Big Cypress Acquisition Corp.
- Life Sciences
Samuel J. Reich has served as our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and member on our Board of Directors since November 2020. Mr. Reich co-founded Biscayne Neurotherapeutics, Inc. in 2011 and served as its Executive Chairman until its sale to Supernus Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SUPN) in October 2018. Biscayne Neurotherapeutics was focused on novel treatments for seizure disorders. Previously, Mr. Reich was the Executive Vice President of OPKO Ophthalmologics, a division of OPKO Health, Inc. (Nasdaq: OPK) from March 2007 to November 2008, where Mr. Reich served on the executive committee and lead the Ophthalmologics business division. Prior to his position at OPKO, Mr. Reich was the Founder and Executive Vice President of Acuity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he worked from July 2002 through March 2007, at which time Acuity Pharmaceuticals merged with OPKO Health. Mr. Reich was a doctoral candidate in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He left graduate school prior to the completion of his Ph.D. in order to establish Acuity. Prior to that, he was a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in the Biomedical Studies graduate program. He has authored six peer- reviewed scientific publications, and is currently an inventor on sixteen issued U.S. patents and over 50 issued foreign patents. Mr. Reich holds a B.A. with High Honors in Biochemistry from Clark University, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.
Mr. Jeffrey G. Spragens has served as our Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors since November 2020. From 2005 through 2013, Mr. Spragens was a Co-Founder and the CEO of SafeStitch Medical, Inc., a medical device company that pioneered incisionless surgery techniques that helps to relieve GERD and obesity. In 2013, SafeStitch merged with TransEnterix, Inc. (NYSE: TRXC). In addition, Mr. Spragens was one of the three founding board members of North American Vaccine, which became a publicly traded company in 1990. At North American Vaccine, Mr. Spragens was responsible for securing initial financing and building a commercial manufacturing facility. Mr. Spragens was instrumental in North American Vaccine’s acquisition by Baxter International (NYSE: BAX) in 1999. Mr. Spragens has also been a successful real estate developer and entrepreneur. Mr. Spragens was President of FCH services from 1973 until 1986. FCH developed and managed units of coop and condo housing financed with HUD financing with offices in several major cities. In 1986, Mr. Spragens converted to condo ownership 1,000 apartment units in San Mateo, California, resulting in one of the largest residential project in California at that time. Mr. Spragens was Managing Partner of Gateway Associates, Inc. from 1990 to 2000. In addition, Mr. Spragens developed, owned and operated apartment units in New Jersey, Michigan and Kansas, and has successfully sold many of these units. Mr. Spragens developed, and continues to own and operate Inman Grove Shopping Center in Edison, New Jersey. Mr. Spragens is also a well-known and respected philanthropist. Mr. Spragens is a Founding Board Member and Treasurer of Foundation for Peace. Foundation for Peace provides healthcare, education, and clean water to those in need in Dominican Republic and Haiti. He is also a member of the Board of Directors and Finance Committee of Hernia Help, which provides free hernia surgery to underserved children and adults in developing countries. Mr. Spragens has a BA from the University of Cincinnati, a Law Degree from George Washington University and an MA from American University. Mr. Spragens is well qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive public company management and multi-sector investment experience, and his public company board experience.
Mr. James J. Martin has served as a member on our Board of Directors since November 2020. Since February 2017, Mr. Martin has served as the Chief Financial Officer of Cocrystal Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: COCP), a clinical stage therapeutic development company. From 2014 to 2017, Mr. Martin served as Chief Financial Officer of Scivac Therapeutics, Inc., a vaccine development and manufacturing company based in Rehovot, Israel. During his tenure, Scivac merged with Levon Resources, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, successfully obtained a dual listing on Nasdaq and Toronto Stock Exchange, and merged with VBI Vaccines (Nasdaq:VBIV). Additionally, from 2016 to 2017, Mr. Martin served as Chief Financial Officer of Motus GI Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: MOTS) a medical device company based in Haifa, Israel. From 2011 to 2013, Mr. Martin served as Chief Financial Officer of SafeStitch, Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Martin served as Chief Financial Officer of Avborne Heavy Maintenance, Inc., a venture capital owned aviation company from 2006 to 2011. During his tenure, Mr. Martin was played an integral role in the sale of Avborne Heavy Maintenance to AAR Corp (NYSE: AIR) in 2008. Mr. Martin has an MBA from Barry University and is a veteran of the U.S. armed forces after serving five years in the United States Navy. Mr. Martin is well qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his accounting and financial modeling expertise, and his significant experience acting as principal financial officer for multiple public companies.
Stephen D. Collins, MD, PhD. has served as a member on our Board of Directors since November 2020. Dr. Collins has led or had senior leadership positions in multiple pharmaceutical and biotech companies in a wide range of therapeutic areas, resulting in over a dozen approved drugs and multiple company acquisitions totaling over $1.5 billion. Since 2013, he is Executive Chairman of Xalud Therapeutics, an anti-inflammatory focused company in Phase 2 clinical studies of a novel biological platform. Prior to this, he was most recently the President and CEO of Biscayne Neurotherapeutics. Prior to his position at Biscayne Neurotherapeutics, Mr. Collins was the CEO and President of NeuroTherapeutics Pharma, an early stage biotechnology company focused on the advancement of novel therapeutics for the central nervous system (CNS). Prior to his position at NeuroTherapeutics, he was Chief Scientific Officer & VP for Clinical Affairs of Ovation Pharmaceuticals, an oncology and CNS-focused biopharmaceutical company acquired by Lundbeck A/S. Dr. Collins joined Ovation in 2003, and was responsible for establishing the company’s R&D group. He was also responsible for establishing the safety and post-marketing research groups and led all scientific and medical in-licensing activities. Prior to joining Ovation, Dr. Collins served as a Global Director at Johnson & Johnson, overseeing early-stage development of a variety of agents and as a member of the global in-licensing advisory team. Prior to Johnson and Johnson, he worked in Abbott Laboratories’ Pharmaceutical and Hospital Products Divisions where he developed drugs for multiple indications and supported their business development groups in the review and acquisition of several assets. Dr. Collins has served on the faculty of medicine at Case Western Reserve University and the University of California-San Francisco. He earned his MD and PhD at Case Western Reserve University after completing undergraduate studies in Physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Collins is well qualified to serve on our board of directors due to his decades of experience in senior leadership positions with pharmaceutical and biotech companies and as a leading physician.
Mr. Ilan Katz is a member on our Board of Directors . Mr. Katz is a corporate attorney with over 20 years of experience specializing in mergers and acquisitions, with a focus on representing life science and technology companies. Mr. Katz is currently a Partner at Dentons where he has been since 2015. At Dentons, Mr. Katz focuses on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, securities law compliance and venture transactions from startups to publicly traded companies. He has previously counsel at Latham & Watkins LLP and served as lead U.S. M&A counsel for Siemens Corporation from 2011 to 2014. After clerking for a Federal judge, Mr. Katz began his career as an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and he also worked at Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP and Pepper Hamilton, LLP. In addition, Mr. Katz has demonstrated success as an entrepreneur. He co-founded Acuity Pharmaceuticals and served as its outside counsel, including representing Acuity in the reverse merger transaction which resulted in the creation and funding of OPKO Health. Mr. Katz has represented acquirers and target companies in many public and private merger and acquisitions. Mr. Katz has a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, cum laude and Order Of The Coif. While at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Mr. Katz was an Editor of the Law Review. Mr. Katz has a B.A. in economics from Brandeis University where he was magna cum laude. Mr. Katz is well qualified to serve on our board of directors due to his significant experience advising innovative public and private life science and technology companies in connection with hundreds of M&A transactions, as well as his experience counseling public companies in connection with securities and stock exchange matters and public company governance.