Robin L. Smith, MD, MBA
Chairman and Chief Executive OfficerRead Bio
Dr. Robin L. Smith has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NeoStem since 2006. Leveraging her expertise in medicine and business development, Dr. Smith has positioned NeoStem as a leader in the emerging stem cell industry, built on a successful business model that combines a proprietary therapeutic development business and a successful contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) which provides services to others in the regenerative medicine industry.
Under Dr. Smith’s leadership, NeoStem has successfully completed six acquisitions, one divestiture and has raised over 190 million dollars for research and development, expansion of business units, and strategic transactions. NeoStem ranked number 1 for two years in a row in the Tri-State region and number 11 nationally on Deloitte’s 2013 Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America. In 2010, NeoStem was awarded the New Economy “Best Stem Cell Company” award.
Dr. Smith was selected as a winner of the 2014 Brava! Award, an award celebrating the distinguished achievements of top women business leaders in the Greater New York area. She was also honored as a finalist for the 2014 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award for the New York area, recognizing entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and success in the areas of innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
Dr. Smith has an extensive and diversified background in health care, sales and marketing, business development and management. Her previous experience includes serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of IP2M, a multi-platform media company specializing in healthcare, where under her leadership, the company was selected as being one of the 10 fastest growing technology companies in Houston. She also previously held the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for HealthHelp, Inc., a National Radiology Management company that managed a large percentage of the healthcare dollars spent by large insurance companies. Dr. Smith has acted as a senior advisor to, and investor in, both publicly traded and privately held companies where she has played a significant role in restructuring and/or growing such businesses.
Dr. Smith has extensive experience serving in executive and board level capacities for various medical enterprises and healthcare-based entities. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Signal Genetics (NASDAQ: SGNL) and the Board of Overseers of the NYU Langone Medical Center. She served on the Board of Trustees of the NYU Langone Medical Center and is past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases. Currently, Dr. Smith is the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Stem for Life Foundation, a non-profit entity that seeks to raise public awareness of adult stem cell therapies and their therapeutic applications. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Science and Faith STOQ Foundation in Rome, as well as on the Capital Formation Committee of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine.
Dr. Smith earned her MD from Yale University and her MBA from the Wharton School of Business.
Andrew L. Pecora, MD, FACP
Chief Visionary Officer - NeoStem, Chief Medical Officer - Progenitor Cell Therapy, Chief Scientific Officer - Amorcyte, and DirectorRead Bio
Andrew L. Pecora, M.D., F.A.C.P. was appointed to our Board of Directors on December 8, 2011. Dr. Pecora is co-founder and past Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Progenitor Cell Therapy, LLC (“PCT”), which is a subsidiary of the Company. Dr. Pecora served as NeoStem’s Chief Medical Officer from August 17, 2011 until his appointment as NeoStem’s Chief Visionary Officer on August 5, 2013. He will retain his position as PCT’s Chief Medical Officer, which he has held since January 19, 2011 following the Company’s acquisition of PCT. Prior to the acquisition, Dr. Pecora had served from 1999 to 2011 as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer of PCT, and as a member of PCT’s Board of Managers. Dr. Pecora is also Chief Scientific Officer of Amorcyte, Inc. (“Amorcyte”), a subsidiary of the Company acquired in October 2011, and held such position prior to the acquisition.
Dr. Pecora served as the Chairman and Director of the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) from 2001 to 2011, and commencing 2011 Dr. Pecora serves the John Theurer Cancer Center as Chief Innovations Officer, Professor and Vice President of Cancer Services. Since 1996 Dr. Pecora has been Co-Managing Partner of the Northern New Jersey Cancer Center, which is a private physicians practice group affiliated with HUMC. He has also been a Professor of Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey since 2004.
Dr. Pecora serves on the board of Cancer Genetics, Inc. and is chairman of the board of Tetralogics, Inc., a company developing small molecules to treat cancer. Dr. Pecora brings a variety of business development and practical business skills to NeoStem. He has worked with numerous companies in developing their products and manages a large clinical practice and the cancer department at a major health care institution. Dr. Pecora also has significant experience in the design of clinical trials (Phase 1 to 3), institutional review board practices, conduct of clinical trials, clinical research, and payor relationships both domestically and on a global basis.
Dr. Pecora received an M.D. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, graduating with honors. He went on to complete his medical education in internal medicine at New York Hospital and in hematology and oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, both in New York City. He is board certified in internal medicine, hematology, and oncology.
Douglas W. Losordo, MD, FACC, FAHA
Chief Medical OfficerRead Bio
Dr. Losordo served from 2006 to 2013 as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of NeoStem and since 2012, he has served on the Scientific Advisory Board of The Stem For Life Foundation, the public charity devoted to raising public awareness of adult stem cell therapies and supporting adult stem cell research, development and storage. Dr. Losordo is a leader in cell therapy research and a renowned cardiologist. Prior to his appointment as the Company’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Losordo served as Vice President, New Therapies Development, Regenerative Medicine and Baxter Ventures at Baxter International from October 2011 through February 2013. He is an adjunct professor of medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. From 2006 through 2011, Dr. Losordo was the director of the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute and the Eileen M. Foell Professor of Heart Research at Northwestern University’s School of Medicine and director of the Program in Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. From 2004 through 2006, he was a Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and Chief of Cardiovascular Research at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston. He is board-certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, and interventional cardiology. Dr. Losordo’s major research interests encompass angiogenesis/vasculogenesis, progenitor/adult stem cells, tissue repair/regeneration, and vascular biology. He received his medical degree from the University of Vermont.
Dr. Losordo is well regarded for his career-long efforts to develop novel therapeutics and as a scientist he obtained over $35 million in National Institutes of Health funding, for discovering and developing new therapeutic concepts in the laboratory, providing the basis for clinical studies. He has led first in human studies in multiple gene and adult stem cell therapies in patients with cardiovascular diseases, including therapies now in Phase 3 testing. He is a highly sought after speaker, having given over 200 international lectures. He is an associate editor of Circulation Research, the basic science journal of the American Heart Association and serves on the editorial boards of a number of scientific journals.
Robert A. Preti, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer - NeoStem, and President - Progenitor Cell TherapyRead Bio
Robert “Bob” Preti is PCT’s co-founder and the visionary behind its successful growth and development strategy over much of the last two decades. He also serves as Chief Scientific Officer of NeoStem where he is involved in directing the development and expansion of NeoStem’s cell therapy pipeline, as well as participating in setting NeoStem’s strategic direction.
Dr. Preti built PCT to meet a recognized need for high quality manufacturing and development services in an emerging industry. As the cell therapy field has grown, so too has PCT— the company has now served over 100 Clients and performed more than 30,000 cell therapy procedures. His leadership has been instrumental in creating PCT’s Client-focused model that helps bridge the gap between discovery and patient care through efficient transfer of cell-based therapies from laboratory into clinical practice. His vision for PCT includes expansion of its manufacturing capacity in the U.S. and Europe, as well as the development of new technological and engineering innovations that will help streamline and automate many cell processing techniques, leading to faster scale up, lower cost of goods, and improved robustness for the industry.
Before assuming his role at PCT, Dr. Preti held a number of positions within the cellular therapy and blood banking fields. From 1996 to 1999, he was the director of hematopoietic stem cell processing and applied research at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J. He served in several capacities with the New York Blood Center from 1990 to 1997, including tissue bank director, director of hematopoietic stem cell processing, scientific director and associate investigator. He also worked as a research scientist for Marrow-Tech Incorporated, which went on to become Advanced Tissue Sciences (ATIS), where work in his laboratory initiated the Dermagraft product currently marketed by Shire Regenerative Medicine.
Dr. Preti began his career in academics, teaching first as an elementary and secondary level educator, then as an adjunct assistant professor and lecturer at Hunter College, an assistant professor at Queensborough Community College, and then adjunct assistant professor at York College. He also has served as clinical assistant professor of medicine for New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y.
Also active in the public health arena, Dr. Preti has served on the Stem Cell Banking Committee and Cord Blood Subcommittee of the New York State Department of Health and on the New Jersey State Department of Health’s Blood Bank Advisory Committee, chairing the Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell Processing Subcommittee. In addition, he has served in a leadership capacity for many professional organizations, including treasurer and founding member of the International Society of Hematotherapy and Graft Engineering, now called ISCT (International Society for Cellular Therapy). He has published and presented extensively on a variety of topics relating to cellular therapies. He recently completed a five year term as a director for AABB, and is currently an Executive Committee member for the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM), where, among other activities, he co-chairs the Standards and Technology Committee.
Dr. Preti holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Fordham University, and a Master of Science degree and Doctorate, both in biology, from New York University
Robert Dickey IV, MBA
Chief Financial OfficerRead Bio
Mr. Dickey has over 15 years of management experience at life sciences companies, including positions as a CFO, COO and CEO and board member, following a career as an investment banker. He has specific expertise in financing, M&A, partnering/licensing transactions and project management, as well as international experience. Mr. Dickey joined NeoStem from Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. where he served as Senior Vice President. Hemispherx is a publicly-traded company involved in immune-modulatory therapies that is developing treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome and influenza. Prior to Hemispherx , Mr. Dickey was Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Business Unit Manager at StemCyte, Inc., an umbilical cord stem cell therapeutics company. Other management experience includes leadership positions at Protarga, Inc., a company developing cancer therapies, and Locus Pharmaceuticals, a company involved in computational drug design. Previously, he spent 18 years as an investment banker, 14 of those at Lehman Brothers, with a background split between M&A and capital markets transactions across a variety of industries. He earned an M.B.A from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and an A.B. from Princeton University.
Hans Keirstead, Phd
President, NeoStem OncologyRead Bio
Since 2005 Dr. Keirstead has served as President and CEO of California Stem Cell, Inc. (“CSC”) (acquired by NeoStem in May 2014) and was also CSC’s founder. He is currently President of NeoStem Oncology. Dr. Keirstead is an internationally known stem cell expert and has worked on stem cell-based therapies for late stage cancers, motor neuron diseases, spinal cord injury and retinal diseases.
His previous management experience includes founding and serving as CEO of Ability Biomedical, a company that developed technology that was later sold to Bristol Myers Squibb. In 2000, Dr. Keirstead joined the Reeve-Irvine Research Center at the University of California, Irvine (“UCI”) where he founded the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, and served as Full Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology. He was awarded the Distinguished Award for Research, the UCI Academic Senate’s highest honor, as well as the UCI Innovation Award for innovative research leading to corporate and clinical development. He has served as a Scientific Advisory Committee Member of the California Stem Cell Initiative that resulted in a $3 billion stem cell fund.
Dr. Keirstead received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada for which he received the Cameron Award for the outstanding Ph.D. thesis in the country. He conducted four years of Post-Doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge, with both Canadian and British Fellowships. He received the distinct honor of election to two senior academic posts, Fellow of the Governing Body of Downing College, and Senate Member of the University of Cambridge, and was the youngest member to have been elected to those positions.
Dr. Keirstead has testified at Federal and California Senate Hearings on several occasions, is an avid scientific correspondent for public education. He serves on the editorial boards of several major journals. He is also the founder of several clinics and educational centers in Guinea, Africa, which focus on health and community development in rural Africa.
Stephen W. Potter, MBA
Executive Vice PresidentRead Bio
David Altarac, MD, MPA
Vice President, Regulatory AffairsRead Bio
Dr.. David Altarac joined the Company’s executive management team in December 2013 as Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, bringing with him an impressive resume of experience in U.S. and global regulatory affairs, operations, labeling and organizational design. He comes to NeoStem after a successful 13 year tenure at Merck and Company, Inc. where from 2011-2013, he held the position of Vice President, Regulatory Affairs Emerging Markets R & D at Merck Research Labs. In that position he was responsible for overseeing the regulatory affairs (operations and strategy) for Merck’s Emerging Markets (EM) group, which originally was comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, Korea, Turkey, and Mexico. One of his first efforts in that position was the integration of the Most of World regulatory organization into the company’s EM Regulatory team to form a collaborative, global R & D regulatory organization with more than 325 staff operating in over 125 countries. He also worked to develop robust interfaces with regulatory support teams throughout Merck’s business units including Worldwide Product Labeling, Global Regulatory Operations, Global Safety, and Merck Enterprise groups including Global Human Health, Merck Manufacturing Division, Merck Consumer Care and Merck Vaccines Division.
Also at Merck, from 2009-2011, Dr. Altarac held the position of Vice President, Worldwide Regulatory Group 2, in which he was responsible for all regulatory affairs, strategic activities for the bone, respiratory, inflammation, endocrine (except diabetes), oncology, neurosciences, ophthalmology, women’s health franchises and programs in gastrointestinal, anemia, and urology. He also led the Worldwide Product Labeling Organization responsible for developing and maintaining all Merck product labels for drugs, biologics and vaccines. In these roles, Dr. Altarac was often the senior representative of the company who liaised with regulatory agencies on issues related to franchise, development and other initiatives, and he was a key member of the company’s global regulatory affairs leadership team. From 2008-2009, he held the position of Executive Director-Vice President, Worldwide Regulatory Group 1, in which he was responsible for the worldwide regulatory affairs in the bone, respiratory, and oncology franchises and the gastrointestinal, inflammation, anemia, and urology programs. In addition, Dr. Altarac served as Worldwide Regulatory Lead in the Asia Pacific region and Interim Acting Head of Worldwide Product Labeling.
Dr. Altarac is a trained infectious diseases and internal medicine physician, receiving his M.D. from New York Medical College. He also holds a Master of Public Administration from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Science of New York University. He completed his B.A. at the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Robert O. Dillman, MD
Vice President, OncologyRead Bio
Dr. Robert O. Dillman, served as CSC’s Chief Medical Officer prior to the CSC Acquisition, and now holds the title of NeoStem’s Vice President, Oncology.
Dr. Dillman has served as the Executive Medical Director of the Hoag Hospital Institute for Research and Education, in Newport Beach, California, a position he has held since 2011. Prior to this position he served as Executive Medical Director of the Hoag Family Cancer Institute from 2008-2011, and was Medical Director of the Hoag Cancer Center from 1989-2008. He has also served as a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine (“UCI”) since 1989. Dr. Dillman chaired the Cancer Biotherapy Research Group from 1990 to 2002, and is a past President and board Member of the International Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer.
Dr. Dillman has directed a cell biology research laboratory focused on patient-specific cell therapies for more than 20 years. He is an internationally recognized leader in cancer immunotherapy approaches, including monoclonal antibodies, adoptive cell therapies, IL-2, and cancer vaccines. He has authored more than 300 medical publications and is recognized internationally for his work in lung cancer, lymphoma, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), melanoma, and kidney cancers. He was the first physician in Orange County, California to be selected as one of the Best Doctors in America in Hematology and/or Oncology. In 2006, Dr. Dillman was named Orange County Physician of the Year by the Orange County Medical Association. In 2008, he received Hoag Hospital’s first endowed chair, the Grace E. Hoag Endowed Chair of Oncology and in 2010, he became one of only five recipients in the world to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer.
Dr. Dillman received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. He also completed both his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and served as a Chief Resident. He completed his fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at University of California, San Diego Medical Center.
Adel Nada, MD, MS, MFPM
Vice President, ImmunotherapyRead Bio
Dr. Adel Nada joined NeoStem as Vice President, Immunotherapy in April, 2014. Dr. Nada is responsible for developing the Company’s T Regulatory Cell Program, which utilizes T Regulatory Cells to treat diseases caused by imbalances in the immune system.
Dr. Nada is an expert in innovative clinical trial design, cellular therapies development, translational medicine, and cardiovascular safety. He comes to NeoStem from Baxter Healthcare, where from 2012 to 2014 he was Senior Medical Director, Cardiovascular Cellular Therapies. Prior to joining Baxter, Dr. Nada worked at Abbott Laboratories from 2007-2012, where he was most recently responsible for the Clinical Pharmacology Medical Department. In this capacity, he led the cross functional group that provided instrumental strategic support for early clinical development across the entire company’s pipeline. Working across different therapeutic areas, most notably antivirals, oncology, and immunology, he also led the clinical team developing a novel compound for rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Nada earned his medical degree from Alexandria University, and is trained in internal medicine, clinical research, and pharmacology. Dr. Nada holds a specialist diploma in pharmaceutical medicine from the University of Basel. He has also completed advanced studies in pharmaceutical development and regulatory sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, and holds a Master’s degree in clinical research from Rush University. He was most recently elected member of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians.
Vice President, Human ResourcesRead Bio
David Schloss, a senior human resources executive and former attorney with over 20 years of leadership experience, joined NeoStem in 2014 as Vice President, Human Resources. At the company, Mr. Schloss is responsible for the development and delivery of compensation; benefits; organizational design and development; recruitment; and employee relations.
Mr. Schloss comes to NeoStem with a strong resume of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Prior to joining NeoStem, he served as SVP, Human Resources with PLUS Diagnostics (acquired by Miraca Life Sciences). Prior to PLUS Diagnostics, Mr. Schloss led human resources for OraPharma from 2011- 2012, a private equity owned specialty pharmaceutical company focused on oral health care. Mr. Schloss helped grow the company and was instrumental in its acquisition and integration by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International. Prior to OraPharma, from 2009-2011, Mr. Schloss was Vice President, Human Resources for Eurand Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded specialty pharmaceutical company based in Italy that develops, manufactures and commercializes pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products. While with Eurand, Mr. Schloss helped build the commercial organization that launched Zenpep® for the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in patients with cystic fibrosis. Eurand was acquired by Aptalis in 2011.
From 2007-2009, Mr. Schloss led human resources for ImClone Systems, a fully integrated global biopharmaceutical company, engaged in the development and commercialization of a portfolio of targeted biological oncology treatments. He also led ImClone System’s human resources through its acquisition by Eli Lilly in 2008. Additionally, Mr. Schloss spent 17 years with GlaxoSmithKline in a number of senior level HR roles across the US and internationally.
Before beginning his career in human resources, Mr. Schloss was an attorney practicing in the representation of management in all phases of labor relations and employment law. He earned a BA from Clark University and a J.D. from the University of Miami School Of Law. He currently serves on the Pennsylvania Advisory Board of the Devereux Foundation, a leading nonprofit behavioral health organization that provides support and services to children and adults with intellectual, emotional, developmental, and behavioral challenges.
Joseph Talamo, MBA, CPA
Vice President, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting OfficerRead Bio
Joseph Talamo has been NeoStem’s Vice President, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer since June 2011. From 1996 to 2010, Mr.Talamo held various senior positions at OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“OSI”), a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing products for the treatment of cancer, diabetes and obesity, and most recently served as its Vice President and Corporate Controller from 2006 to 2010 and its Corporate Controller from 2002 to 2006. While at OSI, Mr. Talamo helped build the accounting and finance infrastructure to support the clinical development and commercial launch of Tarceva®, OSI’s targeted therapy approved for the treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer. Prior to OSI, Mr. Talamo worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb from 1995 to 1996 in the Financial Reporting and Consolidations Group, and at KPMG from 1993 to 1995 in the Health Care and Life Sciences Audit Group. Mr. Talamo also serves as Treasurer of the Stem For Life Foundation, since 2012. Mr. Talamo also served as Treasurer of the OSI Pharmaceuticals Foundation from 2008 to 2010. Mr. Talamo received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Hofstra University in 1991, and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Hofstra University in 1999. Mr.Talamo is a certified public accountant in the State of New York.
Catherine M. Vaczy, Esq
General CounselRead Bio
Ms. Vaczy has served as the Company’s Vice President, Legal and General Counsel since 2005. Commencing in 2014, she serves as the Company’s General Counsel. She is a senior business executive and counsel with over 20 years of leadership experience in the biotechnology industry. From 1997 to 2003, she held senior positions at ImClone Systems Incorporated, a publicly traded company developing a portfolio of targeted biologic treatments to address the medical needs of patients with a variety of cancers, most recently as its vice president, legal, and associate general counsel. While at ImClone, Ms. Vaczy served as a key advisor in the day-to-day operation of the company and helped forge a number of important strategic alliances, including a $1 billion co-development agreement for Erbitux®, the company’s targeted therapy approved for the treatment of metastatic colorectal and head and neck cancers. ImClone was acquired by Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) in 2006. From 1988 through 1996, Ms. Vaczy served as a corporate attorney advising clients in the life science and technology sectors at the New York City law firm of Ross and Hardies. Ms. Vaczy serves on the board of trustees of The Stem for Life Foundation where she also oversees the Foundation’s Student Ambassador Program. She is a member of The Union League Club of New York and serves on its art committee. Ms. Vaczy received a B.A. degree from Boston College and a J.D. degree from St. John’s University School of Law.