Board of Directors

Steven Gillis, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board

Steven Gillis, Ph.D., has been a Managing Director of ARCH Venture Partners since 2006 and joined the firm in 2005. Dr. Gillis is focused on the evaluation of new life science technologies and also on the development and growth of ARCH’s biotechnology portfolio companies. He is a director of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (TAK), Homology Medicines, Inc. (FIXX), and Pulmatrix, Inc. (PULM). Dr. Gillis represents ARCH as a director and serves as Chairman of a number of ARCH’s private, biotechnology portfolio companies.

Dr. Gillis was a founder and director of Corixa Corporation and served as CEO from its inception and as its Chairman from 1999 until its acquisition in 2005 by GlaxoSmithKline. Prior to Corixa, Dr. Gillis was a founder and director of Immunex Corp. From 1981 until his departure in 1994, Dr. Gillis served as Immunex’s Director of Research and Development, Chief Scientific Officer, and as CEO of Immunex’s R&D subsidiary. Dr. Gillis was interim CEO of Immunex Corp. following its majority purchase by American Cyanamid Company and remained a member of the board until 1997. Amgen, Inc. acquired Immunex in 2002.

Dr. Gillis is an immunologist by training with over 300 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of molecular and tumor immunology. He is credited as being a pioneer in the field of cytokines and cytokine receptors, directing the development of multiple marketed products including Leukine, (GM-CSF), Prokine (IL-2) and Enbrel (soluble TNF receptor-Fc fusion protein) as well as the regulatory approval of Bexxar (radiolabeled anti-CD20). Dr. Gillis received a B.A. from Williams College and a Ph.D. from Dartmouth College.

Damian Braga, Director

Damian Braga was Senior Vice President, Global Commercial Operations & President, U.S. and the Americas at Sanofi Pasteur, the human vaccines division of Sanofi, until his retirement in 2015. In these roles, he was responsible for leading the development and execution of the commercial strategy for all existing and late-stage products for Sanofi Pasteur’s Global Vaccine Business.

Mr. Braga brings three decades of vaccine experience from his tenure at Sanofi Pasteur, serving as Senior Vice President, Global Commercial Operations, from 2010 to 2015, as President, U.S. and the Americas, from 2008 to 2015, and as President, U.S., from 2002-2007. During this time, Mr. Braga was responsible for growing U.S. vaccine revenues from $766 million in 2001 to over $3.1 billion in 2015. He was also responsible for successfully launching both a high-dose and quadrivalent flu vaccine, generating over $1.5 billion in global flu vaccine annual revenue. Prior to assuming responsibility as the most senior company executive in the Americas, Mr. Braga held a number of other roles within Sanofi Pasteur, including Chief Financial Officer for the U.S. Business Unit.

Since retirement from Sanofi Pasteur in 2015, Mr. Braga founded DAB Consulting Services, a pharmaceutical commercialization consulting firm, and since 2017, he has served on the advisory board for VaxCare, a company that provides vaccination solutions for physicians, healthcare systems, employers, and school systems.

Mr. Braga is also the Chairperson of VBI’s Commercial Advisory Board.

Joanne Cordeiro, Director

Ms. Cordeiro most recently served as Chief Human Resources Officer and Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Shire PLC, where she served as the strategic partner and advisor to the CEO, Executive Team, and Board of Directors on matters of organizational vision, human capital strategies, total rewards, ethics, and cultural topics with a focus on shareholder value. Ms. Cordeiro was also a member of the Shire Steering Committee responsible for leading the strategic direction and integration for mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. Prior to joining Shire in 2011, she was Head of Human Resources for Covansys Corporation (a CSC Company), Clam/Availant, and Elliason Group, and served in various human resources management roles at Teradyne Inc., Avid Technology, Inc., and Sybase Inc. (an SAP company).

Ms. Cordeiro received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Northeastern University.

Michel De Wilde, Ph.D, Director

Michel De Wilde, Ph.D., was Senior Vice President, Research & Development, at Sanofi Pasteur, the human vaccines division of Sanofi from 2001 until June 2013. In this position, he was responsible for managing approximately 1,500 employees and a broad portfolio of approximately 20 development projects.

Prior to joining Sanofi Pasteur in January 2000, Dr. De Wilde was at SmithKline Beecham Biologicals (now GSK Vaccines) in Rixensart, Belgium. Dr. De Wilde joined the group in 1978 as a research scientist upon formation of a unit focusing on the application of recombinant DNA technology to vaccine development. He subsequently held positions of increasing responsibility and, as Vice President, Research & Development at Sanofi Pasteur, headed a team of approximately 400 specialists, active in all aspects of preclinical vaccine development.

Dr. De Wilde is a board member at the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI), and a member of the scientific advisory board at CureVac.

Dr. De Wilde received his degree in Chemistry from the Free University of Brussels in 1971, followed by a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1976. He carried out postdoctoral work at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (U.S.) and the University of Ghent (Belgium). Dr. De Wilde authored over 50 publications during the early part of his career.

Dr. De Wilde is also a Senior Scientific Advisor on all three of VBI’s Scientific and Clinical Advisory Boards.

Blaine McKee, Ph.D., Director

Blaine McKee, Ph.D., is the President and Chief Executive Officer at TrisaQ, an early stage biopharmaceutical company targeting renal diseases.

Prior to joining TrisaQ in January 2020, Dr. McKee was Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer of ImmunoGen, Inc. Dr. McKee also previously served as Head of Corporate Development at Shire PLC, where he led corporate strategy, M&A, due diligence, commercial assessment, and alliance management efforts. During his four-year tenure at Shire, Dr. McKee was responsible for executing multiple M&A, licensing, and divestment transactions, most recently the sale of Shire’s commercial oncology franchise to Servier S.A.S. for ~$2.4 billion. Dr. McKee’s most significant and recent roles prior to joining Shire include Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer of 480 Biomedical, as well as a 15-year tenure at Genzyme Corporation, which culminated in the role of Senior Vice President of Strategic Development for the Oncology, Transplant, and Multiple Sclerosis divisions.

Dr. McKee currently serves as Director for the New York Pharma Forum. He received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Colorado State University, a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an MBA in Finance from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Jeff Baxter, FCMA, President, CEO, and Director

Mr. Baxter joined VBI in September of 2009 as Chief Executive Officer. Previously, he was a managing partner for the venture capital firm, The Column Group. Until July of 2006, Mr. Baxter was SVP, R&D Finance and Operations, of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). In his 19 years of pharma experience, he has held line management roles in commercial, manufacturing and IT and the office of the CEO. His most recent position in R&D included responsibility for finance, pipeline resource planning and allocation, business development deal structuring and SROne (GSK’s in-house $125M venture capital fund). He also chaired GSK’s R&D Operating Board. Prior to GSK, he worked at Unilever and British American Tobacco. Mr. Baxter was educated at Thames Valley University and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (FCMA).

Christopher McNulty, Chief Financial Officer, Head of Business Development, and Director

Mr. McNulty joined VBI in 2018 after two decades of financial and business development experience across the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. Prior to joining VBI, he served as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, Business Development and Investor Relations, of Invivo Therapeutics. He also served as the Senior Director of Business Development for Repligen Corporation, where he spearheaded the acquisition of Novozymes Biopharma Sweden in 2011. Other prior management positions include Director, Corporate Development at Seventh Sense Biosystems, and Associate Director, Business Development at Genzyme Corporation. Mr. McNulty holds B.S. and M.Eng. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.