David Bonita, M.D.
Dr. David Bonita has more than 15 years of investment and financial experience with private equity and investment banking companies. He is currently a Private Equity Partner at OrbiMed. Prior to OrbiMed, Dr. Bonita worked as a corporate finance analyst in the healthcare investment banking groups of Morgan Stanley and UBS.
He has published scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals based on signal transduction research performed at the Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Bonita received his Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude in Biological Sciences from Harvard University and his joint Medical Doctorate/Master of Business Administration from Columbia University where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society.
Clarissa Desjardins, Ph.D.
CEO and Founder
Dr. Clarissa Desjardins founded Clementia in 2011 and has served as the company’s chief executive officer since then. Prior to Clementia, she was CEO at the Centre d’excellence en médecine personnalisée (CEPMED), a Montreal-based federally and privately funded non-profit enterprise created to promote personalized medicine.
Dr. Desjardins is an award-winning entrepreneur with more than 18 years of biotechnology experience. She has founded three successful biotech companies, leading all aspects of company creation including conception and financing. She founded Advanced Bioconcept, a research reagent and diagnostics company sold to NEN Life Sciences (Perkin Elmer) in 1998. Dr. Desjardins also co-founded Caprion Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company focused on proteomic biomarker discovery and drug development, where she was executive vice-president of Corporate Development.
She received the BRIO award for outstanding contributions to the biotechnology industry from the Quebec Biotechnology Association and was named one of the top young Canadians likely to influence the future by the Globe and Mail. Dr. Desjardins has been a board member of numerous private and public companies including the scientific advisory council of the Canadian Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Desjardins earned a doctorate in Neurology and Neurosurgery from McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine and was a Medical Research Council postdoctoral fellow at the Douglas Hospital Research Centre.
Robert Heft, Ph.D.
Dr. Robert Heft has over 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, during which time he has held key leadership positions at a number of high-profile companies.
He served as president, chief executive officer and member of the Board of Directors of Enobia Pharma Inc. (acquired by Alexion) (Montreal, Quebec) from 2005-2012. He has also held several senior positions with BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. after selling the pharmaceutical assets of IBEX Pharmaceuticals Inc. to BioMarin in 2001. Dr. Heft founded IBEX in 1986, and served as its President, Chief Scientist and member of its Board of Directors until 2001. He served as Executive in Residence at Sectoral Asset Management as well as on the Board of Directors of BioCapital (Private Equity/Venture Capital), the Canadian Genetic Diseases Network and the Industrial Biotechnology Association of Canada.
Dr. Heft has published and been awarded several patents in the fields of coagulation, phenylketonuria and hypophosphatasia. He has also received several awards for his work including: Company of the Year (2012 Gold Leaf Award for Enobia Pharma) from BIOTECanada, Entrepreneur of the Year (Canada 2012) from the Canadian Venture Capital Association, and the Genesis Award (2012) from BioQuebec.
Dr. Heft earned his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Genetic Engineering/Radiological Sciences and was a Neurology Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital. He obtained a Master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from McGill University.
Allan Mandelzys, Ph.D., MBA
Dr. Allan Mandelzys has more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical licensing, alliance management, research and product development.
Most recently, Dr. Mandelzys served as CEO at Thallion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company focused on orphan diseases, until its acquisition by Bellus Health. Before his role as CEO, he was executive vice president, licensing & corporate development at Thallion. Prior to Thallion, Dr. Mandelzys served as vice president of business development at Labopharm Inc. where he played an integral role in transforming the drug delivery company into a product development company with commercial sales via multiple distribution partners. He has also held research and business development roles with Allelix Biopharmaceuticals through its acquisition by NPS Pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Mandelzys is a member of several advisory groups. He earned his doctorate in physiology and Master of Business Administration from McGill University. Dr. Mandelzys also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto and received his post-doctoral training at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology.
Mr. David M. Mott has served as a general partner of New Enterprise Associates, an investment firm focused on venture capital and growth equity investments, since September 2008, where he leads the healthcare investing practice.
From 1992 until 2008, Mr. Mott worked at MedImmune Limited, a biotechnology company and subsidiary of AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE:AZN), and served in numerous roles during his tenure including chief financial officer, president and chief operating officer, and most recently as chief executive officer from October 2000 to July 2008. During that time, Mr. Mott also served as executive vice president of AstraZeneca Plc from June 2007 to July 2008 following AstraZeneca Plc’s acquisition of MedImmune Limited in June 2007. Prior to joining MedImmune Limited, Mr. Mott was a vice president in the healthcare investment banking group at Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. Inc.
Mr. Mott serves as the chairman of the board of directors for Ardelyx (NASDAQ: ARDX), and TESARO (NASDAQ: TSRO) and serves on the board of directors of Epizyme, Inc. (NASDAQ: EPZM), He also serves on the boards of directors of several privately held life sciences companies namely, Adaptimmune, Cydan, Edimer, Mersana, 3-V Biosciences and Vtesse.
Mr. Mott earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College.
Francois Nader, M.D., MBA
Francois Nader, MD, is a leading value builder in the biopharma industry. He was President, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of NPS Pharma from 2008 to 2015, when the company was acquired by Shire for $5.2B. During his tenure as CEO Dr. Nader transformed NPS Pharma into a leading global biotechnology company focused on delivering innovative therapies to patients with rare diseases. He was recognized as the Ernst and Young National Life Science Entrepreneur of the Year® in 2013. Dr. Nader currently serves as chairman of the board of directors of Acceleron Pharma (NASDAQ: XLRN) and board director of Advanced Accelerator Applications (NASDAQ: AAAP), Clementia Pharmaceuticals and ArRETT Neurosciences.
Before NPS, Dr. Nader was a venture partner at Care Capital. Prior, he served on the North America Leadership Team of Aventis and its predecessor companies holding a number of executive positions including senior vice-president, integrated healthcare markets and North America medical and regulatory affairs. Previously, he led the global commercial operations at the Pasteur Vaccines division of Rhone-Poulenc.
Dr. Nader is a recognized leader in industry and philanthropic organizations. He is the President of the Jesra Foundation, a trustee of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and sits on the Advisory Board of the Open Future Institute. He is the immediate past chairman of BioNJ, New Jersey's biotechnology trade organization and has served on the board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the national industry body, NPS Pharma (NASDAQ: NSPS), Baxalta (NYSE: BXLT), Trevena (NASDAQ: TRVN) and Noven (NASDAQ: NOVN).
Dr. Nader earned his French Doctorate in Medicine from St. Joseph University in Lebanon and his Physician Executive MBA from the University of Tennessee.
Jean-François Pariseau MSc, MBA
Mr. Jean-François Pariseau has over 17 years of investment and entrepreneurial experience in the life sciences sector.
He is a partner in the Healthcare Fund at BDC Venture. Prior to joining BDC in 2001, Mr. Pariseau was an investment manager with CDP Capital Technology Ventures, a $2 billion global fund investing in healthcare, information technology and advanced technologies where he was responsible for healthcare investments in Canada and the US. He has invested and managed more than $200 million in biopharmaceutical and medical device companies in North America. Mr. Pariseau’s experience includes transactions in private and in public companies, IPOs, M&A and fund investments. He was CEO of a consulting company specializing in regulatory affairs, and was Vice President of R&D for a pharmaceutical-product distribution company, both of which he founded.
Mr. Pariseau earned a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology from Université de Sherbrooke, a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences from Université de Montréal, and a Master of Business Administration from HEC Montréal. He currently sits on the Board of Directors at AngioChem Inc. and Profound Medical Inc.