George Horner Chairman of the Board
George Horner has 40 years of experience in the life science industry in sales, marketing, and business development roles, and as a CEO and general manager in the US and overseas. Most recently, George was CEO of Prestwick Pharmaceuticals. He led Prestwick to FDA-approval of the first drug ever to receive approval in the United States for the treatment of Huntington's disease patients, and to the company's subsequent sale to Biovail Corp. and Ovation Pharmaceuticals.
As CEO of Vicuron, George helped to grow the company from a privately-funded anti-infective company with a $12 million valuation to an enterprise that was acquired by Pfizer for $1.9 billion.
George was also Vice President, Commercial Operations for Ligand Pharmaceuticals. Moreover, he worked for Abbott Laboratories for 17 years, where he served as General Manager of a number of Abbott's overseas regions, including Canada, Latin America, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Caribbean Region, South Africa Region and Southeast Asia. He began his career at Pfizer and later E.R. Squibb.
In addition to Omthera, he currently sits on the Board of Creabilis Therapeutics in Geneva, Switzerland and Durata Therapeutics in New York.
George has an A.B. from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina and is fluent in Spanish.
Graziano Seghezzi Board Member
Graziano Seghezzi brings nearly a decade of European venture capital investment experience to Sofinnova Partners, where he has been a partner focused on life sciences investment since joining the firm in 2006.
Graziano has been instrumental in targeting, investing in, and nurturing the growth of a number of Sofinnova Partners' portfolio companies, including: Creabilis Therapeutics (Italy), a specialty dermatology company developing products in multiple clinical areas such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis; Crescendo Biologics (UK), a seed-stage company targeting the application of highly innovative antibody fragment technologies to the development of new therapeutics; GlycoVaxyn (Switzerland), a biotechnology company dedicated to the development of novel vaccines; and Omthera (USA), specialized in cardiovascular disorders with a best-in-class omega-3 drug. Graziano is a Board Member of each company.
Prior to joining Sofinnova Partners' Paris-based team, Graziano was principal at Index Ventures in Geneva, Switzerland, where he invested in biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals companies. Before this, he worked for Sofinnova Partners, identifying new investment opportunities in Italian pharmaceutical and medical device companies out of Milan, Italy. Graziano began his career as a biomedical researcher at New York University's School of Medicine, where he gained five years of hands-on experience studying the molecular mechanism of angiogenesis in oncology and cardiovascular diseases.
Graziano has a degree in genetics and microbiology from the University of Pavia (Italy) and an MBA from the RSM, Erasmus University (Netherlands).
David M. Mott Board Member
Dave joined New Enterprise Associates in September 2008 as a General Partner focused on biopharmaceutical investments. Prior to joining NEA, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of MedImmune, subsidiary of AstraZeneca Plc, and Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca. Dave joined MedImmune in 1992 and served in roles of increasing responsibility including Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, President and Chief Executive Officer as the company grew from a venture-backed startup (founded in 1988) into one of the top five biotechnology companies in the world.
Prior to joining MedImmune, Dave was a Vice President in the Health Care Investment Banking Group at Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. Inc. At Smith Barney, his activities included public and private equity and debt financings as well as merger and acquisition work for biotechnology, healthcare services, and medical product and device companies. Dave is currently Chairman of 3-V Biosciences and Zyngenia and is a director of Ardelyx, Epizyme, TESARO, and Zosano Pharma.
Jerry Wisler has been in the pharmaceutical industry for over 25 years, serving in executive positions at Merck and Novartis, and as Co-Founder and President, CEO and Board Member of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
His career has been marked by successfully developing commercial brands, strategic excellence, leadership, innovation, and a deep scientific understanding. At Merck, his responsibilities included Timoptic®, Pepcid®, Prinivil®, Plendil®, and Zocor®. He was VP of Marketing at Merck, with responsibility for the atherosclerosis franchise. While responsible for Zocor® it grew from $1.8 billion in annual sales in 1997 to $5.3 billion in sales in 2002. Jerry was also involved in various lifecycle management activities for Zocor®, including an important role providing commercial input into the decision to enter into a Joint Venture with Schering-Plough for Zetia® and Vytorin®. At Novartis, Jerry served as VP of Marketing and was responsible for Diovan®, Lotrel®, and Starlix® and was actively involved in strategic initiatives and managed care contracting for the key brands.
Jerry also has extensive experience with managed care, with several important assignments in managed care at Merck, including Vice President of Managed Care marketing and contracting.
Jerry received his B.S. in Pharmacy and MBA in Finance from the University of Toledo.