Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Mina Sooch, MBA

Mina Sooch, MBA

Chief Executive Officer

Mina Sooch is a co-founder of Ocuphire and serves as Chief Executive Officer. With over 23 years of pharmaceutical and biotech experience as CEO, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and strategist, Ms. Sooch has successfully raised hundreds of millions of dollars for over 10 biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies, which included two successful IPOs. Prior to Ocuphire, Ms. Sooch was a co-founder and CEO of Gemphire Therapeutics, a publicly-traded, clinical-stage cardiovascular company. Ms. Sooch’s leadership was instrumental in the company’s successful IPO in 2016. From July 2012 to May 2014, Ms. Sooch was a co-founder and CEO of ProNAi Therapeutics, a public, clinical-stage oncology company, and a member of the board of directors from its founding in 2004 through May 2014. At ProNai, Ms. Sooch guided the company through several important milestones, including a podium presentation at ASH 2013 on ProNai’s lead drug candidate’s cancer response rates in Phase 2 trials, and raised $60 million from over 10 institutional investors, setting up the IPO. Ms. Sooch also co-founded Apjohn Ventures Fund, a venture capital firm that invests primarily in early-stage life sciences companies and has served as its Managing Partner since its founding in 2003. Earlier in her career, from 1993-2000, Ms. Sooch served as a global account manager at Monitor Group, a top-tier global strategy consulting firm based in Boston. Ms. Sooch worked on the multi-billion Pharmacia & Upjohn merger in 1995 and later co-led the launch of the Corporate Finance group, specializing in M&A, valuations, and merger integration. Ms. Sooch has served on the boards of more than 10 private, public, and nonprofit firms, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including being named one of the Deal Makers of the year in 2016 by Crain’s Detroit Business. Ms. Sooch received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. summa cum laude in Chemical Engineering from Wayne State University in Michigan.

Sean Ainsworth, MBA

Sean Ainsworth, MBA

Sean Ainsworth is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board at Immusoft, a Seattle-based cell therapy company. He has 20 years of experience in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Previously, he founded and led RetroSense Therapeutics, a gene therapy company he advanced into human clinical trials and sold to Allergan in 2016 in a deal valued at up to $555 million. Earlier, he was deeply involved in the launch of Compendia Bioscience, Inc., and GeneVivo, LLC. At both, he assisted in developing business models, licensing technologies, building management teams, and securing capital and first customers. Life Technologies acquired Compendia BioScience in 2012. Mr. Ainsworth founded Ainsworth BioConsulting in 2004 to provide licensing, as well as strategic and business planning services to the life science and entrepreneurial community. His clients included large pharmaceutical companies, small biotechnology companies, universities, clinical research organizations, and venture investment funds. He has worked with clients at all stages of development. His other professional experience includes research at Medical Biology Institute (now Avanir Pharmaceuticals, developers of Abreva, the leading cold sore medication), intellectual property at Koyama and Associates in Tokyo, and international corporate development consulting at The Mattson Jack Group. Mr. Ainsworth earned a B.S. in Microbiology from University of California, San Diego and an M.B.A. in strategy and finance from Washington University in St. Louis.

Alan Meyer, MBA

Alan Meyer, MBA

Chief Operating Officer

Alan R. Meyer is a co-founder of Ocuphire and has served as Chief Operating Officer since its inception. Mr. Meyer was also a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ocularis Pharma, where Nyxol eye drops were first developed, from 2002 to 2018, From 1992 to 2000, Mr. Meyer was the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and a member of the board of PathoGenesis. During his tenure, PathoGenesis developed and commercialized the world’s first aerosolized antibiotic, TOBI®. PathoGenesis went public in 1995 and was sold to Chiron Corporation in 2000 for $730 million. Prior to PathoGenesis, he served as CFO of several development-stage companies in healthcare, held positions of increasing responsibility in corporate finance and corporate development at Baxter Healthcare Corporation, and worked as a consultant for Arthur Andersen & Co. He has a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was a James Scholar and graduated with Highest Honors, and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he was an Austin Scholar.

James Manuso, PhD, MBA

James Manuso, PhD, MBA

James Manuso, Ph.D., is a veteran biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry CEO and management consultant who has held senior management posts and served on the boards of several private and public companies and on the board of the Biotechnology Industry Association. As chairman and CEO, Dr. Manuso led the sale of Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to Otsuka Pharmaceuticals for $886 million. He is also the Chairman and CEO of Talfinium Investments, Inc. Dr. Manuso holds a B.A. with honors in Economics and Chemistry from New York University, a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology and Genetics from the New School University, and an Executive M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Cam Gallagher, MBA

Cam Gallagher, MBA

Cam Gallagher has more than 25 years of experience in the life science and biotech industry with a focus on corporate development, marketing, operations, and early-stage investing. Since April 2018, Mr. Gallagher has served as Chief Business Officer at Immusoft. Prior to joining Immusoft, he was a Director and Chief Business Officer at RetroSense Therapeutics, which was acquired by Allergan in 2016. Mr. Gallagher was Managing Director of Nerveda, LLC, a life science seed fund he co-founded in June 2007. He currently serves on the board of directors of Oncternal Therapeutics, VelosBio and SelectION. Prior to these roles, he held management positions at Verus Pharma, CV Therapeutics and Dura Pharma. Mr. Gallagher holds an M.B.A. from the University of San Diego and a B.S. in Business Administration from Ohio University.

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