Sparta Healthcare Acquisition Corp.
- Biotech, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Pharmaceuticals
Michael K. Handley, our Chief Executive Officer and President , is a successful life science business professional with over 23 years of cross-functional experience in drug/device commercialization, operations, mergers/acquisitions, regulatory/clinical affairs, venture formation/financing, market development and partnering/licensing. Mr. Handley has successfully assisted or led in the global commercialization of 17 devices or drugs that account for over $7 billion of sales annually. He has served as Chief Executive Officer and director of Cytocom Inc. since April 2020. Previously, Mr. Handley served as Chief Executive Officer and director of Immune Therapeutics, Inc. (OTC: IMUN), from July 2019 through March 2020. From 2012 through 2018, Mr. Handley served as Chief Executive Officer and director of Armis Biopharma, Inc., a development-stage healthcare company, where Mr. Handley was responsible for day-to-day operations, executing a profitable growth strategy, obtaining global product approvals, overseeing intellectual property strategy, product commercialization, business development and financing. Mr. Handley founded Vessix Vascular, Inc. in 2011 and served as Vice President of Clinical, Quality and Regulatory until 2012. Mr. Handley was also Global Head of Regulatory at Acclarent, Inc. from 2010 to 2011. Prior to this, he was Vice President of Regulatory and Chief Compliance Officer of Spectranetics Corp. (Nasdaq: SPNC) a medical device company, from 2007 until 2010. Mr. Handley was the Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of Business development, Quality and Regulatory at Accelapure Corporation, a biotechnology company, from 2005 until 2007. Mr. Handley expanded his executive skill set as a Senior Management Consultant in the healthcare field at Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath (now PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP) from 2004 until 2005. Prior to beginning his business career, Mr. Handley spent several years in various consulting and drug development roles at the public biotech companies Genetech, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNA), Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) and Gliatech Inc. (formerly Nasdaq: GLIA). Mr. Handley graduated cum laude from Colorado State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in molecular biology, exercise physiology and minors in chemistry, and neurobiology.
David Mehalick, our Chief Business Officer , has been the Chief Executive Officer of Coeptis Pharmaceuticals LLC, a pharmaceutical sales and research company since its inception in October 2016. He is responsible for implementing long and short-term initiatives and overseeing fundraising planning and implementation. Mr. Mehalick was the Chief Financial Officer of ITPS, LLC, a computer hardware and software company, from February 2017 to December 2019. Mr. Mehalick was the First Vice President at Gruntal and Co. from March 1992 to April 1995 and Senior Vice President at First Union Capital Markets from May 1995 to June 1998 and Senior Vice President at Ferris, Baker Watts, Inc., an investment banking firm from June 1998 to January 2001. Since March 2004, Mr. Mehalick has been the Managing Director of Steeltown Consulting Group where he co-founded American Defense Systems, Inc. (IPO 2006), World Health Alternatives Inc. (IPO 2004), and American Scientific Resources Inc. (IPO 2005). Mr. Mehalick attended the University of Pittsburgh.
Philip E. Gaucher, Jr., our Chief Operating Officer , is the founder and has been a Managing Partner of Bridgeway Capital Partners LLC (“Bridgeway”) since February 2020. He is also the founder of Bridgeway Wealth Partners LLC, and has been a Partner there from January 2019 to November 2020. Mr. Gaucher has over 18 years of experience in financial services and investment banking. Prior to founding Bridgeway, Mr. Gaucher was the Head of Business Development of Gargoyle Asset Management, a hedge fund, from September 2017 to January 2019, and Head of Business Development of EVA Capital Management LLC, a hedge fund, from September 2015 to September 2017. Mr. Gaucher was also the founder and managing partner of Cambrian Capital LLC, a private equity and venture capital business, from January 2010 to April 2015. Through Cambrian Capital, Mr. Gaucher founded, managed, and helped to raise over $550 million for multiple companies in the healthcare and industrial sectors. Prior to founding Cambrian Capital, Mr. Gaucher was a portfolio manager for NY-based hedge funds Del Mar Asset Management and Plural Investments, and an analyst for George Weiss Associates (now Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisors). Mr. Gaucher began his career in investment banking with Bank of America, N.A. Mr. Gaucher graduated cum laude from Bucknell University with a B.A. degree in Economics and a concentration in Finance.
Nicholas H. Hemmerly, our Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary , has been a Managing Partner and Head of Investment Banking for Bridgeway Capital Partners LLC (“Bridgeway”) since February 2020. Mr. Hemmerly has over 18 years of investment banking experience with broad transactional experience having completed approximately $25 billion of debt and equity transactions. Prior to joining Bridgeway from March 2016 to February 2020, Mr. Hemmerly was the Director, Head of Life Sciences at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC (“PwC”) where he led U.S. M&A and capital raising in the life sciences space with a focus on specialty and generic pharmaceuticals as well as healthcare consumer products and contract manufacturing. Prior to PwC from June 2014 to March 2016, Mr. Hemmerly was a Vice President at Jefferies LLC with a focus on executing M&A and financing transactions within the pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. Prior experience includes investment banking roles in JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Healthcare Group as well as JMP Securities LLC’s Healthcare Group. Mr. Hemmerly began his investment banking career as an analyst with Wachovia Securities. During his career, Mr. Hemmerly has completed over six billion dollars in M&A and capital raising transactions. Mr. Hemmerly graduated with honors from the College of Charleston with a B.S. degree in economics.
Cozette M. McAvoy, our Chief Legal Officer , has been serving as Chief Legal Officer for Cytocom Inc. since May 2020. Prior to holding this position, Ms. McAvoy served as Senior Vice President, Transactions and Head of Intellectual Property at Amyris, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMRS), a synthetic biotechnology company from February 2017 to April 2020. Ms. McAvoy served as Vice President, Deputy General Counsel at G&W Pharmaceuticals, Inc., responsible for leading the company’s contracting and intellectual property functions and the integration and support of products and manufacturing facilities from Nov. 2015 to Oct. 2016. Ms. McAvoy received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from West Chester University, a J.D. degree from University of Georgia and a M.S. degree in Chemistry with a certification in Bio-Organic Principles of Pharmaceutical Science from Lehigh University.
Laura Anthony, will become one of our directors effective on the effective date of the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part. Ms. Anthony has served on the board of directors of Aditx Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTX), a biotechnology company, since July 2020. Ms. Anthony is the founding partner of Anthony L.G., PLLC, a corporate, securities and business transactions law firm and has been practicing law since 1993. Ms. Anthony provides corporate counsel to small-cap and middle market private and public companies. For over twenty-five years, Ms. Anthony has served clients in the areas including but not limited to compliance with the Securities Act of 1933 offer sale and registration requirements, including private and public offerings; initial public offerings; follow-on offerings and PIPE transactions; compliance with NASDAQ and NYSE American initial and continued listing requirements; compliance with the initial quotation and maintenance of standards for the OTCQB and OTCQX; working with foreign private issuers; Regulation A/A+ offerings; compliance with the registration and reporting requirements under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; mergers and acquisitions; and general contract and business transactions. Ms. Anthony received a J.D. degree from Florida State University College of Law.
Randy S. Saluck, will become one of our directors effective on the effective date of the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part. Mr. Saluck served on the board of directors of Cleveland BioLabs, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBLI), a biopharmaceutical company, from May 2013 until April 2016 and then from July 2016 to present. Since 2017, Mr. Saluck has been the Chief Executive Officer, General Counsel and a Director of Libertas Funding LLC, a company focused on providing funding for small businesses. From 2015 to 2018, Mr. Saluck has been part-time Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel of Convexity Scientific, LLC., a private medical device company on whose board he served from February 2016 to October 2017 as a director. From 2005 to 2017, Mr. Saluck was the Managing Member of Mortar Rock Capital Management, LLC and the Portfolio Manager of Mortar Rock Capital LP, a value-oriented investment fund. From 2014 to 2018, Mr. Saluck has served as the part-time Chief Strategic Officer of Accelerated Pharma, Inc., a company focused on genomic technology to develop drugs for oncology and other indications. From 2002 to 2005, Mr. Saluck was a portfolio manager at the investment fund of Meisenbach Capital, LP and, from 2000 to 2002, Mr. Saluck was a senior analyst at Tyndall Partners, LLC, which invested in value-oriented equities and distressed debt. Prior to that, Mr. Saluck was an investment banker focused on mergers and acquisitions involving a variety of industries at Salomon Brothers Inc. Before becoming an investment banker, Mr. Saluck was a corporate and securities attorney, working at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and then Tenzer Greenblatt LLP. As an attorney, Mr. Saluck worked with numerous small capitalization companies assisting them in the execution of their financing and strategic plans. Mr. Saluck received a B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a J.D. degree from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in finance and accounting.
Terry J. Opgenorth, Ph.D. will become one of our directors effective on the effective date of the registration statement of which this prospectus is a part. Dr. Opgenorth has over 30 years of drug discovery and development experience identifying targets, qualifying clinical candidates, and leading multi-disciplinary teams to advance candidates and build enterprise value. He has led groups that culminated in three FDA-approved drugs – 2 human and 1 animal health. Currently, Dr. Opgenorth is the VP & Executive Director of LAUNCHPAD, Colorado State University Ventures. Dr. Opgenorth was also the CEO of Vidasym, which advanced 2 drugs (VS-105 and VS-505) into clinical development for CKD indications and created strategic partnerships with companies in Japan and China. Prior to that, he was Co-Founder, CSO and director of VetDC, a veterinary cancer therapeutics company which developed first FDA-CVM approved drug (Tanovea-CA1) for treatment of canine lymphoma (2017) partnering with Elanco Animal Health Incorporated in 2019. Dr. Opgenorth retired in 2007 as a Divisional Vice President of Abbott Laboratories Global Pharmaceutical Drug Discovery. While at Abbott Laboratories, Dr. Opgenorth led Antiviral, Metabolic and Target-Lead Discovery groups with over 200 direct-line personnel and associated budget responsibility. He built Abbott’s metabolic disease drug discovery organization to at its peak, over 300 collaboration full time employees that included a strategic partnership with Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Opgenorth received a B.A. degree from Calvin College and M.S. and PhD degrees from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He also has 130+ peer-review publications, book chapters, patents to his credit.