Ogenx Therapeutics Corporation - Team Ogenx Therapeutics Corporation - Team
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OgenX's Management team is comprised of veteran C-level executives with years of combined pharmaceutical experience, representing thousands of issued patents, hundreds of regulatory approvals, and dozens of marketed drugs - generating billions of dollars in annual revenue.

Management Team:

Click on a team member's name to view more information.

Russell Grigsby, MBA

Chairman, President, Corporate Treasurer and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Grigsby has over twenty years of diversified financial and management experience in both corporate and start-up environments. He is the Managing General Partner in Cyrus Capital Management, LLC, the principal investor and shareholder in Ogenx. Previously, Russell was Chairman, CEO and President of Cornerstone Securities Corporation from 1993 - 2000, when he Company was sold for $75M. From 1991 - 1993, Russell was the Chief Financial Officer at GPS Technology Corporation where he was responsible for the selection, design, and conversion of the accounting system plus day-to-day operations of all accounting functions. Other responsibilities include financial planning & forecasting, risk management, shareholder relations, office management, human resources, employee benefits, and cash management. From 1989 - 1991, Russell was the Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer and Controller for Christico Petroleum Company. From 1988 - 1989, Mr. Grigsby served as the Chief Financial Officer/Controller for Environmental Delivery Systems. From 1982 - 1988, Russell held numerous positions of increasing responsibility with several regional and national banks. Mr. Grigsby received his BA, Cum Laude, Psychology, from Baylor University, and his MBA, in Accounting and Finance, from Southern Methodist University.

Dmytro 'D' Berezhnoy, Ph.D., MBA

Chief Science Officer and SVP, Scientific and Research Affairs, R&D and Portfolio Strategy

Dr. Berezhnoy brings 15 years of professional experience spanning through organic chemistry, neuroscience and pharmacology to marketing, finance and entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Ogenx Dr. Berezhnoy served as Director of Strategic Development at BioChemia, a Montreal-based service biotechnology company. At BioChemia he was responsible for development of commercial processes of the company - portfolio strategy, product development, R&D alliance management, marketing and business development. In 2005-2009 he served as Head of Operations of a contract research center focused on serving companies developing drugs targeting ion channels - High-Throughput Electrophysiology Screening (HTEP) Screening Center at Boston University School of Medicine. In 2007 he co-founded a medical-device startup company - StemTest and led a team to patent and develop an in vitro diagnostics system for pre-transplantation screening of donor-recipient stem cell compatibility, which subsequently has been sold to a strategic buyer. In 2005-2008 Dr. Berezhnoy served as scientific consultant to DOV Pharmaceutical advising on development of atypical tranquilizers related to Ocinaplon and in 2005-2009 to Helicon Therapeutics advising on development of novel tranquilizers, sedatives and cognitive enhancers.

Dr. Berezhnoy has graduated with M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry from I.I. Mechnikov National University (Ukraine) and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from University of Bern (Switzerland) financed from personal doctoral research grant from Swiss National Science Foundation. Subsequently, he completed postdoctoral fellowships in Neuropharmacology and Neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine. Finally, he earned a MBA with concentration on Finance and Marketing at HEC Montreal (Canada), a Forbes Top 10 non-US MBA program. He reported his research findings at numerous international meetings and published articles in Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Neurochemistry and Journal of Molecular Pharmacology. He also authored a chapter on pharmacology of GABA-A receptors for 25th edition of Handbook of Contemporary Neuropharmacology edited by David Sibley, Israel Hanin, Michael Kuhar and Phil Skolnick and published by Wiley and Sons.

Outside Directors and Executive Advisors:

Taffy Williams, Ph.D.

Domestic Strategic Advisor and Outside Director

Dr. Williams has more than 25 years of senior operational management and board of directors level experience in two Public Companies plus advisor/consultant to a number of companies. He has diverse business and scientific experience in corporate management, research (including biological, physical and analytical), project management, financing, and organization building having raised in excess of $100M. He is particularly experienced in corporate restructuring, business development and R & D. In 2005, Dr. Williams founded Colonial Redoxagen Technology Development Co., where he serves as its President & Chief Executive Officer & Director. From 2005 to the present, he has served as a Chairman of Life Sciences Research Organization. Since 2008, he has served as President of Heat Biologic. From 2000 to 2005, he served as President & Chief Executive Officer, & Director of IMCOR Pharmaceutical Co. From 1997 through 1999 Dr. Williams served as President and Chief Operating Officer & Director & Founder of Inkine Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. From 1195 through 1997, he served as Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer & Director of Panax Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. From 1992 to 1995, he served as Vice President of Research at Magainin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. From 1978 to 1992, Dr. Williams served in numerous leadership capacities at the Naval Medical Research Institute. Dr. Williams performed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Michigan (1976-1978), after receiving his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of South Carolina 1975. He received his B.S. in Chemistry, from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. Dr. Williams is the author of eight patents, one invention registration, eight patent applications and 52 peer-reviewed published articles.

Jean-Marie Vallet, Ph.D., MBA

International Strategic Advisor and Outside Director

is a curious, technology enamored, data driven, transaction oriented French-American Life Sciences Executive with 30 years of experience in various roles, including R&D, sales & marketing, budget controlling, corporate development and licensing. He worked many years at large companies (Warner Lambert, Bristol Myers Squibb, Pierre Fabre) before joining the more entrepreneurial world of the biotech industry in 2002, starting with Guilford Pharmaceuticals. He arrived in the US in 1994 after spending most of his life in France, Switzerland and Germany. JM recently retired from EnVivo Pharmaceuticals, a fully owned Boston-based CNS company owned by Fidelity Investments, from a management position he held since 2006. During his career, he initiated and negotiated numerous transactions, including company acquisitions & divestitures, major in/out licensing agreements, R&D collaborations and manufacturing agreements. Dr. Vallet obtained his Ph.D. of Molecular Biology from University of Geneva in 1986 and his M.B.A. from International Management Development (IMD) in 1988, both in Switzerland. Dr. Vallet is an Advisor to the French Government for Trade and Commerce and an active mentor of several French biotech companies interested to expand their business in the US (NETVA & YEi programs). Jean-Marie is a member of the board of directors of HepatoChem, and Oxalys, two emerging companies in the Boston area and he provides a range of corporate development services to selected US & EU clients through his consulting practice, Cyrma Ventures LLC. Dr. Vallet is a member of the MIT Enterprise Forum.

Thomas W. 'Tim' Lyles, J.D., CPA

Outside Director

Mr. Lyles has managed an investment portfolio for over 20 years, including both public and large private companies, and he serves as an Advisory Director of Majesty Hedge Funds. He also serves on numerous for-profit and non-profit Boards of Directors. Mr. Lyles primary responsibility is President of a private holding company, which oversees both strategic and operational issues for companies with Dr. Leininger. In 1991, Dr. Leininger formed a private venture investment firm known as MedCare Investment Funds, which Mr. Lyles is a co-founder of, and he has served as President since 2002. As a founding partner, Mr. Lyles was an active member of management in founding Renal Care Group along with Dr. Jacobson and the late Sam Brooks. As President of MedCare Investment Funds, he founded and established numerous healthcare companies.

Examples include companies in the healthcare services sector (an ambulatory services company partnering with physicians and providing dialysis and radiation oncology services; an outpatient imaging services and management company), the medical technology sector; and one FDA-approved device; a company developing a device to treat glaucoma and presbyopia), the healthcare information technology sector (a physician practice software company focused on women's health; an early stage healthcare informatics company creating electronic medical records for Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs), large healthcare systems, hospitals and multisite practices; a benefits management company utilizing proprietary software), and the pharmaceutical sector (two pre-revenue drug discovery and development companies with one initiating Phase I clinical trial planning and a second with two promising drugs in phase III clinical trials.

Mr. Lyles has also helped found and build multiple high tech businesses primarily involving data transmission over cellular technology. From 1984 to 1989, Mr. Lyles was an attorney with the law firm of Haynes and Boone in Dallas, Texas. During 1986 and 1987, he taught Real Estate Financing at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. From 1983 to 1984, he was appointed a Briefing Attorney for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. In 1983, Mr. Lyles received his J.D., Cum Laude from SMU School of Law. Prior to attending law school, he was employed by KPMG Peat Marwick. Mr. Lyles earned an accounting degree from Texas A & M University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1979. In addition, Mr. Lyles is a Certified Public Accountant and has written material for the Texas State Bar and has been a speaker for the State Bar of Texas and the Dallas Bar. Mr. Lyles is married and has seven children.

Philip Radlick, Ph.D.

Advisor to the Board of Directors

Dr. Radlick was President, CEO and a Director of Lipid Sciences, Inc. from 2000-2011. From 1994-2000 he served as the President, CEO and a Director of Cardima, Inc. From 1992 - 1994 he served as the President and CEO of Hepatix, Inc. From 1985 - 1992 he served as the President of Edwards Cardiovascular Division a division of Baxter Healthcare. From 1980 - 1985 he was the President and co-founder of Xenomedica, AG, (Luzern Switzerland). From 1976 - 1980 he served as the President and founder of Newport Techniques, Inc. From 1974 - 1976 Dr. Radlick was the Director of Process Chemistry at Merck and Co. Inc. Dr. Radlick was a Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Riverside from 1963 - 1974. He received his B.Sc. in Chemistry from UCLA and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from UCLA.

Scientific Advisory Board Members:

Martin Brand, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisory Board Member, Principal Investigator

Dr. Martin Brand is an authority on mitochondria, the energy-converting unit of cells and their influence on aging and disease. After receiving his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Bristol in the UK, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, a faculty member at the University of Cambridge and then a group leader at the Medical Research Council. At Cambridge, he began collaborative studies with Buck faculty and joined the Buck Institute in 2008.

At Buck Institute Dr. Brand's lab is studying mitochondria, which extract energy from nutrients and distribute it to drive the machinery of life, in a process that also releases free radicals. Believed to be one of the primary actors in the aging process, free radicals are also implicated in numerous age-related diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, and many neurological disorders. Dr. Brand’s lab envisions treatments that would minimize the release of free radicals without inhibiting mitochondrial energy metabolism. His lab is collaborating with other Buck labs to evaluate the role of the mitochondria in aging and in such diseases of aging as cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. This research has already opened up new potential drug targets for the control or treatment of these conditions.

Roger Kautz, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisory Board Member, Principal Investigator

Currently a Principal Research Scientist with the Barnett Institute of Chemical and Biological Analysis at Northeastern University in Boston, he brings expertise in chemical analysis with specialization in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods for studying intermolecular interactions, chemical exchange (in situ reactions), and transient molecular structures. Dr. Kautz’s Ph.D. work included molecular immunology with the FACS lab at Stanford, then NMR studies of a protein multiple conformations at Yale, before doing postdoctoral work at MIT in conformation and aggregation of complex small molecules. Earlier work was in physics and instrumentation development at Reed (under the head of scientific computing at NxT computers), then 2 years in a Japanese patent research office. Research at the Barnett Institute has been developing microscale NMR techniques to couple NMR to LC-MS in drug discovery applications, earning recognition among the “10 Best Inventions” of the Barnett Institute and “Most-Valuable Player” from the chemistry graduate program. He has published 26 papers, and two patents. Dr. Kautz also advises the School of Science as Program Manager, and consults in instrumentation development and in drug discovery. Outside of lab, he enjoys raising his children, exploring outdoors, brewing beer, and making sculpture.

Ines Batinic-Haberle, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisory Board Member, Principal Investigator

Dr. Ines Batinic-Haberle, is Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Duke University School of Medicine. She got her PhD in Bioninorganic Chemistry at the University of Zagreb. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Duke University Chemistry Department from April 1992 until December 1994 where she worked on iron siderophores and their uptake. She was then the Research and subsequently Senior Research Associate with Dr. Irwin Fridovich at the Department of Biochemistry, Duke University School of Medicine. With Dr. Fridovich she was trained in the field of Free Radical Biology Medicine and has started her career on the development and mechanistic studies of porphyrin-based compounds commonly known as SOD mimics.

Her research interests are in the field of Drug design and synthesis (with special emphasis on redox-able metal complexes), Drug delivery and Drug bioavailability (within organs, cells and subcellular fragments, in particular mitochondria); Drug mechanisms of action with respect to Oxidative stress; Redox regulation of cellular metabolism by redox-active compounds; Cancer biology; Radiation Biology; CNS injuries; and Photodynamic therapy; cellular and animal studies. She has first established structure-activity relationship between the redox property and catalytic ability of compounds to catalyze O2.- dismutation for different redox-active Mn porphyrins which she later proved to be valid for all other compounds widely regarded as SOD mimics. She showed that SOD-like properties parallels the therapeutic efficacy of these compounds. Understanding their true mechanism of action is in progress.

She has authored over 160 manuscripts published in high impact journals, including several invited comprehensive reviews and book chapters. She has served as Guest Editor for Special and Forum Issues; presently she serves as Guest-Editor on a Forum Issue on "SOD therapeutics" of Antioxidant and Redox Signaling Journal (IF ~8.6).

She has successfully designed and synthesized cationic Mn porphyrin-based powerful catalytic antioxidants which led to the authorship of 11 patents and patent applications, many of those compositional. Three of her compounds are in preclinical development, and of those three one compound has successfully passed the Phase I Clinical Trials.

She is serving presently as a chair of the Young Investigator and Trainee Council of the Society for Free Radicall Biology and Medicine,. She is also serving on a committee for DOT commercial publication of the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine. She has been invited Lecturer in USA and outside, and has organized a number of Symposia at National and International Meetings.