Avtar Dhillon, MD
Dr. Dhillon is a life sciences entrepreneur with more than 35 years of experience. As a founder/co-founder or lead investor in dozens of life science companies, he has raised more than $1B in public and private financings. As President and CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO), Dr. Dhillon led a turnaround with multiple successful financings and licensing deals with Merck, Wyeth (now Pfizer) and Roche. Before joining Inovio, he was Vice President of MDS Capital Corp. (now Lumira Capital Corp.). Dr. Dhillon now serves as an active board member and chairman for multiple life science and investment companies and is Chairman of the Cannabis Canada Council. Prior to his business career, Dr. Dhillon practiced family medicine. He has a BSc (Honours) in Human Physiology and an MD from the University of British Columbia.
Brian Murphy, MD, MPH, MBA, MS
Chief Executive Officer, Chief Medical Officer and Director
Dr. Murphy has more than 20 years of experience in drug development and evaluation. Most recently he served as the Chief Medical Officer of Eiger Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: EIGR), and prior to that held the same position at Bausch Health Companies (NYSE: BHC; formerly Valeant Pharmaceuticals International). Dr. Murphy has also served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing-Hepatology at InterMune, Inc., and Medical Director of North America (Anti-Infectives and Transplant) at Hoffmann-LaRoche, as well as Assistant Professor of Medicine at New York Medical College and Director of the Clinical Strategies Programs at St. Vincent's Hospital in New York City. He is board-certified in internal medicine, and earned his MD, MPH (general public health), and MS (pharmacology) degrees from New York Medical College and is a graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health (MPH in Health Policy and Management). He earned his MBA at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. Dr. Murphy also completed parallel fellowships in clinical epidemiology/infectious diseases and medical ethics at Harvard affiliates, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, respectively.
Mr. Dhillon is the co-founder and director of OncoSec Medical Incorporated, a leading biopharmaceutical company developing cancer immunotherapies for the treatment of solid tumors. Prior to OncoSec, he served as Vice President of Finance and Operations at Inovio Pharmaceuticals, where he raised over $160 million through multiple financings and several licensing transactions. His management experience spans corporate finance, M&A integration, in-licensing of key intellectual property, strategy implementation, corporate transactions and collaborations with leading universities and key global opinion leaders. Mr. Dhillon also the co-founded BeCancerPositive.org, an online community for cancer patients. In 2014, he was a finalist in Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” competition. Mr. Dhillon holds a BA (Honors) in political science and a minor in business administration from Simon Fraser University.
Jim Heppell, LLB
Mr. Heppell is the co-founder, President and Director of BC Advantage Funds (VCC) Ltd., a venture fund that invests in and builds technology, life science and clean technology companies. His first fund, the Advantage Life Sciences I Fund, won the Canadian Venture Capital Deal of the Year Award in 2006. Earlier in his career, he practiced corporate securities law with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin and later served as President and CEO of Catalyst Corporate Finance Lawyers. Mr. Heppell has also helped to build a number of life science companies, including Aspreva Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Galenica Ltd. SW: GALN), Immgenics (acquired by Amgen NASDAQ: AMGN), Inovio Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INO), and Sophiris Bio Inc. (NASDAQ: SPHS). He earned a BSc in microbiology and a law degree from the University of British Columbia.