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About Potentia

Board of Directors


Alec Machiels,
JD/MBA, Co-founder & Chairman of the Board

Alec Machiels received his J.D. from the University of Leuven in Belgium and holds a Masters in International Economics from Konstanz University, and an MBA from Harvard University. When graduating from law school, he won the 1995 European Community Law Moot Court Competition. He also won the 2001 Harvard Business School Business Plan Competition with the original business plan for Potentia. From 1996 to 1999, Alec worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in the Mergers & Acquisitions Division and the Private Equity Division in London and New York. Following his graduation from Harvard Business School, Alec co-founded Potentia and consulted with Radius Ventures, a venture capital firm investing in biotechnology and healthcare. He is currently a Partner at Pegasus Capital Advisors, a special situations private equity firm in New York City managing $1.1 billion in equity assets.

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Cedric Francois,
MD/PhD, Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer/President

Cedric Francois's primary areas of expertise are immunology and immune system mediated disease.  Cedric Francois received his medical degree from the University of Leuven in Belgium and his Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Louisville.  Following postgraduate training in pediatric and transplant surgery, Dr. Francois was a member of the research team that performed the first successful hand transplantation and of the Louisville Face Transplant Team, whose work supported the first human face transplantation in Lyon, France in 2005.  He has published numerous publications and is the principal author on the clinical report of the first four human hand transplantations.  He is an inventor on many biotechnology patent applications, including all of Potentia’s proprietary patent applications.  Dr. Francois led Potentia to become the first group to test complement-inhibiting drug candidates for age-related macular degeneration, more than a year before the landmark reports in Science magazine.

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Marie-Claude Bernal,
MBA

Marie-Claude Bernal has served on the Board of Directors of ILOG, a Euronext and Nasdaq-listed company since December 2000. She was appointed chairman of the supervisory board of Esker S.A., a Euronext-listed company, in June 2001. From 1979 until December 2000, she was a senior vice president, partner, and international equity portfolio manager at Wellington Management Company in Boston. Mme Bernal earned a degree in finance and accounting from Haut Enseignement Commercial pour les Jeunes Filles in 1967 as the valedictorian of her promotion, and an MBA in finance and computer science from the University of Chicago in 1971.

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Stephen Gillies,
PhD, Founder, President & CEO of Provenance Biopharmaceuticals

Dr. Gillies is an accomplished scientist and business executive. Prior to founding Provenance Biopharmaceuticals Corp., Dr Gillies was founding President of Lexigen Pharmaceuticals Corp. and led the companyís acquisition by Merck KGaA. While at Merck KGaA, Dr. Gillies led the global pharmaceutical companyís pre-clinical oncology research. Previously, he was vice president of research at Damon Biotech and Abbott Biotech Inc., where he oversaw development of recombinant antibodies and pro-urokinase, an anti-clotting protein. During the course of his scientific career, Dr. Gillies has led multiple therapeutic candidates into clinical development for HIV/AIDS and cancer. These include engineered antibodies, NCEs and immunocytokines. Dr. Gillies has his M.S. degree and Ph.D. from the College of Medicine and Dentistry, Rutgers University and his B.S. degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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David Darst,
MBA, Co-founder

David Darst co-founded Potentia in 2001 and co-wrote its award winning business plan. David is currently a venture capitalist at OrbiMed Advisors in New York City, which manages $4 billion in assets. He serves as a Board Observer for Complete Genomics and ForteBio, is a founding investor of Good Start Genetics, and is active in OrbiMedís investments in Vivus (NASDAQ: VVUS), BioCryst (NASDAQ: BCRX), and Amarin (NASDAQ: AMRN). David previously co-founded the nonprofit biotechnology company, Medicine in Need, which received substantial funding from the Gates Foundation to develop inhaled tuberculosis therapies. David also worked briefly at Pfizer, Millennium and McKinsey & Company. David received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his Bachelors degree with honors from Harvard College.

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Sinclair Dunlop,
MBA, Director

As Managing Partner of MASA Life Science Ventures LP (MLSV), Mr. Dunlop leads the review and analysis of MLSV investment candidates. A former international business and economics analyst with the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, D.C., Mr. Dunlop has private equity and venture capital experience in Europe, the U.S. and Israel. Prior to joining MASA Inc as its Director of New Business Ventures, Mr. Dunlop was an Associate at New Vantage Group, manager of several early-stage venture capital funds in the Mid-Atlantic region. In May 2000, Mr. Dunlop received his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School where he was the R.C. Kopf British-American Fellow in international business. He also holds an M.A. with Honors in Political Economy from the University of Glasgow and an M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He is a St. Andrews Society of New York Scholar.

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Douglas E. Onsi,
JD, Director

Douglas E. Onsi is a Venture Partner at HealthCare Ventures. Prior to joining HealthCare Ventures in 2007, he served as Vice President, Campath Product Operations & Oncology Portfolio Management and as Vice President, Business Development at Genzyme Corporation. Before joining Genzyme, Mr. Onsi was Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Business Development of TolerRx, Inc. Prior to TolerRx, he held a senior business development position at LeukoSite, Inc., which was merged with Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He has also practiced corporate law at Bingham Dana LLP. Mr. Onsi received his J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School and B.S. degree in biology from Cornell University.

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