To imagine the impossible
takes both brilliant minds and a vision.

We’re proud to say our team is made up of just that — people and minds both driven by passion
and full of potential. Our company is led by a team of executives and directors with vast experience
and proven track records in pain, drug development and commercialization.

 
 

Executive Management team

D. LYNN KIRKPATRICK, PHD

Chief Executive Officer

“Turning a ship in a storm is never easy. We have been weathering the opioid crisis and now have the wind behind us!”
 
“As crisis and consolidation occur in the opioid sector, Ensysce is positioned to become both best in class and market leader in abuse deterrence.”

RICHARD WRIGHT, MSE, MBA

Chief Business Officer

 

KURT SCHMIDT, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

“We know a change is needed in prescription pain medicine - but it needs to also benefit our society. Our team is inspired by this combined mission.”
 
“Being able to protect against opioid overdose – using MPAR technology – will set Ensysce apart from all other conventional and abuse-deterrent opioid products.”

WILLIAM SCHMIDT, PHD

Chief Medical Officer

 

GEOFF BIRKETT

Chief Commercial Officer

“We are fighting a war against pain and dangerous opioids. We need to change the rules of engagement. Formulations haven’t worked so we went back to basic chemistry.”
 
“Our unique prodrugs provide intrinsic safety and efficacy, obviating the need for confounding formulation tricks as abuse deterrents.”

JEFFREY MILLARD, PHD

Chief Operating Officer

D. Lynn Kirkpatrick, PhD

CHIEF Executive OFFICER

Dr. Kirkpatrick has focused her entire career on drug discovery and development. Former Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry in Canada, she has co-founded two start up companies and successfully brought three novel cancer drug candidates into human clinical trails.

Following the acquisition of her first company, by Biomira Inc., (Oncothyreon) in 2006, Dr. Kirkpatrick took the role as the Chief Scientific Officer of the merged company. She became President and CEO of Ensysce Biosciences Inc. in January 2009.

Dr. Kirkpatrick received her PhD from the University of Saskatchewan and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine. She has published extensively in the area of targeted drug discovery and development and holds numerous patents for novel targeted drugs and delivery technology.

Richard Wright, MSE, MBA

CHIEF BUSINESS OFFICER

Richard Wright has held positions in investment banking, venture capital, and intellectual property advisory. He is a partner at Ren Capital Partners, a Beijing based global healthcare fund. Richard has been a strategic advisor to Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, the largest healthcare conglomerate in southeast Asia, focusing on pharmaceutical development and market entry strategies.

Richard was Managing Director of Newstock Capital an intellectual property investment bank advising investment firms, hedge funds, and multi-national banks on patent financing, investing, and divestitures in the healthcare space. Prior to Newstock, Richard managed a worldwide intellectual property healthcare investment fund for General Electric.

In addition he co-founded an immunology biotech company which was later sold to a private equity concern, and was involved with Guardian Technology Partners, a pharmaceutical and chemical patent advisory firm in Philadelphia that was sold to investment bank Boenning & Scattergood.

Richard has an MSE in biotechnology/technology management from the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering & Applied Sciences and the Wharton School of Business (EMTM), and a MBA from the London School of Economics (TRIUM).

Kurt Schmidt, MBA

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Kurt Schmidt has 30+ years experience in entrepreneurial environments with a focus on start-up and early stage operations. He has been responsible for multiple facets of leadership including strategy, finance, operations and business expansion, by collaborating with Boards and CEO’s.
With professional experience in diverse industries including Biotech, Technology and FMCG, Mr. Schmidt has lived and worked in 3 countries (USA, Netherlands, France) and conducted business on 6 continents, providing him an ability to understand and operate in various cultures.

He has a BSBA in Business Administration from Franklin University and an MBA from Pepperdine University, The George L Graziadio School of Business and Management.

William Schmidt, PHD

CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER

Dr. William K. Schmidt, Head, NorthStar Consulting, is the Parliamentarian and a Past-President of the Eastern Pain Association, the largest regional affiliate of the American Pain Society. He has over 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience with a special emphasis on the discovery and development of novel analgesic and narcotic antagonist drugs.

He was previously VP of Clinical Development for CrystalGenomics (Seoul, South Korea) and its U.S. subsidiary, CG Pharmaceuticals (Emeryville, CA); Senior VP of Development at Limerick BioPharma in South San Francisco, CA; VP, Clinical Research, for Renovis, Inc., in South San Francisco, CA; and VP, Scientific Affairs and Acting VP, Clinical R&D, at Adolor Corporation in Exton, PA. At Adolor, Dr. Schmidt was a key member of the team leading to the clinical development, NDA filing, and FDA approval of Entereg® (alvimopan), a peripherally-acting opioid antagonist.

Currently as head of NorthStar Consulting, Dr. Schmidt serves as an expert on pain medicine pharmaceutical development with pharmaceutical and biotech companies throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Australia. Dr. Schmidt received a BA from the University of California Berkeley and his PhD University of California-San Francisco.

Geoff Birkett

CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER

Geoff has over 25 years experience in Pharmaceuticals with focus on CNS/ Oncology/ Pain/ Addiction. This includes 18 years with AstraZeneca – SVP of Global Development and Marketing - CNS/ Oncology products.

He has launched 5 major market leading brands including Nicorette/ Prozac/ Seroquel/ Zomig.

Mr. Birkett served as CCO/ President with multiple Biotechs in in Pain/ Addiction space. Recently he consulted with several Pharmaceutical Companies on development strategy and marketing. Geoff studied Business at INSEAD, Paris.

Jeffrey Millard, PhD

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Dr. Millard has both academic and industrial experience in chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences covering all aspects of CMC (chemistry, manufacturing, and controls). He has been involved in both start-up biotech as well as small and mid-sized public biopharmaceutical companies.

Jeff has been directly responsible for R&D activities and writing of more than 7 IND submissions (to both CDER and CBER), and IMPDs. He has directed the CMC efforts from discovery and in-licensing through commercial launch activities.

His experience covers the API lifecycle (from synthetic route scouting, process chemistry, analytical chemistry development and validation, cGMP production and release of API, to QbD and process validation), and drug product development through manufacture.

Dr. Millard received a BA from Rice University and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Arizona.