John Simard, President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Simard founded XBiotech in 2005. Prior to XBiotech, he was founder and Chief Executive Officer of the therapeutic vaccine developer CTL ImmunoTherapies Corp., headquartered in Los Angeles with over 100 scientists and support staff. Mr. Simard also founded AlleCure Corp., of Valencia, California, a developer of immune-modulating therapies. In 2001, AlleCure and CTL ImmunoTherapies merged to form MannKind Corp., where Mr. Simard served as Corporate Vice President and Member of the Board. Mr. Simard invented the core technologies which form the basis for each of the commercialization programs. Operationally, he has championed an integrated approach to drug development, undertaking R&D, manufacturing and clinical regulatory programs under one roof - which he has used as an effective means to conserve capital and control timelines. Mr. Simard has more than 140 patents issued and pending related to cancer therapy, therapeutic vaccines and therapeutic antibodies, as well as substantial peer-reviewed scientific publications and the textbook "Immune Response Genes". Mr. Simard holds a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Saskatchewan and attended graduate studies in Medical Biophysics/Immunology at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Sushma Shivaswamy, Ph.D., Vice President of R&D
Dr. Shivaswamy has been with XBiotech since May 2009, when she joined as a senior research scientist and quickly advanced to lead the R&D group as Director of Research. Dr. Shivaswamy's academic studies involved elucidating mechanisms for regulation of gene expression. Prior to joining XBiotech, Dr. Shivaswamy was a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. She has a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology from the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, India.
Dr. Michael Stecher, M.D., Medical Director
Dr. Stecher has served as our Medical Director since June 2010. Dr. Stecher has worked to develop our clinical program to treat chronic inflammatory diseases through targeting the interleukin-1 system, collaborating with key opinion leaders in fields of endocrinology, oncology, cardiovascular medicine and dermatology. Dr. Stecher is board certified in family medicine and a graduate from the University of Kansas School of Medicine.
Queena Han, C.P.A, C.G.A, Vice President, Finance and Human Resources and Secretary
Ms. Han has been employed by XBiotech since April 2008 beginning as our controller, and now as our Vice President of Finance and Human Resources and Secretary. Prior to joining XBiotech, she served as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for a public company with a nation-wide pay phone hardware and service business. Ms. Han has a B.A in accounting, holds a Chartered Professional Accountants designation in Canada, is a professional member of SHRM and holds the Human Resource Management Certification from the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. David J. Combs, Ph.D., Vice President of Manufacturing
Dr. Combs has been with XBiotech since April 2010, initially as manufacturing process development scientist and now as Vice President Manufacturing. Dr. Combs oversees a team that manages all aspects of the manufacturing program—from initiation of cell culture process to fill and finish of drug product. Dr. Combs previously worked for The Cancer Research Institute at Scott and White Memorial Hospital, where he headed-up manufacturing.
Norma I. Gonzalez, Vice President, Quality
Ms. Gonzales has served as our Vice President of Quality since February 2008. Before joining XBiotech, Ms. Gonzalez was Director of Quality at Carbomedics, where she held various roles including Director of R&D, Director of Manufacturing Mechanical Heart Valve, and Director of Tissue Valve and Quality.
Board of Directors
John Simard, President and Chief Executive Officer
Fabrizio Bonnani, Ph.D.
Dr. Fabrizio Bonanni served senior operating roles at Amgen Inc. from 1999-2013. These included Executive Vice President, Operations from (2007-2012). Prior to overseeing operations, he served as Senior Vice President, Manufacturing, Senior Vice President, Quality and Compliance. Earlier, Dr. Bonanni held various management positions at Baxter International, Inc. from 1974 to 1999, including positions as Corporate Vice President, Regulatory and Clinical Affairs and Corporate Vice President, Quality System.
W. Thorpe McKenzie
Mr. McKenzie is Managing Director of Pointer Management Company, Chattanooga, Tennessee, which he co-founded in 1990 to invest in hedge funds and similar types of partnerships utilizing a fund of funds approach. From 1982 until 1990, he was a private investor in New York City, and a director of several public and private companies. From 1980 until 1982, he was founding general partner of TIGER, a global hedge fund. From 1971 until 1980, he was a Vice President of Kidder, Peabody & Co., Inc. in New York. Mr. McKenzie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and the Wharton Graduate division of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Daniel Vasella, M.D.
Dr. Vasella has served as a director since November 4, 2014. Dr. Vasella is the Honorary Chairman and Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Novartis AG, a company that engages in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of health care products worldwide. Dr. Vasella served as Chairman of Novartis from 1999 to February 2013 and as Chief Executive Officer from 1996 to January 2010. From 1992 to 1996, Dr. Vasella held the positions of Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Senior Vice President and Head of Worldwide Development and Head of Corporate Marketing at Sandoz Pharma AG. Dr. Vasella is a director of American Express, Inc., PepsiCo, Inc., a member of the International Business Leaders Advisory Council for the Mayor of Shanghai, a foreign honorary member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a member of several industry associations and educational institutions.