Merged into eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Inc., ticker now EFTR
LWAC

Completed

eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Inc.

Locust Walk Acquisition Corp.

Raised
$175M
CIK
1828522
Focus
Healthcare, Life Sciences
External link: SEC Filings

SPAC Team

Leadership

Chris Ehrlich has been our Chief Executive Officer and Director since October 2020. Since May 2013, Mr. Ehrlich has served as Senior Managing Director and Head of Locust Walk Partners’ Global Biopharma team. Prior to joining Locust Walk Partners in 2013, Mr. Ehrlich served as a Managing Director at InterWest Partners, a venture capital firm focused on healthcare and information technology, from 2000 to 2013. At InterWest, he served on the boards of KAI Pharmaceuticals, a privately held pharmaceutical company (acquired by Amgen in 2012), Biomimetic Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company (acquired by Wright Medical Technologies in 2013), InvuitY, Inc., a medical technology company acquired by Stryker in 2018) and Xenon Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company (NASDAQ: XENE). Prior to joining InterWest, Mr. Ehrlich was the Director of Licensing and Business Development at Purdue Pharma, a private pharmaceutical firm, where he was responsible for developing a biologic oncology franchise, including in-licensing key intellectual properties, establishing and managing collaborations with biotechnology companies and leading the commercial operations of Purdue BioPharma, a biotechnology company. Prior to joining Purdue BioPharma, Mr. Ehrlich worked in business development at Genentech, a biotechnology company, in venture capital at the U.S. Russia Investment Fund, and in biotechnology strategy development at L.E.K. Consulting. Since 2014, Mr. Ehrlich has served on the Board of Directors of Prostate Management Diagnostics, Inc., a diagnostics company, on the Advisory Board of the Peter Michael Foundation, a charity focused on prostate cancer where he has been a Senior Advisor since 2012, and on the Healthcare at Kellogg Advisory Board at Northwestern University since 2019. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and a MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is also a registered representative with FINRA, holding his Series 79, 63 and 24 licenses. Our board has determined that Mr. Ehrlich’s extensive experience in the biotechnology industry generally, as well as extensive experience in venture capital and business development, qualifies him to serve as a member of our board of directors.

Daniel Geffken has been our Chief Financial Officer since October 2020. He has been an executive in the life sciences industry since 1993. Mr. Geffken is a founder and managing director at Danforth Advisors, LLC, a management consulting firm to the life science industries, where he has served since 2011. Through Danforth, Mr. Geffken has served as Chief Financial Officer for ProMIS Neurosciences (TSX: PMN; OTCQB: ARFXF), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of antibody therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases, since March 2017, and is currently chief financial officer of various life sciences companies including Matrivax Research & Development Corp., Vaxxinity, Prilenia Therapeutics Development Corp., Apic Bio Inc., Clear Creek Bio, Inc., Windgap Medical, Inc., Zikani Therapeutics, Inc., Artax BioPharma Inc., Palvella Therapeutics, Inc., Apnimed, Inc., Elicio Therapeutics Inc., Dermbiont, Inc., Vigeo Therapeutics, Inc., AnTolRx, Inc., Privo Technologies Inc., Nemucore Medical Innovations and Calcimedica Inc. Since 2013, he has participated in 10 initial public offering filings and has assisted in raising more than $1 billion in debt and equity securities. Since 2019, Mr. Geffken has been a member of the board of directors of Windtree Therapeutics (NASDAQ: WINT), a biopharmaceutical company and, from May 2013 to October 2017, he was a member of the board of directors of Alcobra Ltd., a public biotechnology company that merged with Arcturus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARCT). From November 2017 until May 2018, Mr. Geffken served on the board of directors of Arcturus. Mr. Geffken holds a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Brian G. Atwood will serve as our Chairman immediately upon the effective date of this prospectus. Mr. Atwood serves as a Managing Director for Versant Ventures, a healthcare-focused venture capital firm that he co-founded in 1999. In 2015, Mr. Atwood co-founded Cell Design Labs, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing human cell engineering technology for the treatment of multiple diseases, including cancer, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer until 2017, when it was acquired by Gilead Sciences. Mr. Atwood serves on the board of directors of Clovis Oncology, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLVS), and Atreca, Inc. (NASDAQ: BCEL), where he is Chairman. He also served on the board of directors of Immune Design Corp. from May 2008 until June 2016 (acquired by Merck in 2019), Veracyte, Inc., from its founding in 2008 until December 2016, OpGen Inc., from July 2007 until December 2017, Five Prime Therapeutics, from 2002 until March 2016, Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from March 2006 until its acquisition in March 2014, Helicos Biosciences from 2003 until September 2011, Pharmion Corporation from 2000 until its acquisition in March 2008 and Trius Therapeutics, Inc. from February 2007 until its acquisition in September 2013. Mr. Atwood holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine, a M.S. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Mr. Atwood was selected to serve because of his experience in the biotechnology industry, his years of business and leadership experience and his financial sophistication and expertise.

Elizabeth P. Bhatt will serve as an independent director immediately upon the effective date of this prospectus. Since September 2019, Ms. Bhatt has served as the Chief Business and Strategy Officer of Applied Molecular Transport Inc. (NASDAQ: AMTI), a publicly traded clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Before that, Ms. Bhatt was at Achaogen, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, where she served as Chief Operating Officer from July 2018 to June 2019 and Chief Business Officer from September 2017 to June 2019. In April 2019, Achaogen filed a petition for bankruptcy in federal court seeking protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Prior to Achaogen, Ms. Bhatt held various roles at Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), a publicly traded research-based biopharmaceutical company, from July 2006 to September 2017, including Vice President, Corporate Development from January 2016 to September 2017 and Senior Director, Corporate Development from May 2011 to December 2015. Ms. Bhatt holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Pomona College, an M.S. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, San Diego and a M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Ms. Bhatt was selected to serve on our board because of her strong scientific background, experience in various technical roles within the biotechnology industry, as well as her experience evaluating, investing and overseeing biotechnology companies.

Barbara A. Kosacz will serve as an independent director immediately upon the effective date of this prospectus. Since July 2020, Ms. Kosacz has served as the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of Kronos Bio, Inc. (NASDAQ: KRON), a publicly traded clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Prior to that, Ms. Kosacz was a Partner at the international law firm of Cooley LLP from January 1997 to December 2000, and again from February 2002 until July 2020, where she led the international Life Sciences Practice. Ms. Kosacz has more than 25 years of experience in counseling clients in the life sciences arena, ranging from early stage startups to larger public companies, venture funds, investment banks, and non-profit institutions. She has served as a member of the BIO Emerging Companies’ Section Governing Board, is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Keck Graduate Institute, an advisory board member of Locust Walk Partners, and has been a speaker at multiple life sciences-related conferences, as well as guest lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University about biotechnology law, biotechnology business models, corporate partnering negotiations and deal structures, and bioethics. Recognized by Best Lawyers in America since 2008 and most recently as Biotechnology Lawyer of the Year in 2018, Ms. Kosacz was listed as a “leading lawyer” for healthcare and life sciences in the 2018 Legal 500, as a “Band 1” attorney in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and recognized as a “highly recommended transactions” lawyer by IAM Patent 1000 for her “nearly three decades advising diverse companies in the industry at a deeply strategic and commercial level and overseeing their most complex and profitable deals.” Ms. Kosacz is currently senior counsel at Cooley LLP and a member of the board of directors of Xoma Corp. (NASDAQ: XOMA), a biotechnology company. Ms. Kosacz received her received B.A. from Stanford University and her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Ms. Kosacz was selected to serve on our board due to her extensive experience in the life sciences industry and advising biotechnology companies.

Caroline M. Loewy will serve as an independent director immediately upon the effective date of this prospectus. Ms. Loewy serves on public company boards, provides strategic advisory services to life science companies, and has more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. She co-founded and served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer of Achieve Life Sciences, Inc., a specialty pharmaceuticals company, from 2015 to 2017. Prior to Achieve Life Sciences, she served as Chief Financial Officer of several life sciences companies, including Tobira Therapeutics, Inc. from 2012 to 2014, Corcept Therapeutics Inc. from 2008 to 2011 and Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that, Ms. Loewy was a senior biotechnology equity research analyst at Morgan Stanley, Inc. from 2000 to 2004 and Prudential Securities, Inc. from 1996 to 1999. She began her career as a financial analyst at BankAmerica Corporation. Ms. Loewy is a founding board member of the Global Genes Project and a member of the Steering Committee of the Forum for Collaborative Research in Rare Diseases. She is also a founding board member of the KCNQ2 Cure Alliance Foundation. Ms. Loewy currently serves on the boards of directors of, Zogenix, Inc., CymaBay Therapeutics Inc., Aptose Biosciences Inc. and PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Ms. Loewy holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a M.B.A./M.S. degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Ms. Loewy was selected to serve on our board based on her financial expertise as a former chief financial officer as well as her extensive experience in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Advisors

Ryan Gilbert, an advisor, brings over 20 years of global financial services expertise as an entrepreneur, angel investor, venture investor, and advisor. His public company exits include Square and Eventbrite. Mr. Gilbert currently serves as President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of FTAC Olympus (NASDAQ: FTOC), a blank check company which raised $754.0 million in its initial public offering in August 2020. Mr. Gilbert is a General Partner at Propel Venture Partners, a $250.0 million venture capital fund backed by BBVA Group. He currently represents Propel Venture Partners on the boards of Guideline, Ease, Inc. Steady Platform Inc., Charlie Finance Co., and Grabango Co. Mr. Gilbert serves as the executive chairman of SmartBizLoans, a small business lending marketplace that he co-founded as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Venrock. Mr. Gilbert is an independent director of bKash, Bangladesh’s largest remittance and mobile banking platform, a director of River City Bank, a $2.5 billion community bank based in Sacramento, CA, and a director of The Reserve Trust Company, a non-depository Colorado chartered Trust Company backed by QED Investors. He was previously co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of real estate payments company PropertyBridge (acquired by MoneyGram International).

Shami Patel, an advisor, is a Managing Director of the Asset Management Group of Cohen & Company Inc., a financial services company. Mr. Patel currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of FTAC Olympus (NASDAQ: FTOC), a blank check company which raised $754.0 million in its initial public offering in August 2020, as advisor to FinServ (NASDAQ: FSRV), a blank check company which raised $250.0 million in its initial public offering in November 2019. Mr. Patel was also active in all aspects of the IPO and business combination process of FinTech I (NASDAQ: FNTC) and FinTech II (NASDAQ: FNTE), including origination, due diligence and execution. He served as a Director, Chair of the Audit Committee and member of the Compensation Committee of FinTech I and FinTech II. FinTech I raised $100.0 million in its IPO in February 2015 and completed its initial business combination when it acquired FTS Holding Corporation in July 2016, in connection with which FinTech I changed its name to CardConnect Corp. The common stock of CardConnect Corp. was traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “CCN” until CardConnect Corp. was acquired by First Data Corporation in July 2017. FinTech II raised $175.0 million in its IPO in January 2017 and completed its initial business combination when it acquired Intermex Holdings II in July 2018, in connection with which FinTech II changed its name to International Money Express, Inc. The common stock of International Money Express, Inc. is currently traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “IMXI.” He also served as an advisor to FinTech III (NASDAQ: FTAC), a blank check company which raised $345.0 million in its IPO in November 2018 and completed its initial business combination when it merged with affiliates of Paya, Inc. in October 2020, in connection with which Paya Holdings Inc. became publicly traded on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “PAYA.”