Our Team

Executive
Management
Team

A select group of individuals with a cutting-edge set of expert backgrounds, leading the industry towards a safer environment for patients.

D. Lynn Kirkpatrick, PHD

Chief Executive Officer
  • Background in medicinal chemistry and pharmacology, drug discovery and development
  • Co-founded 2 start up companies
  • Developed three targeted small molecule oncology drugs from discovery to clinic
  • Experience in private and public company raising funds from private, public and government sources

Dave Humphrey

Chief Financial Officer
  • Extensive experience in entrepreneurial environments
  • Multiple equity and debt financing, including IPOs
  • Focused on financial infrastructure, internal controls with merger and acquisition strategies

Geoff Birkett

Chief Commercial Officer
  • Held leadership roles in major Pharma. companies in UK/ Germany/ USA and Global.
  • Developed several major central nervous system drugs from phase 2 to launch.
  • Launched 5 major market leaders including Prozac, Seroquel, Zomig and Nicorette.
  • Extensive biotechnology leadership experience in pain space.

Linda Pestano

Chief Development Officer
  • Experienced in the design of pre-clinical programs focused on building IND-enabling data packages for lead candidate compounds intended for the treatment or diagnosis of cancer and inflammatory diseases
  • PhD in Immunology from Tufts, Postdoctoral Research at Dana Farber, Harvard Medical School

Dr. William Schmidt

Chief Medical Officer

Over 25 years of pharma industry experience, with special emphasis on discovery/development of novel analgesic and narcotic antagonist drugs

Jeffrey Millard, PHD

Chief Operating Officer
  • Industrial experience in CMC (chemistry, manufacturing, and controls)
  • 7 IND submissions (CDER, CBER, and IMPDs); directed CMC efforts from discovery, in-licensing to commercial launch
  • PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from University of Arizona

Richard Wright, MSE, MBA

Chief Business Officer
  • Background in Intellectual Property monetization, banking, venture capital
  • Co-founder of an immunology biotech company, later sold to private equity

Board of Directors

D. Lynn Kirkpatrick, PHD

Career focused on novel drug discovery and development
  • Background in medicinal chemistry and pharmacology, drug discovery and development
  • Co-founded 2 start up companies
  • Developed three targeted small molecule oncology drugs from discovery to clinic
  • Experience in private and public company raising funds from private, public and government sources

Dr. Bob Gower

Chair of the Board
  • Former President, CEO and Chairman of Lyondell Petrochemical Company
  • Senior VP Atlantic Richfield Corporation
  • VP ARCO Chemical​
  • Sinclair Oil (acquired by ARCO)
  • Founder, President and CEO Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc.
  • Founder and Chairman, Ensysce

Andrew Benton

President Emeritus of Pepperdine University
  • Served as the seventh president of Pepperdine University from 2000–2019
  • Past Chair of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities
  • Member of the American Bar Association

William Chang

Entrepreneur, Realty Company & Movie executive
  • CEO Westlake Realty Group and Chairman of Westlake International​
  • Investor in major sport leagues, movies and biosciences companies.​
  • USA Rugby BOD​

Dr. Adam Levin

Academic and clinical orthopedic surgeon at Johns Hopkins Univ.
  • Vice Chair of Faculty Development for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Associate Professor of Oncology
  • Former Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra University​

Steve Martin

Experienced Senior Executive and Chief Financial Officer
  • CFO of Armata Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSE: ARMP)
  • Former Interim CEO, CFO and senior executive of numerous life sciences companies including AmpliPhi Biosciences, Stratagene, Gen-Probe
  • 10 years with Deloitte

Lee Rauch

Experienced CEO and Strategy Advisor
  • Built successful companies from pre-clinical research to advanced clinical development​
  • Secured financing for private and public biotech companies, along with multi-billion-dollar sale
  • Founding member of McKinsey & Co.’s International Pharmaceutical Practice

Dr. Curtis Rosebraugh

Extensive FDA drug approval experience
  • Former Director of the Office of Drug Evaluation II at the FDA​
  • Overseen the development and approval of over 50 new drugs​
  • Former Deputy Director Office of Nonprescription Products at the FDA​
  • Experience in the development of abuse deterrent opioid formulations

Support & Partners

FDA fast track
NIDA grant recipient
NIH grant recipient