RICHARD R. LESNIEWSKI, Ph.D.
PRESIDENT AND CEO
Dr. Lesniewski has 30 years of operational and leadership experience in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, including careers at Abbott Laboratories (North Chicago) and GlaxoSmithKline (Philadelphia).
Dr. Lesniewski’s experience covers novel biopharmaceutical drug and companion diagnostics discovery research, translational drug development, creating and managing productive strategic alliances, and leading drug development partnerships from early discovery to the clinic.
Dr. Lesniewski currently sits on the Board of Directors of DNASTAR, Invenra, and Scarab Genomics.
As Vice President of Oncology Biopharmaceuticals for GSK, Rick led a new Biopharmaceutical Drug Performance Unit (DPU) within GSK’s Global Oncology Business Unit.
He established GSK’s relationship with Seattle Genetics for antibody drug conjugates, and started their PD-1 antagonist program via strategic alliance with Amplimmune (Rockville, MD).
Prior to joining GSK, Rick had a 25-year career with Abbott Laboratories (1983-2009) where he held multiple leadership positions within the Global Pharmaceuticals Cancer Research Organization, heading discovery and optimization of biopharmaceutical agents, and later founding new research programs in tumor genomics, cancer biomarkers, and therapeutic antibody discovery.
As Director of Cancer Research, Dr. Lesniewski also led the Department of Biomarker Discovery Research, and integrated personalized medicine strategies across the Abbott Oncology drug portfolio.
Prior to these roles, Dr. Lesniewski served in a technology assessment and licensing role within Abbott’s Global Pharmaceutical Division. There he helped establish the Division’s first oncology therapeutic area, driving successful partnering initiatives with Northwestern University, Idun Pharmaceuticals, and Yale University.
During his first 12 years with Abbott, Dr. Lesniewski led teams in discovery of novel viral diagnostic tests, and helped Abbott Diagnostics Division develop and launch their franchise leadership in hepatitis C virus blood screening assays.
DOUGLAS MCNEEL, M.D., Ph.D.
CHIEF SCIENTIFIC FOUNDER AND
CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER OF MVI
Dr. McNeel is Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is a genitourinary medical oncologist with a research laboratory and clinical research program that has focused on prostate cancer immunology for two decades.
The long-term goal of Dr. McNeel’s research efforts is to develop effective anti-tumor vaccines as treatments for prostate cancer. His current research efforts seek to identify immunologically recognized proteins of the prostate, characterize these as tumor target antigens, and evaluate anti-tumor genetic vaccines targeting these antigens in appropriate pre-clinical models. Dr. McNeel is specifically evaluating plasmid DNA vaccines encoding these antigens, and is actively translating these findings in early phase human clinical trials.
Dr. McNeel has authored more than 100 publications, multiple issued patents covering the prostatic acid phosphatase and androgen receptor plasmid DNA vaccines, as well as several pending patents.
His work provides the underpinning scientific and clinical innovation for MVI.
Paul Weiss, Ph.D.
Dr. Weiss has been a member of the MVI board since 2013. He joined Venture Investors in 2006 as a Managing Director, and focuses on making Healthcare investments.
Dr. Weiss has over 20 years of operating experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. He previously was President of the Gala Biotech business unit of Cardinal Health (now Catalent Pharma solutions). Before joining Gala, he served as the VP of Business Development for 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company that completed its IPO during his tenure, and was subsequently acquired by Johnson & Johnson. Earlier in his career, Dr. Weiss worked as Director of Licensing for Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals, (now Pfizer). He also served as Director of Business Development and Research for Scientific Protein Labs, a division of American Home Products, and Director of Operations for Columbia Research Labs, now Juniper Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: JNP), a publicly held company that focuses on women’s health.
In addition to MVI, Dr. Weiss is currently a member of the Boards of Directors for Aerpio Pharmaceuticals (OTCQB: ARPO) and FluGen, and is an observer at Tissue Regeneration Systems. Dr. Weiss also serves on the Board of Directors for TamirBio (formerly Alfacell Corporation (NASDAQ: ACEL), and on the Board of Visitors for the Waisman Center and Waisman Biomanufacturing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Weiss was previously on the boards of Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ: AKBA) and Neurovance (sold to Otsuka Pharmaceuticals).
Dr. Weiss received a B.S. in Biochemistry with honors from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and an M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also worked as a postdoctoral research associate.
Leigh Cagan is Chief Technology Commercialization Officer for the Wisconsin Alumni Research foundation (WARF). Mr. Cagan has extensive entrepreneurial and industry experience including management roles at IT industry leaders IBM and Hewlett-Packard. He is responsible for managing WARF's Technology Commercialization team, including intellectual property licensing and the Accelerator Program, WARF's technology incubator that is focused on UW-Madison innovations with high commercial potential.
Prior to joining WARF, Mr. Cagan served as Director of Intellectual Property Licensing for Hewlett-Packard at the company's headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. Working within the company's corporate legal group, he represented a broad range of intellectual property in technology transfer initiatives, from early-stage innovations to established products. Mr. Cagan previously served as manager of the business development group at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif. His responsibilities there included external licensing, university collaborations, strategic partnerships, and related efforts to monetize the intellectual property assets and expertise of IBM Research Division.
Mr. Cagan also held management roles with Scientific Computing Associates and Multiflow Computer, both ventures that commercialized information technology associated with the Yale University Department of Computer Science.
Mr. Cagan holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from the Yale University School of Management.
MICHAEL RICHMAN, M.S.B.A.
Mr. Richman is currently, President and Chief Executive Officer of NextCure, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing next generation immuno-oncology-based drugs. Most recently, Mr. Richman served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Amplimmune, a member of the AstraZeneca group in 2013. Prior to Amplimmune's acquisition by AstraZeneca, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of the company when it was a privately held biologics company focused on cancer and autoimmune diseases. From 2002 through 2007, he was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of MacroGenics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune disorders and infectious diseases.
Mr. Richman has over 30 years of experience working in research, intellectual property and business development capacities in companies such as Chiron Corporation (now Novartis) and MedImmune, Inc. (prior to AstraZeneca's acquisition), where he was senior vice president corporate development. While at MedImmune, Mr. Richman was responsible for all business development, licensing, intellectual property, legal affairs, project management and strategic planning functions, and drove many significant transactions during that period.
Mr. Richman is a member of the Board of Directors of NextCure, a private company; Opexa Therapeutics, Inc., a public company; Madison Vaccines, Inc., a private company; and Pieris Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a public company. Mr. Richman obtained his B.S. in genetics/molecular biology at the University of California at Davis and his M.S.B.A. in international business at San Francisco State University.
Mr. Bailey brings nearly 30 years of experience in a diverse set of leadership positions to support MVI.
Most recently, he was the Chairman and CEO of Neurovance, leading its acquisition by Otsuka earlier this year. Previously, he served as President and CEO of Lantheus Medical Imaging Inc., leading the company to a successful IPO. He also served as COO of Fougera Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Novartis), Chief Commercial Officer for King Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer), and held earlier executive positions at Novartis Pharmaceuticals as well as at Johnson and Johnson (including Janssen Pharmaceuticals).
Mr. Bailey also served on the board of Landauer, Inc. (NYSE – LDR) up through their acquisition by Fortive in September, 2017.
Mr. Bailey earned a business degree from Rutgers University.
MVI is developing simple, safe, effective and economical immune-activating therapies for men with all stages of prostate cancer.
With “Baby Boomers” reaching the age when men are most commonly diagnosed with prostate cancer, Madison Vaccines is positioned to address the expected surge in the number of cases of this disease over the next two decades.
The projected compounded annual growth rates for new cases of prostate cancer is 2.8% from 2010-2020 and 1.8% from 2020-2030. As many as a third of patients initially treated for this disease will experience disease recurrence, and approximately half of these men will progress to bone metastases and die from prostate cancer.