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 Global 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 is currently on the board of Spectral Medical (EDT.TO), a late stage theranostic company advancing therapeutic options for sepsis and septic shock, as well as a new proprietary platform targeting the renal replacement therapy market, and The ObG Project, a private digital media company delivering real-time medical information to physicians. She has previously served on the boards of numerous private companies and non-profits.
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 D. Ford CPA-CA
Chief Financial Officer
Brian D. Ford brings over three decades of financial, project management and M&A experience within the healthcare and financial industries. Mr. Ford is an accomplished CPA-CA having served both publicly traded as well as privately owned organizations. Mr. Ford has been responsible for developing business recovery strategies, negotiating M&A transactions, as well as managing quarterly and yearly accounting reports. Most recently, Mr. Ford served as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Business Advisor at a private group of Ontario based medical clinics, including the largest chronic pain management practice in Canada. During his position as CFO and Senior Business Advisor, Mr. Ford significantly improved the Company’s performance and was instrumental in preparing the Company for its Initial Public Offering. Prior to that, Mr. Ford served as Chief Financial Officer at Telesta Therapeutics. At Telesta Therapeutics, Mr. Ford helped develop a new business plan and was heavily involved in all capital transactions. Previously, Mr. Ford started his own consulting firm, Petersford Consulting, where he provided clients with finance and business risk services. Mr. Ford began his career at Ernst & Young, working his way to Principal, Business Risk Services, developing essential business plans that evaluated revenue and cost profiles supporting budget planning and understanding drivers of growth, specifically with healthcare companies. Additionally, at Ernst & Young, Mr. Ford participated in and often led teams in due diligence assignments in relation to mergers and acquisitions or the sale of a business, having extensive experience in developing financial forecasts, product and market valuation, and audits of critical accounting and processes. Mr. Ford holds a B.A. in Economics, History, and English from the University of Guelph and has a Graduate Diploma in Accounting from the University of McGill. Mr. Ford is a member of the Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Dr. George Kottayil
Co-Founder of Grace Therapeutics
Dr. George Kottayil has spent over 20 years at prominent life science companies. Most recently, Dr. Kottayil was a co-founder and served as CEO of Grace Therapeutics, prior to its acquisition by Acasti in August 2021. Previously, Dr. George Kottayil was a co-founder and president of Insys Therapeutics, Inc. and principal inventor of SUBSYS®, a sublingual fentanyl spray for the treatment of breakthrough cancer pain, which generated annual revenue of approximately $250 million during the fiscal year ended 2015. He has previously held senior positions at Unimed Pharmaceuticals Inc., which was later acquired by Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which in turn was acquired by AbbVie Inc. He has held key roles in product development and obtaining FDA approval for ANDROGEL®, which generated annual revenue of approximately $1.15 billion during the fiscal year ended 2012, as well as formulating and executing a strategy that resulted in down-scheduling of the controlled prescription drug MARINOL® by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.
VP, Commercial Operations
Prashant Kohli has over 20 years of commercialization experience leading strategy, sales, marketing, and product management. Most recently, Mr. Kohli was VP, Commercial Operations of Grace Therapeutics, prior to its acquisition by Acasti in August 2021. He has expertise crafting go-to-market plans for products with unique value proposition that address critical unmet needs. He has built, deployed, and led sales and marketing from the ground-up with significant experience in organization design, recruiting, performance management, incentive compensation, and P&L accountability. He has successfully implemented evidence-based, consultative-selling model that is rooted in deep understanding of the health ecosystem including patients, providers, health systems, government, and payers. He has also designed strategic marketing plans that generate leads and increase share-of-voice, augmenting the salesforce with digital tactics that increase reach and frequency. He has extensive commercial experience with specialty and small molecule drugs including in rare and orphan diseases. Prashant has worked at Archi-Tech Systems, Cardinal Health, IMS Health, Rosenbluth, and Dun & Bradstreet. He has a BA in Computer Science and Math, and an MBA from The Wharton School.