Board of Directors
Benjamin F. McGraw - CEO & ChairmanKey Management
Benjamin F. McGraw, III, Pharm.D is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TheraVida, Inc. He also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Auration Biotech, Inc., a private biotechnology company. Previously, Dr. McGraw was Chairman, President, and CEO of Valentis, Inc., Corporate Vice President, Corporate Development at Allergan, Inc., and VP, Development at Marion Laboratories, Inc. and Marion Merrell Dow Inc. (now Sanofi US). Dr. McGraw received his B.S. degree and his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where he also completed a clinical practice residency.
Rhonda Donahoe - DirectorDirector
Rhonda Donahoe, CPA (inactive) is the Chief Financial Officer of NJK Holding Corporation. Over her 27 years of experience, Ms. Donahoe has spent the last 11 years in a Chief Financial Officer role in various private equity investments across a broad range of subject matters including but not limited to technology software, pharmaceutical, medical device and other services. She has over 8 years of experience as a hands-on-global controller in all areas of litigation discovery, forensic and data recovery for Kroll Inc. Through these combined years, she has played an active lead role in over 100 merger and acquisitions transactions both in the US and internationally and she has worked on several material restructure projects. Previous positions include Manager at the mortgage asset securitization consulting division of KPMG Peat Marwick, Treasury Manager at Shearson Lehman Hutton Mortgage and Controller at Magnecomp Precision Technology. She has served on the board of advisors on a public medical device company for several years and serves as an investor representative on various other boards. She received a Master degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University and B.S. from California State University.
Assad J. Kazeminy - DirectorDirector
Assad J. Kazeminy, Ph.D. , Is the CEO and Founder of Irvine Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. and Avrio Biopharmaceuticals, LLC, has over 30 years of experience and expertise in Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Formulation and Aseptic Manufacturing. Dr. Kazeminy has a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science and Biochemistry and has completed a post doctorate at the USC Medical School, Department of Pharmacology. In addition, Dr. Kazeminy has taught at the University of Southern California and has conducted research at the University of California, Irvine.
Dr. Kazeminy has extensive knowledge in and is proficient in FDA regulations and various compendia methodologies. He has made many contributions towards advancing the pharmaceutical sciences, and his efforts have been influential in shaping and reforming current industry standards including his influential role for United States Pharmacopeia, serving as an Expert Committee member for over 16 years, current member of USP convention (WCDG), member of USP Advisory Panel for Residual Solvents (2006-2008), and a member of USP Advisory Panel for Metal Impurity (2007-current).
Dr. Kazeminy has been appointed as Dean’s Professional Advisor at the University of Chapman, School of Pharmacy. Most Recently, Dr. Kazeminy has been appointed by the University of California, Irvine, as an External Advisor to the Department of Chemistry.
George Lasezkay - DirectorDirector
George Lasezkay, PharmD, JD is the Executive Vice President, General Counsel of Acucela. He served 12 years as president of HorizonPharma Group, a consultancy practice that advises life sciences companies on corporate strategy, strategic partnerships and business development. He has served on the boards of a number of U.S. and European biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, both public and private, including several focused on ophthalmic diseases. Dr. Lasezkay had a 13-year career at Allergan, the global pharmaceutical and medical aesthetics company. He spent his first seven years in the legal department, last serving as Allergan’s Assistant General Counsel. Dr. Lasezkay subsequently served for six years as the head of Allergan’s Corporate Development group and a member of the Allergan Executive Management team. During his time at Allergan, Dr. Lasezkay participated in and supervised the negotiation of more than 60 acquisitions, alliances and other collaborations, including an instrumental role in structuring the Allergan Ligand Retinoid Therapeutics joint venture that won the Recombinant Capital Breakthrough Biotechnology Alliance award in 1997. Dr. Lasezkay earned B.S. Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his law degree from the University of Southern California. He also earned a certificate in alternative dispute resolution from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution of the Pepperdine University School of Law.
Fred Middleton - DirectorDirector
Fred Middleton, MBA Has over thirty years of experience in the biotechnology and biomedical industries in both corporate operating management and as an institutional venture capital investor. At Sanderling, he has worked as an investor, management team member and director in over 20 new biomedical ventures built in Sanderling’s venture investment portfolios since 1988.
Recently, he has played an active role as Chairman, CEO or Director of a number of current Sanderling portfolio companies, including as Chairman of Pacira Pharmaceuticals (PCRX), Stereotaxis (STXS), Viacyte, and Altor Biosciences. He also served as an early stage investor and director of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN), CardioNet (BEAT), Endocyte (ECYT), LineaGen, Inc., and Actimis.
Mr. Middleton began his career as a consultant for McKinsey & Company’s San Francisco office from 1973 to 1975. He subsequently worked as a Vice President in corporate development for Chase Bank in New York in 1977 to 1978.
In 1978, Mr. Middleton joined Bob Swanson and Herb Boyer, the founders of biotechnology pioneer Genentech, Inc., as the third member of the original management team, where he served in various capacities, including Vice President of Finance, Administration, Corporate Development, Chief Financial Officer, and as President of Genentech Development Corporation. While at Genentech, Mr. Middleton successfully completed over $200 million in corporate partnering and institutional funding transactions, which included managing the Company’s (and the biotech industry’s first) successful IPO in 1980.
In 1984, Mr. Middleton founded Morgan Stanley Ventures, an affiliate of Morgan Stanley, serving as Managing General Partner of an institutional fund making technology investments. Mr. Middleton joined Sanderling in 1987 as a General Partner and Managing director to invest in and build early stage biomedical companies. Mr. Middleton earned his B.S. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1971 and received an M.B.A with distinction from Harvard Business School in 1973. In 2007, he was elected to serve as a member of the M.I.T. Corporation.