Board of Directors
Chair of the BoardDr. Pimstone has served as a Board member since November 1996, and previously served as Executive Chair of our Board from June 2021 to June 2022. Previously, Dr. Pimstone served as our Chief Executive Officer from January 2003 to June 2021 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., a publicly traded specialty biotechnology company, Alpha-9 Theranostics Inc., a private radiopharmaceutical company, where he has served as a director since May 2020 as well as XYON Health Inc., a private digital health company, where he has served as a director since 2019. 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. Previously, Dr. Pimstone was director and Chair of the board of directors of Life Sciences 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.
Lead Independent DirectorMs. Svoronos has served as our Lead Independent Director since June 2021 and as a member of our Board since September 2016. Ms. Svoronos sits on the board of directors of the following publicly traded biopharmaceutical companies: Acelyrin Inc., Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc. and Theratechnologies Inc., where she is currently the Chair of its board of directors. 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. Her 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 boards of PTC Therapeutics, Inc., Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc., Endocyte, Inc., and Medivation Inc. Ms. Svoronos received a B.A. in English and French Literature from Carleton University.
DirectorDr. 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. Dr. Azab served as President and Chief Medical Officer of Astex from January 2014 to November 2020, and has since been serving as the Chair of its board of directors. Since June 2021, Dr. Azab has served on the board of directors for Sernova Corp., a publicly traded, clinical-stage regenerative medicine therapeutics company. Since January 2021, Dr. Azab has served on the board of directors of Durect Corporation, a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company committed to transforming the treatment of acute organ injury and chronic liver diseases. Previously, Dr. Azab served as President and Chief Executive Officer 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.
Gillian M. Cannon
DirectorDr. Cannon has been a member of our Board since August 2023. Dr. Cannon brings more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, where she has served in leadership roles at multiple prominent global pharmaceutical companies including Merck and Co. Inc., UCB Inc. and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals. Serving more than 25 years at Merck, Dr. Cannon held a variety of senior positions, including Global Vice President for Commercial Operations at Merck’s start-up biosimilar business, Merck BioVentures; Business Unit Head for Merck’s specialty products franchise, and Global Commercial Head of Merck’s neuroscience franchise. More recently, Dr. Cannon was the President of North American Operations for UCB Inc. from 2015 to 2017. In 2018, Dr. Cannon joined Roivant Sciences, a biotechnology company, serving initially as COO for Alyvant and subsequently as Head of Commercial Innovation for Roivant. Dr. Cannon currently serves on the Board of Directors for Corcept Therapeutics, a publicly traded clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company; Affibody AB, a Swedish biotechnology company; Edinburgh Innovations, the commercial arm of Edinburgh University; and Our Future Health Trading Board, the largest UK health research program. She also serves as a lecturer in the Drug Discovery Master’s program at Drexel University, PA. Dr. Cannon received her B.Sc. from the University of Edinburgh and Ph.D. in Health Administration from Temple University.
DirectorMr. Gannon has served as a member of our Board since May 2015. Mr. Gannon has served as Chairman of the Board of Altasciences, a private CRO/CDMO company, since April 2021; on the Board of Directors of Fusion Pharmaceuticals, a public biopharmaceutical company, since January 2020; and on the Board of Directors of enGene Inc., a biotechnology company, since February 2017. Mr. Gannon also served on the Board of Directors of Aerogen Limited, a medical technology company, from November 2018 to July 2020. 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.
DirectorDr. Garofalo has served as a member of our Board since June 2021. Since 2016, Dr. Garofalo has served as the principal for EAG Pharma Consulting LLC. Previously, she served in numerous leadership roles including as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Development for Novartis and as a member of its Global Development Leadership Team; Chair of the Novartis Portfolio Stewardship Board; Co-Head of the Novartis Neuroscience Franchise; Head of the Neuroscience Therapy Area at Astellas; Ann Arbor Site Head of Worldwide Regulatory Affairs at Pfizer; and Ann Arbor Site Head of Neuroscience at Pfizer. Since September 2020, Dr. Garofalo has served on the board of directors of Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. and, since September 2021, as a director of Alector, Inc. In March 2021 she joined the board of directors of Exicure Inc., a biotechnology company, and in February 2022 was named the Chair of its board of directors and a member of its audit and compensation committees. She is a director of the non-profit Institute for Advanced Clinical Trials for Children (I-ACT) where she is Chair of the Pediatric Oversight Committee. For several years, she was the Chair of the Business Advisory Board for the Epilepsy Foundation of America. She has an M.D. from the Indiana University School of Medicine and completed fellowships in pediatric neurology and epilepsy at the University of Michigan Medical School.
DirectorMr. Gover has been a member of our Board since August 2023. Mr. Gover brings nearly twenty-five years of experience in leadership positions in the biotechnology industry in the UK and the U.S. Mr. Gover served as founding Chief Executive Officer and as a director of GW Pharmaceuticals plc from the company’s inception in 1999 until its sale to Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc for $7.2 billion in May 2021. Mr. Gover led GW from London, UK from 1999 to 2015, at which time he relocated to San Diego, CA to open the company’s US headquarters. At GW, Mr. Gover led the development and commercialization of Epidiolex® (cannabidiol), which is approved in the U.S. and Europe in the field of childhood onset epilepsy. From 2018 to 2021, Mr. Gover served on the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). Mr. Gover currently serves on the Board of Directors for CURE Epilepsy and Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine. Mr. Gover holds an M.B.A. from the INSEAD business school in France and a B.Sc. (Hons) from Bristol University, UK.
DirectorMr. Machado has served as a member of our Board since November 2020. Mr. Machado co-founded and served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer at Medivation, Inc. until his retirement in 2014 and served as a member of Medivation’s board of directors from 2014 until its acquisition for approximately $14 billion by Pfizer in 2016. During his tenure at Medivation, Mr. Machado helped lead the company through substantial growth and challenges, providing strong leadership during the clinical development and successful commercial launch of XTANDI®. Mr. Machado serves on multiple public company boards, including as Chair of the board of directors of Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc., and as member of the boards of directors of Acelyrin Inc., Arcus Biosciences, Inc., Turning Point Therapeutics, and Chimerix, Inc. Previously, Mr. Machado served on the board of directors of Roivant Sciences from October 2016 to June 2022. Additionally, Mr. Machado is a member of the board of directors at Turnstone Biologics, a private company. Earlier in his career, from 1998 to 2001, Mr. Machado worked with ProDuct Health, Inc., a medical device company as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and earlier as General Counsel. He served as a consultant to Cytyc to assist with transitional matters from 2001 to 2002. Mr. Machado worked for Morrison & Foerster LLP, a leading international law firm, and for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Mr. Machado received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School and holds both a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts degree in German from Santa Clara University in California.
DirectorMr. Mortimer has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer since June 2021, previously serving as President and Chief Financial Officer since March 2018. Mr. Mortimer previously served as our Corporate Secretary from June 2015 to March 2021, as our Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer from March to June 2015 and as our Chief Financial Officer from October 2013 to March 2015. Prior to joining us, Mr. Mortimer served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation (now Arbutus Biopharma Corporation), a Nasdaq-listed biotechnology company, from 2007 until October 2013. Mr. Mortimer was responsible for all aspects of Tekmira’s finance and capital markets activities and led Tekmira’s listing on Nasdaq in 2010. From 2004 to 2007, Mr. Mortimer was Chief Financial Officer at Inex Pharmaceuticals and held various other positions at Inex Pharmaceuticals from 1997 to 2004. Since July 2020, Mr. Mortimer has served on the board of directors of Perimeter Medical Imaging AI, Inc., a publicly-traded medical device company focused on advanced medical imaging tools. Mr. Mortimer has an M.B.A. from Queen’s University, a B.Sc. in Microbiology from the University of British Columbia and is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified Management Accountant.
DirectorDr. Patou has served as a member of our Board since January 2004. Dr. Patou has served as a Chief Medical Officer at Star Therapeutics Inc. and as an Advisor at MPM Capital, a venture capital fund focused on life sciences companies, since August 2020. Dr. Patou has served as a member of the board of directors and Chief Medical Officer for BioIntervene Inc., a preclinicalstage biopharmaceutical company, since January 2019. Previously, Dr. Patou was an Executive Partner at MPM Capital from 2005 until 2020, and has served as interim Chief Medical Officer in various MPM portfolio companies, including at Blade Therapeutics from October 2018 to December 2020. 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.