NEOMED Institute is governed by an independent Board of Directors (BoD) composed of representatives from the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, the academic milieu, and government. The Board plays an active role at both corporate and strategic levels, providing guidance and support to NEOMED’s experienced management team.
Dr. Rulleau, Ph.D is a partner at CTI Life Sciences Fund, a life sciences venture capital fund. Dr. Rulleau has served as a life sciences analyst covering the Canadian life sciences sector for more than 10 years. As an analyst, she covered over 100 life sciences companies including scientific due diligence, market and competitive analysis. Dr. Rulleau was ranked the #1 Canadian life sciences analyst by the Starmine survey and #1 independent analyst by Brendon Wood survey. Dr. Rulleau has been involved in numerous mergers and acquisitions as well as IPOs.
Previously Dr. Rulleau was CEO of HLA-G Technologies, a biotechnology start-up based in France and also served as Vice President Business Development of Univalor, the technology transfer office of Montreal’s university and affiliated schools. Under her responsibility at Univalor completed more than 40 industry licenses and launched 8 start-up companies.
Dr. Rulleau has a Ph.D. from Université de Montréal earned at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute.
Dr. Youssef Bennani is currently Chairman of the Board of Domain Therapeutics (France & Canada), and is an independent Board member of Bellus Health (TSX:BLU). He has over 25 years experience in pharmaceutical R&D leadership and management serving most recently as Site Head and Vice President of R&D at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. Prior to this position, Dr. Bennani spent several years as Vice President Drug Innovation at Vertex’s Headquarters (Boston – MA). He has also held various positions of increasing responsibility in pharmaceutical R&D at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Abbott Laboratories (now Abbvie) and Athersys. His experience spans multiple therapeutic areas including oncology, neurology, infection, inflammation and renal diseases. Dr. Bennani has studied in chemistry (PhD, Université de Montréal), business (MBA, LFGSM – Chicago) and corporate governance (ICD.D, McGill-Rotman Schools of Business).
Dr. Berendt has served as CEO and Chief Scientist of Telesta Therapeutics Inc. and AegeraTherapeutics Inc. He held Managing Director positions with Research Corporation Technologies and AEA Investors, where he led investments in U.S. life sciences companies. Dr. Berendt served as Senior Vice President of Research for the Bayer Corporation and as Group Director of Drug Discovery at Pfizer, Inc. During this time he was responsible for managing the drug discovery team at Bayer that discovered Nexavar, a cancer therapeutic. Dr. Berendt is a director of Waters Corporation and the NEOMED Institute. He has served on the board of Alethia, Onyx, Myriad Genetics, and Trillium Therapeutics.
Dr. Berendt has a Ph.D. in medical microbiology and immunology from Drexel University. Past awards included grants from the Cancer Research Institute, American Cancer Society, and Leukemia Society of America.
Mr. Rod Budd, was an audit partner at Ernst and Young for 25 years and the leader of their Canadian Life Sciences Practice for 10 years until his retirement in 2010. Mr. Budd advises a number of private life science companies and is the Chairman of the Board of Immunotec Inc and Chairs the audit committee of Klox Technologies Inc. He previously sat on the Board of Directors of Bioniche Life Sciences and Bedrocan Cannabis Corporation.
Paul Buron was appointed Executive Vice-President, Government Mandate and Program Management in November 2017.
Mr. Buron has more than 30 years’ experience in financial management, risk management and business strategies. From 2006 until he joined Investissement Québec, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). Until 2016, he was also in charge of risk management for BDC. In 2011-2012, he held the position of Interim Executive Vice President, Financing and Consulting for one year in addition to his other responsibilities.
Mr. Buron is a member of the boards of directors of the NEOMED Institute and Oxfam Québec and mentors with the Association of Québec Women in Finance mentoring program.
Since December 2018, Max Fehlmann has appointed President and Scientific Director of the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM). Previously President and CEO of the Cancer Research Society, Max Fehlmann was also President and CEO of the NEOMED Institute and, prior to that, President and founder of CQDM (a pre-competitive consortium in drug discovery in Montreal), where he played a critical role in aligning emerging innovations from both academic institutions and SMEs with the needs of the industry. During his career, Max has been deeply involved in the three fundamental pillars associated with the NEOMED Institute, namely academic research (Forgarty International Fellow at Harvard Medical School, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Nice in France, Research Director at INSERM in France, with over 200 peer-reviewed publications), SME management (Founder and CEO of Aster Biotechnologies in France and CEO of Chronogen in Montreal), and pharma R&D (Vice President R&D for Zambon Group in Italy).
Max holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Université Laval, a Doctorate in Sciences from the University of Nice (France), and an MBA from HEC-CPA at Sophia Antipolis (France).
Dr. Gagné is a retired Professor and former Dean at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Université de Montréal. He was the founder and Director General of the Institute for Research in Industrial Pharmacy (IRIP) as well as the founding Director General of the Frosst Healthcare Foundation. He has been a member and Chairman of the Board of a number of private and public companies as well as non-profit organizations. Among others, he has been the founding President of the Jury of Prix Galien Canada and Chairman of the Quebec Biotechnology Innovative Centre (QBIC).
He is vice-chairman of the Board of Montréal InVivo. Jacques Gagné holds a B.A., a B.Sc.Pharm and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the Université de Montréal. He was an MRC post-doctoral Fellow in Pharmacokinetics at the University of California (SF).
Before being appointed Head of Vaccines Business Unit, Ms. Gauthier was responsible for public and private market strategies and PCPA negotiations with a focus on collaborative development of innovative strategic payer solutions. Patricia is a member of the Canadian Pharma Leadership Team. Patricia served as Chief of Staff of Pharma at GlaxoSmithKline Inc from July 2013 to July 2015 where she supported the President and the Canadian Pharma Leadership Team on key strategic initiatives and transformation efforts for GSK’s Pharma business in Canada, including the creation of the biologics arms of the NEOMED Institute and NEOMED-Labs. Since joining GSK in 2008, she has had multiple commercial roles with increasing levels of responsibility. … She served on the Board of Director of the Canadian Pharmaceutical Distribution Network (CPDN) from 2012 to 2015.
Prior to her career in the pharmaceutical industry, Patricia practiced law in Montreal, Quebec and in London, England at McCarthy Tetrault LLP. She has an LL.B. from the University of Sherbrooke and was called to the Quebec bar in 2002. Patricia holds an MBA from HEC Montreal.
After completing research training at the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal and the Neurobiological Psychiatry Unit, McGill University, Vratislav Hadrava initiated his career in pharmaceutical industry at Pfizer Canada. He has held positions of increasing responsibilities in Medical Affairs, Clinical Research, Safety and Regulatory Affairs.
Vratislav collaborated with clinical researchers from academia and Pfizer, mainly in the area of mental health disorders. He has acquired broad experience in clinical development and commercialization of new medicines as well as in Canadian and international policies regulating these areas.
Mr. Lafontaine holds a Bachelor degree in Sciences from McGill University and a Bachelor and Master degree in Law from Université de Sherbrooke. For 5 years he worked with the National Assembly and in the Government of Québec. In 2005, Jean-Frédéric Lafontaine transitioned to the pharmaceutical industry where he has been providing his services for the past 12 years. Most recently, Jean-Frédéric Lafontaine became a member of the Board of Directors of Héma-Québec and the NEOMED Institute.
Michelle Savoie is an Assistant professor, practical training at the Faculty of Pharmacy, Université de Montréal and CEO, Consilio Manuque. Until July 2015, she was also CEO of Montréal InVivo.
Dr. Savoie has over 25 years of experience in the life sciences and pharmaceutical sector. She has held strategic positions at Schering Canada, Eli Lilly Canada and Bristol-Myers Squibb and participated in several boards including those of the Quebec Network for Personalized Healthcare (PHC), Montréal InVivo, Personalized Medicine Partnership for Cancer, International Congress on PHC and NEOMED. She was actively involved in the creation of the Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery, the Quebec PHC Strategy, NEOMED and the early phase clinical research initiatives.
A biochemist by training, she also completed an MBA, a Masters in Public Health, a PhD in biomedical sciences, a Masters in Law and Health policy and the Directors Education Program of the Institute of Corporate Directors.
As President and CEO, Donald Olds is leading the entire NEOMED initiative. He is in charge of the strategic planning, the corporate development, and the integration of all components of the NEOMED Institute in the local, national, and international R&D communities.
Prior to be named President and CEO of the NEOMED Institute in January 2017, Donald Olds was Chief Operating Officer of Telesta Therapeutics Inc. a publicly-listed biotechnology company (TSX: TST). At Telesta, he was responsible for finance and investor relations, manufacturing operations, business development, human resources and strategy. Over the course of his three-year tenure, he led a successful U.S. financing to fund the U.S. commercial launch of Telesta’s bladder cancer therapeutic and negotiated a significant ex-U.S. License for the same asset. In October 2016, he led the process that led to the successful sale of Telesta Therapeutics to a larger public biotechnology company.
Prior to Telesta Therapeutics, he was President and CEO of Presagia Corp., a private Montreal-based software development company focused on developing innovative solutions for workforce management for large US-based organizations. In this role, he led several successful private financings and helped build Presagia’s reputation for delivering quality decision support software solutions to complex organizations.
Before joining Presagia, he worked for almost 9 years as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Aegera Therapeutics, where he was responsible for clinical operations, business development, finance, and Mergers and Acquisitions. During his tenure, Aegera raised over $100 Million in growth capital, initiated 5 clinical development programs, acquired a private oncology company, and executed multiple licensing transactions, one of which was recognized as the largest preclinical licensing transaction ever closed in Canada.
Prior to Aegera Therapeutics, Mr. Olds was Chief Financial Officer of Mediatrix Telecom where he was responsible for operations, finance and manufacturing and led the technology investment banking practice of TD Securities in Quebec.
Mr. Olds is currently Chairman of Oxfam Quebec and Director of Presagia Corp. and has extensive past corporate governance experience serving on the boards of private and public for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He holds an MBA (Finance & Strategy) and M.Sc. (Renewable Resources) from McGill University. He has travelled extensively and worked in Senegal, West Africa for two years as a foreign expert on a Canadian development project. He lives in Montreal with his family.
Team Leader, Life Sciences Branch Ministry of Economy and Innovation
Deputy Director Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE)