Chair of the Board
Anthony J. Giovinazzo is an internationally recognized expert in intellectual property, drug development and commercialization, including numerous licensing agreements, with more than 25 years’ experience in Central Nervous System diseases. Most recently, he was co-inventor, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Cynapsus Therapeutics, a NASDAQ listed specialty pharmaceutical company that developed the first successful sublingual apomorphine thin film strip for Parkinson’s disease, the drug today known as Kynmobi, was approved for commercialization by the FDA and Health Canada in 2020. At Cynapsus, Mr. Giovianazzo built the leadership team, raised US $136 million including an over-subscribed IPO and NASDAQ and led the negotiations with several pharmaceutical companies that resulted in the CAD $841 million all cash acquisition by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals (Dainippon Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals), a 120% premium to market close on the day of announcement.
Mr. Giovinazzo is the co-author of several peer reviewed papers and author of several papers on strategic and financing issues in the biopharmaceutical industry. He was a Canadian finalist in Life Sciences for the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year (2014). In 2017, he was the recipient of the Finance Monthly Game Changers award and an inaugural recipient of the Bloom Burton Award, which honors a single winner from several candidates, as the best of the best in Canadian Life Sciences as judged by a panel of US experts. He is a Chartered Director and Audit Committee Certified, both from The Directors College, a degree granting affiliate of McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. He also completed the Leadership and Strategy in Pharmaceuticals and Biotech from Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts in 2006, a Masters of Business Administration from IMD, Geneva, Switzerland in 1986, a Graduate Certificate Studies in Canadian Law from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Ontario in 1984, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Accounting from McMaster University in 1978.
Dr. Allen W. Davidoff, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Allen Davidoff (15 years drug development experience) is the founder and CEO of XORTX. Allen has a broad range of clinical and regulatory experience and senior management experience in pharmaceutical R&D including two investigational new drug (“IND”) applications or supplemental IND’s, two phase I studies (four of which were multi-country), seven phase II studies, and one NDA. Prior to forming XORTX, Allen was the Chief Scientific Officer, VP Product Development and co-founder of Stem Cell Therapeutics Corp. (seven years) ( Trillium TRIL:NASDAQ) and Senior Scientist and Head of Pharmacology at Cardiome Pharma Corp.
Ray Pratt, M.D.
Dr. Pratt is an accomplished Physician Executive in clinical medicine, Nephrology, drug development, and pharmaceutical industries. He has extensive experience troubleshooting issues concerning regulatory approval of drugs and devices and providing development strategies for global pharmaceutical companies. Ray is Chief Development Officer Rockwell Medical, Inc. since November 2019 and previously served as Chief Medical Officer since April 2012. Prior to Rockwell , from 2003 to 2010, Dr. Pratt worked at Shire, where he served in various roles including Vice President of R&D, Scientific Leader of Emerging Business and Renal Business Units, Vice President of Global Clinical Medicine and Global Clinical Affairs and Head of U.S. Clinical Development. While at Shire, Dr. Pratt was instrumental in the FDA approval of Fosrenol ESRD indication and CKD non-dialysis indication in the European Union and United States. He has managed 10 different drugs through all stages of global development for renal and other indications and has extensive experience appearing before the FDA. Prior to Shire, Dr. Pratt was Senior Director of Clinical Research and Development and Head of Central Nervous System and Internal Medicine Clinical Development at Eisai Medical Research for 9 years. He also previously served as an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University and Cornell Medical College in the Department of Medicine and Nephrology, and as the Assistant Chief of Nephrology and Director of Dialysis Services at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Dr. Pratt received his M.D. from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and completed his nephrology fellowship at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Bill Farley has over 35 years experience in the Business Development, Sales and leading efforts in drug discovery, development and partnering. Prior to joining the board of directors of XORTX, Mr. Farley held a senior leadership position at Sorrento Therapeutics. Bill, began his career at Johnson and Johnson and has also held senior management positions at Pfizer and HitGen Ltd. and Vice President, WuXi Apptec, Inc. creating, building and leading global business development teams, and Vice President, Business Development at ChemDiv where he led numerous efforts to create new therapeutic companies in CNS, Oncology and Anti infectives. Mr. Farley serves on the board of directors of SOMA and as a consultant to various executive management teams as well as advising several board of directors on commercialization of assets. Mr. Farley has spoken at numerous conferences and is published in variety of journals. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from State University of New York, Oswego and graduate courses at Rutgers and University of California, Irvine.
Ian Klassen brings almost 30 years of business management, public relations and government affairs experience to XORTX. He has extensive experience in the administration of public companies, finance, government policy, media relationship strategies, business/government project management and legislative decision-making. He previously served as Chief of Staff to the Canadian Speaker of the House of Commons. He is currently the President & CEO of two gold exploration companies listed on the TSX Venture Exchange and was a founding director of Canabo Medical Corp. a public company which for a period of time operated Canada’s largest group of physician-led referral-only clinics for medical cannabis. Canabo completed a business combination with Aleafia Health Inc. in March 2018. Ian has extensive experience chairing governance, audit, risk assessment and compensation committees. He holds a B.A. (Honours) from the University of Western Ontario and is a recipient of the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada in recognition of his significant contribution to his community and country.
Paul Van Damme, B COMM, CPA, MBA
Paul Van Damme has held senior positions with a number of Canadian and US public companies. His experience focused on the biotech industry in Toronto when he joined GlycoDesign, a private biotech company. While at Allelix Pharmaceuticals Inc., he participated in the sale of that company to NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Paul is Managing Director, WCM Capital, a Director of OncoQuest Inc. and Chief Financial Officer for Structural Genomics Consortium, a UK-based charity. He holds a B.Comm. from the University of Toronto and a MBA from the Rotman School of Management. A Chartered Professional Accountant who worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers in its Toronto and London, UK offices, he has also been appointed Chair of the XORTX Audit Committee.