Frédéric Lemaitre Auger, MBA, PhD
Senior Director, Investment, Accel-Rx

Frédéric is currently Senior Director, Investments at Accel-Rx. Prior to this he was with Desjardins Venture Capital and CDP Capital – Technology Venture (Sofinov) where he was involved in both biopharmaceutical and medical device deals. At Sofinov, he was involved in investments such as NuVasive, Inhibitex, IntraLuminal Therapeutics, Acurian, and TransMedics. While at Desjardins, he showed significant leadership in the creation and management of a profitable early-stage health sciences investment portfolio that included, amongst others, BioAxone Therapeutics, Enobia Pharma, and Tranzyme. In recent years, Frédéric was involved in project-based investments, as well as developing licensing and spin-off opportunities at MSBi Valorisation (now Aligo Innovation). He has served on the board of directors of many health sciences company and has been involved on organizing committees of conferences such as MedTech North and Advamed.

Frédéric holds an MBA in Finance and International Management from HEC Montréal, a MSc in Organic Chemistry and a PhD in Polymer Physical Chemistry, both from Université de Montréal.

Jonathon Jafari, MSc, MBA
Senior Director, Business Development, Centre for Drug Research & Development

As Senior Director, Business Development, Mr. Jafari has been involved in many of CDRD’s startups, including Kairos Therapeutics (which was sold to Zymeworks), Sitka Biopharma, and Zucara. In addition he is the Chief Business Officer and interim Chief Executive Officer for Sepset Biosciences. Prior to joining CDRD, he spent eight years in progressive business development and strategic marketing roles at QLT Inc. Prior to QLT, Mr. Jafari worked for Eli Lilly in the Business Development Market Assessment group and provided market evaluations and sales forecasts for licensing and M&A opportunities.   Mr. Jafari also had research roles at Indiana University in molecular evolution and in tumor targeting at Genetic Therapy Inc., which was a gene therapy company that was acquired by Sandoz, now Novartis.

Mr. Jafari received his BSc Biology and MBA from Indiana University and his MSc Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University.

Michael Midmer, MSc, MBA
Chief Executive Officer, Zucara Therapeutics

Michael has over 15 years of experience in the life science industry, fund management and corporate finance. Michael was formerly the Director of the Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) at Genome Canada. The GAPP program funded partnerships between industry and academia including companies such as Xagenic, Vasomune, Assurex and Roche.

Before joining Genome Canada, Michael was a Director at Rosetta Capital, an international venture capital firm, where he managed a portfolio of over 30 companies in North America and Europe including company exits such as Enobia, Cytochroma, Ambit and Resonant. Michael was also Business Development Manager at KS Biomedix and was Investor Relations Manager at Cardiome Pharma. In addition, Michael has been a board member for several companies and was the Chair of a not-for-profit board.

Michael has an MSc in molecular biology from the University of Toronto (Canada) and an MBA from Imperial College Business School (UK). He has also completed the Canadian Securities Course.

Parimal Nathwani, MSc, MBA
Vice President, Life Sciences, MaRS Innovation

Parimal Nathwani has over 15 years of experience in various aspects of the biotechnology industry, including corporate finance, business development, transactions, intellectual property management, technology development and operations. He has been actively involved in forming and managing start-ups, preparing and executing on business plans, raising early-stage capital, and in- and out-licensing activities.

Before joining MaRS Innovation, Parimal was a healthcare analyst with a boutique investment bank, where he conducted equity research on publicly-traded biotechnology companies in Canada and the U.S. He has also led commercialization activities out of BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital as part of his role at the University of British Columbia’s Industry Liaison Office, and was a research scientist at a start-up biotechnology company involved in drug discovery targeting ABC Transporters.

Parimal received his MBA from Simon Fraser University and his M.Sc. from the University of British Columbia.  He currently sits on the board of ScarX Therapeutics (Chairman), Zucara Therapeutics, and is an observer on the boards of Encycle Therapeutics and Vasomune Therapeutics.

Claude Piche, PhD
Co-Creator and CEO, Locemia Solutions

As Co-Founder, President and CEO of Locemia Solutions, Dr. Piché led the company from start up through to completion of phase III clinical studies, ultimately resulting in the sale of its glucagon nasal powder technology to Eli Lilly in October 2015. He has over 25 years of experience in developing and commercializing pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and diagnostics, including more than 15 years where he focused on diabetes therapeutics and hypoglycemia-related technologies. He has worked at large companies such as Merck, as well as start-up biopharmaceutical companies where he had roles in research, regulatory affairs, marketing, and operations.