Steven Lisi has served on our Board since January 2017 and on the Board of AIT Ltd., our wholly-owned subsidiary, since June 2016. Mr. Lisi was previously Senior Vice President of Business and Corporate Development at Avadel Pharmaceuticals (AVDL) where he was instrumental in restructuring the company, raising $121m and transforming it from $100m enterprise value to $1b in three years. Prior to his position at Avadel, Mr. Lisi spent 18 years investing in the global healthcare industry at Mehta and Isaly (now Orbimed), SAC Capital, Millennium Management, Panacea Asset Management and as a Partner at Deerfield Management. Mr. Lisi serves as Chairman of the Board of Mico Innovations, a next generation coronary and neurovascular stent company. He received his Master in International Business from Pepperdine University.
Amir Avniel has served on AIT Ltd.’s Board since 2011 and became AIT Ltd.’s Chief Executive Officer in August 2014. He has served on our Board and became our Chief Executive Officer on January 13, 2017. He has more than ten years of management experience in the biotechnology industry. From 2013 through 2014, Mr. Avniel served as Strategy and Business Development of A.B. Seeds, a wholly owned subsidiary of Monsanto Company. Mr. Avniel served as the Chief Executive Officer of Rosetta Green Ltd. from 2010 through 2013 and led Rosetta Green in its acquisition by Monsanto. He also served as the president and the Chief Executive Officer of Rosetta Genomics from 2006 to 2009, and Mr. Avniel is a named inventor in over 20 patent applications. He studied computer science at the Academic College of Tel Aviv – Jaffa Israel and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and Humanities – from Open University in Israel. Prior to his academic studies, he served as an officer in the Israel Defense Force, where he was awarded four commendations for excellence.
Ron Bentsur joined AIT Ltd. in August 2015 and serves as a director. Mr. Bentsur has served as Chief Executive Officer and Director of UroGen Pharma, Ltd. since August 2015. From 2009 through April 2015, Mr. Bentsur served as Chief Executive Officer and Director of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Mr. Bentsur’s tenure as CEO of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals culminated in the September 2014 FDA approval of AuryxiaTM (ferric citrate) and its December 2014 U.S. launch. Prior to joining Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., from 2006 to 2009, Mr. Bentsur served as Chief Executive Officer of XTL Biopharmaceuticals, Ltd. Prior to that, Mr. Bentsur served as Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., as Director of Technology Investment Banking at Leumi Underwriters, where he was responsible for all technology and biotechnology private placement and advisory transactions, and as a New York City-based investment banker, primarily at ING Barings Furman Selz. Mr. Bentsur holds a B.A. in Economics and Business Administration with distinction from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an M.B.A., magna cum laude, from New York University’s Stern Graduate School of Business. Mr. Bentsur also serves as Director of Stemline Therapeutics, Inc.
Erick Lucera joined AIT’s Board of Directors in August 2017. He is the Chief Financial Officer Valeritas, a US NASDAQ traded commercial stage company developing new technology for diabetes. Mr. Lucera served as Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary of Viventia Bio. From 2012 to 2015, he was Vice President, Corporate Development at Aratana Therapeutics, a veterinary biopharmaceutical company. While at Aratana, he helped grow the company’s product pipeline through a series of acquisitions and in licensing transactions financed through 5 public and private offerings of nearly $250 million. Before his career as a healthcare company executive, Mr. Lucera spent over 15 years in investment management as a healthcare analyst at Eaton Vance, the portfolio manager of the Triathlon Life Sciences Fund at Intrepid Capital and as head of the healthcare research team at Independence Investments. He holds a CPH from Harvard University, and MS in quantitative finance from Boston College, an MBA from Indiana University Bloomington, and a BS in accounting from the University of Delaware. Mr. Lucera has obtained CFA, CMA, and CPA designations.
Ms. Yoori Lee currently serves as Co-founder and President of Trio Health Advisory Group, Inc. Trio Health’s mission is to improve the quality of care in patient outcomes through coordinating the efforts of all patient care stakeholders. Its first-of-its-kind technology platform tracks patients throughout their journey giving pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies, specialty pharmacies and physicians real-time access to information that simply does not exist anywhere else. Trio Health focuses on specialty disease states, such as hepatitis c, HIV, oncology and cystic fibrosis, among others, and examines how each stakeholder impacts the performance of the patient. Trio Health has published extensively on real-world patients; publication topics have included: access to care, comparative effectiveness, physician & pharmacy performance, safety & tolerability, affordability between treatment regimens and various other cohort analyses.
Prior to Trio Health, Ms. Lee spent over 15 years at Leerink Partners LLC, a leading healthcare investment bank, where she was Managing Director, and Director of MEDACorp Services. Additionally, she helped found the MEDACorp network, a cadre of experts including more than 35,000 healthcare professionals in diverse areas of practice such as clinical medicine, biomedical research, regulatory affairs, public policy, healthcare administration and healthcare information technology.
Ms. Lee has delivered value-driving business and decision support strategies to companies ranging from emerging growth to the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. With over twenty years of consulting experience, she has unique experience in developing scientific, clinical, regulatory and commercial solutions for clients by bringing together a best-in-class network of “in-the-trenches” consultants. Through these close relationships and collaborations, she has been instrumental in developing intricate consulting strategies, amassing numerous advisory boards, and aligning strategic objectives predicated on thorough assessments of competitive landscapes, as well as developing and managing pre and post marketing programs.
Dr. Bill Forbes brings to the AIT Board more than 30 years of pharmaceutical product development experience and, working with health authorities in the US and Europe, has contributed to numerous marketing approvals spanning a diverse range of therapeutic areas. Dr. Forbes currently serves as the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vivelix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on gastrointestinal diseases. Prior to founding Vivelix, Dr. Forbes was at Salix Pharmaceuticals as the Chief Development Officer and also Head of Medical and R&D. Prior to Salix, Dr. Forbes spent 15 years in Clinical Development & Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Research at a number of global pharmaceutical companies.
Mr. Carey has an extensive track record of accomplishment within the healthcare investment banking industry. He has assisted biotech and specialty pharma companies raise more than $10 billion in initial public offerings, follow-on offerings, debt offerings, and private placements. He has served as a financial advisor on mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliance transactions with a total deal value of more than $10 billion. Mr. Carey has served as executive vice president and chief business officer at Horizon Pharma since 2014, during which Horizon Pharma deployed in excess of $3 billion to acquire or license eight commercial products and three products in development and grew net sales from $74 million in 2013 to approximately $1.2 billion* in 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 75%. Before Horizon, he spent more than 11 years as managing director and head of the life sciences investment banking group at JMP Securities. Mr. Carey was a managing director in the healthcare groups at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Vector Securities for a total of 14 years. He received his B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame. Mr. Carey currently serves on the board of Sangamo Therapeutics, Inc.