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Kent A. Murphy, PhD
President and Chairman of Board

Former tenured professor at Virginia Tech and an inventor since the age of 19 when he received multiple patents for fiber optic splitters that became the industry standard used around the world today. Founder and CEO of multiple high-tech companies in a wide range of technologies and markets. The first company was built with no investors to an IPO, ticker symbol LUNA. Six other companies were built to successful exits at acquisition with Venture Capital, corporate partners, and government funding from NIH, DARPA and NSF. Acquirers included “Baker Hughes” (a Fortune 300 oil tool company), “Intuitive Surgical” a Fortune 500 surgical robotics company, “Bio-Rad” a billion dollar biotech company, “Dover” a billion dollar instrument company, and “MacAulay-Brown” a defense contractor.  

Patrick Bols, PhD
Chief Operating Officer

A business executive with 40+ years experience in the biopharmaceutical and medical equipment area (human health and animal health) with a wide spectrum of activities in research, sales, marketing, sales management, international line and staff responsibilities in major corporations. Doctorate in Agricultural Sciences with maxima cum laude from University of Ghent, Belgium. IMD Lausanne, Switzerland: Johnson & Johnson’s Advanced Management Program. Patrick has vast experience in building companies. Patrick is based in Colorado and has extensive experience working in North America, Europe and the Far East. Co-owned and was chairman of a European CMC contract research organization with regulatory, CMC development and phase I/II manufacturing facilities. Firefly Medical, Inc.: Co-founder, CEO; BioNimbus, Inc.: co-founder; PR Pharmaceuticals: President; Johnson & Johnson: various functions in J&J’s wholly owned subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutical; Eli Lilly. 

Setareh Van Driel Shamsili, MD, PhD 
Global Consultant Oncology Drug Development

Former CMO of Merus, a clinical stage IO cancer company, at which she brought the company’s first 2 compounds to clinic and was instrumental in achieving IPO at Nasdaq USA, mid 2016. Setareh has started providing strategic and operational medical and clinical support to AxImmune since 1st Jun 2018. In addition she will support the preclinical and translational team, as well as establishing a relevant global Advisory Board. Setareh has over 27 years medical experience, in a range of academy, patient care, clinical CRO, large pharma, small biotech, of which the last 18 years has been focused on cancer research. Prior to Merus, Dr. Van Driel Shamsili was Global Medical Leader Oncology( R&D) and core member of the central committee of the company for strategic prioritization and defining the oncology policy. Her latest academic degree is a PhD in NeuroOncology from Erasmus Medical University, Netherlands. 

Marc Hrovatic
Chief Financial Officer 

Has been in leadership roles in multiple successful technology companies for over 20 years. In his role as CFO, Mr. Hrovatic has led strategic planning including company formation, corporate structure, financing and exit strategies. He built the corporate infrastructure for 400+ employee company from private to public company with 50% annual growth in revenues after the IPO. Mr. Hrovatic led the development of financial reporting systems for Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), and GAP requirements for a public company. He also built and led teams in research, product development and sales. In addition to his expertise in operations and finance, Mr. Hrovatic has led the strategic planning and operational execution of intellectual property portfolios of pharmaceutical, diagnostic and robotic companies. His experience includes patent filing, negotiating in-licensing and out-licensing. Mr. Hrovatic currently serves on the Board.

George M. Newcombe, Ch.E., J.D.
Head of Strategic Planning

Investor, advisor and director in small stage companies. Retired partner of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and founder of its Palo Alto, CA office. Represented leading high-tech companies in Silicon Valley and pharmaceutical companies in corporate, intellectual property and litigation matters. Retired Commissioned Officer, United States Public Health Service.

Betsy Fisher
Director Outsourcing

Successful career in supply chain management for biotech and medical equipment companies. Immunogen, PR Pharmaceuticals, BioNimbus (co-founder), Sandoz (Novartis), Agilent Technologies, Firefly Medical, Vero Biotech.