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Oxidien’s leadership consist of an experienced and dedicated management team who work closely with a top-tier strategic advisory board and a world-class scientific and medical advisory board.

Helena Cowley, MS, MBA

Co-founder, President, CEO

Management Team Member Since November 2019

Helena Cowley has over a decade of experience in roles of increasing responsibility in biotech. Prior to Oxidien, Helena was CEO of Captozyme, Inc., a contract manufacturing organization she built, alongside the two scientific co-founders, and then spearheaded the exit of to Arranta Bio in 2019. Over Helena’s tenure, Captozyme tripled revenues and was named among the top 50 fastest-growing University of Florida alumni-led businesses in the 2019 Gator100 and a “Florida Company to Watch” in 2017. Helena is a co-inventor on two patents and received the Florida Governor’s Entrepreneur Award in 2015.

Mark Mugerditchian

Management Team Member (consulting) Since August 2020

Mr. Mark Mugerditchian has over 40 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry including large multi-national companies, and Small Cap and Venture backed life science companies. He has had extensive successful experience in manufacturing as a product development leader with a broad technical background in pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturing and development, including a variety of formats of drug substance (small molecule synthesis and biotechnology) and drug products, (SVP, LVP, Solid Oral Dose, inhalation, transdermal, diagnostic and medical device).

Loren Miller, PhD

Management Team Member (consulting) Since January 2020

Dr. Loren Miller has extensive knowledge of US and global regulatory standards in drug development. Dr. Millers experience in the pharmaceutical industry is diverse and spans from emerging companies to large pharma, Contract Research Organizations (CRO), and academic institutions. His therapeutic area of expertise includes Central Nervous System disorders, GI disease, Inflammatory disease, Oncology, Dermatology, Pulmonary/Respiratory disease. He also provided management oversight and technical expertise to 23 NDAs/NDA clinical supplements of which 20 received regulatory approval.

Ira Klimberg, MD

Interim Management Team Member (consulting) Since December 2019

Dr. Ira W. Klimberg served as Assistant Professor and Director of Resident Education at the division of Urology at the University of Florida. He pioneered outpatient prostate surgery, and founded the Society of Ambulatory Urologic Surgeons. Dr. Klimberg has been principal investigator on over 250 clinical trials, and was Medical Director of the Urology Center of Florida, the largest outpatient urologic trial site in the southeast. He has been a scientific and marketing consultant to major pharmaceutical and device companies.

Paul Hassie, CPA, MBA

Management Team Member (consulting) Since November 2019

Mr. Paul Hassie provides financial, accounting and management services to small and mid-market companies in various industries. These services include strategic planning, interim CFO assistance, SEC and financial reporting, budgeting, valuation and financial projection modeling, due diligence, equity and debt financing, staff recruitment and evaluation, and compensation planning. Previously, Mr. Hassie served as Chief Financial Officer of publicly-held biotechnology companies, raising over $45 million through initial public offerings and privately-held biotechnology companies, and raising over $125 million through venture capital and private placement financings. Mr. Hassie was a Senior Manager in the Boston office of Ernst & Young LLP, providing audit and financial consulting services to emerging mid-market companies. Mr. Hassie is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Bryant University, as well as an MBA in Management and a Master of Science in Taxation from Bryant University.

Allen R. Nissenson, MD

Strategic Advisory Board Member Since January 2021

Dr. Nissenson is currently an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University California Los Angeles, where he previously served as Director of the Dialysis Program and Associate Dean. Dr. Nissenson also holds the position of Emeritus Chief Medical Officer of DaVita Kidney Care, having served as Chief Medical Officer for over 11 years. He recently joined Sentien Biotech as Chief Medical Officer. He is the immediate past Chair of Kidney Care Partners and immediate past Co-Chair of the Kidney Care Quality Alliance. He is a former president of the Renal Physicians Association and current member of the Government Affairs Committee. Dr. Nissenson also previously served as President of the Southern California End-Stage Renal Disease Network, as well as Chair of the Medical Review Board. Dr. Nissenson served as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow of the Institute of Medicine, working as a health advisor to the late Senator Paul Wellstone. Dr. Nissenson currently serves on the Board of Directors of Angion Biomedica and Rockwell Medical.

Dr. Nissenson earned his M.D. from Northwestern University Medical School. Dr. Nissenson is the author of two dialysis textbooks, both in their fifth editions and was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Advances in Renal Replacement Therapy, an official journal of the National Kidney Foundation. He recently completed service as Editor-in-Chief of Hemodialysis International the official journal of the International Society for Hemodialysis, as well as Medscape Nephrology, an innovate website focused on nephrology. He has over 740 publications in the field of nephrology, dialysis, anemia management, and health care delivery and policy, the latter including a seminal paper in Health Affairs on the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) program. Among his numerous honors is the President’s Award of the National Kidney Foundation. In addition, in 2007 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Hemodialysis presented by the University of Missouri on behalf of the Annual Dialysis Conference.

John G. Cooper

Strategic Advisory Board Member Since January 2021

Mr. Cooper’s career spans over 30 years of senior executive experience managing publicly-traded companies in the life sciences industry. He has played key leadership roles building companies with potential transformational medical technologies, including the first FDA approved synthetic peptide-containing pulmonary surfactant for premature infants with severe respiratory disease and the second FDA approved blood diagnostic test for HIV. Mr. Cooper has significant experience in strategy and organization development, raising capital, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, investor relations, and corporate governance. Over his career, Mr. Cooper has raised approximately $1 billion in capital through various financing and strategic transactions. 

Mr. Cooper provides corporate development and financial advisory services to emerging public and private companies in the life sciences industry.  Since 2017, he serves on the Board of Directors, and Chair of the Audit Committee, of Rockwell Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: RMTI) .  Previously, Mr. Cooper held executive leadership positions for Windtree Therapeutics (formerly Discovery Laboratories), a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on respiratory therapeutics, from 2001 to 2016. His roles included President, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to Discovery Labs, Mr. Cooper served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Chrysalis International Corporation (acquired by Phoenix Life Sciences) and its predecessor DNX Corporation, where he managed its initial public offering and negotiated and integrated several strategic acquisitions. Previously, Mr. Cooper served in senior financial management and executive committee roles at ENI Diagnostics (acquired by Pharmacia AB).  Mr. Cooper received his B.S. in Commerce from Rider University and holds a CPA designation.

John C. Lieske, MD

Scientific and Medical Advisory Board Member Since July 2020

Dr. Lieske is a nephrologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and a Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Dr. Lieske has a long-standing interest in urinary stone disease and urinary proteomics and has over the last decade completed multiple clinical trials evaluating various potential treatment strategies for urinary stone patients including those with primary and enteric hyperoxaluria. Dr. Lieske earned his MD from the University of Chicago, and then completed his Internal Medicine residency at Emory University followed by a clinical and research nephrology fellowship at the University of Chicago. In addition to his active kidney stone practice Dr. Lieske is medical director of the Renal Testing laboratory at Mayo Clinic that coordinates all kidney related testing, including those related to the diagnosis and treatment of kidney stone patients. Currently Dr. Lieske serves as director for the Rare Kidney Stone Consortium and site PI for the Unites States Urinary Stone Disease Network recruiting site at Mayo Clinic.

Kristina L. Penniston, PhD, RDN

Scientific and Medical Advisory Board Member Since July 2020

Dr. Penniston is a Senior Scientist in the Department of Urology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and has been the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for the UW Health University Hospital Metabolic Stone Clinic since 1999. Her research focuses on the role of nutrition in kidney stones with a specific interest medical nutrition therapy and health-related quality of life. Dr. Penniston currently serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Research on Calculus Kinetics (ROCK) Society and the Interactions Core Director for the NIH/NIDDK O’Brien Centers Cooperative Research Program in Benign Urology.