SureGene and Paragon Pharmaceuticals
Mr. Burke is the Chairman of SureGene and a Partner at the investment firm Paragon Pharmaceuticals, a global pharmaceutical investment firm that develops, builds, and manages innovative pharmaceutical companies. In 2009, he led an investor group who partnered with SureGene’s scientific team to expand the organization and begin commercialization of SureGene’s genetic discoveries. Most recently, Mr. Burke was the Chief Commercial Officer of Lundbeck Inc. following the acquisition by Lundbeck of Ovation Pharmaceuticals, Inc. — a privately held pharmaceutical company. Mr. Burke was a member of the founding executive team at Ovation where he focused on sales, marketing, business development and assessment of acquisition targets. Ovation Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was widely recognized for its success and received awards that included Frost & Sullivan’s 2009 North American Entrepreneurial Company of the Year, Scrip’s 2006 and 2007 Pharmaceutical Company of the Year for companies with revenues up to $5 billion, and the 2007 Chicago Innovation Awards. In 2008, he was named by Pharmaceutical Executive as one of their 45 under 45 Emerging Pharma Leaders.
Prior to Ovation, Mike spent eight years in the Pharmaceuticals Products Division at Abbott Laboratories, where he served in various sales and marketing roles and managed specialty market and primary care product lines. He received his BA from Providence College and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Jeffrey S. Aronin
Mr. Aronin is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Paragon Pharmaceuticals, a global pharmaceutical investment firm that develops, builds, and manages innovative pharmaceutical companies. Prior to Paragon, he was most recently President & CEO of Lundbeck Inc., a research and development-based multinational pharmaceutical company and one of the leading central nervous system pharmaceutical companies in the world. He was the Founder, President & CEO of Ovation Pharmaceuticals, a company started in 2000 and sold in 2009 for $900 million. He has more than 20 years of experience leading pharmaceutical and life sciences companies, including MedCare Technologies, American Health Products, and Carter-Wallace and is recognized as an industry-leading life sciences entrepreneur. He was recognized by Pharmaceutical Executive as one of the future leaders of the industry, and by PharmaVOICE as one of the most inspirational leaders in pharma. He is a Board Member of Discover Financial Services, University of Chicago Medical Center, and the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry.
Paragon Pharmaceuticals and Highland Equity L.P.
Mr. Cohen is President and Chief Executive Officer of Highland Equity L.P., a private equity firm and a Partner in Paragon Pharmaceutical, a global pharmaceutical investment firm that develops, builds, and manages innovative pharmaceutical companies. Prior to forming Highland Equity L.P. and Paragon Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Cohen was an investment banker for 19 years at BancAmerica Securities, Bear Stearns, and Smith Barney. He has experience across a range of industries and has invested in companies such as Union City Body Company, Fast Web LLC, Pharmedium Healthcare, SRAM Corporation, and Ovation Pharmaceuticals. In November 2000, Mr. Cohen became a minority investor in Ovation Pharmaceuticals. He remained a minority investor through the $150 million equity commitment from GTCR Golder Rauner and the subsequent sale of Ovation to Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals in February 2009 for approximately $900 million. Mr. Cohen received a Bachelor of Commerce from Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa, and his Masters of Management from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.
Wilbur H. Gantz
Mr. Gantz is President & Chief Executive Officer of PathoCapital, an investment firm headquartered in suburban Chicago. Prior to PathoCapital, Mr. Gantz was Executive Chairman of Ovation Pharmaceuticals, a closely held biopharmaceutical company that was sold to Lundbeck in early 2009. Prior to Ovation, Mr. Gantz was CEO and President of PathoGenesis Corp., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company that was sold to Chiron Corp. in 2000. He served for 25 years prior to that with global healthcare company Baxter International, where he was President from 1987 to 1992 and held a number of other senior positions, including Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Gantz sits on the board of directors of W. W. Grainger, Adam Street Partners, and was recently the Non-Executive Chairman of Harris Bank, N. A. and a former board member of Gillette.
Herbert Meltzer, MD
Dr. Herbert Meltzer is the Bixler/May/Johnson Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Pharmacology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine where he is director of the Psychosis Program. He has received the Lieber Prize for Schizophrenia Research, Efron Award of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the Gold Medal of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, and numerous other awards for his research in schizophrenia and its treatment. Dr. Meltzer has been the president of the American (ACNP) and the International (CINP) Colleges of Neuropsychopharmacology. Areas of clinical expertise include schizophrenia, psychopharmacology, antipsychotic drug development, and cognition. His research interests include investigating the cognitive deficit in schizophrenia; identification of new antipsychotic drugs; studying the mechanism of action of antipsychotic drugs; genes conveying risk for schizophrenia; pharmacogenetics; pharmacoeconomics; and suicide prevention. Dr. Meltzer earned his MD at Yale University, his MA at Harvard University, and his BA at Cornell University.
Stephen Collins, MD, PhD
Neuro Therapeutics Pharma
Dr. Collins is President and Chief Executive Officer of Neuro Therapeutics Pharma (NTP), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies for diseases associated with central nervous system (CNS) hyperexcitability. His career has focused on the research and clinical development of therapeutics for CNS disorders. Prior to joining NTP as its CEO, he was Chief Scientific Officer & VP Clinical Affairs of Ovation Pharmaceuticals, a CNS-focused biopharmaceutical company acquired by Lundbeck A/S. Dr. Collins joined Ovation in 2003 shortly after its formation and was responsible for establishing the company’s R&D group and growing it into a team of over 60 professionals. Prior to Ovation, Dr. Collins was Global Senior Director of CNS and Pain at Johnson & Johnson, overseeing the early-stage development of neurologic, pain, and psychiatric agents. He was also a member of the CNS in-licensing advisory team. Prior to Johnson and Johnson, he worked in Abbott Laboratories Pharmaceutical and Hospital Products Divisions. While there, he developed drugs for neurologic, psychiatric, and pain indications and was responsible for the preclinical and clinical programs that supported the successful filing and approval of multiple NDA and sNDA submissions. Previous to his industry experience, Dr. Collins was in the Departments of Neurology and Neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University, on the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Neurology. Dr. Collins earned his MD and PhD at Case Western Reserve University and performed his undergraduate studies in Physics at the University of California, Berkeley.
JAM Investor Group
A Chicago-based investment partnership active in helping promising healthcare and technology-based businesses find their way in the world and, ultimately, thrive.
JAM principals have served in the healthcare, technology and communication fields for over 20 years, and in addition to SureGene, the partnership is involved in a number of growing businesses, including two proprietary software and platform companies for e-mail marketing and business blog ware, a dermatologic healthcare company, a specialty consumer publication, a consumer package goods company with groundbreaking solar illumination technology, and a group of communication companies specializing in health care and digital and social media.