Uli Hacksell, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Board
Dr. Hacksell serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors, a position he has held since July of 2018. Dr. Hacksell served as Chief Executive Officer of ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or ACADIA, from September 2000 to March 2015 and was a member of its Board of Directors. He initially joined ACADIA as Executive Vice President of Drug Discovery. Prior to ACADIA, Dr. Hacksell held various senior executive positions at Astra AB, or Astra, a pharmaceutical company, including Vice President of Drug Discovery and Technology, President of Astra Draco, one of Astra’s largest research and development subsidiaries, and Vice President of CNS Preclinical R&D at Astra Arcus, another Astra subsidiary. Earlier in his career, Dr. Hacksell held the positions of Professor of Organic Chemistry and Department Chairman at Uppsala University in Sweden and also served as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Hacksell is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Glionova Therapeutics and is also a member of the Board of Directors of InDex Pharmaceuticals and Uppsala University. He received a Master of Pharmacy and a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from Uppsala University.
Nancy R. Phelan
Ms. Phelan is an accomplished senior executive and thought leader with over 20 years’ success in the healthcare and biotech industries. Since October 2018, Ms. Phelan has served as Chief Business Officer, Innate Biologics, where she is responsible for strategy, business development and operations. Since January 2018, Ms. Phelan has served as an Executive Advisor to Innate Biologics. Previously, Ms. Phelan served as Senior Vice President, Commercial Growth at Outcome Health, since July 2017. Ms. Phelan has also served since April 2018 as an Independent Board Member for FemmePharma Consumer Healthcare, since August 2018 as an Advisory Board Member for Eved, and since May 2018 as a member of the Pharma Digital Health Roundtable Steering Committee. From September 2011 until December 2016, Ms. Phelan held roles of increasing responsibility for Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (“BMS”), including Vice President, U.S. Customer Strategy and Operations and Head, Worldwide Commercial Operations. Prior to her time at BMS, from October 2004 until September 2011, Ms. Phelan held leadership roles in global and U.S. marketing at Wyeth, which was acquired by Pfizer Inc. in 2009. Ms. Phelan received a BA with Honors from Franklin & Marshall College and completed coursework in Villanova University’s MBA program.
Mr. Blech, an experienced biotechnology entrepreneur and investor, brings to Adhera over 35 years of expertise in the biotech industry. He has founded and served on the board of a number of companies that have produced major advances in a broad array of diseases, including the diagnosis of chlamydia, herpes, syphilis and HIV, and the treatment of cystic fibrosis, sexual dysfunction, multiple myeloma and many forms of cancer and hematological disease. Among the companies he has established are Celgene Corporation, the world’s leading company in cancer and hematology, ICOS Corporation, which developed the drug Cialis and was purchased by Eli Lilly, Nova Pharmaceutical Corporation, which developed a new treatment for brain cancer, Gliadel, which was purchased by Johnson & Johnson, Pathogenesis Corporation, which developed the leading drug for cystic fibrosis and was purchased by Chiron, and Genetics Systems Corporation, which developed the first rapid accurate diagnostic for chlamydia and the first accurate test to safe guard the world’s blood supply from the AIDS virus and was later purchased by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Among the boards Mr. Blech currently serves on are Cerecor, Inc., a CNS company, ContraFect Corporation, an infectious disease company and Edge Therapeutics, Inc., a company that treats life-threatening neurological conditions.
Mr. Emerson has served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Symplmed Pharmaceuticals since he founded that company in 2013. During his time at Symplmed Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Emerson led that company to the submission, approval and commercial launch of Prestalia, and to the eventual sale of such assets to the Company in June 2017. He also spearheaded the development and launch of Symplmed’s DyrctAxess technology, a patented software designed to manage prescription fulfillment and patient monitoring. DyrctAxess has demonstrated a significant impact on patient conversion to treatment, long-term compliance and overall patient retention. Prior to founding Symplmed, Mr. Emerson served as the head of Commercial Development at XOMA from 2010 to 2013, and as Director of Marketing at Gilead Sciences from 2007 to 2010. Mr. Emerson began his career at King Pharmaceuticals in sales, sales training and marketing. Mr. Emerson, age 47, graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a specialization in Administration and Organization.
Mr. Boris is an experienced General Counsel and business executive who has served on or been legal advisor to executive and leadership teams in multiple industries. He served as the President of SpendSmart Networks, Inc. from April 19, 2016 until March 2017. Mr. Boris served as General Counsel and Secretary of SpendSmart Networks, Inc. from January 20, 2015 and February 21, 2015, respectively, until March 2017. Mr. Boris previously served as Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel for Restorgenex Corporation (currently Diffusion Pharmaceuticals) from August 2011 until January 19, 2015. He received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from the University of Michigan and a juris doctorate from the University of San Diego School of Law.
Donald A. Williams
Mr. Williams has served as a director since September 2014. Mr. Williams is a 35-year veteran of the public accounting industry, retiring in 2014. Mr. Williams spent 18 years as an Ernst & Young (E&Y) Partner and the last seven years as a Partner with Grant Thornton (GT). Mr. Williams’ career focused on private and public companies in the technology and life sciences sectors. During the last seven years at Grant Thornton, he served as the National Leader of Grant Thornton’s Life Sciences Practice and the Managing Partner of the San Diego Office. He was the lead partner for both E&Y and GT on multiple initial public offerings; secondary offerings; private and public debt financings; as well as numerous mergers and acquisitions. From 2001 to 2014, Mr. Williams served on the Board of Directors and is past President and Chairman of the San Diego Venture Group and has served on the Board of Directors of various charitable organizations in the communities in which he has lived. Mr. Williams is a graduate of Southern Illinois University with a B.S. degree.