Most recently, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Advaxis Immunotherapies, Mr. O’Connor successfully turned around the company, raising more than $250 million in funding and transforming it into a patient-focused, leading cancer immunotherapy company. He was also instrumental in establishing major partnerships with companies that include Amgen Inc., Merck & Co. and Bristol Myers Squibb. In addition, under his leadership, the company advanced four new cancer immunotherapy drug candidates into clinical trials, as well as several PD-1 combination clinical studies with Keytruda® and Opdivo®. Previously, Mr. O’Connor was Senior Vice President for ImClone Systems where he supported the clinical development, launch, and commercialization of ERBITUX®, and the sale of the company to Eli Lilly in 2008. Mr. O’Connor served as General Counsel at PharmaNet (inventive Health) and was part of the senior leadership team that grew the company from a start-up contract research organization into a leader in clinical research.
Mr. O’Connor is a 1995 graduate of the Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and currently serves as an Entrepreneur Trusted Advisor to its Dean. He graduated from the United States Marines Corps Officer Candidate School in 1988 and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marines, attaining the rank of Captain while serving in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield. Mr. O’Connor is currently the Vice Chairman of BioNJ and was a former New Jersey criminal prosecutor.
As former president and CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (formerly Inovio Biomedical Corporation), Dr. Dhillon successfully created a vertically integrated DNA vaccine development company with one of the strongest development pipelines in the industry.
Dr. Dhillon also raised over $200 million and secured more than $200 million in licensing deals from global companies including Merck and Wyeth (now Pfizer). Dr. Dhillon was a founding board member of Protox Therapeutics, Inc. and currently sits on the Board of Directors of BC Advantage Funds, the largest venture capital corporation in British Columbia.
He was formerly Vice President of Finance and Operations at Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In his management experience, Mr. Dhillon has raised over $160 million through multiple financings and several licensing deals including early stage deals with Merck and Wyeth. His management experience spans corporate finance, M&A, integration, successful in-licensing of key intellectual property, strategy implementation, corporate transactions and collaborations with leading universities and working with several key opinion leaders worldwide. Mr. Dhillon is also the founder of BeCancerPositive.org, an online community where people can share their experiences with cancer and inspire hope for others. Mr. Dhillon holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Political Science and a minor in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University.
Dr. DeMesa has served as a senior executive with several international pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the areas of corporate management, regulatory affairs, and pre-clinical and clinical pharmaceutical and medical device product development.
Most recently, Dr. DeMesa served as President, CEO, and Director of Migenix Inc., a public biotechnology company. Dr. DeMesa was also president, CEO and Director of GenSci Regeneration Sciences Inc., a public biotech company, Vice President of Medical and Regulatory Affairs at Biodynamics International, Inc., and Vice President of Medical and Regulatory Affairs at Bentley Pharmaceuticals. He has been a practicing physician and is a Co-Founder of CommGeniX, a medical communications company, and MedXcel, a medical education company.
Mr. Mayes is President, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Engage Therapeutics, and brings over 20 years of experience as a biopharmaceutical executive with an extensive network in the life sciences field to OncoSec’s board of directors.
Prior to Engage Therapeutics, Mr. Mayes served as Chief Operating Officer of Advaxis Immunotherapies, and a member of its board of directors. While at Advaxis, Mr. Mayes was instrumental in establishing major pharma partnerships and developing a Phase 3 registration strategy and clinical development plan for the Company’s lead product candidate, which resulted in an FDA Special Protocol Assessment and Fast Track Designation. Prior to Advaxis, Mr. Mayes served as the President and General Counsel and Board member for Unigene Laboratories where he led out-licensing efforts for a novel oral peptide drug delivery platform. Mr. Mayes also served as Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer at ImClone Systems, an Eli Lilly subsidiary, where his contributions significantly contributed to the clinical development and commercialization of ERBITUX® (cetuximab), and the $6.5 billion-dollar sale of the Company to Eli Lilly in 2008.
Mr. Mayes also served as Senior Counsel at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, where he provided a wide range of legal services in connection with the development and commercialization of five approved products in the Company’s oncology portfolio. Mayes is a cum laude graduate of Syracuse University where he was recognized as a Remembrance Scholar and he earned his J.D. degree magna cum laude from Temple University School of Law, where he was the Articles Editor on the Temple Law Review.