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.

Dan Mikol, MD, PhD, has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and as a practicing neurologist conducting clinical research. For 12 years, he was an active clinician and clinical researcher in the Department of Neurology at the University of Michigan, specializing in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, where he rose to the level of Associate Professor. For the past 13 years, Dr. Mikol has had leadership roles in neuroscience clinical development and medical affairs. Prior to joining NervGen, he was the clinical development head of neuroscience and nephrology therapeutic areas, and the pan-therapeutic area molecular genetics team at Amgen. He was instrumental in the approval of Aimovig for migraine prevention in 2018. Prior to Amgen, Dr. Mikol was the development lead for Tysabri at Biogen and supported the Japan approval of Tysabri for relapsing multiple sclerosis in 2014. Prior to that, Dr. Mikol had senior clinical development and medical affairs roles in neuroscience at Novartis and EMD Serono. Dr. Mikol was educated at the University of Chicago for both his MD and PhD, and was a Fulbright Scholar, Immunological Research, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany. He held a staff physician role treating patients for 12 years at The University of Michigan, Department of Neurology.

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.

Nana Collett has over 20 years experience managing biopharma product development programs from preclinical stage to Phase 3 across a range of therapeutic areas and modalities. Prior to joining NervGen, Ms. Collett has been an independent consultant and advisor to start-up companies. Prior to that, she was VP Program Management at Genevant Sciences and a member of the start-up leadership team where she was responsible for development of a pipeline of over 10 internal and partnered RNA therapeutic products. She previously spent nine years with NASDAQ-listed company Arbutus Biopharma (formerly Tekmira Pharmaceutical), most recently as VP Project Management responsible for all development stage programs and alliances. Prior to that, she held diverse roles at commercial stage biotech company QLT in project management, new product planning, and business development. Ms. Collett has a BSc (Honours) in Biology from University of British Columbia, an M.S. in Ecosystem Science from the University of Washington, and an MBA in Management of Technology from Simon Fraser University.

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. Michael Abrams currently serves as the Chief Scientific Officer for Abdera Therapeutics Inc., a company developing therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals for cancer treatment. Previously, he held executive vice president roles at Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (formerly Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation) (a biopharmaceutical company) in 2014 through 2016; was the VP Research & Development at CDRD Ventures Inc. (a drug commercialization company for Canada’s Centre for Drug Research and Development in Vancouver, British Columbia) in 2012 and 2013; and CEO of Inimex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (a drug development company) from 2009 to 2012. In addition, he was previously the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of AnorMED Inc. from 1996 to 2006. Dr. Abrams graduated with a BA in chemistry from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1978 and subsequently received his PhD in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute in Technology in 1983.

 

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.

 

Glenn Ives retired as a Canadian partner of Deloitte LLP on March 31, 2020. He served as the Executive Chair of Deloitte Canada from 2010 and 2018, a director of Deloitte Global from 2010 to 2018, and Chair of the Deloitte Global Risk Committee from 2012 to 2018. Mr. Ives has extensive corporate governance experience with non-profit organizations, including serving as Finance Committee Chair of St. Paul’s Foundation (Vancouver), a director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation from 2010 to 2019, and Chairman from 2016 to 2018. Mr. Ives is a Director and the Audit Committee Chair of Kinross Gold Corporation and a Director of Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. He holds a Bachelor of Mathematics degree (Honours) from the University of Waterloo, is a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia, a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario, and is also a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

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.

Krista McKerracher is a biopharmaceutical leader, Board member, and strategic advisor with 35 years’ experience in both large global pharmaceutical and small biotech companies. Her last corporate role was VP, Head of Hemoglobinopathy Programs at CRISPR Therapeutics where she and her team took the first CRISPR gene-edited product into the clinic. Prior to CRISPR Therapeutics she was VP & Global Program Franchise Head at Novartis where she led a global cross-functional development team. She also held a series of commercial roles over 14 years at the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. Ms. McKerracher is currently Founder of FIG Advisory LLC focused on advising early-stage companies on strategy and business development. Additionally, she serves on Advisory Boards of Hemex Health, Abfero Pharmaceutical and BioAxone Biosciences, and is a mentor at Springboard, an incubator for female led healthcare and technology companies. She holds a BSc in Applied Health Studies from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

 

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. Jeffrey Cummings serves as Director of the Chamber-Grundy Center for Transformative Neuroscience at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is Director Emeritus of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Dr. Cummings is the originator of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI), a widely used clinical test battery that has been translated in over 75 languages and used around the world to assess and monitor dementia-related symptoms. Dr. Cummings has been recognized for his research leadership in Alzheimer’s disease with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alzheimer’s Association and is a recipient of numerous other honors, including from the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology, American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry, International Society of CNS Drug Development, and the American Geriatrics Society.

Dr. Martin Farlow is Professor of Neurology and Emeritus of Neurology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. He is also Associate Clinical Core Leader of the Indiana Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Indianapolis and leads a large Alzheimer’s and related dementias clinical trials site in the Department of Neurology, Co-PI for Discover and Pramlintide, site PI for ADNI and DIAN-OBS and Project Arm Leader for DIAN-TU. He was PI for the first pivotal trial of tacrine (first symptomatic drug for AD) and described the second mutation associated with familial AD that was used to create the first generally recognized transgenic model for AD (PDAPP Mouse Model). Dr. Farlow has led and/or contributed in various ways to over 230 clinical trials over the last 25 years, has authored 493 peer reviewed research papers and 509 abstracts. He is an active consultant to industry and serves on numerous Data Safety Monitoring Boards.

Dr. Bruce Lamb serves as executive director of the Paul and Carole Stark Neurosciences Research Institute at Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Lamb is a world-expert on the biological underpinnings of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. He currently serves as chair of the medical and scientific advisory group and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association. Dr. Lamb is an active member of the Alzheimer’s Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment, which convenes the global Alzheimer’s disease and dementia science community around key research areas. He is responsible for launching the professional interest area tied to immunity. Dr. Lamb is also a board member of the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter and is actively involved in advocacy to support increased research funding for Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. George Perry is the current and founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Semmes Distinguished University Chair in Neurobiology at the University of Texas, San Antonio. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Zoology from University of California, Santa Barbara and his PhD in Marine Biology from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. Dr. Perry has received a number of awards for his research in the Alzheimer’s disease space, including the Denham Harman Research Award, the Senior Investigator Award from the College of Geriatric Psychoneuropharmacology and the Zenith and Temple Awards from the Alzheimer’s Association.

Dr. Reisa Sperling is a neurologist focused on the detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at the pre-symptomatic or “preclinical” stage of AD. Dr. Sperling is a Professor in Neurology at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Center for Alzheimer Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Sperling is the co-Principal Investigator of the Harvard Aging Brain Study, and the NIH funded Alzheimer’s Clinical Trial Consortium (ACTC). Dr. Sperling chaired the 2011 NIA-Alzheimer’s Association workgroup to develop guidelines for the study of “Preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.” She co-leads the Anti-Amyloid Treatment in Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s disease (A4) Study, the first trial aiming to prevent cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s disease in cognitively normal older individuals with biomarker evidence of early AD pathology. In 2020, she launched two new prevention trials in the AHEAD 3-45 Study with the ACTC. She has authored over 300 peer-reviewed research articles on neuroimaging markers and clinical trials in early AD. Dr. Sperling received the 2011 Derek Denny-Brown Award, the 2015 Potamkin Prize from the American Academy of Neurology, the 2018 Raymond Adams Lectureship Award from the American Neurological Association and was named one of the Most Disruptive Women to Watch in Healthcare in 2017.

Dr. Michael Weiner has been conducting research for more than 50 years and is Principal Investigator of the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), and the BrainHealthRegistry.org, an internet-based registry with the overall goal of accelerating development of effective treatments for brain diseases. Dr. Weiner’s research largely focuses on treatment to slow progression in Alzheimer’s disease, and on early detection and prevention. He completed his MD at State University of New York Upstate Medical Center Syracuse in 1965, his internship and residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in 1967, and a residency and clinical fellowship in at Yale-New Haven Medical Center in 1968. He had various fellowships, earning Assistant Professorship at Stanford in 1974, and Associate Professorship at University of California, San Francisco in 1980 when he was one of the first to perform magnetic resonance spectroscopy on an intact animal. He subsequently pursued development of magnetic resonance imaging / magnetic resonance spectroscopy as a clinical tool. In 1983, he established the Magnetic Resonance Unit at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (which became the Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases in 2000, and VA Advanced Imaging Research Center in 2020). Since 1990, he’s been a Professor in Radiology, Medicine, Psychiatry and Neurology at UCSF. Dr. Weiner has published 903 peer-reviewed articles, holds 19 separate research grants, and has received numerous honors. In 2010, he was named one of the “Rock Stars of Science” in GQ magazine and received the Gold Medal of Paul Sabatier University and the City of Toulouse, France. In 2011, he received the Ronald and Nancy Reagan Award for Research from the Alzheimer’s Association; in 2013, the Potamkin Prize for Research in Picks Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and other Neurodegenerative Disorders from the American Association of Neurology and the American Brain Foundation; in 2014 the Distinguished Investigator Award from Academy of Radiology Research; in 2018, an Honorary Professorship Award from Australian Catholic University; and in 2019, a Docteur Honoris Causa Degree from Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse, France.

Dr. Henrik Zetterberg is a Professor of Neurochemistry and Head of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry at Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg. With a background in molecular biology and clinical chemistry, Dr. Zetterberg has spent the last 20 years focusing on the development of biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders. He has developed new diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s disease, as well as new preclinical models. Dr. Zetterberg has received numerous prizes, including the Erik K. Fernström Prize for Junior Scientists and the Inga Sandeborg Prize for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease. He is professor of neurochemistry and head of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry at the Sahlgrenska Academy, senior consultant in clinical chemistry at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital, professor of neurochemistry at University College London and the UK Dementia Research Institute and a Wallenberg Scholar.

Dr. Jack Antel is Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University. Dr. Antel is a neurologist and coordinates the multiple sclerosis research and treatment program at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He previously served as Chairman of the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery. Dr. Antel is a former President of both Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis and the International Society of Neuroimmunology and has served as Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the MS Society of Canada. His research interests include understanding the mechanisms of tissue injury and repair that occur in MS and how these can be therapeutically targeted. He received the 2005 Dystel Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the American Academy of Neurology, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the understanding and treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Dr. Peter Calabresi is Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience, and Ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He is a neurologist who serves as Director of the Johns Hopkins MS Center and Director of the Richard T. Johnson Division of Neuroimmunology and Neuroinfectious Diseases. Dr. Calabresi’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of T cell differentiation and how these T cells interface with glial cells in the brain to modulate remyelination. He has published over 300 research papers on imaging and the immunopathogenesis of MS and was the recipient of a National MS Society Collaborative Center grant to study endogenous remyelination in MS. Dr. Calabresi also received the Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator award from the NIH and was co-awarded the Barancik prize for innovation in MS research in 2015.

Dr. Jeremy Chataway is Professor of Neurology at the Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London and a former Clinical Director of the University College London Comprehensive Clinical Trials Unit. He is a neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College Foundation NHS Trust in London, England. Dr. Chataway was the clinical lead of the MS group at the National Hospital and was a member of the 2014 MS National Institute for Health and Care Excellence panel. His research focuses on neurology clinical trial design, and he has served as the principal investigator for several notable MS clinical trials.

Dr. Jeffrey Cohen is Professor of Neurology in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and holds the Hazel Prior Hostetler Endowed Chair. He is a neurologist in the Mellen MS Center at the Cleveland Clinic where he is the former Center Director and currently serves as Director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program, the Clinical Neuroimmunology Fellowship, and the MS Academic Coordinating Center. Dr. Cohen has over 300 publications concerning immunologic, imaging, and clinical aspects of MS. He has had a leadership role in a large number of clinical trials of potential therapies for MS, translational studies, studies to validate outcome measures, and observational studies. Dr. Cohen is the current President of Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis and has served as Chair of the International Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials in MS and International Panel on MS Diagnosis that developed the 2017 McDonald Criteria.

Dr. Robert Naismith is Professor of Neurology at Washington University. He serves as Clinic Director of the John L. Trotter MS Clinic, Director of the MS Clinical Trials Program, and Neurology Clerkship Director. Dr. Naismith’s research focuses on the use of imaging modalities, in particular quantitative magnetic resonance imaging, to better predict clinical outcomes. Dr. Naismith has numerous publications and serves on a number of national boards and committees.

Dr. Anneke van der Walt is Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Monash University, Central Clinical School. She is a neurologist and head of the MS and Neuro Immunology Clinic and Neuro-ophthalmology at Alfred Health in Melbourne, Australia. Dr. van der Walt’s research focuses on implementing practical methods that can detect subclinical changes in cognition in MS patients using web-based technology. She also leads several large national and international studies on digital biomarkers in MS. Dr. van der Walt is Chief Operating Officer of the MSBase Foundation, an international online registry dedicated to tracking, sharing, and evaluating outcomes in MS, established in 2004.

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.