qing Bile Therapeutics. Brian is also on the Faculty of Science Dean’s Advisory Board at McMaster University. Brian was formerly the Chairman of the Board of Grey Wolf Animal Health, a member of the Life Sciences Advisory Board at the National Research Council of Canada and on the Boards of BIOTECanada and the Baycrest Foundation. Before co-founding Bloom Burton in 2008, Brian spent six years at Dundee Securities in the healthcare and biotechnology institutional sales and equity research groups. Brian started his career at New York-based investment banking firms SCO Financial Group and Molecular Securities. Brian received an Honors Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from McMaster University and subsequently studied at the Mount Sinai Graduate School for Biological Sciences of New York University, with a focus in molecular endocrinology and biophysics. Brian is the proud recipient of the McMaster University 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award in Science.

Dr. William McVicar

Board Member

Dr. McVicar’s career in the pharmaceutical industry spans more than 30 years. He has held numerous high ranking positions, leading teams at Sandoz, Novartis, RPR Gencell, Sepracor, Innotek Pharmaceuticals, Flex Pharmaceuticals, and Salarius pharmaceuticals. During his career, Dr. McVicar has personally overseen the development of multiple drug candidates from early testing all the way through to approval, including BROVANA®, XOPENEX MDI®, and XOPENEX’s pediatric approval. As a C-suite executive Dr. McVicar has raised well over $100MM in venture financing, lead numerous licensing transactions, and has successful executed the merger of Flex and Salarius Pharmaceuticals, where he remains Chair of the board of Directors. Dr. McVicar earned his B.S. in Chemistry from SUNY College at Oneonta and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Vermont. He is an author on numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications and an inventor on 15 issued US patents.

Bill Jarosz

Board Member

William Jarosz was the Chief Executive Officer of iCo Therapeutics, Inc. from 2020 until 2021 and currently the President of Satellos’ subsidiary Amphotericin B Technologies, Inc. He is currently a Founding Partner at Cartesian Capital Group, LLC, a global investment management firm. From 1997 until 2005, Mr. Jarosz served as Managing Director and General Counsel of AIG Capital Partners, a subsidiary of American International Group, Inc., and as Managing Director of the AIG- Brunswick Millennium Fund. While at AIG Capital Partners, Mr. Jarosz oversaw global private equity transactions for the firm’s various private equity funds. Prior to joining AIG in 1997, Mr. Jarosz practiced law at Debevoise & Plimpton, specializing in international private equity investment and Russian corporate and securities laws. Mr. Jarosz also served as a consultant to the World Bank on the regulation of Foreign Direct Investment in emerging markets. Mr. Jarosz is a graduate of the University of Montana and received an MA in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a JD from Harvard Law School.

Dr. Rima Al-awar

Board Member

Dr. Rima Al-awar, PhD is an accomplished pharmaceutical executive with expertise spanning target discovery to lead identification and clinical candidate nomination. Dr. Rima Al-awar is a member of the leadership team at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), a collaborative research institute that conducts and enables high-impact translational cancer research. Dr. Al-awar joined the OICR in 2008 to establish the Drug Discovery Program, whose purpose is to seek out and translate the most promising ideas from Ontario’s academic community into new therapeutic treatments for the benefit of cancer patients. Under Dr. Al-awar’s leadership, the group has grown to a team of more than 30 multi-disciplinary researchers who have identified and validated two promising new cancer targets, BCL6 and WDR5, invented and advanced lead drug candidates against each target, and, through the OICR’s investment and commercialization arm FACIT, entered into substantial pharmaceutical development partnerships. Prior to joining OICR, Dr. Al-awar had a 13-year career with Eli Lilly and Company. Hired as a senior organic chemist, Dr. Al-awar progressed through multiple positions of increasing breadth and responsibility, culminating as Head in the Route Selection Group, Chemical Product Research and Development from 2005-2008 at the Lilly Corporate Center, Indiana. Dr. Al-awar earned her PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from North Carolina State University and did a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before joining Lilly in 1995.