Management TeamAdvaxis has assembled a world class management team with extensive expertise and a successful track record in drug development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapies.
Daniel J. O’Connor
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Dan joined Advaxis in January 2013 as Senior Vice President, Chief Legal and Business Development Officer, was promoted to Executive Vice President in May 2013, and was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Advaxis in August 2013. Mr. O’Connor has fifteen years of executive, legal, and regulatory experience in the biopharmaceutical industry with ImClone Systems, PharmaNet and Bracco Diagnostics. Joining ImClone in 2003, Mr. O’Connor supported the clinical development, launch, and commercialization of ERBITUX(R). As ImClone’s senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary, he played a key role in resolving numerous issues facing ImClone, including extensive licensing negotiations, in advance of the company being sold to Eli Lilly in 2008. Prior to joining ImClone, Mr. O’Connor was PharmaNet’s general counsel and instrumental in building the company from a start-up contract research organization to an established world leader in clinical research. Mr. O’Connor was also 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. Most recently, while at Bracco Diagnostics, a large private pharmaceutical and medical device company, Mr. O’Connor was the company’s vice president and general counsel.
Gregory T. Mayes
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Gregory T. Mayes joined Advaxis in October 2013 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Mayes is a former Executive Vice President with Dendreon, the leading pioneer in the field of immuno-oncology research and development, where he was a member of the Executive Committee. Prior to Dendreon, Mr. Mayes was the President and General Counsel of Unigene Laboratories, Inc. (2010 to 2012) where he primarily led out-licensing efforts for the company's novel oral peptide drug delivery platform. Prior to Unigene, Mr. Mayes served as Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer at ImClone Systems Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly (2004 to 2010). While serving at ImClone in positions of increasing responsibility, Mayes supported the clinical development and commercialization of ERBITUX® (cetuximab) and contributed significantly to activities related to Eli Lilly’s $6.5 billion dollar acquisition of ImClone in 2008. Mayes also served as Senior Counsel at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals where he provided a wide range of legal services in connection with the development and commercialization of five approved products in the company’s oncology portfolio (2001 to 2004). Earlier, Mr. Mayes worked in private practice at Morgan Lewis LLP, a national law firm. He earned his B.S. degree from Syracuse University cum laude where he was recognized as a Remembrance Scholar and he earned a J.D. degree 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 I to IV. Dr. Petit joins 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 B.S. from Indiana State University.
Sara Bonstein, MBA
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Sara Bonstein joined Advaxis in March 2014 as the Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President. Sara 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, Sara 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, Sara 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 ten monoclonal antibody cancer therapeutics, including Erbitux, a cancer treatment with over $1.5 billion in annual sales. Prior to joining ImClone, Sara 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. Sara is a 2004 graduate of Johnson & Johnson's Financial Leadership Development Program. She holds a BS in Finance from The College of New Jersey and an MBA from Rider University.
Chris L. French, MBA
Vice President and Executive Director, Medical Affairs
Chris has over 20 years of basic science research and pharmaceutical experience in drug development in start-up, midsize and large pharmaceutical companies. She has held management positions in medical affairs, regulatory affairs, scientific communications, drug development, and business development. Chris joined us in 2011 from Bristol Myers-Squibb where she was US Director of Oncology Scientific Communications and medical strategy lead in US Oncology Medical Affairs New Products. Prior to BMS, Chris was the Senior Director of Program Management at MGI Pharma; Vice President of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs at Aesgen and the Director of the Dermatology Business Unit at Atrix, Inc. Prior to her pharmaceutical experience, she was a research scientist and technology transfer manager at the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. During her career she has managed over 60 technology transfer projects, 30 drug development programs and has been responsible for filing nearly 30 ANDAs, four NDAs and contributed to an additional 12 NDAs in multiple therapeutic areas.