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.
Caroline Loewy is an accomplished executive leader with more than 25 years of experience in assessing and accelerating biotechnology product development and growth. She currently provides strategic advisory services to life science companies on a variety of high-impact matters including funding strategies, product pipeline evaluation, and assessing business development opportunities. Ms. Loewy has held numerous executive roles; most recently, she co-founded and served as chief financial officer and chief business officer of Achieve Life Sciences, Inc. Prior to that, she held the position of chief financial officer of both public and private biopharmaceutical companies including Tobira Therapeutics, Inc., Corcept Therapeutics Incorporated, and Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Ms. Loewy also spent 11 years as a senior biotechnology equity research analyst at Morgan Stanley and Prudential Securities. She sits on the board of directors of CymaBay Therapeutics Inc.; is a founding board member of the Global Genes Project, one of the leading rare disease patient advocacy organizations in the world; and is a member of the National Advisory Council of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) Center for Rare Childhood Disorders. Ms. Loewy is also a founding board member of the KCNQ2 Cure Alliance Foundation. Ms. Loewy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Business Administration/ Master of Science degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
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 Probiodrug, 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.
Warren Whitehead is a certified management accountant who has held senior financial management positions in several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Most recently he served as the chief financial officer of Arius Research Inc., a biotechnology company, providing financial guidance and leadership during the acquisition of Arius by Roche in 2008. Before Arius, Mr. Whitehead was the chief financial officer at Labopharm Inc., where he completed a series of public equity financings and an initial public offering on the NASDAQ stock exchange. He currently is a member of the board of directors of PlantForm Corporation, a life sciences company that develops biosimilar antibody drugs for the treatment of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Mr. Whitehead received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario, and a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Windsor. Mr. Whitehead is also a chartered professional accountant (CPA) and a certified management accountant (CMA).