Dr. Mark J. Murray Ph.D. President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Murray has served as Tekmira's President, Chief Executive Officer and Director since May 2008, when Dr. Murray joined Tekmira in connection with the closing of the business combination between Tekmira and Protiva. He previously was the President and CEO and founder of Protiva since its inception in the summer of 2000. Dr. Murray has over 20 years of experience in both the R&D and business development and management facets of the biotechnology industry. Dr. Murray has held senior management positions at ZymoGenetics and Xcyte Therapies prior to joining Protiva. Since entering the biotechnology industry Dr. Murray has successfully completed numerous and varied partnering deals, directed successful product development programs, been responsible for strategic planning programs, raised over $30 million in venture capital and executed extensive business development initiatives in the U.S., Europe and Asia. During his R&D career, Dr. Murray worked extensively on three programs that resulted in FDA approved drugs, including the first growth factor protein approved for human use, a program he led for several years following his discovery. Dr. Murray obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Oregon Health Sciences University and was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell post-doctoral research fellow for three years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Patrick T. Higgins Chief Business Officer
Mr. Patrick Higgins serves as Tekmira’s Chief Business Officer. Mr. Patrick Higgins serves as Tekmira’s Chief Business Officer. Mr. Higgins was a co-founder of OnCore Biopharma and served as a member of its board of directors since its inception in May 2012 and as its Chief Executive Officer since July 2014. Mr. Higgins previously served as Executive Vice-President, Marketing and Sales of Pharmasset, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company, from 2007 to January 2012 and was a consultant to Pharmasset from 2006 to 2007. From 1995 to 2006, Mr. Higgins was the Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Virology at Hoffmann-LaRoche, a pharmaceutical company. Mr. Higgins received his B.A. degree from Villanova University and his M.B.A. degree from Seton Hall University.
Bruce Cousins Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Bruce Cousins joined Tekmira as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in October 2013. Mr. Cousins brings to Tekmira extensive global financial and pharmaceutical industry experience both working for multi-million dollar companies and leading start-ups through to successful completion of their strategic growth plans. In 2004, Mr. Cousins joined Aspreva Pharmaceuticals and led its highly successful IPO. In 2008, he played a key leadership role in the eventual sale of Aspreva in a $915 million all-cash transaction. Prior to joining Aspreva, Mr. Cousins spent 14 years with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) working in operations and finance, both domestically and internationally. Prior to the pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Cousins was a chartered accountant with Deloitte & Touche. More recently, Mr. Cousins has spent the past few years in the renewable energy sector, and from 2011 to 2013 he was Chief Executive Officer of Carmanah Technologies Corporation, a TSX-listed company. Prior to Carmanah, he held Chief Financial Officer positions at Xantrex Technology Inc. and Ballard Power Systems. Mr. Cousins completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University in 1987 and received a Chartered Accountant designation in 1989.
Dr. Michael J. Sofia, Ph.D. Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Sofia was one of OnCore Biopharma’s co-founders and served as its Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research and Development since July 2014. He previously served as President and a member of its board of directors from May 2012 to August 2014. Since April 2012, Dr. Sofia has been a professor at the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute and since March 2013, Dr. Sofia has been an adjunct professor at the Drexel University School of Medicine. Previously, Dr. Sofia was the Senior Vice-President, Chemistry, Site Head and then Senior Advisor at Gilead Sciences, Inc. from January 2012 to December 2012. Prior to that, Dr. Sofia was the Senior Vice-President, Chemistry at Pharmasset, Inc. from August 2005 to January 2012. From 1999 to 2005, Dr. Sofia served as a Group Director, New Leads Chemistry at Bristol-Myers Squibb. From 1993 to 1999, Dr. Sofia established and directed the research programs at Transcell Technologies, first as Director of Chemistry and then as Vice-President of Research. Dr. Sofia received his B.A. degree from Cornell University, his Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University.
Dr. Michael J. Abrams Ph.D. Managing Director
Dr. Michael Abrams serves as the Managing Director of the business unit dedicated to Tekmira’s non-HBV assets. Prior to joining Tekmira, Dr. Abrams was Chief Innovation Officer and VP, Research and Development at CDRD Ventures Inc. Previously, Dr Abrams was President and CEO of Inimex. He was the founding CEO of AnorMED, Inc. and led that company as President and CEO for ten years. AnorMED discovered and developed Mozobil, a drug for improving stem cell mobilization for patients undergoing stem cell transplantation. Mozobil was approved by the FDA in 2008 and AnorMED was acquired by Genzyme Corp. in 2006 for $580M. Prior to AnorMED, Dr. Abrams was Manager Biomedical Research for Johnson Matthey, plc where he led the spin-off of the biomedical research group to form AnorMED. From 2009 to 2013, Dr. Abrams served as Board Chairman of Indel Therapeutics. Dr. Abrams has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA in Chemistry from Bowdoin College. In 2009 he was a corecipient of the Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award from the Society of Nuclear Medicine for his work in the invention of the radiopharmaceutical, Cardiolite.
Dr. Mark Kowalski M.D. Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Mark Kowalski has served as our Chief Medical Officer since August 2013. Dr. Kowalski has extensive experience in Phase I through Phase IV drug development and clinical trials in a wide variety of therapeutic areas including oncology, urology, infectious diseases, analgesia, allergy, rheumatology and cardiovascular diseases. His experience also includes basic scientific research on the molecular biology of HIV as well as clinical practice in internal medicine. Prior to joining Tekmira, Dr. Kowalski worked in the oncology and inflammation therapeutic area at Gilead Sciences, Inc. following Gilead’s $510-million acquisition of YM BioSciences Inc. Previously, Dr. Kowalski had been CMO and Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at YM BioSciences Inc. Dr. Kowalski’s experience also encompasses being the CMO and Vice President of Medical/Regulatory Affairs at Viventia Biotechnologies Inc. Prior to Viventia, he was the Senior Director of Medical Affairs at AAIPharma Inc. Dr. Kowalski holds a B.A. from Rutgers University and an M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He completed his postgraduate training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Duke University and Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Peter Lutwyche Ph.D. Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Peter Lutwyche serves as Tekmira’s Chief Technology Officer. Dr. Lutwyche’s responsibilities at Tekmira include manufacturing, process development and quality control for all Tekmira product candidates, as well as supporting Tekmira's collaborative partners as they advance products that utilize Tekmira's technology. Previously Dr. Lutwyche was Director, Pharmaceutical Development at QLT Inc. During his tenure at QLT, Dr. Lutwyche contributed to the development and commercialization of Visudyne as well as leading manufacturing and chemistry efforts for numerous pre-clinical and clinical stage products. Prior to QLT, he was a research scientist at Inex Pharmaceuticals Corporation working with lipid-based formulations of nucleic acids and antibiotics. Dr. Lutwyche holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia.
Dr. William T. Symonds Pharm.D. Chief Development Officer
Dr. Symonds served as a director of OnCore since August 2014 and as a Senior Advisor since November 2014. Dr. Symonds is currently Senior Vice President, Clinical Research at Roivant Sciences, Inc., a position he has held since May 2014. Prior to that, Dr. Symonds served as Vice-President, Liver Disease Therapeutic Area at Gilead Sciences, Inc. from February 2012 until April 2014, and was the Senior Vice-President, Clinical Pharmacology and Translational Medicine at Pharmasset, Inc. from 2007 to January 2012. From 1993 to 2007, Dr. Symonds held various positions of increasing responsibility at GlaxoSmithKline, most recently as Director, Antiviral Clinical Pharmacology and Discovery Medicine. Dr. Symonds received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Campbell University and completed a fellowship in clinical pharmacokinetics at the Clinical Pharmacokinetics Laboratory in Buffalo, New York.