Board of Directors

Christopher J. Burns, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Burns is Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Venatorx. He brings over 25 years of corporate and R&D experience within both major (RPR/Aventis) and specialty (ViroPharma,...

Dr. Burns is Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Venatorx. He brings over 25 years of corporate and R&D experience within both major (RPR/Aventis) and specialty (ViroPharma, Protez Pharmaceuticals) pharmaceutical environments. At Venatorx, Dr. Burns developed a comprehensive U.S. Government/NGO financing strategy that enabled the Company to build out a world-class antibacterials portfolio. Prior to Venatorx, Dr. Burns served as a member of the Executive Management Team and as Vice President of Research at Protez Pharmaceuticals through its acquisition by Novartis in 2008. Prior to Protez/Novartis he served as Director of Chemistry at ViroPharma, producing clinical candidates for Hepatitis C (HCV-796) and smallpox infections (Tecovirimat, licensed to and developed by Siga Technologies). Prior to this, Dr. Burns served as a core member of the Global Lead Optimization Counsel at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer/Aventis. During his 12 years at RPR/Aventis, Dr. Burns led multidisciplinary teams in bone metabolism, cardiovascular disease (in the U.S.), and oncology (in France). Dr. Burns has appeared as co-author or co-inventor on more than 60 patents and publications and has served as Principal Investigator on more than 10 awarded U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) grants. He received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1989 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under Nobel-laureate Professor K. Barry Sharpless. He currently serves on the Board of Directors at Life Sciences Pennsylvania.

Michael Diem, M.D.
Senior Vice President, Aevi Genomic Medicine

Dr. Diem is Senior Vice President, Business and Corporate Development at Aevi Genomic Medicine, heading all business and corporate development activities for the company. Mike was recently with...

Dr. Diem is Senior Vice President, Business and Corporate Development at Aevi Genomic Medicine, heading all business and corporate development activities for the company. Mike was recently with AstraZeneca as the Head of Corporate Strategy and Corporate Development, where he was responsible globally for corporate strategy, corporate development and MedImmune Ventures. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Mike was the Head of Business Development for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Rare Diseases where he was responsible for partnerships, licensing and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Earlier in his career at GSK, Mike was a partner in its corporate venture capital firm, SR One, Limited where he was responsible for many of the firm’s investments and served on the boards of numerous companies. Prior to GSK, Mike was an associate at Frantz Medical Ventures and practiced medicine for 6 years.

Dr. Diem holds a BA in biological sciences from Rutgers University, an MD from the Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, completed his medical training at Duke University Medical Center and is an alumnus of the Kauffman Fellows Program.

Vincent Milano
Chief Executive Officer, Idera Pharmaceuticals

Vincent Milano joined Idera as Chief Executive Officer in December 2014. Mr. Milano was most recently ViroPharma’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Directors from...

Vincent Milano joined Idera as Chief Executive Officer in December 2014. Mr. Milano was most recently ViroPharma’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board of Directors from March 2008 through February 2014. He joined the company in 1996 and served as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer from 1997 to 2006. In 2006, he assumed the role of Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Milano was instrumental in building ViroPharma, including leading efforts in raising nearly $900 million in capital and the acquisition of Vancocin(R) from Eli Lilly and Company. He played a critical role in all business development and investor relations activities of the company, and contributed significantly to establishing the strategic direction of the company. Prior to joining ViroPharma, he was with KPMG LLP, independent certified public accountants, where he served as Senior Manager.

Mr. Milano received his bachelor of science degree in accounting from Rider College.

Carlo Rizzuto, Ph.D.
Partner, Versant Ventures

Carlo Rizzuto is a Partner with Versant Ventures and focuses on biotech investing and company building. Carlo joined Versant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals where he led global product development...

Carlo Rizzuto is a Partner with Versant Ventures and focuses on biotech investing and company building. Carlo joined Versant from Novartis Pharmaceuticals where he led global product development teams in the advancement of innovative pipeline products. He previously held the position of Associate Principal with McKinsey & Company advising US and European clients in the pharmaceutical, payor and provider sectors. Prior to joining McKinsey, Carlo helped found engeneOS, a Boston-based biotech startup. Carlo received a PhD in Virology from Harvard University and a BA in Biology from the University of Virginia.

Tim Haines
Chairman and Managing Director at Abingworth

Tim has more than 25 years of international management experience in the life sciences industry in both public and private companies. During his time at Abingworth Tim has taken board roles in a...

Tim has more than 25 years of international management experience in the life sciences industry in both public and private companies. During his time at Abingworth Tim has taken board roles in a number of companies including Astex, Fovea, GammaDelta Therapeutics, MEDIAN Technologies, PowderMed, Sientra, Virion and Adaptate Biotherapeutics.

Before joining Abingworth in 2005 he was Chief Executive of the Abingworth portfolio company, Astex Therapeutics. Tim was with Astex for over five years and was instrumental in establishing it as one of the leading UK biotechnology companies. Previously, Tim was Chief Executive of two divisions of the publicly-listed medical technology company, Datascope Corp. Prior to Datascope, he held a number of other senior management positions in the US and Europe, including CEO of Thackray Inc and General Manager Baxter UK. Tim has a BSc from Exeter University and an MBA from INSEAD. He is a former Director of the BIA and sat on the BVCA Venture Committee and the Wellcome Trust / NHS Health Innovation Challenge Fund.

Tony Wiemelt, Ph.D. (Board Observer)
Director, Foresite Capital

Tony has worked in the pharmaceutical/healthcare industry for more than 15 years as a project and portfolio management leader. At Foresite Capital, he is a member of the investment team and focuses...

Tony has worked in the pharmaceutical/healthcare industry for more than 15 years as a project and portfolio management leader. At Foresite Capital, he is a member of the investment team and focuses on company research and due diligence.

He joined Foresite Capital from University of Pennsylvania Health System, where he was the Chief Administrative Officer for Precision Medicine. While at Penn, Tony developed and implemented detailed business plans for strategic, programmatic, and operational aspects of Penn Medicine’s Precision Medicine program across multiple clinical areas, including Oncology, Cardiovascular, Ob/Gyn, and Neurology.

Prior to Penn, Tony worked at Merck Research Laboratories across multiple therapeutic areas and was the project/portfolio manager for development projects across all phases of development. Within Global Project Management, Tony held positions as Director, Infectious Disease Portfolio as well as the Director, Oncology Portfolio, two of Merck’s key franchises. In addition, Tony was responsible for coordinating project management of the scientific due diligence for all potential licensing candidates for Merck Research Laboratories.

Tony received his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania. His research focused on the role of second messenger systems (cyclic AMP) in the regulation of development of neural supportive tissues (oligodendrocytes). He completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the Department of Cell & Molecular Biology, University of Pennsylvania, where he explored zebrafish neural development and the role of bone morphogenetic proteins in the specification of neural tissues and mechanisms of gene action in early neural patterning.