Donald Jeff Keyser, JD, MPA, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Board
Dr. Keyser has served as a director since January 2018 and Chairman since November 2019. Dr. Keyser founded and has served from 2017 as director, president and chief operating officer of Renibus Therapeutics, a company developing novel therapies for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of kidney disease. Dr. Keyser also founded ZS Pharma and served since 2008 as a director and chief operating officer of that company until December 2015 when it was acquired by Astra Zeneca for $2.7 Billion. Dr. Keyser was the inventor of the Mucinex product line for Adams Respiratory Therapeutics. Dr. Keyser developed and executed the R&D and Regulatory strategy for Adams Respiratory Therapeutics as Vice President of Development and Regulatory Affairs during his period there from 1998 to 2004. Adams Respiratory Therapeutics was acquired by Reckitt Benckiser for $2.3 Billion. He was previously employed as Chief Compliance Officer & Vice President Regulatory Affairs, Encysive Pharmaceuticals, Vice President Technical & Regulatory Affairs, Medeva Americas, Sr. Director Regulatory Affairs, Marion Merrell Dow and Regulatory Principal, Abbott Laboratories. Dr. Keyser received his Pharmacy degree from Creighton University, a Juris Doctorate from Creighton University, a MPA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a PhD in Economics from The University of Texas at Dallas.
Chief Executive Officer, President and Director
Mr. Sharma has served as our Chief Executive Officer, and President since July 2018 and a director since August 2018. As Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sharma oversees our use of AI and genomics in developing our therapy product pipeline to innovate the rescue, revitalization and development of precision therapeutics in oncology. From May 2010 to February 2018, Mr. Sharma served as President, Chief Executive Officer and director of Cancer Genetics, a Nasdaq company and provider of DNA-based cancer diagnostics and services to medical institutions throughout the world. In 2001, Mr. Sharma founded TSG Partners, a specialty advisory group combining corporate strategy and corporate finance to create shareholder value for companies and investors in the life sciences, biotechnology and environmental sciences sectors. Prior to TSG, Mr. Sharma served in the roles of Senior Vice President of E-Business Solutions and Chief Strategy Officer at iXL Inc. (later merged with Scient). For the six years prior to his being at iXL Inc., Mr. Sharma helped successfully found, manage and sell or take public two other consulting and professional services firms. From 1996 to 1998, Mr. Sharma was a partner at Interactive Solutions, Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Sharma served as a consultant to Putnam Investment Management, LLC and Bank of America Corporation. Mr. Sharma holds a Bachelor of Science in the Philosophy of Science, Neural Networks and Artificial Intelligence from Boston University.
Leslie W. Kreis, Jr.
Mr. Kreis has served as a director since November 2019. Since 2008, Mr. Kreis has served as the Managing Principal at Steelhead Capital Management, LLC, a Texas-based family office investment firm. In addition, since June 2015, Mr. Kreis has served as managing partner and co-founder of Bios Equity Partners, LP and Bios Equity Partners II, LP, Texas-based venture capital investment firms seeking investment in life science technologies. Over the past 10 years, Mr. Kreis started several early stage companies, occasionally served as chief operator, served on many boards of directors, and invested in over 45 ventures in both active and passive capacities. Currently, Mr. Kreis serves on the board of five private, active portfolio companies. Mr. Kreis is also a founding member of Cowtown Angels, a Fort Worth-based angel investment network. Prior to this, Mr. Kreis was a Vice President at HBK Investments, a multi-strategy global hedge fund based in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Kreis received a BBA in Finance from Texas Christian University in 1994.
David S. Silberstein, Ph.D.
Dr. Silberstein has served as a director since June 2018. Dr. Silberstein has served as chief operating officer of BioMimetix Pharmaceutical, Inc. since 2013. Dr. Silberstein has served as a director of BMI since 2016. Dr. Silberstein received his PhD in Immunology at Columbia University and Postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Dr. Silberstein continued for seven years at Harvard, leading a research team studying the biochemistry of inflammation. This was followed by 20 years at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals where Dr. Silberstein had leadership roles in genomics, translational science, company-wide portfolio management, and science support for two products through launch to aggregate sales of greater than $30 billion. Since 2013, Dr. Silberstein has worked independently with a number of early stage biotech companies and as a consultant to investment firms. Current work includes his role as Principal Investigator of an NCI-funded clinical trial in patients with multiple brain metastases.
Vijay Chandru, Ph.D.
Dr. Chandru has served as a director since October 2019. Currently, Dr. Chandru is a co-founder of OPFORD Foundation, a non-profit in India with an open platform for orphan diseases and with a mission to support development of affordable and accessible therapeutics for orphan diseases of which many are rare genetic disorders. He was also a co-founder of Strand Life Sciences, India’s leading precision medicine solutions company, an offshoot of the Indian Institute of Science, which now has over 20 diagnostic laboratories and over 800 employees spread across India. He served as Executive Chairman of Strand Life Sciences from 2000 to 2018. A technology pioneer of the World Economic Forum since 2006, he was elected President (2009-2012) of the Association of Biotech Led Enterprises (ABLE), the apex trade body that represents the Indian biotech industry. Dr. Chandru is an academic entrepreneur whose academic career has spanned almost four decades. After his doctoral work at MIT he was a tenured professor at Purdue University for a decade in the 1980s and at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore since then. A fellow of both the academy of science and engineering, he is currently an Indian National Academy of Engineering’s Distinguished Technologist in Bio-Engineering.
Franklyn Prendergast, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Prendergast has served as a director since October 2019. Prior to his retirement on December 31, 2014, Dr. Prendergast was the Emeritus Edmond and Marion Guggenheim Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Emeritus Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Mayo Medical School and the director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine. From 1994 to 2006, he served as a director of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. He also previously held several other teaching positions at the Mayo Medical School from 1975 through 2014. Dr. Prendergast has served for the National Institute of Health on numerous study section review groups; as a charter member of the Board of Advisors for the Division of Research Grants, now the Center for Scientific Review; the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council; and the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute. He held a Presidential Commission for service on the National Cancer Advisory Board. Dr. Prendergast also has served in numerous other advisory roles for the National Institute of Health and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, and he is a member of the board of directors of the Translational Genomics Research Institute and the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI). Dr. Prendergast has served on the board of directors of Eli Lilly & Co. since 1995 until his retirement in 2017. He also served as a director of Cancer Genetics from 2014 to 2018. He also currently serves on the board of directors for Novosteo, Inc. and Neubase Therapeutics, both private biotechnology drug development companies. Dr. Prendergast obtained his medical degree with honors from the University of West Indies and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, earning an M.A. degree in physiology. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Minnesota.