Justin W. Yorke
Chairman of the Board
Mr. Yorke has over 25 years' experience as an institutional equity fund manager and senior financial analyst for investment funds and investment banks and was appointed a director of the Company in September 2017. For more than the past 10 year he has been a manager of the San Gabriel Fund, JMW Fund and the Richland Fund whose primary activity is investing public and private companies in the United States. Mr. Yorke served as non-executive Chairman of Jed Oil and a Director/CEO at JMG Exploration. Mr. Yorke was a Fund Manager and Senior Financial Analyst, based in Hong Kong, for Darier Henstch, S.A., a private Swiss bank, where he managed their $400 million Asian investment portfolio. Mr. Yorke was an Assistant Director and Senior Financial Analyst with Peregrine Asset Management, which was a unit of Peregrine Securities, a regional Asian investment bank. Mr. Yorke was a Vice President and Senior Financial Analyst with Unifund Global Ltd., a private Swiss Bank, as a manager of its $150 million Asian investment portfolio. Mr. Yorke has a B.A. from University of California, Los Angeles.
Mr. Baluch has over 36 years of experience across global geographies in the biopharmaceutical industry. Since 2012, he has served as an independent director of Poxel SA, a French publicly traded biotech company, and chairs its compensation committee. He has also served as the Chairman of the Board for Da Volterra, a French privately held company, since December 2021. From 2016 to 2021, Mr. Baluch served as the Chief Executive Officer and Board member of CorMedix, Inc., a publicly traded pharmaceutical company in the US. Mr. Baluch also held various senior positions at UCB, SA between January 2008 to April 2016, including Senior Vice President and President Europe, Middle East & Africa. Prior to joining UCB, Mr. Baluch worked for Eli Lilly and Company for 24 years, holding international positions spanning Europe, the Middle East and the United States in general management, business development, market access and product leadership. Mr. Baluch holds a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from City University London and an MBA from Cranfield School of Management. We believe Mr. Baluch is qualified to serve on our Board because of his business expertise and significant executive management experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
James R. Neal
Mr. Neal joined our Board in August 2022. Mr. Neal brings more than 25 years' experience in forming and maximizing business and technology collaborations globally and in bringing novel products and technologies to market. He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of XOMA Corp, having been elected to that post in 2016. Prior to XOMA, Mr. Neal was Acting Chief Executive Officer of Entelos, Inc., a leading biosimulation company that acquired Iconix Biosciences, a privately held company where Mr. Neal was Chief Executive Officer. At Iconix, Mr. Neal established multi-year collaborations with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Abbott Labs, Eli Lilly and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. From, 1999-2002, he was Executive Vice President of Incyte Genomics, leading the global commercial activities with pharmaceutical company collaborators and partners including Pfizer, Aventis and Schering-Plough, as well as sales, marketing and business development activities for the company. Earlier, he was associated with Monsanto Company in positions of increasing responsibility. Mr. Neal earned his B.S. in Biology and his M.S. in Genetics and Plant Breeding from the University of Manitoba, Canada, and holds an MBA degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Ng is a seasoned life sciences industry executive. He previously was Board Director, President & Chief Operating Officer at Calidi Biotherapeutics, Inc. Mr. Ng is also a partner at PENG Life Science Ventures (PENG LSV). He has founded and/or led multiple companies, including Scilex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now, Scilex Holding Co (NASDAQ:SCLX)), where he was Co-Founder and President, and led the company through development, clinical trials, NDA submission, FDA approval, $140 million financing, commercial launch of the company’s first FDA-approved drug product, and ultimate company sale. Mr. Ng has also held various other senior management positions, including Board Director, Managing Director, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Business Officer, Corporate Secretary, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, with publicly-traded and private, global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE), BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (NASDAQ: BDSI), Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPPI) and Alpharma, Inc. (NYSE:ALO), which is now, a part of Pfizer Inc. In these roles, Mr. Ng helped lead the strategy, development, fundraising and commercialization efforts and launches of multiple pharmaceutical drug products. Previously, in private practice, Mr. Ng was a partner in two AMLAW 200 law firms, where he had leadership roles, including establishing the life sciences practice group for one firm and heading it as the national co-chair. Additionally, Mr. Ng is a past and current member of the Board of Directors for multiple companies, including Iacta Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Morphogenesis, Inc., and Calidi Biotherapeutics, Inc.
Mr. Ng was also a past President-Elect of the Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego (PALSD) and was previously appointed to the Leadership Development Committee of the Wake County Bar Association in North Carolina. In addition, he is a frequent speaker and noted authority on business, legal, compliance and regulatory issues in the life sciences, with past speaking engagements at the 2011 BIO International Convention and various pharmaceutical, legal and compliance congresses and conferences. Among his multiple awards and commendations, Mr. Ng is a recipient of the 2015 Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award, past recipient of M&A Advisor’s Top 40 Under 40 Award (in 2012) and nominee for the Orange County Business Journal’s Inaugural General Counsel Awards (in 2010); and, in 2010, MDB Capital recognized Mr. Ng (and the company where he led the intellectual property efforts) for its Best and Brightest Award and as an Astrum Award nominee for a pharmaceutical patent portfolio that he managed and developed.
Mr. Ng earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in law from the University of Notre Dame School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (B.A.S.) dual degree in Biochemistry & Economics from the University of California, Davis.
Ms. Pannu has over 25 years' experience in investment and financial management, fund operations, consulting and marketing. She is currently the Founding and Managing Partner of GLTJ Pioneer Capital that specializes in land acquisition, entitlement and vertical development of multifamily, student and senior housing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Previously, Ms. Pannu was the COO and Managing Partner for ChinaRock Capital Management, a leading hedge and venture capital fund company. She previously worked in McKinsey & Co, Monitor Company as management consultant. She had successfully raised capital for several hedge, venture capital and real estate funds. She also helped start-up companies to expand and diversify business categories, client verticals and grow revenue. Ms. Pannu was born in Shanghai and grew up in Hong Kong. She received Bachelor of Business Administration from Chinese University of Hong Kong and MBA from Harvard Business School. She is fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Shanghainese.
David Young, Pharm.D., Ph.D.
President, Research & Development
Dr. Young has over 30 years of pharmaceutical research, drug development, and corporate experience. He was a Founder and CEO of Promet Therapeutics, LLC since its formation in August 2015. Dr. Young was Chief Scientific Officer of Questcor Pharmaceuticals from 2009-2014 and was responsible for working with the FDA on modernizing the Acthar Gel label and in obtaining FDA approval in Infantile Spasms. From 2006-2009 prior to joining the executive management team, Dr. Young served as an independent Director on the Questcor Board of Directors. During the eight years that Dr. Young was involved with Questcor, Questcor transitioned to an orphan drug specialty pharmaceutical company, moving from near bankruptcy in 2007 to a valuation of approximately $5.6 billion in 2014. While serving on Questcor's Board of Directors, Dr. Young was Executive Director & President, U.S. Operations of AGI Therapeutics plc. Dr. Young has also served as the Executive Vice President of the Strategic Drug Development Division of ICON plc, an international CRO, and was the Founder and CEO of GloboMax LLC, a CRO specializing in FDA drug development, purchased by ICON plc in 2003. Prior to forming GloboMax, Dr. Young was a Tenured Associate Professor at the School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland., where he led a group of 30 faculty, scientists, postdocs, graduate students and technicians in evaluating the biological properties of drugs and drug delivery systems in animals and humans.
Dr. Young is an expert in small molecule and protein non-clinical and clinical drug development. He has served on FDA Advisory Committees, was Co-Principal Investigator on a FDA funded Clinical Pharmacology contract, was responsible for the analytical and pharmacokinetic evaluation of all oral products manufactured in the UMAB-FDA contract which lead to the SUPAC and IVIVC FDA Guidance's, for 5 years taught FDA reviewers as part of the UMAB-FDA contract, has served on NIH grant review committees, and was Co-Principal Investigator on a National Cancer Institute contract to evaluate new oncology drugs.
Dr. Young has met more than 100 times with the FDA on more than 50 drug products and has been a key team member on more than 30 NDA/supplemental NDA approvals. Dr. Young has more than 150 presentations-authored publications-book chapters, including formal presentations to the FDA, FDA Advisory Committees, and numerous invited presentations at both scientific and investment meetings.
Dr. Young received his B.S. in Physiology from the University of California at Berkeley, his M.S. in Medical Physics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and his Pharm.D. - Ph.D. with emphasis in Pharmacokinetics and Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Southern California.