Board of Directors: Trusted Guidance from Renowned Experts
The experience that NexImmune relies upon to develop and deliver groundbreaking immunotherapies extends from the bench to the Board. Meet the leading industry experts who comprise our Board of Directors.
Sol J. Barer, Ph.D. – Chairman
Dr. Barer is a founder and former Chairman, President, COO, and CEO of Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG). He brings more than 30 years of experience in the biotechnology industry to the NexImmune Board of Directors. Dr. Barer currently serves as Board Chair for Teva Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: TEVA), Centrexion Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CNTX), and Aevi Genomic Medicine (NASDAQ: GNMX). He is also lead director for Contrafect Corp. (NASDAQ: CFRX) and a member of the Board of Directors for 3DBio Therapeutics. Dr. Barer is also the Founding Chair of the Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery & Innovation and is a co-founder of Barer & Son Capital, an investment fund focused on capitalizing early-stage breakthrough biotechnology companies.
Ms. Jones brings more than 25 years of business leadership experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries across strategic and operational roles. Prior to transitioning to Chief Executive Officer of Neximmune, she held various positions on the executive team, serving as both Chief Operating Officer and Chief Business Officer. For five years prior to joining NexImmune, Ms. Jones was with Astra Zeneca and its subsidiary MedImmune. From 2013-2015, Ms. Jones was Vice President of Portfolio Strategy and Management at AstraZeneca, where she played an instrumental role in building a scientifically innovative, diverse portfolio creating new value for the company. Prior to that she served as Vice President of Global Strategic Marketing to shape product plans and prepare MedImmune for multiple launches. Previously, Ms. Jones held multiple leadership roles with increasing responsibility at Genentech, where she worked for 16 years, including Head of Immunology and Ophthalmology in Global Portfolio and Product Strategy, Endocrine and Pulmonary Franchise, and Immunology Business Unit Operations and Pipeline Planning. Ms. Jones also serves in a consulting role for various companies and organizations and serves on the Life Science Panel for Springboard Enterprises focused on start-up companies led by women.
Alan S. Roemer, MBA, MPH
Mr. Roemer is an entrepreneurial life sciences executive and Board member who has launched three biotechnology companies, raised over $1.5 billion in private and public capital, and consummated three IPOs. Mr. Roemer was a Founding Leadership Team member of Roivant Sciences, and he served in various senior management roles responsible for finance, operations and corporate development from Roivant’s inception in May 2014 to August 2019. From March 2015 to August 2015, he simultaneously served as Principal Financial and Accounting Officer of Axovant Sciences Ltd. and Chief Financial Officer and a Founding Leadership Team member of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Axovant Sciences, Inc. Prior to launching Roivant and Axovant, Mr. Roemer was a Managing Director of the Trout Group, and he previously served as Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer of Zelos Therapeutics. From 1999 to 2008, Mr. Roemer was a Vice President of Pharmasset (acquired by Gilead), where he wrote the formal business plan for the scientific founder and was Pharmasset’s first full-time management team member. Mr. Roemer is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of UTILITY therapeutics Ltd. and IN8bio, Inc., a Director and Audit Committee Chair of NexImmune, a Business Advisory Board member of Envisagenics, a Trustee and Treasurer of the Helene Fuld College of Nursing, and a Management Committee Member of DC Brau Brewing. He previously served as a director of SomPharmaceuticals (acquired by Amryt Pharma). Mr. Roemer received a BSBA from Georgetown University and MBA and MPH degrees from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and Rollins School of Public Health.
Tim Bertram, Ph.D.
Mr. Bertram is Chief Executive Officer of inRegen, a multi-national privately owned clinical-stage cellular therapeutics company focusing on treatment of chronic renal disease. He also serves as CEO of Twin City Bio, a USA-based CDMO focusing on the manufacturing and Development of cell-based therapeutics. As a Director for multiple biotechnology companies, he brings over 35 years of medicine development leadership to public and private companies. Previously, Mr. Bertram was a senior executive at Pfizer, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, and Procter & Gamble Corporate Research were his career focused on taking molecular entities from research through clinical development and registration. These development efforts lead to the commercialization of eight medical products that are changing lives around the world. Tim started his professional career on faculty at the University of Illinois and as a visiting scientist at the National Institutes of Health.
Paul D’Angio, RPH, MSJ
Mr. D’Angio is an advisor to several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and has been in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 30 years, with experience in commercial manufacturing, drug product development, risk management operations, and investigational materials supply. From 1998 to 2016 he served as Senior Vice President, Global Head of Technical Operations at Celgene Corporation where he gained extensive cross-functional and technical leadership experience in building and operating a global pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply chain organization. He provided direct leadership in establishing global commercial readiness standards and practices at Celgene, resulting in a number of timely CMC filing and rapid product launches. Mr. D’Angio has a particular commitment to operational excellence and expertise in the management of highly technical cross-functional international teams focused on asset development through filing and commercialization. He has also built teams with long-standing and industry-leading employee engagement metrics. Earlier in his career, Mr. D’Angio served for 13 years in the manufacturing group at Novartis.
Grant Verstandig is currently the Chief Digital Officer of UnitedHealth Group, one of the world’s largest diversified healthcare companies. Mr. Verstandig leads digital innovation across the enterprise, which provides healthcare coverage to nearly 50 million people through its UnitedHealthcare division as well as technology-enabled health services to improve system performance and deliver care to nearly 100 million consumers through its Optum division. Mr. Verstandig is an active entrepreneur, venture capital investor, and philanthropist. Mr. Verstandig founded Rally Health, a consumer-centric digital health company whose online and mobile tools empower millions of people to take control of their health and well-being and manage their health care needs. In 2017, UnitedHealth acquired Rally. Mr. Verstandig is also co-founder and Executive Chairman of Epirus, a venture-backed directed energy company that creates counter-UAS systems and power management solutions for multiple applications, as well as the co-founder of Spycraft Entertainment, a content and entertainment production company focused on the most important intelligence and military operations that have shaped the world around us. An active investor as well as operator, Mr. Verstandig has supported multiple biopharmaceutical companies from their earliest stages including Cortexyme (NASDAQ: CRTX), Applied Molecular Transport (NASFDAQ: AMTI), and Tavros Therapeutics.
Zhenghin (Bing) Yao, Ph.D.
Dr. Yao is the former Chief Executive Officer of Viela Bio. Formerly, he was the Senior Vice President, R&D and Head of Respiratory, Inflammation & Autoimmunity at MedImmune. Dr. Yao was also Senior Vice President, Head of Immuno-Oncology Franchise, AstraZeneca. He is an accomplished executive and scientist with more than 20 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. During his tenure at MedImmune, he played key leadership roles in the development and approval of three novel biologics for autoimmune, respiratory, and immune-oncology indications respectively. Prior to joining MedImmune, Dr. Yao led the project team leaders (PTL) group for immunology, neurosciences, virology and metabolism for Genentech, and prior to that served as Vice President of Research and Corporate Officer for Tanox before it was acquired by Genentech. Earlier in his career Dr. Yao held key roles at Aventis and Amgen. Dr. Yao has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and holds over 20 patents and patent applications.
Leena Gandhi, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Gandhi is the Director of the Center for Cancer Therapeutic Innovation, a cross-malignancy novel therapeutics hub, at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1998 and her M.D. from New York University in 2002. She completed her postgraduate training at Massachusetts General Hospital and at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Dr. Gandhi was on staff at DFCI for 8 years as a thoracic oncologist working in early drug development prior to moving to New York University to serve as the Director of Thoracic Medical Oncology. She has focused her research on novel drug development and biomarkers for selection in lung cancer with a particular focus on immuno-oncology. She led pivotal studies demonstrating the utility of PDL1 as a biomarker for efficacy of anti-PD1 agents in lung cancer and studies demonstrating the value of combining immunotherapy and chemotherapy in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. She served as Vice President of Immuno-Oncology Development at Eli Lilly leading the development of novel immuno-oncology agents across cancer types before returning to Dana-Farber in 2020.