Board of Directors
Michael F. Bigham
Michael has 14 years of operational experience and six years investment banking experience in life science companies and has been with Abingworth since 2002. He was formerly Vice Chairman of Corixa and was President and Chief Executive of Coulter Pharmaceuticals from 1996 until it merged into Corixa in 2000. Previously, he was an early employee at Gilead Sciences, where he spent eight years serving in various capacities, including Executive Vice President of Operations and CFO. Before joining Gilead, Michael was a partner at Hambrecht & Quist, where he became Co-Head of Healthcare Investment Banking. His directorships have included Avila Therapeutics, Magellan, Primera Biosystems, Supernus Pharmaceuticals and Valeritas. Michael has a BS Degree in Commerce from the University of Virginia and qualified as a CPA before completing his MBA at Stanford University. He is responsible for Abingworth’s Boston office and focuses on growth equity and East Coast venture deals.
Managing Partner, SCP Vitalife
Jeff has been a Managing Partner with Vitalife since 2002. At Vitalife he has had a lead role in managing its investments, including arranging financings. He came to Vitalife with over 25 years experience in finance, business development and general management in global growth companies and startups. Prior to joining Vitalife, he was recruited by Sequoia Capital to be Chairman and CEO of BitBand, an IP broadband start up, and successfully turned that company around. He has a B.S. in accounting and management from New York University and an MBA in computer applications also from New York University. Jeff is also licensed in New York state as a certified public accountant.
Phil Ferneau, JD
Managing Director and Co-Founder, Borealis Ventures
Phil capitalizes on his 10 years of experience networking with entrepreneurs associated with Dartmouth College to identify the most promising opportunities for commercializing technology. He moved to Borealis Ventures from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, where he was the founding executive director of the Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship and an adjunct professor on venture capital and entrepreneurship.
Earlier in private legal practice, he counseled technology startups, Fortune 500 companies and foreign governments on sensitive trade, tax and investment matters.
Jason Hong, PhD
Principal, Third Point LLC
Jason joined Third Point in 2011 and is responsible for public and private healthcare investments across all subsectors. Before joining Third Point, Jason worked previously at Goldman Sachs, Polygon Investment Partners and Sanford C. Bernstein. Prior to Bernstein, Jason spent four years at McKinsey & Company, working with global healthcare companies in the areas of business development, post-merger integration and clinical program development. He has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University, and holds a B.S. with Honors in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology.
M. Carl Johnson
Executive Vice President, Brands, Del Monte Foods
Carl has operating responsibility for Del Monte’s pet brands and the majority of its consumer brands, marketing and consumer insights groups, marketing services, research & development and innovation. Prior to Del Monte, Carl worked at Campbell Soup Company where he ran three successively larger business divisions. Among them, he led the three-year transformation of the $2.5 billion New Meals Division, restoring earnings momentum and achieving record, high-operating income growth.
Prior to Campbell Soup Company, Carl held senior management positions at Kraft, Marketing Corporation of America, Polaroid and Colgate-Palmolive.
Joe Mandato, PhD
Managing Director, De Novo Ventures
Joe has held senior positions with several leading medical device and technology firms. He joined De Novo Ventures as managing director in 2003. Joe also is an adjunct faculty member of the University of San Francisco Graduate School of Management and co-professor of the course, Medical Device Innovation, at Stanford University.
Among other responsibilities, he has served as chairman of Confer Software, a developer of software used to create efficiencies and streamline processes in healthcare and as president and CEO of Origin Medsystems, a developer of minimally invasive surgical devices for use in general, cardio-thoracic, and ob-gyn surgery, which was acquired by Eli Lilly & Company in 1992 and spun out as one of the units which formed Guidant Corporation in 1995. At Guidant, Joe was a member of the founding management committee and CEO of two of its five operating units, Origin and Heart Rhythm Technology.
Earlier in his career, he was CEO of Ioptex Research, a developer of intraocular lenses used in cataract surgery, which was acquired by Smith & Nephew PLC. He joined Ioptex from Cilco AG, a unit of Rorer Group, where he served as CEO. He began his career in healthcare as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps.
David Muller, PhD
President & Chief Executive Officer, Avedro
Dr. Muller, a proven serial entrepreneur, recognized the potential of using advanced methods to gently reshape the cornea and in 2007 founded Avedro, Inc., where he serves as CEO. Under his direction, Avedro has pioneered numerous advances in the field of cross-linking, including Accelerated Cross-Linking, pulsed illumination, Lasik Xtra®, and Photorefractive Intrastromal Cross-Linking (PiXL™). Previously, as the founder, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Summit Technology, Dr. Muller led the team that brought the first FDA-approved excimer laser to market and laser vision correction eye surgery to tens of millions of people around the world. He is the author of publications in the areas of photochemistry and excimer laser development, as well as the inventor of numerous patents in the medical device field. In addition, he has established companies in other industries, including internet commerce, homeland security and specialty foods. Dr. Muller earned a doctorate in Physical Chemistry from Cornell University and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Anthony Natale, MD
Venture Partner, PrismVentureWorks
Tony has invested across a number of therapeutic areas, including orthopedics, interventional medicine, radiation oncology, minimally invasive technologies, neurology, robotics and women’s health.
He blends extensive business, investment, and company formation experience with a surgical background in clinical medicine. Currently a principal with PrismVentureWorks, he focuses on medical device investments for the firm.
A committed board member, Tony works alongside entrepreneurs to build out management teams, establish effective corporate governance and bring operational discipline to R&D and early commercialization efforts.
Robert J. Palmisano
President & CEO, Wright Medical Group, Inc.
Mr. Palmisano joined Wright as President & CEO in September of 2011. He has significant experience leading publicly-traded medical device companies, most recently serving as President & CEO of ev3, Inc., a global endovascular device company, from April 2008 to July 2010, when it was acquired by Covidien plc. Prior to leading ev3, Mr. Palmisano was President & CEO of IntraLase Corp. from 2003 to 2007 and previously President & CEO of MacroChem Corporation from 2001 to 2003. Earlier in his career, he served as President & CEO of Summit Technology Inc. until it was acquired by Alcon Inc. and in various executive positions at Bausch & Lomb Incorporated. Mr. Palmisano currently serves on the Providence College Board of Trustees. During the past five years, Mr. Palmisano previously served on the Board of Directors of Bausch & Lomb, a privately-held company, and ev3, Inc., Osteotech, Inc., and Abbott Medical Options, Inc., all public companies. Mr. Palmisano holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from Providence College.