Board of Directors
Daniel G. Chain, PhD
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Chain is a seasoned biotechnology executive and scientist entrepreneur dedicated to the development of therapeutics for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. For 18 years, he has established and managed companies in the neurodegeneration field, and his patented innovations helped enable the development of several monoclonal antibodies being studied for Alzheimer’s disease targeting beta amyloid and tau. In addition, Dr. Chain spearheaded the development of a metal binding antioxidant compound currently under development for Friedreich’s Ataxia by Shire Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Chain was approached on behalf of Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A. to assume responsibility for the development and commercialization of CSP-1103 (formerly CHF 5074), which led to his decision to found CereSpir in the summer of 2013 and license the technology from Chiesi obtaining worldwide rights. Dr. Chain trained as a biochemist and molecular neurobiologist having obtained his PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Sciences in Israel and subsequently trained as a researcher at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.
Adrian N. Hobden, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Hobden has a long and distinguished career in the global pharmaceutical industry. He joined Glaxo in the United Kingdom as a research scientist in 1981 and went on to run their Genetics Department and several others, including CNS Pharmacology. He moved to the United States in 1996 and was responsible for Glaxo’s collaborations with biotechnology companies. In 1998, Dr. Hobden joined Myriad Genetics in Salt Lake City as President of Myriad Pharmaceuticals which he founded and grew into an integrated R&D organization of 220 employees with responsibility to manage the largest placebo controlled trial of an experimental Alzheimer medicine that had ever been run. Myriad Pharmaceuticals was later spun out as a public company called Myrexis with Dr. Hobden as CEO. He retired from Myrexis in 2011. Currently, Dr. Hobden is also a board member at Zocere Inc, a startup biotechnology company focused on the development of novel compounds for the treatment of stroke and brain trauma and a trustee of The Hope Funds for Cancer Research. Dr Hobden has a BA and MA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Leicester.
President, Jesselson Capital Corporation
Mr. Jesselson worked at Philipp Brothers, an international trading company and helped found their sugar trading department. Afterwards, in the early 1980’s, he worked at Salomon Brothers in the mortgage trading department. He then entered the private sector and has been involved in many investment opportunities. He was a founding investor in ICQ/Mirabilis, which was an early Israeli based internet company, which was successfully sold to AOL. He is currently involved in many different investments both primarily in the United States and in Israel. Mr. Jesselson is a longstanding director of American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., and serves as the company’s lead independent director. Additionally, he is a member of the board of directors of XPO and many not-for-profit organizations.
Samuel Jesselson has over 10 years of investment banking and Real Estate merchant banking experience. Mr. Jesselson has personally transacted in over 6 projects in the Venture Capital and Real Estate space during the past few years. Prior to that, Mr. Jesselson was an investment professional at C-III Capital Partners and its parent, Island Capital Group specializing in Real Estate. At Island, he was highly involved with Island Capital Group’s acquisition of Centerline’s debt fund management and servicing business for $110 million. Prior to C-III and Island, Mr. Jesselson was an investment banker with Lehman Brothers where he focused on M&A transactions in the Healthcare sector. Mr. Jesselson graduated from the University of Pennsylvania where he received a B.A. in History and the University of Oxford where he received a MBA. He is also active in a number of not-for-profit causes.
Co-Founder, Vedanta Capital
Parag Saxena co-founded Vedanta Capital and New Silk Route Partners in 2006. He is the Managing Partner and CEO of both. Previously, he was CEO of INVESCO Private Capital*; one of the oldest and largest venture capital firms in the US. During his 23-year tenure over 300 investments were made, including, Amgen, Costco, PictureTel, Polycom, Staples and Starbucks. These investments have led to the building of companies which have created over 500,000 jobs with an aggregate market value exceeding $500 billion. Parag led more than 90 investments for INVESCO Private Capital*, a third of which went on to become public companies. These investments include, Alkermes, Celgene, Genomic Health, Indigo, Masimo, Transgenomic, Xenon Pharmaceuticals, Amber Networks, ARM Holdings, MetroPCS, and Volterra. Parag is a multi-year member of Forbes’ Midas list which ranks the World’s best technology investors.
Parag has served on committees advising the, Prime Minister of India on foreign direct investments, and the Planning Commission of India on venture capital. Parag has provided recommendations on the landscape and regulatory environment for small businesses and venture capital to representatives of the US Congress. He is also a Director of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay’s Heritage Fund as well as a Trustee of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. He is on the Advisory Board of the Center for Advanced Studies on India at the University of Pennsylvania and is on the Indian Advisory Council of Brown University. Parag has been the President of TiE Tri-State (NY, CT, NJ) from 2003 to 2010. He was also on Mayor Bloomberg’s Applied Sciences NYC Advisory Committee.
Parag received an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies.