Management Team

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John J. Puisis
Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer

John is a senior executive with over 25 years experience at transforming technology-based companies into product-based organizations. He combines a unique set of strategic, financial, talent management, and operating skills to identify unmet medical needs optimizing an organization to translate cutting–edge technology into products that address our most pressing hard to treat diseases.

Prior to co-founding and joining Cour, John was Co-Founder and CEO of Tolera Therapeutics. He led the company from initial start up through manufacturing optimization, pre-clinical, completion of a phase 2 clinical trial and filing of a Phase 3 Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) with the FDA. The company built significant barriers to entry by achieving several orphan drug designations and issuance of composition of matter patents utilizing a unique patent strategy.

Prior to Tolera, he was President and CEO of Third Wave Technologies (NASDAQ: TWTI), a biotechnology company, where he led the transformation of a non-sustainable research tools business into a robust growth driven molecular diagnostics company primarily by leading the development of hard to detect infections and cancers. Third Wave was eventually sold for $600 million. John also served as a strategic consultant to DEKALB Genetics Corporation that was ultimately sold for $2.8 billion. John was with the Spencer Stuart and Egon Zehnder life sciences practice groups where he consulted with biotech and pharmaceutical firms. Receiving his BS – Accounting from Northern Illinois University in 1983, John started his career at Arthur Andersen and also worked for Price Waterhouse. He received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

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Daniel R. Getts, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, Co-Inventor and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Daniel Getts is an energetic executive focused on translating cutting edge scientific breakthroughs into meaningful medical therapies. Placing himself at the center of the academic/industry interface Dr. Getts uniquely melds his business, pathology and immunology understanding to identify value creating strategic and product development opportunities.

Dr. Getts also holds a visiting academic position at Northwestern University and is Deputy Editor of Cellular Immunology. He has over twenty-eight patent / applications and has published his academic work in top tier scientific journals including Nature Biotechnology, the Journal of Experimental Medicine and The Proceedings of The National Academy of Science. In the last 3 years he has obtained in excess of $2 million in grant funding.

Prior to co-founding Cour, Daniel was Director Of Research & Development at Tolera Therapeutics Inc, and was pivotal in moving the lead compound from proof-of-concept into Phase 3. Daniel was a key member of the senior management team leading the company’s R&D efforts and most importantly was instrumental in developing the company’s intellectual property, while supporting the clinical, regulatory & financing programs of the company. In these roles he assisted in raising over $10 million in venture capital and $2 million in non-dilutive capital. Before his time at Tolera, Dr. Getts was Managing Director of his own Life Science Consultancy that assisted in licensing, venture capital diligence support, product & market valuations and medical writing. Dr Getts holds a Masters of Business (MBA), from Western Michigan University (2012), a Ph.D. in Medicine (2008) and a Bachelor of Medical Science (1st Class Honors, 2004) from the University of Sydney.

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Jim Herrmann
Co-founder, Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer

Jim is a financial and operations executive with over 25 years experience spanning finance, product development, manufacturing and regulatory, in both diagnostics and therapeutics. Jim co-founded Tolera Therapeutics, where he worked with CEO John Puisis to raise $20 million and bring its MAb therapy from pre-clinical to a Phase 3 Special Protocol Assessment upon. Prior to this, Jim served as CFO for Third Wave Technologies (NASDAQ: TWTI), where he oversaw long-range and annual planning, company-wide systems and infrastructure development, operational management as well as quality system oversight. Jim oversaw the company’s first FDA 510k filing for a molecular diagnostic and the launch of its multiplexing diagnostic platform. Jim is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago (MBA).

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Stephen Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief Medical Officer

As a career R&D leader, Steve has led or supported clinical programs across a wide range of indications, resulting in over a dozen approved drugs. Most recently, he was the CEO and President of NeuroTherapeutics Pharma, an early stage biotechnology company where he raised $42M to advance novel therapeutics for CNS. Prior to 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 for $963M. Dr. Collins joined Ovation in 2003, shortly after its formation and was responsible for establishing the company’s R&D group and building it into a team of over 60 professionals. He was responsible for establishing the safety and post-marketing research groups and led all scientific and medical in-licensing activities. His R&D team performed preclinical and clinical work for four development programs resulting in two approved NDAs. In addition, Steve managed in-market product life cycles, and a product pipeline that included two global Phase III clinical trials, one program in Phase II clinical trials, and multiple INDs.

Prior to Ovation, Steve 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 Division where he developed drugs for multiple indications and was responsible for all preclinical and clinical programs supporting the successful approval of multiple NDA and sNDA submissions.

Prior to industry, Steve 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. Steve currently serves on the Boards of a number of biotech companies.

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Jeffrey Rona
Capital Markets and Business Development

Jeffrey Rona is a Managing Director at Rona Capital, a Life Sciences focused transaction advisory firm. Jeff has over 20 years of experience in corporate finance, as both an investment banker and as the senior financial officer for development stage life sciences companies. As a senior financial executive, Jeff has raised over $450 million of capital, completed two liquidity events and negotiated several licensing agreements. From 2006-2011, Jeff was Chief Business Officer for GlobeImmune, Inc., and successfully raised approximately $65 million of private capital for the company. In 2009, he completed a broad oncology partnership with Celgene, Inc. that brought $40 million of capital into the Company and included the potential for downstream milestones and royalties of over $500 million. Prior to GlobeImmune, Jeff was the CFO of AlgoRx Pharmaceuticals, where he successfully raised $65 million of private equity and completed the sale of the Company to Corgentech, Inc. Jeff also raised approximately $130 million while with Antigenics, this included a $72 million IPO. As an investment banker, Jeff provided services to clients in a wide range of industries, including Healthcare, General Industrial, Real Estate, Lodging and Gaming. Jeff started his career at Coopers & Lybrand in the Tax Department. He has a B.S. in Accounting from Case Western Reserve University.