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Mr. O’Connor, J.D. served in various senior roles for Advaxis, Inc. from August 2013 until his resignation in July 2017, including most recently as President and Chief Executive Officer. At Advaxis, Mr. O’Connor led the company in raising more than $250 million in funding and facilitated the company’s transformation into a patient-focused cancer immunotherapy company. During his tenure at Advaxis, Mr. O’Conner was also instrumental in establishing partnerships with other companies, including Amgen Inc., Merck & Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb. In addition, under his leadership, Advaxis advanced four new cancer immunotherapy drug candidates into clinical trials, as well as several PD-1 combination clinical studies with Merck’s drug Keytruda® and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s drug Opdivo®. Previously, Mr. O’Connor was Senior Vice President for ImClone Systems, where he supported the clinical development, launch, and commercialization of ImClone’s drug ERBITUX®, and the sale of ImClone to Eli Lilly in 2008. Prior to that, Mr. O’Connor served as General Counsel at PharmaNet (now inVentiv Clinical Health), and was part of the senior leadership team that grew the company from a start-up contract research organization into a leader in clinical research. Mr. O’Connor is a 1995 graduate of the Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and currently serves as an Entrepreneur Trusted Advisor to its Dean. He graduated from the United States Marines Corps Officer Candidate School in 1988 and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marines, attaining the rank of Captain while serving in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield. Mr. O’Connor is currently the Vice Chairman of BioNJ and was formerly a New Jersey criminal prosecutor.
As former president and CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (formerly Inovio Biomedical Corporation), Dr. Dhillon successfully created a vertically integrated DNA vaccine development company with one of the strongest development pipelines in the industry. Dr. Dhillon also raised over $125 million and secured more than $200 million in licensing deals from global companies including Merck and Wyeth (now Pfizer).
Dr. Dhillon was a founding board member of Protox Therapeutics, Inc. and currently sits on the Board of Directors of BC Advantage Funds, the largest Venture Capital Corporation in British Columbia.
Formerly the VP of finance and operations at Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Mr. Dhillon raised over $125 million through multiple financings and several licensing deals. He was also instrumental to the successful in-licensing of key intellectual property and a number of corporate transactions, including the acquisition and consolidation of Inovio AS, a Norwegian DNA delivery company, and the merger with VGX Pharmaceuticals.
Mr. Dhillon has also been a consultant and board member for several early stage life science companies.
Dr. DeMesa has been a practicing physician and served as a senior executive with several international pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the areas of corporate management, regulatory affairs, and pre-clinical and clinical pharmaceutical and medical device product development. Most recently, Dr. DeMesa served as president, CEO, and director of Migenix Inc., a public biotechnology company.
Dr. DeMesa was also president and CEO of GenSci Regeneration Sciences Inc., a public biotech company, and vice president of medical and regulatory affairs at Biodynamics International, Inc. He is also a co-founder of CommGeniX and MedXcel.
Most recently, Dr. Maida was vice president of clinical research and general manager of oncology, worldwide, for a leading international contract research organization.
He has served as president and CEO of both Replicon NeuroTherapeutics, Inc. and Jenner Therapies, interim CEO for Trellis Bioscience, Inc., and president of CancerVax Corporation, where he secured the Company’s first financing of $30 million.
Today, Dr. Maida serves as a senior advisor for multiple investment firms and life science companies. He also sits on the board of directors of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Dr. Jenkins has served as the president, chief executive officer and a director on the board of directors of Dimension Therapeutics since September 2014. Prior to joining Dimension Therapeutics, Dr. Jenkins served as Executive Vice President and Head of Global Research and Development at Merck Serono, where she also led Global Medical Affairs and Quality and was a member of its Pharmaceutical Executive Committee from 2013 to 2014. She also served as Executive Vice President Global Development and Medical Affairs from 2011 to 2013 at Merck Serono. Prior to this, Dr. Jenkins held several leadership roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb from 1997 to 2011, most recently serving as Senior Vice President and Head of Global Medical Affairs. Earlier in her career, Dr. Jenkins was a Medical Officer in the British Royal Navy during the Gulf Conflict, achieving the rank of surgeon lieutenant commander. Dr. Jenkins is a member of the board of directors of Ardelyx, Inc., Biothera Pharmaceutical Inc., iOX Therapeutics Limited, MedCity and Vium (elected to executive chair in 2017) and previously served as a board member of Prosensa Holding N.V. (acquired by BioMarin Pharmaceutical) and Viventia Bio, Inc. (acquired by Eleven Bio). She also is a committee member of the Science Board to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, serves on the board of the Center for Talent Innovation (U.K.) and is on the Advisory Panel of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association. Dr. Jenkins graduated with a degree in medicine from St. Bartholomew's Hospital in the University of London and subsequently trained in cardiovascular medicine in the U.K. National Health Service.