Consonance-HFW Acquisition Corp.
- Life Sciences, Biotech
Dr. Mitchell Blutt, M.D., our Chairman , is the founder and CEO of Consonance Capital, founder, CEO and Chairman of the Investment Committee of Consonance Capital Management, and a Co-Managing Partner and co-founder of Consonance Capital Partners. Prior to founding Consonance Capital Management in 2007, he was Executive Partner at JP Morgan Partners, or JPMP, from 1992 until 2004. In addition to his general management responsibilities across JPMP, Dr. Blutt founded and led JPMP’s healthcare group for nearly 18 years, including its private equity and venture capital platforms. He was one of the earliest employees at Chemical Venture Partners, the predecessor to JPMP, joining in 1987. Dr. Blutt currently sits on the board of directors of the Commonwealth Fund, a health policy research foundation. He is also on the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences as well as the Wharton School. Dr. Blutt currently serves or formerly served on 38 healthcare corporate boards of directors including numerous public and venture stage company boards of directors. He also formerly served on the board of directors of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the board of trustees of Penn Medicine (the University of Pennsylvania Health System), the board of trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, and the board of directors of The Brearley School. Dr. Blutt is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, in the Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is on the New York Weill Cornell Council and the Dean’s Council of the Weil Cornell Medical College as well as the board of overseers of Weill from Cornell Medical College. Dr. Blutt holds BA and MD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He received his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania through the Clinical Scholars Fellowship sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He completed his medical residency at the New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College. We believe that Dr. Blutt's experience in the medical and healthcare industries, combined with his extensive investment and management skills, qualifies Dr. Blutt to serve on our board of directors.
Gad Soffer, our CEO , was previously Chief Operating Officer, or COO, at Rheos Medicines, Inc., a Third Rock Ventures-funded startup launched in 2018. Prior to joining Rheos, Mr. Soffer was part of the founding team at Atara Biotherapeutics, a Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, Domain Associates-funded startup where he served initially as COO and then Chief Strategy Officer, or CSO. At Atara, Mr. Soffer led the strategic evaluation and in-licensing of the company’s allogeneic T cell therapy platform as well as the subsequent identification and licensing of technologies leading to the development of its off-the-shelf CAR-T programs. Prior to joining Atara, Mr. Soffer worked at Celgene Corporation as Executive Director and Global Project Leader where he led the team responsible for product development and lifecycle management for Abraxane, a breast, lung, and pancreatic cancer treatment also in development for a variety of solid tumors. He also served as Director of Business Development at Celgene where he drove and supported numerous business development transactions including its strategic collaboration with Agios Pharmaceuticals and the acquisition of Abraxis Biosciences while advising on venture investment and strategic partnerships. Earlier, Mr. Soffer was a healthcare consultant with Easton Associates. He earned an MBA. from Harvard Business School, an MS from Columbia University and an AB from Harvard University.
Kevin Livingston, our CFO , is a Co-Founder, Partner, and Member of the Investment Committee of Consonance Capital Management. Prior to joining Consonance Capital Management, Mr. Livingston was a Managing Director in the Investment Management Division at U.S. Trust Company of New York. At U.S. Trust, Mr. Livingston managed client capital in discretionary multi-manager portfolios, and was a Member of the Open Architecture Investment Committee. Mr. Livingston currently serves on the board of directors of DC Safety. He is a trustee of Alfred University and serves as the Chair of the Investment Committee. Kevin is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of Alfred University, where he received his BS. He also received his Executive MBA from Columbia Business School.
Dr. Benny Soffer, M.D. has agreed to serve on our Board of Directors following the completion of this offering. Dr. Soffer is a Co-Founder, Partner, CIO, Portfolio Manager, and Member of the Investment Committee of Consonance Capital Management. Prior to joining Consonance Capital Management, Dr. Soffer completed a residency in internal medicine at Yale School of Medicine and served in a variety of managerial roles at Yale New Haven Hospital, including as Medical Director of Clinical Process Improvement and as Interim Medical Director of Medical Information Systems. Dr. Soffer is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, in the Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Daedalus Fund for Innovation. Dr. Soffer is a graduate of Williams College, where he received his BA, of Emory University, where he received his MD, and of Yale University, where he received his MBA.
Joshua House serves as our VP Business Development . Mr. House joined Consonance Life Sciences Management in September 2020 where he currently serves as Vice President. Between November 2018 and September 2020, Mr. House held the role of Senior Director, Business Development and Corporate Strategy at Atara Biotherapeutics, where he was responsible for business development, in-licensing and corporate strategic activities. Between April 2017 and November 2018 he held the role of Director of Corporate Strategy at Atara Biotherapeutics. Prior to joining Atara, Mr. House was an Investment Banking Vice President at Citigroup in San Francisco, where he executed capital markets and M&A transactions for clients in the biotechnology sector. Mr. House earned a JD and MBA from Columbia University, and a BA in Public Policy from Stanford University.
Donald J. Santel has agreed to serve on our Board of Directors following the completion of this offering. Mr. Santel served as Executive Chairman of Adicet Bio, Inc., a private allogeneic cell therapy oncology company, from October 2017 through its reverse merger with resTORbio, Inc. in September 2020. From March 2018 through April 2019, Mr. Santel also served as Adicet Bio’s interim Chief Executive Officer. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Hyperion Therapeutics (Nasdaq GM: HPTX) from June 2008 until the sale of the company to Horizon Pharma (Nasdaq GM: HZNP) for $1.1B in May 2015. He led Hyperion from a development stage private company through the approval and commercial launch of Ravicti® for the treatment of urea cycle disorders. Mr. Santel was a member of Hyperion’s board of directors from March 2007 through the company’s sale. Previously, Mr. Santel was a co-founder, member of the board of directors and the Chief Executive Officer of CoTherix, Inc., (Nasdaq GM: CTRX) from January 2000 through its sale to Actelion for $419M in January 2007. He led CoTherix from a development stage private company, through the approval and commercial launch of Ventavis® for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Prior to joining CoTherix, Mr. Santel was employed by several medical device companies, including Cardiac Pathways Corporation (acquired by Boston Scientific) and Medtronic, Inc. Mr . Santel previously served on the board of directors and the audit and compensation committees of Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and as a director of ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Mr. Santel holds an MS in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota and a BSE in biomedical engineering from Purdue University. We believe that Mr. Santel is qualified to serve on our board of directors given his managerial and consultant roles in the biopharmaceutical industry and his experience with bringing companies public.
Dr. Christopher Haqq, M.D., Ph.D., has agreed to serve on our Board of Directors following the completion of this offering. Dr. Haqq brings over 20 years of drug development leadership across large and small biotechnology companies and across cell therapy, small molecule and biologics in large and small biotech settings. Dr. Haqq joined Elicio Therapeutics as Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer, or CMO, in October 2019. He was the first employee and CMO of Atara Biotherapeutics, and later CSO, where he was the architect of an innovative allogeneic T cell product candidate pipeline for oncology and autoimmune disease, and led the design of next-generation off-the-shelf CAR T cells for solid tumors. Earlier at Cougar Biotechnology and Janssen, he was the lead clinician for a pivotal prostate cancer study leading to market approval for Zytiga® (abiraterone acetate). At Amgen, he led early development studies of the anti-insulin like growth factor type 1 receptor AMG 479 (ganitumab) antibody. Dr. Haqq has worked closely with the US Food and Drug Administration, or the FDA, and other global regulatory agencies. He has filed successful applications for INDs, breakthrough therapies, priority medicines, special protocol assessments and their international equivalents, and marketing approvals. Dr. Haqq initially practiced as a medical oncologist and led a translational science laboratory as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco following his post-graduate training as an Intern and Resident in Internal Medicine, Fellow in Medical Oncology and Fellow in Molecular Medicine. Dr. Haqq completed his MD and PhD in Genetics at Harvard Medical School and his undergraduate training at Stanford University and the University of British Columbia. We believe that Dr. Haqq’s leadership roles in drug development across a broad spectrum of biotechnology companies over the last two decades qualifies Dr. Haqq to serve on our board of directors.
Jennifer Jarrett has agreed to serve on our Board of Directors following the completion of this offering. Ms. Jarrett currently serves as Chief Operating Officer at Arcus Biosciences, Inc. (NYSE: RCUS) where she is responsible for Arcus’s commercial and general and administrative organizations, including finance and human resources. Ms. Jarrett previously served as the Vice President of Corporate Development and Capital Markets at Uber Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: UBER) from January 2019 to September 2020. Prior to Uber, Ms. Jarrett served as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Arcus Biosciences, Inc. from March 2017 to January 2019. From March 2016 to October 2016, Ms. Jarrett served as the Chief Financial Officer of Medivation, Inc. until it was acquired by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE). Ms. Jarrett brings over 20 years of experience in biotechnology investment banking, including her experience as managing director and head of West Coast Life Sciences Investment Banking at Citigroup and managing director and head of U.S. Biotechnology Investment Banking at Credit Suisse. Ms. Jarrett currently serves on the board of directors of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA), Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDX) and Arcus Biosciences. Ms. Jarrett is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where she received her BA in economics, and Stanford University, where she received her MBA. We believe that Ms. Jarrett is qualified to serve on our board of directors given her experience in the biotechnology sector and her investment and management skills.