John P. Kelley was elected Chair of the Board of Directors in 2019 and has served as a member of Acorda’s Board of Directors since December 2008.
From November 2013 to April 2017, Mr. Kelley was Chief Executive Officer of Tenax Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly Oxygen Biotherapeutics, Inc.), a company that focuses on developing products for the critical care market, where he also served as a member of the Board of Directors. He was previously President, Chief Executive Officer, and a director of Phyxius Pharma, Inc., a privately-held development stage pharmaceutical company co-founded by Mr. Kelley that was acquired by Tenax Therapeutics in 2013.
Mr. Kelley was the President and Chief Operating Officer of The Medicines Company, a pharmaceutical company providing acute care hospital products worldwide, from 2004 to 2009. Mr. Kelley also served on the Board of Directors of the Medicines Company from 2005 to 2009.
From 2000 to 2004, Mr. Kelley held a series of positions at Aventis, a global pharmaceutical company, including Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Medical, where he was responsible for worldwide brand management. Prior to the formation of Aventis, he held a series of positions at Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc., a life sciences firm focused on pharmaceuticals, including Vice President, Commercial Director, U.S. from 1998 to 1999, and Vice President of Marketing from 1995 to 1998. Mr. Kelley received a B.A. from Wilkes University and an M.B.A. from Rockhurst University.
Ron Cohen, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, founded Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. in 1995. Previously he was a principal in the startup and an officer of Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc., a biotechnology company engaged in the growth of human organ tissues for transplantation. Dr. Cohen received his B.A. with honors in Psychology from Princeton University, and his M.D. from the Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia Medical Center, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.
Dr. Cohen previously served as Chair of the Board of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), as Chair of the Emerging Companies Section of the BIO Board, and as Director and Chair of the New York Biotechnology Association (NYBA).He currently serves on the Board of Directors of VBL Therapeutics. Dr. Cohen was awarded Columbia University’s Alumni Medal for Distinguished Service.
Dr. Cohen was named NeuroInvestment’s (now called NeuroPerspective) CEO of the Year 2010 and was recognized by PharmaVoice Magazine in 2009 as one of the 100 Most Inspirational People in the Biopharmaceutical Industry. He is a recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the New York Metropolitan Region and is an inductee of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association’s “Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame.” In 2010, Dr. Cohen was recognized by the New York Biotechnology Association as the NYBA “The Cure Starts Here” Business Leader of the Year and was named by MM&M/PR Week as one of the top 50 health influencers of 2017.
Tom Burns has been a member of Acorda’s Board of Directors since 2023. He is the Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of XOMA Corporation. Mr. Burns joined the XOMA finance team in 2006, and in 2015 was appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, where he is responsible for all financial matters affecting or involving the XOMA companies, including directing XOMA’s financial strategy, accounting, budgeting, financial planning and analysis, and investor relations functions. Mr. Burns has 25 years of experience in accounting and finance at both biotechnology and high technology companies.
Previously, Mr. Burns held multiple senior financial management positions at high-tech companies, including Mattson Technology, IntruVert Networks (acquired by McAfee), Niku Corporation (acquired by Computer Associates), and Conner Technology. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University and an M.B.A. from Golden Gate University.
Peder K. Jensen, M.D., has been a member of Acorda’s Board of Directors since April 2011. Dr. Jensen is currently President of Bay Way Consultants LLC, a consulting firm he founded in 2010 that advises pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Dr. Jensen’s experience includes more than 20 years with global pharmaceutical company Schering-Plough, and then Merck & Co., Inc. following the merger of the two companies in 2009. During his tenure at Schering-Plough/Merck, Dr. Jensen held a number of global senior research and development positions, including Vice President Clinical Research, SPRI, Executive Vice President Worldwide Drug Development, SPRI, and most recently Corporate Senior Vice President, and General Manager, Resource & Development for Japan and Asia/Pacific from 2006 to 2010.
Dr. Jensen has more than 25 years of global drug development experience across a variety of therapeutic areas, including neurology, cardiovascular, anti-infective, oncology and immunology. Over the course of his career, Dr. Jensen has been responsible for more than 40 new drug approvals in the U.S., Europe and Japan. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of FivePrime Therapeutics, Inc.
Dr. Jensen received his M.D. from the University of Copenhagen.
Sandra Panem, Ph.D., has been a member of Acorda’s Board of Directors since 1998. She is currently a partner at Cross Atlantic Partners, which she joined in 2000. She is also currently President of NeuroNetworks Fund, a not-for-profit venture capital fund focusing on neurodisorders which she co-founded in December 2014. From 1994 to 1999, Dr. Panem was President of Vector Fund Management, the then asset management affiliate of Vector Securities International. Prior to that, Dr. Panem served as Vice President and Portfolio Manager for the Oppenheimer Global BioTech Fund, a mutual fund that invested in public and private biotechnology companies.
Previously, Dr. Panem was Vice President at Salomon Brothers Venture Capital, a fund focused on early and later-stage life sciences and technology investments. She was also a Science and Public Policy Fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, and an Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Chicago. Dr. Panem currently serves on the Board of Directors of Labcyte, Inc. and BioLineRx Ltd.
Dr. Panem received a B.S. in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Chicago.
John Varian has been a member of Acorda’s Board of Directors since January 2022. Mr. Varian currently serves on the board of directors for AmMax Bio and for Sellas Life Sciences, where he is Chair of the Audit Committee and sits on the Nominating and Goverance Committee and the Science Committee. From August 2011 to December 2016 he was the Chief Executive Officer of XOMA Corporation, where he led a financial restructuring of the company, and also served on its Board of Directors from December 2008 to May 2017.
Mr. Varian previously held roles as Chief Operating Officer of ARYx Therapeutics, Inc., Chief Financial Officer of Genset S.A. and as Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration for Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Mr. Varian also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Versartis, Inc. and Egalet Corporation. He holds a B.B.A. from Western Michigan University and was a Certified Public Accountant.
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Acorda has acquired Biotie Therapies. We invite you to explore www.acorda.com to learn more about our company, including our continued development of BIotie clinical programs for tozadenant, SYN120 and BTT1023. Information regarding transfers of value made to healthcare professionals and healthcare organizations in connection with Biotie’s clinical development programs is also available.