About Us

OUR STORY

Acasti is a biopharmaceutical innovator focused on the research, development and commercialization of prescription drugs using omega-3 fatty acids derived from krill oil. Omega-3 fatty acids have extensive clinical evidence of safety and efficacy in lowering triglycerides in patients with hypertriglyceridemia. Market research commissioned by Acasti* suggests there is an important market need for an effective, safe and well-absorbing omega-3 therapeutic with a positive impact on the major lipids associated with cardiovascular disease risk. Since August 2008, Acasti is focused on addressing this important unmet market need.

Acasti’s lead product candidate is CaPre® (omega-3 phospholipid), which the company is developing in a Phase 3 program for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia, a condition characterized by abnormally high levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream (over 500 mg/dL). Acasti believes the potential exists to expand CaPre’s indication to treat individuals with high levels of triglycerides (200 – 499 mg/dL), which may require additional comparative studies or outcome trials, assuming positive outcome study data in the next two years from two competitors. In addition, Acasti may seek to identify new potential indications for CaPre that may be appropriate for future studies and pipeline expansion.

Management

Jan D'Alvise

Jan D'Alvise
President and CEO

Ms. D'Alvise has extensive experience the life science industry, having held executive positions in companies commercializing pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical devices, and drug discovery research tools. Prior to joining Acasti in mid-2016, Ms. D'Alvise was the President and Chairman of Pediatric Bioscience. Before that, she was the CEO of Gish Biomedical, a cardiopulmonary medical device company. Prior to Gish, Ms. D'Alvise was the CEO of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC), a drug discovery research institute, the Co-Founder/President/CEO/Chairman of NuGEN, Inc., and the Co-Founder and Executive VP/COO of Metrika Inc. Ms. D'Alvise built NuGEN and Metrika from technology concept through to successful regulatory approvals, product introduction and sustainable revenue growth. Prior to her experience as an entrepreneur, Ms. D'Alvise held the positions of VP of Drug Development at Syntex/Roche and Business Unit Director of their Pain and Inflammation business, and VP of Commercial Operations at SYVA (Syntex's clinical diagnostics division). She began her career with Diagnostic Products Corporation where she ran global sales, marketing and service. Ms. D'Alvise has a B.S. in Biochemistry from Michigan Technological University. She has completed post-graduate work at the University of Michigan, Stanford University, and the Wharton Business Schools. Ms. D'Alvise has served on the board of numerous private companies and non-profits, and is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the von Liebig Institute for Entrepreneurship at the University of California, San Diego.

Pierre Lemieux, Ph.D.

Pierre Lemieux, Ph.D.
Chief Operating and Scientific Officer, Co-Founder

Dr. Lemieux has been our Chief Operating Officer since April 2010 and was named Chief Scientific Officer in July 2018. Previously, Mr. Lemieux was CEO, Co-Founder and Chairman of BiolActis Inc. which he sold in 2009 to interests affiliated with the Nestlé multinational group. Mr. Lemieux joined Suprateck Pharma in 1999 as Director and Vice-President involved in the development of formulations for gene therapy on behalf of Rhone-Poulenc Rorer and Genzyme, which today are under the Sanofi banner. Prior to this, Mr. Lemieux was involved in the development of cardiovascular products at Angiotech Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Lemieux has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Université Laval (Québec). He holds 16 patents and has authored over 50 publications. Mr. Lemieux's research was conducted at Université Laval as well as at the anti-cancer center Paul Papin D'Angers (France) and the University of Nottingham (England). His research focused on ovarian cancer and its treatment with monoclonal antibodies used to target cancer drugs. After completing his graduate studies, Mr. Lemieux joined the Oncology division of the Center for Health Research, University of Texas (U.S.). He obtained a postdoctoral fellowship from the Susan G. Komen Foundation (Breast Cancer). Mr. Lemieux has served on the boards of BioQuébec, Montreal in vivo and PharmaBio Development.

Brian Groch

Brian Groch
Chief Commercial Officer

Mr. Groch joined Acasti Pharma in June 2018. He brings over 25 years of senior experience in the healthcare and life science industries, including product commercialization, developing and executing global sales strategies, business development, and operations. Most recently, Mr. Groch served as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Veru Inc., a urology, oncology and female health products company, where he was responsible for leading the development and execution of the company's long-term commercial strategy. Under his leadership, Veru experienced rapid growth in sales of the Company's women's health product. Mr. Groch also served as Chief Commercial Officer for Telesta Therapeutics, where he led the development and implementation of the global commercial strategy. Previously, Mr. Groch served as Vice President of Commercial Operations and Market Access for Horizon Therapeutics, where he oversaw global operations including the integration of two acquisitions valued over $1.5 billion. Mr. Groch has also served as CEO and President of Exsto Therapeutics, Head of Market Access for Dendreon, and Director of Health Policy for Phadia. He has held senior management roles with Novartis and Merck & Co. He holds an M.S. in Healthcare Administration and Marketing from Central Michigan University, as well as a B.S. in Physiology from Central Michigan University.

Jean-François Boily, CPA, CA

Jean-François Boily, CPA, CA
Vice-President, Finance

Prior to joining Acasti, Jean-François Boily served as a Director of Finance & Information Technology (IT) at Innovaderm Research Inc., a large North American contract research organization (CRO) specialized in dermatology. At Innovaderm he worked closely with the President and Chief Medical Officer and founder, where he was responsible for all aspects of Finance and IT. He undertook a major financial, IT and growth mandate where he increased revenues and profits over 25%. Prior to that, Mr. Boily was a Director of Finance at Teva Canada, a generic drug products manufacturer, where he oversaw manufacturing of generics, managing branded product launches and clinical R&D activities. At Teva, Mr. Boily worked closely with the CFO, where he had oversight of four production sites that generated more than four billion doses. Most recently, Mr. Boily worked as a consultant and Vice President of Finance and IT for a pharmaceutical start-up led by a US-based investor, where he helped raise seed capital in advance of a planned initial public offering in Canada and the US. Mr. Boily holds a BS in Accounting from HEC Montreal, a top ranked Canadian business school, and is a Chartered Public Accountant (CPA).

Board of Directors

Roderick Carter, MD

Chairman of the Board

Dr. Carter has a strong history of contributions to healthcare through clinical, research, business and people leadership. He has significant experience developing and commercializing nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products and has successfully led clinical research and business development strategies for cardiovascular and inflammation related diseases. Dr. Carter is currently Principal at Aquila Life Sciences LLC, a consulting firm he founded in April 2008 focusing on pharmaceutical development and commercialization. Prior to this, he was Vice President of Clinical Development at Reliant Pharmaceuticals, which developed the OM3 cardiovascular drug LOVAZA, and today is a wholly-owned subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline. He also served as Executive Director at Merck and Co., USA, President and Chief Executive Officer of WellGen and Senior Medical Director at Pfizer Inc., USA. Dr. Carter received his Medical Degree from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, along with a Master of Science degree in Sports Medicine from Trinity College, Dublin.

Jan D'Alvise

President and CEO

Ms. D'Alvise has extensive experience the life science industry, having held executive positions in companies commercializing pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical devices, and drug discovery research tools. Prior to joining Acasti in mid-2016, Ms. D'Alvise was the President and Chairman of Pediatric Bioscience. Before that, she was the CEO of Gish Biomedical, a cardiopulmonary medical device company. Prior to Gish, Ms. D'Alvise was the CEO of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC), a drug discovery research institute, the Co-Founder/President/CEO/Chairman of NuGEN, Inc., and the Co-Founder and Executive VP/COO of Metrika Inc. Ms. D'Alvise built NuGEN and Metrika from technology concept through to successful regulatory approvals, product introduction and sustainable revenue growth. Prior to her experience as an entrepreneur, Ms. D'Alvise held the positions of VP of Drug Development at Syntex/Roche and Business Unit Director of their Pain and Inflammation business, and VP of Commercial Operations at SYVA (Syntex's clinical diagnostics division). She began her career with Diagnostic Products Corporation where she ran global sales, marketing and service. Ms. D'Alvise has a B.S. in Biochemistry from Michigan Technological University. She has completed post-graduate work at the University of Michigan, Stanford University, and the Wharton Business Schools. Ms. D'Alvise has served on the board of numerous private companies and non-profits, and is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the von Liebig Institute for Entrepreneurship at the University of California, San Diego.

John Canan

Director

Mr. Canan is an accomplished business executive with over 34 years of strategic, business development and financial leadership experience. Mr. Canan recently retired from Merck & Co., Inc. where his last senior position was as Senior Vice-President, Global Controller, and Chief Accounting Officer for Merck from November 2009 to March 2014. He has managed all interactions with the audit committee of the Merck board of directors, while participating extensively with the main board and the compensation & benefits committee. Mr. Canan serves as a director of REV Group, a public company, where he chairs the audit committee. Mr. Canan also provides consulting services to Willow BioPharma, a Canadian start-up, engaged in the acquisition and development of legacy pharmaceutical assets. He also serves on the board of trustees of Angkor Hospital for Children, where he also chairs the audit & risk committee. Mr. Canan is a graduate of McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and is a Canadian Chartered Accountant.

Donald Olds

Director

Mr. Olds is President and Chief Executive Officer of the NEOMED Institute, an R&D organization dedicated to advancing Canadian research discoveries to commercial success. Prior to NEOMED, he was the Chief Operating Officer of Telesta Therapeutics Inc., a TSX-listed biotechnology company. In 2016, he led the successful sale of Telesta to a larger public biotechnology company. Prior to Telesta, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Presagia Corp., and Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Aegera Therapeutics. At both Telesta and Aegera, Mr. Olds was responsible for raising more than $100 million in equity financing and leading regional and global licensing transactions with life sciences companies.

Mr. Olds is currently Lead Director of Goodfood Market Corp (TSX:FOOD), Chairman of Oxfam Quebec and Director of Presagia Corp. He has extensive past corporate governance experience serving on the boards of private and public for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He holds an MBA (Finance & Strategy) and M.Sc. (Renewable Resources) from McGill University.

Scientific Advisory Board

Harold Bays

Dr. Harold Bays is Board Certified in Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Diplomate of the American Board of Clinical Lipidology, and Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine. He has served as an Investigator for over 500 Phase I - IV clinical trials regarding treatments for dyslipidemias, obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and other metabolic and hormonal disorders. As Medical Director and President of Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerosis Research Center, Dr. Bays has written, or served as a contributing author to over 200 peer review scientific manuscripts and book chapters, well as over 100 scientific abstracts presented at major scientific meetings, and served as first author for a number of scientific consensus statements in Lipidology and Obesity Medicine. He is a Fellow of the National Lipid Association (FNLA), Fellow of The Obesity Society (FTOS), Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC) and Fellow of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (FACE). He was lead author of the National Lipid Association Annual Summary of Clinical Lipidology 2015 & 2016, co-author of the National Lipid Association Recommendations for Patient-Centered Treatment of Dyslipidemia, and Chairman of the Obesity Medicine Association Obesity Algorithm. He was Chairman of the National Lipid Association 2012 Adiposity and Dyslipidemia Consensus Conference and Chairman of the 2010 American Association of Clinical Endocrinologist Adipose Tissue Pathophysiology State of the Science Conference. Finally, Dr. Bays has received several scientific awards such as the 2016 Obesity Medicine Association "Obesity Medicine Clinician of the Year," 2015 National Lipid Association "President's Service Award," and 2014 American Society of Bariatric Physicians "Task Force Award."

Barry A. Franklin, Ph.D.

Dr. Franklin is currently director of preventive cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation at William Beaumont Hospital. He holds professorial appointments at Oakland University, William Beaumont School of Medicine and Wayne State University, Department of Physiology, School of Medicine. During his tenure at William Beaumont Hospital, the cardiac rehabilitation program and stress testing laboratories have achieved national and international recognition in the treatment and evaluation of coronary artery disease. Dr. Franklin and his associates have studied the physiologic responses to numerous occupational and leisure-time activities, as well as the primary and secondary prevention of heart disease, comprehensive cardiovascular risk reduction, obesity and metabolism, exercise testing and prescription, lipids and lipoproteins. He has served in multiple volunteer advisory roles for the American Heart Association, and was past president of the American College of Sports Medicine and American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Dr. Franklin holds various editorial board appointments with scientific and clinical journals and has written or edited nearly 600 publications, including 481 papers, 85 book chapters, and 27 books. He has received a number of honors and awards, and he lectures extensively, both nationally and internationally, on topics related to preventive cardiology and lifestyle medicine. Dr. Franklin obtained his Ph.D. in Physiology, with a minor in Health and Physical education from Pennsylvania State University.

Robert Hegele, M.D.

Dr. Hegele is a distinguished university professor at Western University, and director of London Regional Genomics Centre at Robarts Research Institute in London, Canada. He holds the Wolfe Distinguished Medical Research Chair, the Edith Schulich Vinet Chair in Human Genetics and the Blackburn Chair in Cardiovascular Research. He cares for more than 2000 patients in his lipid clinic at University Hospital, where he is a staff endocrinologist. He was among the first doctors in North America to use five medications that are now routinely prescribed to treat high cholesterol or diabetes and his laboratory discovered the molecular genetic basis of more than 20 human diseases, including familial lipid disorders and inherited diabetes. He has published over 600 papers, which have been cited more than 20,000 times in the medical literature, and he was listed in the ISI database of the top 1% of highly cited scientists in the world. Dr. Hegele has contributed to national clinical practice guidelines for lipids, blood pressure and diabetes, and to international guidelines on familial hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia. He has trained many physicians, medical students and graduate students. Dr. Hegele obtained his medical doctorate from the University of Toronto.

Kevin C Maki, PhD, CLS, FNLA, FTOS, FACN

Kevin C Maki, PhD is the Founder and Chief Scientist for Midwest Biomedical Research (Chicago, Illinois) and MB Clinical Research (Boca Raton, Florida). He specializes in the design and conduct of clinical studies in human nutrition, metabolism and chronic disease risk factor management. Dr Maki also holds an Adjunct Faculty position teaching Biostatistics and Applied Epidemiology at DePaul University. He is a Fellow of the National Lipid Association, The Obesity Society and the American College of Nutrition, as well as a certified Clinical Lipid Specialist and Vice President of the Board of Governors for the Accreditation Council for Clinical Lipidology.

Dr. Maki has participated in more than 300 clinical trials and observational studies as an investigator, consultant or statistician, and published more than 250 scientific papers, books and book chapters. He earned a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago's School of Public Health, and an MS in Preventive and Rehabilitative Cardiovascular Health from Benedictine University.

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian

Dariush Mozaffarian is a cardiologist, Dean and Jean Mayer Professor at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and Professor of Medicine at Tufts Medical School. As one of the top nutrition institutions in the world, the Friedman School's mission is to produce trusted science, future leaders, and real-world impact. Dr. Mozaffarian has authored nearly 400 scientific publications on dietary priorities for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, and on evidence-based policy approaches to reduce these burdens in the US and globally. He has served in numerous advisory roles including for the US and Canadian governments, American Heart Association, World Health Organization, and United Nations. His work has been featured in a wide array of media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, and Time Magazine. In 2016, Thomson Reuters named him as one of the World's Most Influential Scientific Minds.

Dr. Mozaffarian received a BS in biological sciences at Stanford (Phi Beta Kappa), MD at Columbia (Alpha Omega Alpha), residency training in internal medicine at Stanford, and fellowship training in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Washington. He also received an MPH from the University of Washington and a Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard. Before being appointed as Dean at Tufts in 2014, Dr. Mozaffarian was at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health for a decade and clinically active in cardiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is married, has three children, and actively trains as a Taekwondo Black Belt (third degree).

The Friedman School pursues cutting-edge research and education across five Divisions, several centers, and multiple academic programs. Areas of focus range from cell to society, including: molecular nutrition, human metabolism and clinical trials, nutrition data science, behavior change, community and organizational interventions, media and communication, agriculture, food systems, and sustainability, hunger and food security, humanitarian crises, and food economics and policy. Friedman School graduates are leaders in academics, US and international government, policy, advocacy, industry, public health, community service, and innovation and entrepreneurship. The School's unique breadth, engagement with the world, and entrepreneurial spirit make it a leading institution for nutrition education, research, and public impact.