Peter D. Parker
President and CEO
Mr. Parker is President and CEO of Cequent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to joining Cequent, Mr. Parker was a General Partner at Ampersand Ventures where he focused on the firm`s Life Sciences activities. He has served as a director of numerous companies including ACLARA Biosciences, Tomah Products, VITEX, Magellan Biosciences, Dynex and Pentose Pharmaceuticals and as Chairman of Alexis, NOVEX, CoPharma, Huntington Laboratories, Protein Ingredient Technologies, Cyclis Pharmaceuticals, Nanodyne, Panacos Pharmaceuticals, AC Tech, Boston Heart Lab and TekCel. Prior to Ampersand, Mr. Parker spent fourteen years at AMAX, Inc. where he was President of Climax Performance Materials Corporation and Corporate Director of Research and Development. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Columbia University.
Lisa A. Velardo, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Velardo has extensive finance and operational experience in a broad range of private, venture capital-backed businesses. Prior to joining Cequent, Ms. Velardo served as the Director of Finance and Administration at Watermill Ventures. Prior to Watermill, Ms. Velardo served as the Vice President of Finance and Administration at Vality Technology Inc., a $20 million data quality software firm.
At Cequent, Ms. Velardo is responsible for general financial management (financial operations and reporting, budgeting and forecasting, strategic planning, cash flow management, technical accounting and taxation). Ms. Velardo is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and holds a BS in Business Administration from Merrimack College.
Chief Business Officer
Mr. Hibben comes to Cequent from Coley Pharmaceutical Group where he was most recently Vice President of Business Development and Alliance Management and Member of the Senior Leadership Team. At Coley, Mr. Hibben formed and/or led corporate alliances with Pfizer, Novartis, GSK, Sanofi-Aventis and Merck totaling $1 billion in future develpment-related milestones, and played a central role in achieving Coley’s acquisition by Pfizer for $233 million in 2008. Previously, Mr. Hibben served as a senior executive and business development consultant for public and private biopharmaceutical companies, including, among others: Centagenetix, Inc. in association with its merger with Elixir Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Pericor Science, Inc. and Ontogeny, Inc. in association with its merger with Creative Biomolecules and Reprogenesis to form Curis, Inc.
At Cequent, Mr. Hibben is responsible for commercial development including the sourcing and advancement of additional corporate collaborative development of Cequent’s tkRNAi technology. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.
Vice President, Business Operations
As VP, Business Operations at Cequent,Â Ms. Truong is responsible for daily accounting and financial management, human resources, information technology, facilities management, vendor and investor relations. She oversees the operations of the company and has been with the firm since its inception. Ms. Truong comes to Cequent from Leerink Swann & Company, where she worked in operations for the institutional sales trading department focusing exclusively on life sciences. Prior to Leerink, Ms. Truong held various financial, marketing, and administrative positions within both public and private companies including Buchanan Street Partners, Harmony Software (merged with Vigilance, Inc), Crimson Ventures and Alar Staffing Corporation. Ms. Truong received her masters in biology (ALM) from Harvard University andÂ an undergraduate degree in Business Administration/Finance from California State University, Long Beach.Â Her graduate research was conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in the field of breast cancer diagnostics using HRMAS spectroscopy.
Vice President, Drug Development
Ms. Silva is VP, Drug Development for Cequent Pharmaceuticals.Â Prior to joining Cequent, Ms. Silva was Clinical Trials/Laboratory Manager at Pfizer where she was responsible for pre-approved cardiovascular indicated treatments, dealing primarily with clinical trial management, investigator and site initiation and regulatory/IRB submissions.Â She was responsible for a team of CRAs, study monitors and study coordinators, interfacing with therapeutic heads for clinical trial design and strategy.Â Prior to her tenure at Pfizer, Ms. Silva was Laboratory Manager of an infertility department at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Co-Principal Investigator and Study Head at the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory of UMass-Worcester.Â At Cequent, Ms. Silva is responsible for the development of new therapeutic candidates. She oversees manufacturing, regulatory affairs and clinical trial design and management.Â Ms. Silva received her undergraduate degree from Clark University and M.S. degree from UMass Medical Center.
Director, Regulatory Affairs
Bentley Moyer is a regulatory affairs and quality assuranceÂ expert with a background in molecular and cellular biology and over 24 years experience in the biotechnology field. He led the regulatory affairs and quality assurance function for Chiron’s Blood Testing Division prior to the Novartis acquisition, and for the past 9 years,Â he has been providing regulatory and quality leadership toÂ companies in early phase biopharmaceutical development.
Pamela Fekete, Esq.
Vice President, Legal Affairs
At Cequent Pharmaceuticals, Ms. Fekete is responsible for providing legal counsel in the areas of intellectual property, food and drug law and regulatory policy governing pharmaceuticals and biologics, and business transactions.Â Ms. Fekete is a Registered Patent AttorneyÂ and receivedÂ a J.D. from the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, with a concentration in intellectual property and communications law.Â Ms. Fekete also holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology.
Prior to joining Cequent, Ms. Fekete was Intellectual Property Counsel for Rembrandt IP Management, LLC and practiced law atÂ the intellectual property and FDA/regulatory boutique firm of Frommer Lawrence & Haug, LLP in New York.Â Prior to practicing law, Ms. Fekete was a Senior Associate Research Scientist at Bayer Corporation and a Research Assistant at Neurogen Corporation.
Johannes Fruehauf, M.D.
Vice President, Medical Affairs
Dr. Fruehauf is VP, Medical Affairs at Cequent and co-inventor of transkingdom RNAi (tkRNAi). Prior to Cequent, Dr. Fruehauf was a group leader at the GI Cancer Laboratory at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. Prior to his tenure at BIDMC, his clinical work focused on oncology, with an emphasis on breast cancer and gynecologic oncology, where he conducted clinical trials for neoadjuvant treatment of breast cancer at the University Hospital Mannheim. Dr. Fruehauf received his M.D. from the University of Frankfurt Medical School in 1997 and completed his doctoral thesis from the University of Heidelberg in 2000.
F. Stephen Laroux, Ph.D.
Director, Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases
Dr. Laroux is Director, Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases at Cequent Pharmaceuticals, Inc.Â In this position, Dr. Laroux leads and directs screening and efficacy studies for targets thought to be important in chronic inflammatory diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) using Cequent`s tkRNAi delivery platform. This effort encompasses targets investigated in the Company`s Novartis partnership as well as a pipeline of in-house targets for IBD.Â Dr. Laroux completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School where he conducted research focused on innate immune responses to bacteria as well as the role of the immune system in chronic disease.Â Prior to his tenure at BIDMC, Dr. Laroux conducted research into the immunology of diseases such as IBD, rheumatoid arthritis, ischemia-reperfusion and myocardial infarction, co-authoring over 40 publications in peer reviewed journals.Â Dr. Laroux received his Master`s degree in Human Physiology in 2000 and his PhD (Chancellor`s Award) in Molecular and Cellular Physiology in 2003 both from Louisiana State University
Moreshwar Vaze, Ph.D.
Dr. Vaze is Director, Microbiology at Cequent. Dr. Vaze is responsible for the development of clinical drug candidates CEQ501 and CEQ508.His group is also responsible for improvements to these candidates and developing new drug candidates based on other strains of bacteria. Prior to joining Cequent, Dr. Vaze was a Senior Investigator at ArQule, Inc. where he headed development of their small molecule anticancer drug program. Dr. Vaze holds a PhD in biochemistry from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India where he worked on biochemistry of genetic recombination inÂ Mycobacterium tuberculosis. While as a postdoctoral fellow at Brandeis University, he worked on recombinational DNA repair of and cell cycle checkpoints induced by defined DNA damage in yeast Sachharomyces cerevisiae.