Investors | Corporate Governance
Edesa Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Mr. MacDonald is the CEO of Corbin Therapeutics Inc., a Montreal based biotech start up focused on treating neuroinflammation and has been a director of Edesa since September 2017. Mr. MacDonald became CEO of Corbin Therapeutics in October of 2018, and in such capacity oversees all of the company’s activities including R&D, financing, and operations. Prior to Corbin Therapeutics, Mr. MacDonald was with Pharmascience Inc., one of Canada’s largest pharmaceutical companies. During his six years with Pharmascience which began in 2012, Mr. MacDonald held roles of increasing responsibility finishing with Vice President of Business Development and Corporate Development and a member of the executive team. Mr. MacDonald’s responsibilities included R&D and pipeline development, business development and licensing and corporate development. Over his career, Mr. MacDonald has closed deals valued at greater than $2.5 billion in the aggregate, lived and worked in Canada, Denmark and Belgium, and helped build both large and small biotech companies. Mr. MacDonald received a B.Sc. in molecular biology from the University of Ottawa and an M.B.A. also from the University of Ottawa.
Par Nijhawan, MD
Chief Executive Officer
Par Nijhawan, MD, FRCPC, AGAF is the Chief Executive Officer and Secretary of Edesa, positions he has held since forming the company in 2015. Dr. Nijhawan is a seasoned pharmaceutical entrepreneur with nineteen years of experience in cross-functional roles including finance, marketing and business development. Prior to Edesa, Dr. Nijhawan was the founder and CEO of Medical Futures Inc which was sold to Tribute Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Nijhawan founded and led Digestive Health Clinic into becoming Canada’s largest provider of private endoscopy services. He is also the founder of Exzell Pharma, a specialty Canadian based pharmaceutical organization that markets and commercializes approved products. Dr. Nijhawan was Inducted into the CHLA BD Hall of fame in 2018 and Awarded Business Development Deal of the Year 2017. Dr. Nijhawan received his MD (University of Ottawa), Internship (Yale), Residency IM (Mayo), Fellowship GI (Mayo).
Mr. Johnson is the founder and Chief Scientist of Glycyx PharmaVentures Ltd., a biopharma investment and development company formed in early 2017. In 1989, he co-founded Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SLXP), a specialty pharmaceutical company, and held senior leadership positions prior to its $15.8 billion acquisition by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (NYSE: VRX) in April 2015. Prior to Salix, Dr. Johnson served as director of scientific operations and chief scientist at Scios, Inc. (formerly California Biotechnology, Inc). He is a board member of Innovate Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: INNT), a position he has held since March 2018, Glycyx MOR, LTD and Kinisi Therapeutics, Ltd., both GI specialty pharma companies based on the Isle of Man, Intact Therapeutics, Inc., a gastro-enterology specialty drug delivery company based in Belmont, Canada, and Tumour Trace Ltd, a cancer diagnostic company based in Nottingham, UK. Dr. Johnson previously served as a director of Edesa from 2015-2017. In addition to his career in industry, Dr. Johnson held academic positions at Stanford University School of Medicine where he served as an Assistant Professor of Pathology and at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the co-author of 76 journal articles and book chapters and is the co-inventor on 23 issued patents. Dr. Johnson holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco.
Frank R. Oakes
Mr. Oakes served as the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Stellar Biotechnologies, Inc. from April 2010 to June 2019. Prior to that time, he served as founder and Chief Executive Officer of Stellar’s California subsidiary since 1999. He has more than 40 years of management experience in aquaculture including a decade as Chief Executive Officer of The Abalone Farm, Inc., during which he led the company through the R&D, capitalization, and commercialization phases of development to become the largest abalone producer in the U.S. Mr. Oakes is the inventor of Stellar’s patented method for non-lethal extraction of hemolymph from a live gastropod mollusk. He was the principal investigator on Stellar’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation and was principal investigator on Stellar’s Phase I and II SBIR grants from the NIH’s Center for Research Resources, and a California Technology Investment Partnership (CalTIP) grant from the Department of Commerce. Mr. Oakes has consulted and lectured for the aquaculture industry around the world. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo and is a graduate of the Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance University’s management-training program.
Paul William Pay
Mr. Pay is an executive with forty years’ experience in the pharmaceutical / biotechnology industry and has been a member of the board of directors of Edesa since the company’s inception in 2015. During his career, Mr. Pay has held Senior management positions in big pharma, specialty pharmaceutical and early stage companies, including being a co-founder of a university spin-out company. In his current role as Chief Business Development Officer at Norgine, a role he has held since 2007, Mr. Pay has global responsibility for business development, licensing, acquisitions, integration, alliance management and regional partnerships. This includes profit responsibility for business with annual revenue of €50 million. At Norgine, Mr. Pay also serves as a member of the Executive Committee and as Chair or a member of a number of key internal committees. Past commercial roles held during his career have covered sales, marketing, market research, licensing, business development, public relations, intellectual property and product development projects. In addition to Edesa, Mr. Pay is currently a Director of each of Exzell Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company, Arc Medical Design, a medical device development company and a portfolio company of Norgine and Norgine Ltd., an affiliate of Norgine. Mr. Pay is also the President and CEO of Merus Labs Inc., a Norgine wholly owned affiliate company. Mr. Pay received a B.SC. (hons) from the University of Leeds.
Mr. Sistilli has held a variety of senior positions in accounting and finance during his professional career. Mr. Sistilli joined Arista Homes, as CFO, 15 years ago. As a member of the senior management team of Arista, Mr. Sistilli’s responsibilities include overseeing the finance, accounting and IT areas, as well as due diligence and analysis of land purchases and various other investments. Prior to Arista, Mr. Sistilli spent five years as CFO and as a board member of an Internet start-up, which provided innovative finance solutions using the internet in the automotive retail sector. As a founder and member of the senior management team, Mr. Sistilli played a key role in taking the company public on the Alberta Ventures Exchange. Prior to his time with the internet startup, Mr. Sistilli spent nine years as Controller and part of the senior management team of a $ 1 billion regional trust company. Mr. Sistilli was part of the team to facilitate the successful sale of the trust company to Manulife Financial. Mr. Sistilli is an officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Mother of Mercy Centre. Mr. Sistilli holds a Bachelor of Arts from York University (1978), an Economics Major Certified Management Accountant Designation (1986) and a Chartered Professional Accountant Designation (2013).
Peter van der Velden
Mr. van der Velden is an experienced investor and operator who for the past twenty-eight years has been building innovative, technology centric companies from start-up through to expansion. Since 2007, Mr. van der Velden has been the Managing General Partner of Lumira Ventures, one of Canada’s largest and most active dedicated life sciences venture capital investors. Mr. van der Velden led Lumira’s investment in Edesa in the fall of 2017 and he has been on the board of directors of the company since that time. Mr. van der Velden’s current and past corporate board roles include: Exact Imaging, Edesa, Medexus Pharmaceuticals, Milcom Ventures, Spinal Kinetics, Alveolus Inc., CML Healthcare, First Aid Shot Therapy, Life Sciences Ontario, Skinstore.com, Vendorlink.ca and the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. Mr. van der Velden is an active volunteer and is a frequent lecturer at universities and conferences around the world on themes related to venture capital, innovation and healthcare. Mr. van der Velden is a past President and Chairman of the Canadian Venture and Private Equity Association and in addition to a number of investee company board roles he is currently a board member for the World Health Innovation Network, a member of the SickKids Commercialization Advisory Board, an advisor to the head of Office of the Chief Health Innovation Strategist – MOHLTC, and a member of the selection committee for the Ontario Scale-up Vouchers Program. Mr. van der Velden works closely with both Federal and Provincial governments in Canada advising on policy matters related to healthcare innovation and innovation financing. Mr. van der Velden holds degrees from the Schulich School of Business (MBA finance and policy) and Queen’s University (MSc (pathology), B.Sc. (honours life sciences).
Contacting the Board
To contact Edesa’s Board of Directors or Audit Committee, please write to:
Board of Directors
Edesa Biotech Inc.
100 Spy Court
Markham, ON L3R 5H6 Canada
|Audit Committee||Compensation Committee||Nominating and Corporate
|Lorin K. Johnson|
|Paul William Pay|
|Peter van der Velden|