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 bluebirdbio (BLUE) and Shire PLC (SHPG). 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.
Scott Requadt, Director
Scott Requadt, JD, MBA, is currently a Managing Director at Clarus, a life sciences investment firm. Scott has over 15 years of operating and investment experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Clarus in 2005, Scott was Director, Business Development of TransForm Pharmaceuticals (acquired by J&J), and previously practiced for several years as an M&A attorney at the NYC-based law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell. Before that, Scott was a law clerk for a senior judge at the Supreme Court of Canada. Scott holds a B.Com (Economics & Finance) from McGill University (First Class Honors), an LL.B from University of Toronto, and an MBA from Harvard Business School (Baker Scholar). Mr. Requadt has been involved in multiple Clarus investments spanning both therapeutics and medtech, including Intercept Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ICPT) as well as several R&D risk-sharing collaborations with large pharma partners. Scott currently serves on the Boards of ESSA Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: EPIX), AvroBio, and Edev. He has previously been active on the Boards of TyRx (acquired by Medtronic), Catabasis (Nasdaq: CATB), Oxford Immunotec (Nasdaq: OXFD), Link Medicine (acquired by AstraZeneca), and Biolex Therapeutics.
Michel De Wilde, Ph.D, Director
Dr. De Wilde 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 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.
Tomer Kariv, Director
Mr. Kariv is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pontifax. He serves as an active board member of many of the funds’ portfolio companies. Mr. Kariv holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Blaine McKee, Ph.D., Director
Dr. McKee is the Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer of ImmunoGen, Inc. Prior to ImmunoGen, Dr. McKee served as Head of Corporate Development at Shire PLC, where he led corporate strategy, M&A, due diligence, commercial assessment, and alliance management efforts. While at Shire, over a four-year tenure, 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).