William G. Rice, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Board, President & Chief Executive Officer
Through a rich blend of leadership roles in industry, government, and academic sectors, Dr. William Rice has accrued more than 25 years of know-how and forged a diverse set of skills, including executive, operational, business development, financial, product research, and development. Before Aptose, Dr. Rice served as the president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Cylene Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In that role he led the company’s strategic, financing, and business development activities, resulting in the development and sale of small molecule therapeutic programs designed to exploit CK2-mediated pathways and non-genotoxic mechanisms for activating p53 to kill cancer cells. Before Cylene, Dr. Rice was the founder, president, chief executive officer, and director of Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He also served as a senior scientist and head of the Drug Mechanism Laboratory at the National Cancer Institute-Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center and served as a faculty member in the division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine. Throughout his career, Dr. Rice has identified multiple new molecular drug targets, delivered multiple first-in-class drugs to the clinic, and published peer-reviewed findings in Science, Nature, Cancer Cell, Nature Medicine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, among other prestigious journals. Dr. Rice holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry from Emory University and was a postdoctoral trainee in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center.
Denis R. Burger, Ph.D.
Board Member, Lead Director
Dr. Denis R. Burger currently is the executive chairman of BioCurex, Inc., a company based in Richmond, Canada. Previously, he co-founded Trinity Biotech, PLC, a diagnostic biotechnology company based in Dublin, Ireland, where he was Chairman from 1992 to 1995 and now serves on its board of directors. Dr. Burger was the past chairman, chief executive officer, and a director of AVI Biopharma Inc., an Oregon-based biotechnology company. Dr. Burger is also a partner in Sovereign Ventures, a healthcare consulting and funding firm based in Portland, Oregon. He was a co-founder and chairman of Epitope Inc. from 1981 to 1990. In addition, Dr. Burger has held a professorship in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Surgery (Surgical Oncology) at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. Dr. Burger received his Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Arizona.
Carol Ashe is a seasoned executive with over 25 years of experience in corporate and business development in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Ms. Ashe is currently the chief business officer at the New York Genome Center, an independent, nonprofit academic research institution focused on translating genomic research into the development of new therapies for human disease. Previously, she served as vice president of corporate development for Endo’s branded, generic and platform drug delivery pharmaceutical business units. Ms. Ashe was also a partner at GlaxoSmithKline’s corporate venture capital fund, SR One. Before that, Ms. Ashe led GSK’s US Corporate Legal Group supporting US-based mergers, acquisitions, and equity investments. Prior to that, Ms. Ashe led GSK’s global Business Development Transactions Legal Team supporting both the pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare business units. Ms. Ashe received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Pennsylvania State University, her law degree from Villanova University School of Law and is a registered patent attorney.
Erich M. Platzer, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Erich M. Platzer is a board-certified physician in internal medicine, hematology, and medical oncology. Previously, Dr. Platzer served as the business director of oncology, as well as the global strategic marketing and therapeutic area head of oncology at Roche, Basel. He was also the medical director in oncology and global development project leader and was responsible for various strategic corporate partnerships. Dr. Platzer is a director of Swiss Business Angel Groups, StartAngels, and BioBAC, and has served as a pharmaceutical industry expert on the board of directors of multiple biotech companies in both the U.S. and Europe such as Vivoryon, AOT, Léman Micro Devices, Credentis, and Viroblock. Dr. Platzer co-founded and currently serves as an investment advisor to HBM Healthcare Investments (formerly HBM BioVentures), a global leader in healthcare investing. He has over 12 years of experience in academic medicine and research and was a key member of the team at MSKCC that purified human G-CSF in 1983 (recombinant form: Neupogen®). He earned his Doctor of Medicine from the Medical School and the Institute of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology of the University of Erlangen, where he also received his “Dr. med. habil.” (Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy).
Mark Vincent, M.D.
Dr. Mark Vincent was a co-founder and has been the chief executive officer of Sarissa, Inc. since 2000. Dr. Vincent has extensive industry experience as a consultant to Canadian and U.S. biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Previously, he served as a director of Drug Royalty Corporation and currently is a member of the scientific advisory boards for several biotechnology companies. Dr. Vincent is an associate professor of oncology at the University of Western Ontario, and a staff medical oncologist at the London Regional Cancer Program.
Mr. Warren Whitehead is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) who has held multiple senior financial management positions in several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Mr. Whitehead was the former Chairman and Board Member of Plantform Corporation and a former Board Member of Telesta Therapeutics (TSX), which was acquired by Prometic Life Sciences in 2016. He served as the Chief Financial Officer of ProMIS Neurosciences Inc. (formerly Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd.) from 2013 to 2015, a TSX-listed company targeting detection and effective treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Previously, from 2006 to 2008, he was the Chief Financial Officer of Arius Research Inc., a TSX-listed company developing anti-cancer antibodies, where he provided financial guidance and leadership during the acquisition of Arius by Roche in 2008. He was also the former Chief Financial Officer of Labopharm Inc. from 2000 to 2006, where he completed a series of public equity financings, including a cross-border Nasdaq offering. Other positions include Chief Financial Officer of Resolution Pharmaceuticals Inc., and a position in finance and business development at Glaxo Canada (now GlaxoSmithKline). Mr. Whitehead holds an MBA and BComm from the University of Windsor and a BA from the University of Western Ontario.