Kees Been, Founder, President & CEO
Kees Been was formerly the President and CEO of EnVivo Pharmaceuticals; He led EnVivo for eight years from an early-stage start-up to a respected CNS company with a broad pipeline of NCE drug compounds, its lead compound in a phase 3 program for Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. He spent four years at Biogen where he directed the Oncology Business Unit which was sold to Idec, and, as Senior Vice President of Business Development.
Daniel Geffken, CFO
Daniel Geffken is a founding Manager Director of Danforth Advisors, which provides financial and operational support ranging from COO/CFO to accounting services for emerging life science companies. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the life sciences to his work, ranging from early start-ups to publicly-traded companies with $1 billion+ market capitalizations. He has served as COO or CFO of four publicly traded and four privately-held companies. In these roles, he has had management responsibility for finance, accounting, human resources, investor/public relations, facilities, legal, intellectual property and manufacturing functions. Daniel has raised more than $700 million in equity and debt securities, including a $132 million private placement that was, at the time, the largest PIPE in biotechnology history. He serves on the Board of Directors for Alcobra Ltd., a biopharmaceutical company that completed an initial public offering in May 2013. He has a B.S. from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a MBA from Harvard Business School.
Dana C. Hilt, M.D., CMO
Dana Hilt has more than 22 years of drug development experience, primarily of CNS drugs. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President, clinical development and Chief Medical Officer at FORUM Pharmaceuticals, where he was involved in the development of Encenicline, an alpha-7 agonist for the treatment of cognitive impairment in Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Prior to joining FORUM, Dana held positions at various pharmaceutical companies, including Guilford Pharmaceuticals, Ascend Pharmaceuticals, and Critical Therapeutics. During this time, he was involved in the development of a variety of potential therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, oncologic diseases including malignant glioma, chronic pain, metabolic disorders, and inflammatory conditions. Prior to that, he established a Clinical Neuroscience Group at Amgen and was a faculty member at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dana also previously served on the staff of the NIH for five years, and has co-authored more than 100 publications and book chapters in basic and clinical neuroscience. Dana earned his M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and trained in Internal Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Neurology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Peter Lansbury, Ph.D., CSO
Peter Lansbury manages the company’s research activities. He also retains his position as a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. Previously, Peter was Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Link Medicine until it was acquired by AstraZeneca in 2012. Peter served as a Director of the Morris K. Udall Research Center of Excellence in Parkinson's Disease at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Peter received his doctorate from Harvard University, where he worked for Nobel laureate E. J. Corey.
Darren Braccia, CBO
Darren Braccia is guiding LTI’s platform expansion and oversees the company's partnering strategy. Darren has more than 16 years of business and corporate development experience, having previously worked to acquire, license and partner therapeutic compounds and diagnostic products across all stages of development. He has worked in progressive business development roles, for private and public companies, including Biogen Idec, Magellan Biosciences and most recently, at Vertex Pharmaceuticals as senior director of business development. Darren is a graduate of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and holds a bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University.
Renato Skerlj, Ph.D., VP of Drug Discovery & Preclinical Development
Renato Skerlj has 20 years of pharmaceutical experience in drug discovery and development resulting in two marketed drugs: Invanz®, an anti-infective approved in 2001 and Mozobil®, a stem cell mobilizer approved in 2008. Most recently, he was the Head of Small Molecule Discovery at Genzyme and prior to joining Genzyme, Renato was part of the executive team at AnorMED, a publicly-traded company acquired by Genzyme for $580 million in 2006. He earned his doctorate from the University of British Columbia and completed a fellowship at the University of Oxford in Dr. Stephen Davies’ laboratory.
Andrew J. Sonderfan, Ph.D., DABT, VP of Toxicology & Early Development
Andrew Sonderfan joined to direct the Company’s multi-disciplinary drug development initiatives. Most recently, he was Vice President of Drug Disposition and Preclinical Safety at Synta Pharmaceuticals, where he provided pre-IND through Phase 3 leadership for in-house and partnered programs in oncology and immunosuppression. Previously, Andrew was Senior Director of Toxicology and Safety Pharmacology at Enanta Pharmaceuticals, where he managed a program team advancing a macrolide antibiotic. Prior to Enanta, he was Director of Toxicology and Product Safety at BioChem Pharma (later Shire), where he directed global development of the HIV treatment, apricitabine. Andrew began his industry career at Syntex Research leading nonclinical development for the oncology anti-nausea medication, Aloxi™ (palonosetron). He obtained his doctorate in Andrew Parkinson’s laboratory at the University of Kansas Medical Center and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology.
Valerie Cullen, Ph.D., Senior Director, Translational Medicine & Program Management
Valerie Cullen acts as Program Manager for LTI’s lead program, with additional responsibility for translational medicine and alliance management. She has over 16 years of experience in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disease research and drug development. Most recently, Valerie was Acting Director of Scientific Affairs at Aldeyra Therpeutics, designing therapeutic strategies for rare neurological disorders as well as a number of inflammatory indications. Previously, as Associate Director of Preclinical R&D at NeuroPhage Pharmaceuticals (now Proclara), Valerie worked on a number of programs for a novel amyloid-specific therapeutic, targeting both Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease, as well as rarer genetic disorders of protein metabolism. Prior to NeuroPhage, Valerie was part of the research team at Link Medicine, which was acquired by Astra Zeneca in 2012. Valerie earned her BSc and PhD in pharmacology at University College Dublin, and completed fellowships at King’s College London and Harvard Medical School. While at Harvard Medical School, Valerie published one of the first papers on the biology of GCase in Parkinson’s Disease, winning the Annals of Neurology Prize for Most Impactful paper in Clinical Neuroscience (2011).