John H. Abeles, M.D.
Chairman & CEO
A world-class leader of numerous and successful private and publicly-traded companies, Dr. John H. Abeles is well-known within Wall Street and the biotech sector for his talent for introducing new solutions to old problems. Given his efforts in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, he has successfully orchestrated the emergence or reinventions of both small and large companies that all share one common characteristic: disruptive proprietary technology. Dr. Abeles has demonstrated a problem-solving ability that spans across the entire spectrum of the biotech industry. His unique solutions also safeguard old and new companies that are well on their way toward new eras of growth and expansion. The key to his success has always been a focus on building organizations with talented people that can sustain a growth trajectory well into the future.
Dr. Abeles was born in 1945 in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He received his Medical degree as well as a degree in Pharmacology from the University of Birmingham, England, in 1969.
He practiced Medicine in London before joining the Pharmaceutical Industry in 1971 as a Senior Medical Executive with Sterling Drug in the United Kingdom, and then relocating to the USA to work for Pfizer, Inc. and Revlon Health Care in 1973.
In 1975 he became the first, full-time Wall Street healthcare analyst with MD qualifications, at Kidder Peabody, until 1980 when he formed MedVest, Inc.
As President of MedVest, Inc., a business and financial consulting firm, Dr. Abeles was instrumental in helping promote many early stage medical and other companies; some are still private and several have emerged into the public arena. Some of those have been acquired by major industrial and financial groups.
During this time, he had a part-time, general internal medicine practice in Westport, Connecticut.
In 1982, Dr. Abeles was the Founder, Sole Investor and General Partner of Northlea Partners Ltd., a venture and private capital family partnership. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, Northlea has had numerous investments, both active and passive, in the healthcare field.
He was a Managing Member of ProMed Capital LLC, a New York investment group funding medical venture companies and investments.
Three of the most notable investments ProMed initiated are:
- Althera Medical (which brought to market a local, alpha-particle brachytherapy treatment of solid tumors);
- Allium–previously Endogun Surgical–(which developed a system for gynecology and urology surgery);
- HDH Medical (which created a stitch less vascular anastomosis system).
- Other investments include Pi-Cardia, Circ-Med, BeatMed, MediSense, ViaSurgical, MazeBolt Trendlines, Credorax, Blender, Vigor Medical and various placements at OurCrowd.
Dr. Abeles was a former Director of Althera Medical. He was also an initial investor in Vigor Medical, an early stage, emergency medical device company (Vigor comes from the same inventor associated with HDH Medical).
Dr. Abeles was a Founder, and has served on the Board, of I-Flow Corporation, a company that produces infusion devices (and was acquired by Kimberly-Clark for approximately $324 million).
He was an Advisor and past Director of DUSA Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company that manufactures dermatology and photodynamic therapy products (acquired by Sun Pharma [NSE: SUNPHARMA] for approximately $200 million).
Regarding public companies in which he is or was recently active, they include:
- Medite (OTCMKTS: MDIT), which is marketing lab equipment and researching cancer diagnostic equipment;
- Neurotrope, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRP), a company he named and founded, as well as was Chairman of. It develops human stage therapeutics for Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative conditions, in cooperation with the Blanchette Rockefeller NeuroSciences Institute (U of W Virginia).
Dr. Abeles recently founded, and is Director of, BryoLogyx, which develops biosource pharmaceuticals and derivatives with Stanford University to treat HIV infection and improve cancer immunotherapy.
Additional past associations with public companies include: his role as Founder/Director of Procyte, Inc. (an organization he named, later acquired by Photomedex [NASDAQ: PHMD]); Imre Corp (acquired by Fresenius [NYSE: FMS]) and Epitope Inc (now owned by Orasure [NASDAQ: OSUR]). He also served as a Director of, and investor in, SysteMed, a company acquired by Merck (NYSE: MRK).
Regarding private companies in which he is active, he is Chairman and Founder of Unimedica (medical education).
He is an early Investor/Director of Centaur Inc (biomedical products for large animal veterinary markets).
He is an Investor/Director of Etubics (new generation viral vectors for gene delivery), recently acquired by a prominent, private biomedical company.
He is a Founder, shareholder and Director of Insonus Medical, an advanced hearing aid company in the San Francisco Bay Area, and acquired by Sonova (VTX: SOON) of Switzerland, the leading hearing aid company in the world.
He is an investor in and Director of OHK Medical, an Israeli/USA company marketing a novel device for enabling bloodless operating fields in orthopedic surgery as well as cardiovascular emergency usage.
Dr. Abeles was a Co-Founder, past Director, and major early investor who named ContraFect Inc (NASDAQ: CFRX) (which developed an anti-infective monoclonal antibody used for immunology and lysin enzymology).
He recently was an early Investor in and joined the Board of Serpin Pharma, an early-stage, but substantially de-risked, small peptide company in the immuno-regulatory and anti-inflammatory fields.
He is also a Founder/Director of a new company, OncoLyze (novel anticancer modality through specific membrane-porating peptides)
A new biotech company Orpheus BioScience has recently been co-founded by Dr. Abeles. It is developing targeted biotherapeutics for specific autoimmune disorders.
Dr. Abeles has also recently joined the Board of CytoCom, which develops immuno-modulatory and anti-inflammatory therapies; and he became a Consultant to an affiliated public marketing company, Immune Therapeutics (OTCMKTS: IMUN), which recently has obtained approvals overseas for drugs licensed from Cytocom.
Dr. Abeles has served as an Advisory Board Member of the College of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley.
He is an external member of the SPARK program, which sponsors early stage life sciences opportunities emerging from Stanford University Medical School.
Dr. Abeles is on the Advisory Board of the Higuchi Biosciences Institute at the University of Kansas.
He is on the Board of Israel Brain Technologies, a foundation dedicated to Israeli neuroscience.
He is Director of the Institute for Music Therapy in Neurologic Function in New York, an organization devoted to scientific study of music therapy for neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric conditions.
Dr. Abeles is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, London.
He was also a Director of AlmaLinks, a growing institute committed to provide mentorship to and encourage networking among young entrepreneurs in Israel and worldwide.
He is a member of the Players Club in New York, which supports the dramatic and performing arts.
He is active in supporting charities, including Israeli (Moona; Friends of Life) and African ones.
He is an avid football (Niners) and baseball (Giants; Athletics) fan, and a fitness (exercise walking and swimming) enthusiast.
In his earlier years, he studied music at the Rhodesian Academy of Music (piano and violin). He thanks the Fates for good and worthy movies (a strong passion of his) which have illuminated his life. Dr. Abeles has been married 42 years to Mimi, a classical singer. They have three grown children (David, Lynne and Daniel), all successful NYC performing artists in drama and music. Through Dalyda Finance, the family makes investments in film and stage productions, as well as sponsoring promising young performing artists.
Ms. Griffin is one of the founders of Cytocom Inc and Immune Therapeutics and is its chief executive officer (CEO). Ms. Griffin was a vital part of the acquisition of the patents and therapies involving MENK and LDN and was involved with the inventors and patent holders for over five years before joining the team that formed what is now Immune Therapeutics. Ms. Griffin has over 25 years of industry experience, having founded and led a number of startup companies. She has played an integral role in raising multiple rounds of private and venture capital funds on behalf of clients. Ms. Griffin has owned and operated a small consulting firm located in Washington, D.C. and Florida. She has also served as CEO and vice president of a number of small public companies over the last 10 years. In addition, Ms. Griffin has experience in the administration of companies in bankruptcies. From 1998 to 2012, she was the sole officer and director of Supertrail Manufacturing Co., Inc., a private company in Aberdeen, Mississippi. From 1997 to 1999, she was chief financial officer of Environmental Remediation Holdings, Inc., a public reporting company in Lafayette, Louisiana. From 2004 to 2009, she was an advisor to Global Environmental Energy Corp., a public company, and assumed the role of sole officer for the purpose of the company’s bankruptcy. From 2007 to 2012, Ms. Griffin was CEO of pH Solutions, a private company in Boston, Massachusetts. Since 2010, she has been a partner of Griffin Enterprises Group, a firm providing chief financial officer services to its clients on a part-time basis.
Chief Financial Officer (Interim CFO)
Mr. Aronstam brings more than 30 years of experience in accounting, finance, banking, international trade, and law to Immune Therapeutics. He has held senior finance roles with growth and performance-driven enterprises—from startup technology and Internet companies to small service providers ($50 million) to very large international manufacturers ($25 billion) to global banks. Mr. Aronstam has advised and/or served as CFO in both publicly held and privately owned businesses since 1978. These include startup venture-capital-backed entrepreneurial companies; manufacturing, technology, and service companies; and corporate and international banking. Other roles have included human resources and information technology functions along with raising more than $500 million in debt and equity for his companies and their customers.
Dr. Fengping Shan
Chief Science Officer
Dr. Fengping Shan has a Ph.D. in microbiology/immunology. He is the professor of immunology and vice director of the Institute of Immunology, China Medical University, and Shenyang, China. Dr. Shan was the senior scientist for Penta Biotech and chief scientist for the Institute of Microbiological Science and Studies at the National Cancer Research Center in Paris, France. Dr. Shan is the author of 50 publications, 11 patents, and unique inventor for a thrombolytic enzyme from the earthworm. From 2000, he has worked with Dr. Nicholas Plotnikoff involving new therapy with MENK for the treatment of cancer. Patents were filed in 2010 and were approved in 2011.
Chief Medical Officer – TBD
Chief Operating Officer – TBD