David Sidransky, M.D.
Chairman of the Board
Dr. Sidransky is a renowned oncologist and research scientist named and profiled by TIME magazine in 2001 as one of the top physicians and scientists in America, recognized for his work with early detection of cancer. Since 1994, Dr. Sidransky has been the Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Research Division and Professor of Oncology, Otolaryngology, Genetics and Pathology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Champions Oncology since October 2007 and was, until the merger with Eli Lilly, a Director and Vice-Chairman of ImClone Systems, Inc. He is the Chairman of Tamir Biotechnology and serves on the Board of Directors of Rosetta Genomics, Immune Pharmaceuticals and Celsus. He is serving and has served on scientific advisory boards of MedImmune, Roche, Amgen and Veridex, LLC (a Johnson & Johnson diagnostic company), among others. Dr. Sidransky served as Director (2005-2008) of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
James Patton, M.D., MBA
Vice Chairman of the Board
Dr. Patton currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and has served as a member of the Board of Directors since February 2002. Furthermore, Dr. Patton was the Chairman of the Board of Directors from November 2004 until December 2005 and was the Chief Executive Officer from February 2002 to November 2002. Since February 1999, Dr. Patton has been the Vice President of Millennium Oncology Management, Inc., which provides management services for radiation oncology care to four sites. Dr. Patton was a trustee of Dundee Wealth U.S., a mutual fund family, from October 2006 through September 2014. He is a founder and has been chairman of VAL Health, LLC, a health care consultancy, from 2011 to the present. In addition, he was President of Comprehensive Oncology Care, LLC since 1999, a company that owned and operated a cancer treatment facility in Exton, Pennsylvania until its sale in 2008. From February 1999 to September 2003, Dr. Patton also served as a consultant to LibertyView Equity Partners SBIC, LP, a venture capital fund based in Jersey City, New Jersey. From July 2000 to December 2002, Dr. Patton served as a director of Pinpoint Data Corp. From February 2000 to November 2000, Dr. Patton served as a director of Healthware Solutions. From June 2000 to June 2003, Dr. Patton served as a director of LifeStar Response. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan, his Medical Doctorate from Medical College of Pennsylvania, and his Master of Business Administration from Penn’s Wharton School. Dr. Patton was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar. He has published papers regarding scientific research in human genetics, diagnostic test performance and medical economic analysis. Dr. Patton’s experience as a trustee and consultant to funds that invest in life science companies provides him with the perspective from which the company benefits. Additionally, Dr. Patton’s medical experience and service as a principal and director of other life science companies make Dr. Patton particularly qualified to serve as director and non-executive chairman.
Daniel J. O’Connor
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Mr. O’Connor was appointed Advaxis’ President and Chief Executive Officer in August 2013 at a time when the company had limited cash reserves, was burdened with significant debt, and, due to its status as an “OTC Company,” had few options for securing the necessary financing to remain solvent. Undeterred, Mr. O’Connor executed a turnaround strategy rooted in an understanding of the potential of Advaxis’ Lm Technology™ immunotherapy technology platform. From leading Advaxis’ uplisting to Nasdaq, to assembling the company’s executive team, to securing high-profile collaboration agreements with Merck & Co., Inc., MedImmune and Incyte Corporation, Mr. O’Connor has successfully transformed Advaxis financially, clinically and operationally, providing a strong balance sheet that has enabled the company to advance one of most diverse and active immunotherapy pipelines in the industry. In 2015, Ernst & Young named Mr. O’Connor Entrepreneur of the Year® in New Jersey.
Mr. O’Connor’s career is highlighted by more than 15 years of executive, legal, and regulatory experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including senior leadership positions at ImClone Systems and PharmaNet. During his tenure at ImClone, Mr. O’Connor served as senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary where he supported the clinical development, launch, and commercialization of ERBITUX® (cetuximab) and played a key role in resolving numerous issues facing the company, including extensive licensing negotiations, in advance of its sale to Eli Lilly in 2008.
Mr. O’Connor’s career in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry began with his appointment to general counsel of PharmaNet. While at PharmaNet, Mr. O’Connor was instrumental in building the company from a start-up contract research organization into an established world leader in clinical research. Prior to PharmaNet, Mr. O’Connor was a criminal prosecutor in New Jersey and gained leadership experience as a Captain in the U.S. Marines, serving in the Persian Gulf in 1990.
Roni A. Appel, MBA
Mr. Appel has served as a member of the Board of Directors since November 2004. He was Advaxis’ President and Chief Executive Officer from January 2006 and Secretary and Chief Financial Officer from November 2004, until he resigned as Chief Financial Officer on September 7, 2006 and as President, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary on December 15, 2006. From December 15, 2006 to December 2007, Mr. Appel served as a consultant to Advaxis. Mr. Appel currently is a self-employed consultant. Previously, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Anima Cell Metrology Ltd., from 2008 through January 31, 2013. From 1999 to 2004, he was a partner and Managing Director of LV Equity Partners (formerly LibertyView Equity Partners). From 1998 until 1999, he was a Director of Business Development at Americana Financial Services, Inc. From 1994 to 1998, he was an attorney and completed his Master of Business Administration at Columbia University. Mr. Appel’s longstanding service with Advaxis and his entrepreneurial investment career in early stage biotech businesses qualify him to serve as director.
Thomas McKearn, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. McKearn has served as a member of the Board of Directors since July 2002. He brings more than 30 years of experience in the translation of biotechnology science into oncology products. As one of the founders of Cytogen Corporation, an Executive Director of Strategic Science and Medicine at Bristol-Myers Squibb, then for 10 years, from 2002 to 2012, at Agennix, Inc. (formerly GPC-Biotech) as VP of Medical Affairs and later as the VP of Strategic Clinical Affairs, and now as the President, Research & Development at Onconova, he has worked to bring the most innovative laboratory findings into the clinic and through the FDA regulatory process for the benefit of cancer patients who need better ways to cope with their afflictions. Prior to entering the biotechnology industry in 1981, Dr. McKearn received his medical, graduate and post-graduate training at the University of Chicago and served on the faculty of the Medical School at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. McKearn’s experience in managing life science companies, his knowledge of medicine and his commercialization of biotech products qualify him to serve as director.
Richard Berman, MBA
Mr. Berman has served as a member of the Board of Directors since September 1, 2005. Richard Berman’s business career spans over 35 years of venture capital, senior management and merger and acquisitions experience. In the past five years, Mr. Berman has served as a director and/or officer of over a dozen public and private companies. From 2006 to 2011, he was Chairman of National Investment Managers, a company with $12 billion in pension administration assets. In 2012, he became vice chairman of Energy Smart Resources, Inc. From 1998 to 2012, Mr. Berman served as a Director of Easy Link Int’l. Mr. Berman is currently a director of three public companies: Advaxis, Inc., Neostem, Inc. (since 2005) and Lustros, Inc. (since 2012). From 1998 to 2000, he was employed by Internet Commerce Corporation (now Easylink Services) as Chairman and CEO. Previously, Mr. Berman worked at Goldman Sachs; was Senior Vice President of Bankers Trust Company, where he started the M&A and Leveraged Buyout Departments; created the largest battery company in the world in the 1980s by merging Prestolite, General Battery and Exide to form Exide Technologies (XIDE); helped to create what is now Soho (NYC) by developing five buildings; and advised on over $4 billion of M&A transactions (completed over 300 deals). He is a past Director of the Stern School of Business of NYU where he obtained his Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration. He also has U.S. and foreign law degrees from Boston College and The Hague Academy of International Law, respectively. Mr. Berman’s extensive knowledge of the industry, his role in the governance of publicly held companies and his directorships in other life science companies qualify him to serve as director.
Samir N. Khleif, M.D.
Dr. Khleif currently serves as the Director of the State of Georgia Cancer Center, Georgia Regents University Cancer Center and the Cancer Service Line. Dr. Khleif was formerly Chief of the Cancer Vaccine Section at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and also served as a Special Assistant to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) leading the Critical Path Initiative for oncology. Dr. Khleif is a Georgia Research Alliance Distinguished Cancer Scientist and Clinician and holds a professorship in Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Graduate Studies at Georgia Regents University. Dr. Khleif’s research program at Georgia Regents University Cancer Center focuses on understanding the mechanisms of cancer-induced immune suppression, and utilizing this knowledge for the development of novel immune therapeutics and vaccines against cancer. His research group designed and performed some of the first cancer vaccine clinical trials targeting specific genetic changes in cancer cells. He led many national efforts and committees on the development of biomarkers and integration of biomarkers in clinical trials, including the AACR-NCI-FDA Cancer Biomarker Collaborative and the ASCO Alternative Clinical Trial Design. Dr. Khleif is the author of many book chapters and scientific articles on tumor immunology and biomarkers process development, and he is the editor for two textbooks on cancer therapeutics, tumor immunology and cancer vaccines. Dr. Khleif was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation, received the National Cancer Institute’s Director Golden Star Award, the National Institutes of Health Award for Merit, the Commendation Medal of the U.S. Public Health Service and he was recently appointed to the Institute of Medicine National Cancer Policy Forum.
The Honorable Tom Ridge
Gov. Tom Ridge currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Ridge Global, offering clients comprehensive risk evaluation to decrease security risks, with a specific emphasis on helping organizations become cyber resilient. He brings to Advaxis extensive experience in both the private and public sector, as well as a strong background in strategic business development and executive guidance. Gov. Ridge served as the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and was twice elected Governor of Pennsylvania.
Gov. Ridge holds a degree from Harvard College and a law degree from Penn State University – Dickinson Law, and has been awarded honorary degrees and awards from many national and international academic institutions. He is a past recipient of the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s “Outstanding Governor of the Year Award” in recognition of his leadership in making Pennsylvania a biotech destination for employers.
Gregory T. Mayes
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Mayes plays an integral role in the implementation of Advaxis’ growth strategy and business development efforts. Since joining Advaxis in October 2013, Mr. Mayes has been instrumental in identifying and negotiating several partnership and clinical trial collaboration agreements, including combination studies involving Advaxis’ Lm Technology™ platform and technologies from Merck & Co., Inc., MedImmune and Incyte Corporation as well as cultivating a growing base of institutional shareholders.
Mr. Mayes’ career is highlighted by more than 20 years of biopharmaceutical experience. Prior to Advaxis, Mr. Mayes was an Executive Vice President at Dendreon, the leading pioneer in the field of immuno-oncology research and development, where he served as a member of the Executive Committee. Previous to Dendreon, Mr. Mayes was President and General Counsel of Unigene Laboratories, Inc. where he primarily led out-licensing efforts for the company’s novel oral peptide drug delivery platform.
From 2004 to 2010, Mr. Mayes served as Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer at ImClone Systems Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly. During his tenure at ImClone, Mayes supported the clinical development and commercialization of ERBITUX® (cetuximab) and contributed significantly to activities that resulted in Eli Lilly’s $6.5 billion acquisition of ImClone in 2008.
As Senior Counsel at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals from 2001 to 2004, Mr. Mayes provided a wide range of legal services in connection with the development and commercialization of five approved products in the company’s oncology portfolio. Earlier, Mr. Mayes worked in private practice at Morgan Lewis LLP, a national law firm. He earned his Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University cum laude where he was recognized as a Remembrance Scholar and he earned a Juris Doctorate magna cum laude from the Temple University School of Law where he was the Articles Editor on the Temple Law Review.
Robert G. Petit, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Robert Petit has 23 years of experience in all medical and scientific aspects of pharmaceutical development. He has led programs in discovery, translational development and intellectual property development and has designed and conducted U.S. and international clinical evaluation programs from Phase 1 to 4. Dr. Petit joined Advaxis from Bristol-Myers Squibb where he was the U.S. Medical Strategy Lead for the ipilimumab program, Director of Medical Strategy for New Oncology Products, and Director of Global Clinical Research. Prior to joining Bristol-Myers Squibb, Robert served as Vice President of Clinical Development at MGI Pharma and also at Aesgen Inc. His scientific focus has been to develop immunologic based therapies with a particular emphasis on immunologic oncology treatment. Robert has had significant FDA experience and has contributed to five NDA/BLA filings. Dr. Petit has a doctorate from the Ohio State University College of Medicine and a Bachelor of Science from Indiana State University.
Sara Bonstein, MBA
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer
Ms. Bonstein joined Advaxis in March 2014 as the Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President. Ms. Bonstein has a decade of financial leadership experience in the life sciences industry with Eli Lilly & Company, ImClone Systems and Johnson & Johnson. While at Eli Lilly & Company, Ms. Bonstein was a Six Sigma Champion and Black Belt, leading multiple projects relating to clinical research, project management, finance, manufacturing and commercial sales. Prior to her Six Sigma role, Ms. Bonstein held positions of increasing responsibility at ImClone (which was acquired by Eli Lilly in 2008) including Director of Finance where she led all budget and forecast activities for preclinical, clinical and manufacturing research and development, spanning over 10 monoclonal antibody cancer therapeutics, including ERBITUX® (cetuximab), a cancer treatment with over $1.5 billion in annual sales. Prior to joining ImClone, Ms. Bonstein was a financial analyst at Johnson & Johnson in both the Ortho McNeil Pharmaceuticals and Ortho Biotech Divisions of the company where she managed gross-to-net analysis and calculation for approximately $1.1 billion of pharmaceutical product sales. Ms. Bonstein is a 2004 graduate of Johnson & Johnson’s Financial Leadership Development Program. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from The College of New Jersey and a Master of Business Administration from Rider University.