Board of Directors


Board of Directors

  • Michael Tarnow
    Chair and Director
    Mr. Tarnow has served as a member of our Board since March 1999. Since 1995, Mr. Tarnow has been an advisor to and member of the boards of directors of private and public healthcare and biotechnology companies in the U.S., Canada and Europe, including Axcan Pharma, Creative Biomolecules, Inc., Caprion Pharmaceuticals Inc. and MediGene AG. He served as chair of EntreMed, Inc. (now CASI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) a publicly-traded biotechnology company, from February 2003 to February 2009, and served as Executive Chair of EntreMed from February 2009 to January 2012. Mr. Tarnow holds a B.B.A. in Business Administration from Wayne State University and a J.D. from the University of Illinois, College of Law.
  • Mohammad Azab
    Director
    Dr. Azab has served as a member of our Board since October 2003. In July 2009, Dr. Azab joined Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of drugs in oncology and other areas, as its Chief Medical Officer. Since January 2014, Dr. Azab has served as President and Chief Medical Officer of Astex and has been a member of Astex’s Board of Directors. Previously, Dr. Azab served as President and CEO of Intradigm Corporation, a developer of siRNA cancer therapeutics. Prior to this, Dr. Azab served as Executive Vice President of Research and Development, and Chief Medical Officer of QLT Inc., and in several leadership positions at Astra Zeneca in the United Kingdom and Sanofi Pharmaceuticals in France. Dr. Azab holds an M.B.A. from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, and an MB ChB from Cairo University. He received post-graduate training and degrees in oncology research from the University of Paris-Sud and biostatistics from the University of Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France.
  • Clarissa Desjardins
    Director
    Dr. Desjardins has served as a member of our Board since January 2020. Since founding Clementia Pharmaceuticals Inc. in 2011, Dr. Desjardins served as its President and Chief Executive Officer until 2019. Clementia was acquired by Ipsen S.A. in April 2019 for $1.3 billion. From 2009 to 2011, Dr. Desjardins served as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a director of the Centre of Excellence in Personalized Medicine (CEPMED). From 1998 to 2007, Dr. Desjardins served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and a director at Caprion Pharmaceuticals Inc., which she co-founded. Prior to Caprion, Dr. Desjardins co-founded Advanced Bioconcept Inc. in 1992. She served there until 1998, most recently as Vice President, Business Development. Dr. Desjardins currently serves on the Board of Directors of publicly-traded biotechnology companies BELLUS Health Inc. and Insmed. Dr. Desjardins received a B.Sc. in Anatomical Sciences and History and Philosophy of Science and a Ph.D. in Neurology and Neurosurgery, each from McGill University. Dr. Desjardins was a Medical Research Council postdoctoral fellow at Douglas Hospital Research Centre at McGill University.
  • Steven Gannon
    Director
    Mr. Gannon has served as a member of our Board since May 2015. Mr. Gannon has served on the Board of Directors of Fusion Pharmaceuticals, a private biopharmaceutical company, since January 2020. Mr. Gannon has served on the Board of Directors of enGene Inc., a biotechnology company, since February 2017. Mr. Gannon has also served on the Board of Directors of Aerogen Limited, a medical technology company, since November 2018. From June 2014 to March 2018, Mr. Gannon served on the Board of Directors of Advanced Accelerator Applications SA, a healthcare company acquired by Novartis in January 2018. Mr. Gannon was Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President of Finance and Treasurer at Aptalis Pharma Inc. until February 2014, after which it was sold to Forest Laboratories. Prior to joining Aptalis in 2006, Mr. Gannon served as the Chief Financial Officer for Cryocath Technologies Inc. from 1999 to 2006, as the Director of Finance and Administration of the Research Division of AstraZeneca Canada Inc. from 1996 to 1999, and as the Chief Financial Officer of Mallinckrodt Medical Inc.’s Canadian operations from 1989 to 1995. He received a bachelor of commerce in accounting and business systems from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada in 1983, and completed the Executive Program at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in Ontario, Canada in 1995. He has been a CPA, CA since 1985.
  • Michael Hayden
    Director
    Dr. Hayden has served as a member of our Board since November 1996. Dr. Hayden previously served as our Chief Scientific Officer from January 1997 to September 2012. From September 2012 to December 2017, Dr. Hayden served as President of Global R&D and Chief Scientific Officer of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and was employed by Teva Pharmaceutical in an advisory capacity until August 2018. Dr. Hayden currently serves on the board of directors of several publicly-traded biopharmaceutical companies; Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc. since February 2018, Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since September 2018 and 89bio Inc. since October 2018. Dr. Hayden has been the Executive Chairman of Prilenia Therapeutics, since October 2018. Dr. Hayden is also currently the Killam Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia and Canada Research Chair in Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine. He is also the founder and a Senior Scientist of the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia. He is presently the Program Director of the Translational Laboratory in Genetic Medicine in Singapore. Dr. Hayden received his MB ChB in Medicine in 1975, Ph.D. in Genetics in 1979 and DCH Diploma in Child Health in 1979 from the University of Cape Town. He received his American Board Certification in both internal medicine and clinical genetics from Harvard Medical School in 1982 and an FRCPC in internal medicine from the University of British Columbia in 1984.
  • Frank Holler
    Director
    Mr. Holler has served as a member of our Board since March 1999. Mr. Holler previously served as Xenon’s President and CEO from 1999 to 2003. Mr. Holler has served as director and chairman of Sernova Corporation, a publicly-traded biotechnology company, since 2014. He has also served as a director and chairman of Harvest One Cannabis Inc., a publicly-traded cannabis company, since September 2018. Mr. Holler previously served as chairman and CEO at BC Advantage Funds (VCC) Ltd., a venture capital firm and publicly-traded company that invested in emerging life science, clean tech and information technology companies, from 2004 to 2016. Mr. Holler also previously served on the board of directors of publicly-traded companies including Protox Therapeutics (now Sophiris Bio) from 2005 to 2012, Aquinox Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2010 to 2014 and Allon Therapeutics from 2005 to 2013. He also served as chair of the Audit Committee and chair of the Investment Committee for Genome BC, a large publicly funded research organization, from 2005 to 2011. In addition, Mr. Holler served as President and CEO of ID Biomedical Corporation from 1991 to 1998, and was a founding director of Angiotech Pharmaceuticals from 1992 to 1997. Mr. Holler was an Investment Banker with Wood Gundy Inc. (now CIBC World Markets) from 1984 to 1988 and Merrill Lynch Canada from 1988 to 1989. Mr. Holler holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.B.A. from the University of British Columbia.
  • Gary Patou
    Director
    Dr. Patou has served as a member of our Board since January 2004. Dr. Patou has been an Executive Partner at MPM Capital, a venture capital fund focused on life sciences companies, since 2005, and has served as interim Chief Medical Officer in various MPM portfolio companies. Since 2014, Dr. Patou has served as a senior medical advisor to Chiasma, Inc. Previously, Dr. Patou served as Chief Medical Officer for Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2009 to 2015, and True North Therapeutics, Inc. from January 2017 to June 2017. Prior to joining Pacira, Dr. Patou was Chief Medical Officer at Peplin Inc. from July 2006 to April 2007, and Chief Medical Officer of Cerimon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from June 2005 to June 2006. Prior to joining MPM, Dr. Patou was Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Oscient Pharmaceuticals Corp. from February 2004 to April 2005 following its merger with GeneSoft Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to GeneSoft, Dr. Patou worked at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, now a unit of GlaxoSmithKline, as Senior Vice President and Director, Project and Portfolio Management, managing all of the company’s pharmaceutical development projects. Dr. Patou has held a number of academic appointments at University College & Middlesex School of Medicine and received his B.Sc. from University of London and his M.D. from University College London.
  • Simon Pimstone
    Director
    Dr. Pimstone has served as a member of our Board since November 1996, as our Chief Executive Officer since January 2003 and as our President from January 2003 to March 2018. Since 2012, Dr. Pimstone has been a Consultant Physician at the University of British Columbia Hospital, Cardiology Clinic, and since 2014, he has held the position of Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, Division of General Internal Medicine. Currently, Dr. Pimstone is an Investigator at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation (HLI) research centre. Dr. Pimstone currently serves as chair of the board of Eupraxia Pharmaceuticals Inc., Accuro Technologies, and TopiRx Pharmaceuticals, three private specialty pharmaceutical companies, where he has served as a director since 2012, 2012 and 2019, respectively. Dr. Pimstone holds an MBChB from the University of Cape Town, a FRCPC from the University of British Columbia, and a Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam in cardiovascular genetics. Dr. Pimstone is a former director of Indel Therapeutics Inc., Cyon Therapeutics Inc. and Enject, Inc. Previously, Dr. Pimstone was director and chair of the board of directors of LifeSciences British Columbia, a non-profit industry association that supports the life science community, and a former director of the Providence Healthcare Research Trust, BC Advantage Life Sciences Fund, Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, BIOTECanada, and BC Health Research Strategy Advisory Board of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.
  • Dawn Svoronos
    Director
    Ms. Svoronos has served as a member of our Board since September 2016. Ms. Svoronos sits on the board of directors of several publicly-traded biopharmaceutical companies, PTC Therapeutics, Global Blood Therapeutics, and Theratechnologies Inc., where she is currently the chair of the board. Ms. Svoronos retired in 2011 from Merck & Co., Inc. following a 23-year career in commercial positions of increasing seniority, most recently as President of Europe and Canada. In that role, Ms. Svoronos had full P&L responsibility for 30 European markets with annual sales of several billion dollars and an employee base of several thousand. Previously held positions with Merck include Vice President of Asia Pacific and Vice President of Global Marketing for the Arthritis, Analgesics and Osteoporosis franchise. Ms. Svoronos previously sat on the board of Endocyte, Inc. and Medivation Inc. Ms. Svoronos received a B.A. in English and French Literature from Carleton University.