Our Team

Paul Brennan has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries working in leadership roles in general management, corporate strategy, commercial planning, business development and regulatory affairs in Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Most recently Mr. Brennan’s experiences include senior business development and management positions in various biotech companies, including Aquinox Pharmaceuticals, Arbutus Biopharma, Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, and AnorMED Inc. Mr. Brennan has a comprehensive list of business development and licensing transactions, totalling over $3 billion in value: he played key roles in the merger of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals and OnCore BioPharma to create Arbutus Biopharma, in the sale of Aspreva Pharmaceuticals to Vifor Pharma for $915 million and in the sale of AnorMED to Genzyme for $580 million. Prior to working in biotech Mr. Brennan held senior roles in Business Development and Regulatory Affairs at AstraZeneca. Mr. Brennan holds a MSc in Physiology, and a BSc (Hons) in Life Sciences from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Bill Adams has over 25 years of strategic financial management experience that includes mergers and acquisitions, operations and capital markets in both Canada and the U.S., as well as corporate and operational finance having held a number of executive positions with high-growth technology and life sciences companies, including Chief Financial Officer roles at Anandia Laboratories Inc., Response Biomedical Corp., CellFor Inc., and AnorMED Inc. He had a leading role in the sale of AnorMED to Genzyme for $580 million and was instrumental in the sale of Anandia in 2018 for $118 million. Mr. Adams has been responsible for completing over $250 million in public and private equity financing, including listing on the TSX and NASDAQ, and over $750 million in mergers and acquisitions and technology licensing transactions. Mr. Adams is a Chartered Professional Accountant, CA and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia.

Having directly managed 25 clinical trials, including three Phase III trials, Ms. Franke has a demonstrated history of executing drug development programs at organizations ranging from fully integrated pharmaceutical companies to early-stage biotechnology start-ups as well as in global clinical contract research organizations (“CRO”). Prior to NervGen, Ms. Franke was Senior Director, Strategy and Planning at Covance, a global contract research organization that has worked on all of the top-50-best-selling drugs available today. Ms. Franke’s clinical development experience also includes management roles at the global CRO Parexel International, Novella Clinical (a unit of IQVIA) and OSI Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Astellas Pharma for $4 billion. Ms. Franke received a Master of Bioethics Degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Science, Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan.

Bill Radvak is a co-founder of NervGen and has been the CEO and director of multiple start-up companies. He was a founder and the CEO of Response Biomedical, a publicly listed medical device company, which he led from its inception to a 90-employee sales and manufacturing company. Mr. Radvak received his Bachelor of Applied Science degree from the University of British Columbia

Paul Brennan has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries working in leadership roles in general management, corporate strategy, commercial planning, business development and regulatory affairs in Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Most recently Mr. Brennan’s experiences include senior business development and management positions in various biotech companies, including Aquinox Pharmaceuticals, Arbutus Biopharma, Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, and AnorMED Inc. Mr. Brennan has a comprehensive list of business development and licensing transactions, totalling over $3 billion in value: he played key roles in the merger of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals and OnCore BioPharma to create Arbutus Biopharma, in the sale of Aspreva Pharmaceuticals to Vifor Pharma for $915 million and in the sale of AnorMED to Genzyme for $580 million. Prior to working in biotech Mr. Brennan held senior roles in Business Development and Regulatory Affairs at AstraZeneca. Mr. Brennan holds a MSc in Physiology, and a BSc (Hons) in Life Sciences from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

 

Dr. Abrams brings to NervGen extensive expertise and successes gained during his over thirty-year career transforming scientific discovery into innovative and commercially successful products. While earning his PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Abrams co-invented a technology that resulted in the development of Cardiolite which achieved peak annual sales of over $500 million. For his contribution to Cardiolite, Dr. Abrams was the co-recipient of the Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award from the U.S. Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. He then founded AnorMED which successfully developed Mozobil, a first-in-class drug, approved for use in stem cell transplantation. Dr. Abrams led AnorMED as President & CEO for 10 years prior to its 2006 acquisition by Genzyme for $580 million. Dr. Abrams is currently an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at the University of British Columbia and remains active in the biotechnology community.

 

Brian Bayley is a Director and the Executive Chairman of Earlston Investments, a private merchant bank, with transaction experience of over $2 billion. Previously, Mr. Bayley was CEO of Quest Capital and worked with the Vancouver Stock Exchange, now the TSX Venture Exchange. Mr. Bayley has over 30 years of public issuer experience, both as a director and officer, in numerous private and public companies.

Dr. Kaye is currently Chief Medical Officer at Neurana Pharmaceuticals in San Diego, California. Prior to Neurana, Dr. Kaye served as CMO at Click Therapeutics, Axsome Therapeutics and Avanir Pharmaceuticals. Earlier in his career, Dr. Kaye held leadership positions at Scios Inc., InterMune and Pfizer Inc. Dr. Kaye earned an M.D., M.P.H. and B.S. at The George Washington University and was a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School.

 

Dr. Punnett, co-founder of NervGen, is an accomplished angel investor who has been the director of multiple start-up companies. As a dental surgeon with a practice in British Columbia, Canada, he has extensive knowledge of medicine and physiology, including cell biology. Along with this knowledge, he has a deep passion for those suffering from spinal cord injury and other nerve-related challenges. Dr. Punnett is a Member of the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia, Member of the British Columbia Dental Association and Member of the Canadian Dental Association. He received his doctorate degree from the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Silver is the Professor of Neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine and adjunct Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He is credited in over 180 publications and is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Ameritec Prize for significant accomplishments toward a cure for paralysis. In 2003 he was also honored with the Christopher Reeve-Joan Irvine Research Medal (The Reeve-Irvine Medal) for critical contributions that may lead to the promotion of repair of the damaged spinal cord. Dr. Silver is an active advisor to NervGen, and his lab continues to conduct studies in concert with other academic institutions and partners to advance and evolve intracellular sigma peptide

Colonel (ret.) Michael Davis, MD, FACS is recently retired after 26 years of military service, and has accumulated an extensive, rare knowledge base involving the clinical, scientific, operational and governmental programmatic domains. He has garnered numerous military and medical publications and awards, and serves as a reviewer for professional journals and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. For the past seven years, Colonel (ret.) Davis has served in escalating Department of Defense programmatic roles as Deputy Commander, US Army Institute of Surgical Research, and culminating over the past three years, as Director, US Combat Casualty Care Research Program-the Department’s largest medical R&D program. With more than 30 years in the clinical and biomedical science field, Colonel (ret.) Davis provides services and expertise in trauma, regenerative/ restorative medicine, federal government relations, defense, health, cyber and national security.

Dr. Marta Hamilton is a veteran in drug development with expertise in pharmacokinetics, biomarkers, preclinical and clinical study design, as well as experience with multiple investigational new drug and new drug applications. Dr. Hamilton served in leadership and technical positions at Eli Lilly, Amgen, NeXstar Pharmaceuticals and Gilead Sciences, and most recently as Vice President, Preclinical Development and Clinical Pharmacology at OSI Pharmaceuticals.

A prolific start-up specialist, advisor, founder and angel investor to start-up companies, Mr. McAlister assists start-ups with raising capital and other activities. Over the past 30 years, Mr. McAlister has assisted over 25 early stage companies in various industries including biotechnology, enterprise software, and natural resources.

Ernest Wong has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Dr. Wong led NervGen as President & CEO during the successful Initial Public Offering on the TSX-V and was instrumental in bringing NervGen’s technology and NVG-291 to Phase 1 readiness. Prior to NervGen, Dr. Wong held several executive positions in business development or corporate affairs at Accera, Piramal Imaging and YM BioSciences. His experiences also include executing business development transactions, managing partnerships and global clinical programs at OSI Pharmaceuticals and AnorMED.