Daniel J. O'Connor
Chief Executive Officer, President and Director
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.
Avtar Dhillon, M.D.
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.
Co-founder and Director
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.
Margaret R. Dalesandro, Ph.D.
Dr. Dalesandro brings more than 25 years of drug development experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics industries. She currently serves as the President of Brecon Pharma Consulting, a full-service pharmaceutical and biotech consultancy firm. She previously served as Business Director of Corning Integrative Pharmacology. Before that, Dr. Dalesandro held an executive leadership role at ImClone Systems where she oversaw project management for the clinical development of ERBITUX® (cetuximab), making significant contributions to the sale of ImClone to Eli Lilly in 2008. Prior to that, Dr. Dalesandro served as an Executive Director at GlaxoSmithKline, managing cardiovascular, urology, and oncology drug product commercialization. Earlier in her career, she was a senior consultant at Cambridge Pharma Consultancy and a Director of Immunobiology and Diagnostic Research at Centocor.
Dr. Dalesandro holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Biochemistry from Bryn Mawr College and an A.B. in Biology and Chemistry from Rosemont College, where she graduated summa cum laude.
James M. DeMesa, M.D.
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.
Joon Kim, J.D.
Joon Kim is a highly accomplished attorney and partner in Lee & Ko's Corporate, International Litigation and Dispute Resolution, and White Collar Crime Practice Groups. Mr. Kim advises clients, both domestic and international, on a broad range of litigation, dispute-resolution and transactional matters. With a particularly strong background in representing clients in court proceedings, Mr. Kim has a comprehensive understanding of every stage of the litigation process, including all aspects of initial investigatory/discovery proceedings, settlement negotiations, hearings, motions, trials, evidentiary issues and the handling of post-judgment challenges and appeals.
Prior to joining Lee & Ko, Mr. Kim worked for several years as a litigation lawyer and served from 2008 to 2017 as a public prosecutor in California. Mr. Kim has first-chaired both jury and non-jury trials, and has been trained in all aspects of litigation. During his time as a public prosecutor, Mr. Kim also had the experience of serving in 2016 as a research fellow in Korea at the Institute of Justice, under the auspices of the Korea Ministry of Justice, where he worked together with Korean public prosecutors. Joon received his J.D. from Berkeley School of Law and his B.S. from the Berkeley School of Business.
Robert E. Ward
Mr. Ward brings to OncoSec over 30 years of experience as a global biopharmaceutical industry leader with experience across the full spectrum of drug development and commercialization. Mr. Ward currently serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Eloxx Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Eloxx, Mr. Ward was President and Chief Executive Officer of Radius Health, Inc., where he helped the company successfully complete its initial public offering and lead the development, approval and launch of the company's TYMLOS™ injection. Prior to joining Radius, Mr. Ward was Vice President for Strategy and External Alliances for the New Opportunities iMed of Astra Zeneca. He has held a series of progressive management and executive roles with established companies such as NPS Pharmaceuticals, Schering-Plough (Merck), Pharmacia (Pfizer), Bristol-Myers Squibb and Genentech. Mr. Ward currently serves as a Director of the Massachusetts High Technology Council and had served as a Director of Akari Therapeutics from October 2016 to August 2018.
Mr. Ward received a B.A. in Biology and a B.S. in Physiological Psychology, both from the University of California, Santa Barbara, an M.S. in Management from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and an M.A. in Immunology from the John Hopkins University School of Medicine.