Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board
Dr. Jerel Banks has been a Director since October 2016, Chairman of our Board since October 2017 and Chief Executive Officer since June 2018. Dr. Banks was formerly the Chief Investment Officer of Nant Capital, LLC. Prior to joining Nant Capital, LLC, Dr. Banks served as vice president, portfolio manager and research analyst for the Franklin Biotechnology Discovery Fund at Franklin Templeton Investments from 2012 to 2015. Prior to his tenure at Franklin Templeton Investments, he worked as a biotechnology senior equity research analyst at Sectoral Asset Management from 2011 to 2012. From 2008 to 2011, Dr. Banks worked as a biotechnology equity research analyst at Apothecary Capital, the healthcare investment management team for the family investment office of the Bass Family of Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Banks began his career in investment management as a healthcare equity research associate at Capital Research Company where he was a member of the equity research team from 2006 to 2008. Dr. Banks earned an M.D. from the Brown University School of Medicine and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Brown University, and he holds an A.B. in Chemistry from Princeton University.
Megan Boston has previously been Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of several companies, including entities listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. With over 13 years of experience, Ms. Boston has been a director across a range of industries where she chaired company boards as well as board sub-committees particularly in the area of finance and risk management. Specifically, Ms. Boston has been a Director of Benitec since August 2016 and Executive Director since June 2018. From 2014 until joining Benitec, Ms. Boston was CEO of listed companies on the Australian Stock Exchange, Omni Market Tide Ltd and Rision Ltd. Previously, Ms. Boston held senior executive roles at various banking institutions in the area of risk and compliance, as well as working for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ms. Boston holds a Bachelor of Commerce and is an Australian Chartered Accountant. Ms. Boston has also completed the company directors course diploma administered by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
J. Kevin Buchi
J. Kevin Buchi has been a Director since April 2013. Mr. Buchi previously served as Chief Executive Officer of BioSpecifics Technologies Corp. and of TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Mr. Buchi served as Chief Executive Officer of Cephalon, Inc., or Cephalon, from December 2010 through its acquisition by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd in October 2011. After the acquisition Mr. Buchi served as Corporate Vice President, Global Branded Products of Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. Mr. Buchi joined Cephalon in 1991 and held various positions, including Chief Operating Officer, from January 2010 to December 2010, Chief Financial Officer and Head of Business Development prior to being appointed Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Buchi is also on the board of directors of Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: AMRX) and Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: DRNA. Mr. Buchi has a B.A. in chemistry from Cornell University and a Masters in Management from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.
Peter Francis has been a director since February 2006 and was previously Chairman of the Board until October 2017. Since 1993, Mr. Francis has been a partner at Francis Abourizk Lightowlers, a firm of commercial and technology lawyers with offices in Melbourne, Australia. He is a legal specialist in the areas of intellectual property and licensing and provides legal advice to corporations and research bodies. Mr. Francis completed his studies in law and jurisprudence at Monash University.
Edward Smith has been a director since April 2020. Edward brings more than 20 years of experience in executive finance and operations leadership in the biotechnology industry to our Board. Edward currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer of LAVA Therapeutics N.V. (Nasdaq: LVTX), a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing novel immuno-oncology therapeutics. Prior to that, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNS), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics to treat patients suffering from rare seizure disorders, and PolyMedix, Inc., a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing a novel class of antibiotics for the treatment of infectious diseases. Before his time at PolyMedix, Inc. he served as the executive director of finance at InKine Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. and held various positions in public accounting, most recently in the audit practice of Deloitte.