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.
Ali Kandil, PhD, PMP - VP, Technical Operations
Ali Kandil is a seasoned executive with 25+ years of experience across global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. He has broad development and commercialization experience with specific proficiencies in Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Process Development and Technology Transfer. Most recently, Ali was Head-Global Supply Chain at NPS/Shire Corporation (2013 to 2015), following positions as Director, Senior Director and Head of Manufacturing (2003 to 2013). He was Director, Manufacturing at Lorus Therapeutics Inc. (2002 to 2003), and Manager, Process Validation at Aventis Pasteur (2000-2002), following the position as Manager, Product Development (1995-2000). Ali has a strong background in: Statistical Process Control; application of robustness studies using Design of Experiments; test-method validation; knowledge of SAP and ERP in production environment including purchasing, reservation, production planning, forecasting and plant maintenance; vaccine/adjuvant formulation development; chiral and oligosaccharide synthesis; and conjugation, purification and characterization of conjugate vaccines and other biomolecules. He also has a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Simon Fraser 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.