Board of Directors

Board of Directors 2017-05-01T15:38:14+00:00

Jeffrey Wager, M.D., Chairman


Jeff has over 25 years of senior operating experience in the life sciences, beginning in 1991-1995 with a unit of the Bank of Tokyo, advising Japanese pharma clients on international clinical development & strategic alliances.

From 1995-2000, he was with Medical Science Partners (a Harvard-sponsored VC fund), which invested $100M over two funds, including seed/Series A investments in ICAgen, Inspire, deCODE, Oravax/Acambis, ZYCOS, amongst others. In 2000, he founded and has since led Apeiron Parthers, LLC, a FINRA-registered investment bank focused on corporate spin-outs, completing six to date (including Targacept, Inc. (from RJR), Artisan Pharma, Inc. (from Asahi) and Biocritica (from Lilly)), as well as a variety of other strategic transactions and company formations.

From 2003-06, he was the advisor to the establishment and investment of Z-Cube s.r.l., the €60 million corporate VC arm of the Zambon Group (Italy). Between 2006-10, he formed and led Artisan Pharma, Inc. as its founding CEO, raising $53 million, building the entire team and co-designing and managing a 750 patient, 17 country Phase 2b/3 critical care study, leading to Artisan’s acquisition in 2011. Between 2011 – 2016, he was the principal advisor on the sale of United Medical Ltda. (Brazil) to Biotoscana and a board observer to the resulting Grupo Biotoscana SL, a leading Latin American specialty pharma roll-up financed by Advent International & Essex Woodlands Healthcare Ventures.

Through his role at Apeiron, Jeff is also a co-founder and chairman of EnBiotix, Inc., an engineered antibiotics company. Jeff earned his M.D. at Rush Medical College and his MBA from the University of Chicago.

Donald deBethizy, Director


J. Donald deBethizy has served as a member of our board of directors since 2013. Mr. deBethizy has 30 years of experience in research and development and financial, business and operating management in the biotechnology and consumer products industry. He currently serves as president of White City Consulting ApS. Previously, Mr. deBethizy served as president and chief executive officer of Santaris Pharma A/S until September 2014, when the company was sold to Roche.

From 2013 to 2014, he served as executive chair of the Danish biotech Contera Pharma ApS until it was sold to Bukwang Pharma Co Ltd in 2014. From 1997 to 2012, Mr. deBethizy was co-founder and chief executive officer of Targacept, Inc., a public U.S. biotechnology company listed on NASDAQ. He currently serves on the supervisory boards of Albumedix A/S, argenx N.V., Newron Pharmaceuticals SPA, Noxxon Pharma AG, and Rigontec GmbH. He previously served on the supervisory boards of Asceneuron SA, Serendex Pharmaceuticals A/S, LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals Inc., Enbiotix Inc. and Biosource Inc. Mr. deBethizy has held adjunct appointments at Wake Forest University Babcock School of Management, Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Duke University. Mr. deBethizy completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology at Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Mr. deBethizy holds an MSc and a PhD in toxicology from Utah State University and a BSc in biology from the University of Maryland and has been a Diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology.

Peter Hutt, Director


Peter Barton Hutt is a senior counsel in the Washington, DC law firm of Covington & Burling, specializing in Food and Drug Law. Peter served as Chief Counsel of the FDA from 1971-1975. He is the co-author of the casebook used to teach Food and Drug law throughout the country and since 1994 has taught a full course on this subject each winter term at Harvard Law School. He has served on the Boards of CV Therapeutics, Pervasis Therapeutics, and IDEC Pharmaceuticals (now Biogen) during development of Rituxan, and now serves on the boards of Moderna Therapeutics, Concert Pharmaceuticals, and Selecta Biosciences. He served on numerous advisory committees including the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the NIH Advisory Committee to Review the Guidelines for Recombinant DNA Research.

Mr. Hutt has been a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly called the Institute of Medicine) since it was formed in 1971. He has served on the IOM Executive Committee and other NAS and IOM committees, and recently served as a member of the Working Group on Innovation in Drug Development and Evaluation for President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

Mr. Hutt was named by The Washingtonian magazine as one of Washington’s 50 best lawyers (out of more than 40,000) and as one of Washington’s 100 most influential people; by the National Law Journal as one the 40 best health care lawyers in the United States; and by Global Counsel as the best FDA regulatory specialist in Washington, DC. Business Week referred to Mr. Hutt in June 2003 as the “unofficial dean of Washington food and drug lawyers.” Mr. Hutt holds a LL.M from New York University of Law, a LL.B from Harvard Law School and a BA from Yale.

Matthew Bennett, Director


Matt Bennett is an Executive-in-Residence at New Mountain Capital serving on the Boards of Avantor, CIOX Health, and Island Medical. Matt was previously CEO of CIOX Health. Before that, he was Executive Vice President, Global Medical Operations, and Chief Legal Officer for Ikaria, Inc., where he served in additional executive roles, including Chief Financial Officer and head of Corporate Development. Prior to joining Ikaria, Matt was Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, and Chief Legal Officer at VIASYS Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE: VAS), where he was responsible for the company’s growth and mergers and acquisitions. Before VIASYS, Matt was focused on mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, and commercial transactions at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

He holds an AB in Political Science from Princeton University and a JD from Villanova University School of Law.