The two co-founders of Realist, Mark de Groot (CEO) and Uri Saragovi (CSO), previously collaborated as co-founders of Mimetogen, a biotechnology company focused on developing novel peptidomimetic therapeutics. Mimetogen concluded a major transaction for its Phase 3 asset with a pharma multinational in 2015. The two co-founders have also previously been involved in other successful licensing transactions, including licensing a portfolio of small molecule and mAb assets of theirs to a public biotech company in late 2015.
Mark de Groot, PhD - Chief Executive Officer
Mark de Groot co-founded and ran as CEO for five years the immunotherapeutic company, Petrovax Inc., whose products many years later are still generating sales of >$250M annually. He also co-founded a biopharma company, Mimetogen, which completed a major transaction in 2015. Mark founded and ran Life Science/Technology Venture Capital Funds, including MSBi/iNovia which currently has in excess of $450 million AUM. He also set up and ran a successful financial advisory company, focused on raising capital for Life Sciences companies and funds. Mark has a PhD in Physics, Oxford and was a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.
Uri Saragovi, PhD - Chief Scientific Officer
Uri Saragovi has a track record of inventing, developing and successfully licensing therapeutics. He co-founded Mimetogen whose lead products he invented & of which he was CSO. In late 2015, Uri also previously concluded other successful licensing transactions as well. He is the lead inventor of key assets licensed by Realist Pharma and is a Professor of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, at McGill University & the Lady Davis Institute-Jewish General Hospital Center for Translational Research.
Andrew Williams, MBA - Chief Financial Officer
Andrew Williams was a co-founder, COO and CFO of Cynapsus Therapeutics, a specialty pharma CNS company developing a sublingual thin film for Parkinson’s disease. In October 2016, Cynapsus was acquired for US$640 million in cash by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. While CFO, Cynapsus raised approximately US$150M primarily via private placements and public offerings, including a US$72.5M US IPO and NASDAQ listing in June 2015. Andrew has an MBA from the University of Western Ontario and a BA (Economics) from Queen’s University.
Helen Loughrey, PhD - VP, Clinical Operations
Helen Loughrey has 20 years of experience in drug development (RTP Pharma, Signalgene, Theratechnologies), with scientific and regulatory expertise in both small molecules and biologics, including a key role in securing an NDA from the FDA. She has a track record in successful INDs including drug/device combinations & solid GLP/GMP experience. Helen has a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of British Columbia.
Joseph Elliot, PhD - VP, Product Development
Joseph Elliot has 30+ years of experience in diverse Life Sciences companies, including Lymphosign, ERC, Cytochroma, PhageTech, Connaught Labs (now Sanofi-Pasteur), with a particular focus on vaccines, immuno-oncology therapeutics and manufacturing. He has worked with a range of venture capital groups as Executive in start-up & turnaround situations. Joseph has a PhD in Medical Sciences from McMaster University.
Serge Moffett, PhD - Director Research & Development
Serge Moffett has over 15 years of industry experience in cancer detection and treatments and other biological therapies, including ProScan, RX Pharma, Theratechnologies and Calevia. He is a senior research scientist with extensive R&D experience and has a PhD in Biochemistry from University of Montreal.
Yann Rioux, MSc - Director, Operations
Yann Rioux has more than 15 years in the Pharma/CRO industry, including at Pfizer, GSK and PAREXEL. She has extensive experience in project management, clinical operations and quality oversight. Yann has experience in Oncology in Phase I-III trials and in other therapeutic areas, and has an MSc in Physiology & Biophysics from University of Sherbrooke.
Khashayar Esfahani, MD - Research Associate, Oncology
Khashayar Esfahani is the main sub-investigator for Realist’s Phase Alpha and Phase I clinical studies. He has participated in numerous oncology clinical trials, particularly in lung cancer, melanoma, renal cancer and breast cancer. Khashayar has a Medical Oncology Fellowship at the Jewish General Hospital (McGill) and an MD from McGill.
Elizabeth Acosta-Ramirez, PhD - Research Associate, Immunology
Elizabeth Acosta-Ramirez has worked ass a researcher at Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada, Sudbury, Ontario, and a researcher at Canadian Center for Vaccinology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has a PhD in Immunology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City.
Raj Roychoudhury, PhD – Research Associate, Glycochemistry
Raj Roychoudhury completed Postdoctoral Research, Indiana University and has PhD in Organic Chemistry from Indiana University.