Board of Directors
 
Alan Crane
Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Navitor, Partner and Entrepreneur, Polaris Partners

Alan Crane joined Polaris Partners in 2002 as an Entrepreneur Partner. In this role, he focuses on building and investing in healthcare companies. He has served as founder and/or has played a significant role as chairman and CEO in building seven Polaris companies including: Momenta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MNTA), Cerulean Pharma (acquired by Dare Bioscience, NASDAQ:DARE), Visterra, Navitor Pharmaceuticals, XTuit Pharmaceuticals, Arsia Therapeutics (acquired by Eagle Pharmaceuticals), and Pandion Therapeutics. In addition, he currently serves on the board of KSQ Therapeutics, Seventh Sense Biosystems and has previously represented Polaris on the boards of T2 Biosystems (NASDAQ: TTOO), Ocular Therapeutix (NASDAQ: OCUL), Sirtris Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SIRT, acquired by Glaxo SmithKline) and Adnexus Therapeutics (Bristol Myers Squibb). From 2002 to 2006, Alan was President and CEO of Momenta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MNTA). He joined Momenta as the fifth employee and built it into a public company, creating an advanced and diversified pipeline, entering into two strategic collaborations with Novartis and raising $275 million. The first product from Momenta’s pipeline achieved over $1B during its first year of sales.

Prior to Polaris, Alan was Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for leading Millennium’s strategic partnering, mergers and acquisitions, and licensing activities, generating over $2B in partner funding and acquiring 19 development stage products. Among these products was Velcade® which became the main basis of the company’s $9B acquisition by Takeda. Before joining Millennium, Alan was a marketing executive at DuPont-Merck and a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and Arthur D. Little.

Alan received the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award for New England and is an Always-On Venture Capital 100 recipient. His current and former non-profit positions include: Selection Committee for the Harvard Life Lab, Expert-in-Residence at the Harvard School of Engineering, Board Member of the Boston Children’s Hospital Trust, Founder and Vice Chair of the Autism Consortium, and President of the Board of Gann Academy.

Alan earned a BA in Biology, summa cum laude, from Harvard College, an MA in Cellular and Developmental Biology from Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and an MBA, with honors, from Harvard Business School. He also spent two years studying towards an MD at Harvard Medical School.

Alan enjoys spending his free time traveling with his wife and three sons and working with non-profits in education and healthcare.

 
Kevin Bitterman
Partner, Atlas Venture

Dr. Bitterman is a Partner at Atlas Ventures.  He was the founding CEO of Editas Medicine (NASDAQ: EDIT), Morphic Therapeutic and Visterra, and co-founded Genocea Biosciences (NASDAQ: GNCA). He previously served as a director of InSeal Medical, Kala Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: KALA), Neuronetics, Taris Biomedical (acquired by Allergan) and Vets First Choice among other ventures. Prior to joining Atlas Venture in 2017, Dr. Bitterman was a partner at Polaris Partners, where he had been a member of the healthcare team since 2004. He received a BA in biology, summa cum laude, from Rutgers University before completing his PhD in genetics at Harvard Medical School.  He has published numerous scientific articles and is an inventor on several issued patents.

 
John Creesy
Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Remeditex Venture

Mr. Creecy is Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Remeditex Ventures after serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Hunt Petroleum Corporation. Prior to that, Mr. Creecy served as Chief Operating Officer of Hodges Company, Inc. Mr. Creecy is a Graduate of Texas Tech University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and holds a Master of Science Degree in Tax from North Texas State University (Now the University of North Texas). Mr. Creecy is a member of both the Dallas Assembly and the Dallas Citizens Council, civic organizations comprised of business leaders in Dallas.

 
Paul Friedman, MD
Independent Director, Former President & CEO, Incyte Corporation

Dr. Friedman has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Madrigal Pharmaceuticals since July 2016. Dr. Friedman served as Chief Executive Officer of Incyte from 2001 and was President of the company from 2004 until his retirement in January 2014. From 1998 until October 2001, Dr. Friedman served as President of DuPont Pharmaceuticals Research Laboratories, a wholly owned subsidiary of DuPont Pharmaceuticals Company (formerly The DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company), from 1994 to 1998 he served as President of Research and Development of The DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company, and from 1991 to 1994 he served as Senior Vice President at Merck Research Laboratories. Prior to his work at Merck and DuPont, Dr. Friedman was an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Friedman is a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation. Dr. Friedman is also a director of public companies Incyte Corporation, Cerulean Pharma, Synta Pharmaceuticals and Verastem, and private biopharmaceutical company Gliknik. Dr. Friedman was a director of Bausch & Lomb, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Durata Therapeutics and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals until the acquisition of each of these companies. Dr. Friedman received his AB in Biology from Princeton University and his MD from Harvard Medical School.

 
Brian Gallagher, PhD
Partner, SR One

Brian M. Gallagher, Jr., PhD is a Partner at SR One Ltd. He established the SR One Boston office in 2010, and is focused on building innovative therapeutic and life science companies. In addition to Navitor, Dr. Gallagher currently represents SR One on the boards of Aileron Therapeutics, CalciMedica, Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Nimbus Discovery, RaNA Therapeutics, and River Vision. He previously led the firm’s investments in Dicerna Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: DRNA) and SpringLeaf Therapeutics. Dr. Gallagher has more than 15 years of investing, business development, operational and R&D experience in both biotechnology and large pharma companies. He joined SR One from Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for corporate development and operations, as well as post-merger integration following the $720M acquisition of Sirtris by GlaxoSmithKline in 2008. Prior to Sirtris, Dr. Gallagher was with Alantos Pharmaceuticals, where he played key roles in R&D and business development activities and led many aspects of the post-merger integration following the $300M acquisition of Alantos by Amgen in 2007.

Dr. Gallagher began his career in R&D at the Japanese pharma Eisai, where he was a group leader for multiple programs in the oncology and inflammation/immunology therapeutic areas. He is an inventor on over 25 patents and patent applications and is the senior author of a number of scientific publications. He currently serves on the industry advisory boards for New York University Medical School and the National Brain Tumor Society and is a mentor for MassBio MassCONNECT and a peer reviewer/editorial board member for numerous journals and research funding authorities.

Dr. Gallagher received his BS in Chemistry from The University of Massachusetts, where he was a Shapiro scholar, and his MS and PhD degrees in Organic Chemistry from The University of Michigan.

 
David M. Madden
Independent Director, Founder and Principal, Narrow River Management, LP

David Madden is a pharmaceutical industry veteran. He is founder and principal with Narrow River Management, LP, an investment management company with a focus on equity investment in, and management of, drug development projects. Since 2009, he has served as chairman of the board of directors of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals.

From 2000 to 2003, Mr. Madden was co-CEO of Royalty Pharma AG, a private investment management firm specializing in the acquisition of royalty interests in pharmaceutical products. Prior to that position, he was a managing member of Pharmaceutical Partners, LLC, and was president, CEO and a director of Selectide Corporation, a development-stage pharmaceutical company, which was acquired by Marion Merrill Dow in 1995. Additionally, Mr. Madden served as chairman of the board of Adolor Corporation, and is a member of the board of directors of the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Mr. Madden holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Union College and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

 
Marian Nakada, PhD
Vice President, Venture Investments, Johnson & Johnson Innovation–JJDC, Inc.

Marian Nakada, PhD, joined Johnson & Johnson Innovation–JJDC, Inc. in 2013. She is based in Boston, Mass.

Previously, Dr. Nakada was Vice President of Strategy & Operations and External Innovation for Johnson & Johnson’s Biotechnology CoE, where she helped drive the development and execution of the biotechnology strategy across Janssen R&D. In her role as External Innovation lead, she nurtured many productive partnerships with external partners in the biotech industry and helped build an external innovation network to complement internal research and support the execution of the Janssen R&D Biologics strategy.

Dr. Nakada joined Centocor in 1990, as a scientist, performing basic research related to biologics for inflammatory and cardiovascular indications. In 2001, she took on the leadership of the newly formed Oncology Research group at Centocor. In 2007, Dr. Nakada joined the Business Development group, where she participated in executing technology licenses for the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals group. In that role, she identified and championed external technology opportunities to ensure that Centocor’s technologies were competitive with the industry.

Dr. Nakada has authored 62 peer-reviewed publications and 14 book chapters and reviews. She holds a BA in Biology from Harvard College and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Pennsylvania.

 
Vinzenz Ploerer
President & CEO, Brace Pharma Capital, LLC

Vinzenz Ploerer is Brace Pharma Capital’s President and CEO, and sits on the Board of Directors. Vinzenz has worked as a life science executive for over 20 years, and brings extensive leadership experience in operations, acquisitions and business development. Prior to launching Brace in 2013, he worked at EMS S/A as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Operations. He has also held multiple senior leadership positions at Novartis/Sandoz including various country head roles. Vinzenz currently sits on several corporate boards including GeNO, Therabron, Tyrogenex and Navitor. Vinzenz obtained his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Innsbruck.

 
George Vlasuk, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer of Navitor

George Vlasuk is a scientifically trained executive with nearly 30 years of leadership experience in drug discovery and development at small and large biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Before joining Navitor, Dr. Vlasuk served as Chief Executive Officer of Sirtris, a GlaxoSmithKline Company, from 2009 to 2013. Prior to Sirtris, Dr. Vlasuk was the Vice President, Metabolic Disease and Hemophilia Research, at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Earlier at Wyeth, Dr. Vlasuk led the areas of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (CVMD), focusing on Type 2 diabetes, obesity, diabetic complications, heart failure, dyslipidemia/ atherosclerosis and cardiac arrhythmia.

Prior to Wyeth, Dr. Vlasuk served as Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development at the biopharmaceutical company Corvas International, from 1991 until 2003, following the merger of Corvas and Dendreon Corporation. While at Corvas, he directed research in the discovery, pre-clinical and clinical evaluations of novel anti-thrombotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor agents. As a member of the senior management team and the board of directors at Corvas, Dr. Vlasuk represented Corvas in discussions with potential corporate partners, public and private investors and equity analysts.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Vlasuk led a research team at Merck and Co., and was responsible for multiple discovery programs in the field of cardiovascular medicine. Prior to Merck, Dr. Vlasuk was a researcher in small proteins and peptide compounds at California Biotechnology Inc. (now Scios, part of Johnson & Johnson), where he joined as one of the first 20 employees before the initial public offering. Dr. Vlasuk received his undergraduate degree in Clinical Chemistry from The University of South Florida and his PhD in Chemistry/Biochemistry from Kent State University. He received postdoctoral training in molecular biology at The State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he received a three-year fellowship from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Vlasuk is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, book chapters and reviews and 38 issued U.S. and foreign patents.

Back to Top