Biothera Pharmaceutical Inc. Announces Board of Directors

EAGAN, Minn.--()--Biothera Holding Corp. today announced the election of the board of directors for Biothera Pharmaceutical Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary that is developing a clinical stage cancer immunotherapy drug.

The 10 directors are Brent Ahrens, Dr. Alex Giaquinto, Mike Grey, Dr. Annalisa Jenkins, Steven Karel, Andrew LaFrence, Richard Mueller, Walter Ogier, Dr. Bruno Osterwalder and Dr. Dwight Porter.

“We are excited to assemble this experienced team of biotech and pharmaceutical leaders to guide the company and development of our cancer immunotherapy drug,” said Mr. Mueller, chairman and chief executive officer of Biothera Holding Corp. “I’m confident that the board and the management team will lead the successful development of Imprime PGG for the benefit of cancer patients worldwide.”

“Imprime PGG represents the next step in immune oncology,” said Dr. Porter, Biothera Pharmaceutical Inc. chairman of the board. “Unlike other drugs that focus only on individual immune cells, Imprime PGG modulates multiple cell types that orchestrate a coordinated immune attack on cancer. Our highly promising clinical results demonstrate the broad potential to treat a wide range of cancers with Imprime PGG.”

The following brief biographies highlight the accomplishments and strengths of Biothera Pharmaceutical’s directors. For full biographies, go to

Brent Ahrens
General Partner
Canaan Partners
Mr. Ahrens is a general partner with the Canaan Partners, an early stage Life Sciences and IT venture capital fund. Since joining Canaan in 1999, Mr. Ahrens has focused on healthcare investments in companies such as DexCom (NASDAQ: DXCM), Revivant (acquired by ZOLL), Peninsula Pharmaceuticals (acquired by JNJ), Cerexa (acquired by FRX), Calixa (acquired by CBST), Durata Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DRTX), and Elevation Pharmaceuticals (acquired by DNPUF).

Alex Giaquinto, Ph.D.
Former Senior Vice President
Dr. Giaquinto held many positions during his 30-year career at Schering-Plough Corporation, including senior vice president of Worldwide Regulatory Affairs for Schering-Plough Research Institute and senior vice president of Global Compliance. He was instrumental in establishing the development and regulatory strategies for the approvals of 74 New Drug Applications and nine Biologic Licensing Applications. He is currently the chairman of the Regulatory Affairs Coordinating Committee of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association.

Mike Grey
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Reneo Pharmaceuticals
Venture Partner, Pappas Ventures
Mr. Grey has 40 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, and has held senior positions at a number of companies, including president and CEO of SGX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and president and CEO of Trega Biosciences, Inc. Most recently, he founded and served as CEO of Lumena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. until its acquisition by Shire plc. Mr. Grey serves on the boards of a number of private and public companies, including BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN), Horizon Pharma plc (NASDAQ: HZNP), and Mirati Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRTX).

Dr. Annalisa Jenkins, MBBS, MRCP
Chief Executive Officer
Dimension Therapeutics
Dr. Jenkins is CEO at leading gene therapy company Dimension Therapeutics and is a biopharma thought leader with nearly 20 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Dimension, Dr. Jenkins served as executive vice president, head of Global Research and Development for Merck Serono. She also led Global Medical Affairs and Quality and was a member of Merck Serono’s Pharmaceutical Executive Committee. Previously, Dr. Jenkins had a nearly 15-year career at Bristol-Myers Squibb that culminated in position of senior vice president and head of Global Medical Affairs.

Steven Karel
Chief Administrative Officer
Biothera Holding Corp.
Mr. Karel joined Biothera in 1998 as chief financial officer and spent 10 years as chief operating officer, leading research and technology. He is currently chief administrative officer responsible for Finance, Investor Relations, Human Resources, Legal and Information Technology. Prior to Biothera, Mr. Karel served as CFO/COO at a communications technology company and began his career as a CPA with KPMG LLP.

Andrew LaFrence, CPA
Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer
SurModics, Inc.
Mr. LaFrence’s responsibilities include Finance and Information Technology at medical company SurModics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRDX). Prior to that, he served as chief financial officer for CNS Therapeutics, a venture backed intrathecal drug company that was sold to Mallinckrodt, then a subsidiary of Covidien, for $100 million in October 2012. Mr. LaFrence has more than 30 years of financial and management experience. He was an audit partner at KPMG LLP where he focused on supporting venture-backed, high-growth medical technology, pharmaceutical, biotech and clean tech private and public companies.

Richard Mueller
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Biothera Holding Corp.
Mr. Mueller joined Biothera as a Board member in 2000 and as CEO in 2001. He was elected Chairman of the Board in 2015. He has held a number of senior executive positions, including: president, Textron Omniquip Alliance Group (NYSE: TXT); president/CEO, Weslock Inc.; chairman/CEO, Playcore Inc. (AMEX: PCO); and managing director/president, Toro-Wheel Horse (NYSE: TTC). He has also held a number of senior management positions with both Toro and 3M Company earlier in his career.

Walter Ogier
Founder, President, CEO & Director
Acetylon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Mr. Ogier has nearly 30 years of life sciences industry experience developing and commercializing small molecule drugs, monoclonal antibodies and other therapies for the treatment of a broad range of diseases, including hematologic and solid tumor cancers. Before founding Acetylon Pharmaceuticals in 2008, Mr. Ogier held a number of executive management positions including president, CEO and director, Arbios Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABOS.OB); president, CEO and director, GENETIX Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (now Bluebird Bio, NASDAQ: BLUE); and president, CEO and director, Eligix, Inc. (formerly Coulter Cellular Therapies, Inc.).

Bruno Osterwalder, M.D.
Former SVP, Senior Strategic Advisor Oncology,
Global Research and Drug Development
Merck Serono
Dr. Osterwalder has more than 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience that includes all drug development stages, from research transition into humans with an emphasis on translational medicine, to global registrations and life cycle management. Prior positions at Merck Serono include a senior leadership role in global hemato-oncology and immune-oncology drug development. Before that, he held various positions with increasing responsibilities in global drug development at F. Hoffmann-Roche with a focus on novel drugs in hematology, oncology and renal and cancer anemia.

Dwight Porter, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Board, Biothera Pharmaceutical, Inc.
President, Applied Decision Resources
Dr. Porter is an expert in strategic and marketing planning, pricing, and product management. He taught economics, pricing and management at both the undergraduate and MBA levels from 1974 to 1997. He currently leads a consulting practice that has included more than 100 major consulting engagements. Among Dr. Porter’s career clients are 3M Company, Medtronic, Google, You Tube, Bracco Imaging, AT&T, Sprint, National Computer Systems, Harris Corporation, Northwest Airlines, Siemens, Doubleclick and Marvin Windows and Doors.

About Biothera Pharmaceutical Inc.
Biothera is a privately held biotechnology company developing Imprime PGG, a late clinical stage immunotherapeutic drug candidate that modulates key immune cells to recognize and kill cancer. Proof of concept has been established from single-arm and randomized Phase 2 studies in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), colorectal cancer, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Studies are ongoing in metastatic colorectal cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In addition, new research shows that Imprime PGG elicits a coordinated immune response that involves both innate and adaptive immunity. More information is available at or follow us on Twitter.


Biothera, the Immune Health Company
David Walsh, 651-256-4606 (direct)
SVP Marketing & Communications

Release Summary

Biothera Holding Corp. today announced the election of the board of directors for Biothera Pharmaceutical Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary that is developing a clinical stage cancer immunotherapy drug.


Biothera, the Immune Health Company
David Walsh, 651-256-4606 (direct)
SVP Marketing & Communications