Leadership Team | Board of Directors | Advisors

Toragen Team

Richard Lumpkin, PhD

Richard Lumpkin, PhD

Director of R & D

Anita Busquets

Anita Busquets

Board Member

Paul Engler

Paul Engler

Board Member

John Major

John Major

Board Member

Kimberly Manhard

Kimberly Manhard

Board Member

Dr. Dennis Carson, MD

Dr. Dennis Carson, MD

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Ezra Cohen, MD

Dr. Ezra Cohen, MD

Scientific Advisor

Jeff Hartlin

Jeff Hartlin

Outside Counsel

Faye Hunter

Faye Hunter

Licensing

Roger Dilts

Roger Dilts, PhD

Drug Development

James Kanter

James Kanter, PhD

CMC expert

John Reiner

John Reiner, PhD

Chemist/SAR Lead

Daniel Solorio

Daniel Solorio

Regulatory Ops

Elizabeth Vadas

Elizabeth Vadas, PhD

Formulation Expert

Leadership Team

Dr. Sandra Coufal, MD

Dr. Sandra Coufal, MD

CEO

Dr. Coufal brings over 30 years of experience to Toragen as a physician and serial entrepreneur working with multiple successful companies in medicine, chemistry, biotechnology, material sciences, and digital technology.

  • Co-founded and managed Sibling Capital Ventures and Sibling Capital
  • Founded Relypsa’s and Ilypsa’s Scientific Advisory Boards
  • Co-founded and serves as Director on the Management Board of Tricida, Inc. (NASDAQ: TCDA)

Dr. Coufal received her medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas. Previously, Dr. Coufal was Head of the Division of Internal Medicine at the Torrey Pines site of Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, CA, where she also sat on the Board of Scripps Green Hospital as the Representative-at-Large. She also completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas under Chairman Dr. Daniel Foster. She received her Bachelor of Science undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and was designated a Notre Dame Scholar.

Dr. Neil Clendeninn, MD/PhD

Dr. Neil Clendeninn, MD/PhD

CMO

Dr. Clendeninn has over 20 years of contributions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. A proponent of “Slow Medicine,” Neil is a practicing physician and serves as Program Director for Palliative Medicine Partners: Complex Illness Coordination, a program of Kauai Hospice in Kauai, Hawaii. He also advised a variety of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and CRO companies engaged in developing products for cancer, HIV and pain. He is the author of over 150 papers, abstracts and textbooks.

Recently Dr. Clendeninn served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Heron Therapeutics, in San Diego, CA where he established the clinical departments including Medical Affairs, Clinical Operations, Clinical Research and Biostatistics. He was instrumental in gaining the approval of SUSTOL a long acting granisetron formulation for chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting.

Previously Dr. Clendeninn served as Corporate Vice President, Head of Clinical Affairs for Agouron Pharmaceuticals, in La Jolla, CA (1993 to 2001) and Director of Clinical Oncology for Burroughs Wellcome in Research Triangle Park, NC (1985 to 1993.) At Agouron as CMO in 1996, Dr. Clendeninn developed the AIDS protease inhibitor Viracept, which was approved in record time (36 months).

Dr. Clendeninn served as a practicing physician and held academic faculty roles at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD and practicing physician at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA.

Dr. Clendeninn has participated on several boards : the Board of Directors at OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals in Bothell, WA, and a Scientific Medical Advisor at the Cancer Prevention & Research Initiative of Texas (CPRIT). He was formerly on the Board of Scientific Advisors for National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Clendeninn earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degree in microbiology and pharmacology from New York University in New York, NY. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle. He then trained at National Cancer Institute in Oncology and specialized in new drug development. He also holds a Master of Science in Urban Planning from the Newschool of Architecture and Design, in San Diego and an executive MBA from Kenan-Flagler Business School, Management Institute, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.

Cheryl Collett, CPA

Cheryl Collett, CPA

CFO

Ms. Cheryl Collett, CPA heads up finance, managing financial strategy and overseeing all financial functions of the company. She also oversees accounting, human resources and IT. She joined Toragen from Anivive Lifesciences, Inc. where she held the role of CFO helping bring structure and processes to a startup veterinary pharmaceutical company. Prior to Anivive, Cheryl held key finance positions with Puma Biotechnology, Inc. (PBYI), including VP, Finance and Accounting. Before joining Puma, Cheryl worked in finance and accounting for Given Imaging, LLC, Cougar Biotechnology, Inc. (CGRB), 20th Century Fox, and Hythiam, Inc. (HYTM) after spending three years in public accounting. She received a BS from California State University, Los Angeles and is a Certified Public Accountant in California.

Richard Lumpkin, PhD

Richard Lumpkin, PhD

Director of Research and Development

Dr. Richard Lumpkin has over 30 years of experience in early stage biotechnology companies and synthetic chemistry. He previously served as Senior Director at Global Blood Therapeutics becoming the first employee of this Third Rock Ventures founded company. He also played an instrumental part in spinning off Portola Pharmaceuticals from Millennium Pharmaceuticals. He held positions as a synthetic chemist and computer programmer at COR Therapeutics, Ribogene, Amylin and Corvas International, Inc.

Dr. Lumpkin received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biochemistry from the University of Missouri – Columbia.

Dr. Andrew Sharabi, MD/PhD

Dr. Andrew Sharabi, MD/PhD

Founder

Dr. Andrew Sharabi is a Board Certified Radiation Oncologist and Associate Professor at UC San Diego, and physician-scientist with a PhD in Immunology who specializes in treating Head and Neck Cancer.

  • Internationally Recognized expert on Radiation and Immunotherapy
  • Principle investigator of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials
  • Director of Radiation Medicine Core Facility at Moores Cancer Center
  • Scientific Advisor for San Diego Center for Precision Immunotherapy

Dr. Sharabi worked at Johns Hopkins University in the Immunology Research Program Under Drs. Charles Drake and Drew Pardoll who helped to discover the PD-1 checkpoint pathway.

Board of Directors

Anita Busquets

Anita Busquets

Ms. Anita Busquets is a highly experienced startup executive who has served as President, CFO, COO, and Director of multiple companies including:

  • Chief Financial Officer and Director of KI Investment Holdings
  • Chief Financial and Administrative Officer of Salmedix Inc.
  • Co-founded and served as the President and COO at GeneTex, Inc.
  • Director of Finance and Administration for Corvas International
  • President and Chief Operating Officer of NCE Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Chief Operating Officer at the CTRC Research Foundation, where she was instrumental in incubating and spinning out Ilex Oncology

Ms. Busquets holds an M.B.A. from Simmons College Graduate School of Management and a B.S. from Cornell University.

Paul Engler

Paul Engler

Paul Engler is founder of Cactus Feeders. In 1960, he started the first cattle feeding operation in Texas and grew the company to become the largest cattle-feeding company in the world. At age 93, Paul is extremely active and healthy. He remains actively involved in investments and philanthropic activities of his private foundation, the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation. Through his foundation, he has given generously to West Texas A&M University creating the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences.

John Major

John Major

John Major is founder and president of MTSG, a strategic consulting and investment company. An innovator in the tech and wireless industry, Major has served in numerous leadership positions including CEO of Apacheta Corp., chairman and CEO of Novatel Wireless Inc., which he took public, and corporate EVP of Qualcomm and president of its wireless infrastructure division. Major held various executive and leadership positions at Motorola Inc. for 18 years, including SVP and CTO. Major is Chairman Emeritus of the La Jolla Institute, the premier research institute focused on the immune system. He is also Chairman Emeritus of EvoNexu, a premier incubator in southern California. Previously, he has served on the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academy of Science, and the board of the Software Engineering Institute. He has served on the boards of directors of Orbcomm, Lattice Semiconductor, Lennox International Inc., and Littelfuse Inc. He also served on the board of Broadcom where he was chairman for a number of years. Major received a B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Rochester, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, an M.B.A. from Northwestern University and a J.D. from Loyola University. Major is a named inventor on 13 U.S. patents. He has a honorary Doctor of Science from Westminster College, and a honorary Doctor of Engineering from the University of Illinois Chicago.

Kimberly Manhard

Kimberly Manhard

Kimberly J Manhard is a biopharmaceutical executive with more than 25 years of experience in research and development. Ms Manhard joined the Toragen Board of Directors in 2020. She is currently the Executive Vice President of Drug Development for Heron Therapeutics, Inc. (Heron) and serves as a board director for Heron. Ms. Manhard also serves as a board director of InhibRx, Inc. and Shoreline Biosciences, Inc, which are focused on the research and development of new treatments for cancer. Prior to joining Heron, Ms. Manhard held senior executive roles at Ardea Biosciences, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca PLC, and at Exelixis, Inc. and previously worked in regulatory leadership positions at Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Pfizer, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company supporting development and commercialization of anticancer and antiviral products. Ms. Manhard began her industry career in clinical research with Eli Lilly and Company. She received her BA in French and BS in Zoology from the University of Florida, Ms. Manhard resides in the San Diego, California area and is a member of the board of trustees for the Fleet Science Center.

Dr. Andrew Sharabi, MD/PhD

Dr. Andrew Sharabi, MD/PhD

Dr. Andrew Sharabi is a Board Certified Radiation Oncologist and Associate Professor at UC San Diego, and physician-scientist with a PhD in Immunology who specializes in treating Head and Neck Cancer.

  • Internationally Recognized expert on Radiation and Immunotherapy
  • Principle investigator of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials
  • Director of Radiation Medicine Core Facility at Moores Cancer Center
  • Scientific Advisor for San Diego Center for Precision Immunotherapy

Dr. Sharabi worked at Johns Hopkins University in the Immunology Research Program Under Drs. Charles Drake and Drew Pardoll who helped to discover the PD-1 checkpoint pathway.

Dr. Sandra Coufal, MD

Dr. Sandra Coufal, MD

Dr. Coufal brings over 30 years of experience to Toragen as a physician and serial entrepreneur working with multiple successful companies in medicine, chemistry, biotechnology, material sciences, and digital technology.

  • Co-founded and managed Sibling Capital Ventures and Sibling Capital
  • Founded Relypsa’s and Ilypsa’s Scientific Advisory Boards
  • Co-founded and serves as Director on the Management Board of Tricida, Inc. (NASDAQ: TCDA)

Dr. Coufal received her medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas. Previously, Dr. Coufal was Head of the Division of Internal Medicine at the Torrey Pines site of Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, CA, where she also sat on the Board of Scripps Green Hospital as the Representative-at-Large. She also completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas under Chairman Dr. Daniel Foster. She received her Bachelor of Science undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and was designated a Notre Dame Scholar.

Advisors

Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Dennis Carson, MD

Dr. Dennis Carson, MD

Dr. Dennis Carson is a Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego. He is the prior Director of the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Ezra Cohen, MD

Dr. Ezra Cohen, MD

Dr. Ezra Cohen is a Professor of Medicine UC San Diego and the Associate Director, Translational Science, at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. He is a Co-director of the San Diego Center for Precision Immunotherapy and is a prior chair of the NCI Steering Committee for Head and Neck Cancer.

Other Advisors

Jeff Hartlin

Jeff Hartlin

Outside Counsel

Mr. Jeff Hartlin is partner and chair of the Corporate practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Palo Alto and San Diego offices. He concentrates his practice in corporate law, capital-raising, mergers & acquisitions and securities and has represented several public and private companies in equity and debt private placements with a combined value of several billion. He also routinely represents startup and other early-stage companies from incorporation through early financing, pre-IPO capital raising, IPO and eventual sale.

Mr. Hartlin received his B.A. from University of California Davis and J.D. from University of Virginia School of Law.

Faye Hunter

Faye Hunter

Technology Licensing Consultant and Investor

Ms. Faye Hunter is a retired partner at Latham & Watkins LLP. She focused her practice on the representation of emerging growth companies, ranging from startup venture-backed to mature public companies. She also served on the Board of Trustees for Salk Institute and San Diego Public Library. Ms. Hunter has expertise in corporate governance issues and frequently advises boards of directors and management on these issues. She also has assisted companies in developing and executing acquisition and licensing strategies, whether in connection with the initial in-licensing of technology or complex corporate alliance or partnering transactions.

Ms. Hunter received her AB from Stanford University and JD from the University of San Diego School of Law.

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