Frank Litvack M.D., FACC
Dr. Litvack is currently serving as our Executive Chairman, and has served in that capacity and on the Board since November 2013. Dr. Litvack is a native of Canada. He completed medical school and residency at McGill University in Montreal and a Cardiovascular Fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he subsequently became co-director of the Cardiovascular Intervention Center and Professor of Medicine at UCLA. There he led a prominent clinical and research program known for its excellence in innovation, care and leadership in Translational Medicine. Dr. Litvack was board-certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases and Interventional Cardiology. He has published more than one hundred research articles and chapters and is the recipient of several awards, including an American Heart Association Young Investigator Award, the Leon Goldman Medical Excellence Award for contributions to the field of biomedical optics and the United States Space Technology and Space Foundation Hall of Fame for pioneering work with the excimer laser. Dr. Litvack left full time practice and academics in 2000 to concentrate on entrepreneurial activities. Dr. Litvack has founded and operated several healthcare ventures, both as chairman and/or chief executive officer, including Progressive Angioplasty Systems Inc., a medical device company that was acquired by United States Surgical Corp. in 1998; Savacor, Inc., a medical device company that was acquired by St. Jude Medical in 2005; Conor Medsystems, Inc., a publicly traded medical device company that was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2007. He presently sits on the boards of several early-stage healthcare companies including V-Wave Medical Ltd. and Recor Medical, Inc., both medical device companies. Dr. Litvack was a former director of publicly traded Nile from 2009-2012. Dr. Litvack joined the board of directors of Capricor, Inc. as Executive Chairman in 2012. Dr. Litvack is the co-founder and chairman of TrialTech Medical, Inc., a clinical trial services company. Dr. Litvack is currently a General Partner in Pura Vida Investment, LLC, a healthcare hedge fund, and is serving as a Director on the board of Cardiovascular Research Foundation, a non-profit research and education entity.
Linda Marbán, Ph.D
President, CEO and Director
Dr. Marbán is currently serving as our Chief Executive Officer, and has served in that capacity and on the Board since November 2013. As co-founder of Capricor, Inc., our wholly-owned subsidiary, Dr. Marbán has been with Capricor, Inc. since 2005 and became its Chief Executive Officer in 2010. She combines her background in research with her business experience to lead the Company and create a path to commercialization for its novel therapies. Dr. Marbán was the lead negotiator in procuring the license agreements that are the foundation of the Company’s intellectual property portfolio. Under her direction as Chief Executive Officer, the Company has secured over $30.0 million in non-dilutive grant awards which have funded our research and development programs and a loan award which funded Capricor, Inc.’s ALLSTAR clinical trial. Dr. Marbán’s deep knowledge of the cardiac space, in particular, allows her to provide unique direction for the Company’s development and growth. From 2003 to 2009, Dr. Marbán was with Excigen, Inc., a biotechnology start-up company, where she was responsible for business development, operations, pre-clinical research, and supervising the development of gene therapy products in a joint development agreement with Genzyme Corp. While at Excigen, she also negotiated a joint development and sublicense agreement with Medtronic Corp. utilizing Excigen’s technology and supervised the building of a lab in which the work was to be performed. Dr. Marbán began her career in academic science, first at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation working on the biophysical properties of cardiac muscle. That work continued when she moved to a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University (“JHU”). While at JHU, she advanced to the rank of Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, continuing her work on the mechanism of contractile dysfunction in heart failure. Her tenure at JHU ran from 2000 to 2003. Dr. Marbán earned a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in cardiac physiology.
Earl M. (Duke) Collier, Jr.
Mr. Collier has been a member of the Board since November 2013. He joined the Capricor, Inc. board of directors in 2011 and is a member of the Company’s Audit Committee and Chairman of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. From 2010-2014, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of 480 Biomedical, a medical device company developing products used in the treatment of peripheral artery disease, and the executive chairman of Arsenal Medical, Inc., a medical device company. Mr. Collier was formerly Executive Vice President at Genzyme Corporation, a biotechnology company acquired by Sanofi for $20.1 billion in 2011. Mr. Collier also served as President of Vitas Healthcare, a hospice provider, as a partner at the Washington, DC-based law firm of Hogan and Hartson and as Deputy Administrator of the Health Care Finance Administration (now CMS) in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, serves on the board of Partners HealthCare System and as Chair of the Innovation Advisory Board of Partners HealthCare. Additionally, he is a member of the board of the Boston Athenaeum. Previously, Mr. Collier served as a director of publicly-traded Decode Genetics Inc. (DGI Resolution, Inc.), a biopharmaceutical company and GenSight, a gene therapy company in Paris that trades on the French Euronext exchange. He currently serves on the board of directors of Tesaro, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Collier earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Yale University and received a law degree from the University of Virginia Law School.
George W. Dunbar, Jr.
Mr. Dunbar has been a member of the Board since November 2013. He joined the Capricor, Inc. board of directors in 2012 and is a member of the Company’s Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. He is Managing Partner of The Dunbar Group, LLC, and provides advisory services to healthcare and life science investors and companies who recognize they need short term or interim industry expertise as they grow in order to be capital efficient. Mr. Dunbar has extensive healthcare and life sciences operating experience and has served as a director or chief executive officer with private and public life science companies in Diagnostics, Specialty Pharma, Cell Therapy, and Biologics, two as chief executive officer, where he led initial public offerings. He recently served as chief executive officer of ISTO Technologies and ISTO Biologics, two private orthobiologics companies. Prior to ISTO, Mr. Dunbar served as a Venture Partner with Arboretum Ventures, a leading healthcare venture capital firm. Mr. Dunbar is currently a board member of Progenitor Life Sciences, a private next generation immunotherapy development company and is Executive Chairman with Avery Therapeutics, a privately held tissue engineering platform technology company developing treatments for degenerative and incurable diseases. He has served as a board member for the following companies: IntelliCyt, a provider of high throughput screening and analytic tools, KFx Medical, an orthopedic medical device company (as chair), and CerviLenz, Inc., a women’s health medical device company (as executive chair). He was a past director and executive chair of Accuri Cytometers (now Becton Dickinson & Co.), a cell analysis and flow cytometer company. Mr. Dunbar attended Auburn University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and later received his M.B.A. He currently serves on the Harbert College of Business M.B.A. Advisory Board and is an advisor to Vanderbilt University’s Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization.
Joshua A. Kazam
Mr. Kazam has been a member of the Board since August 2005. Mr. Kazam is a co-founder and Partner of Two River, where he has served as partner since its inception in 2004. He has also served as an officer and director of Riverbank Capital Securities, Inc., a FINRA member broker dealer, since October 2005. Prior to founding Two River, he served as Managing Director of a life science focused venture capital firm. Mr. Kazam is a co-founder, officer and director of Allogene Therapeutics Inc. He is a co-founder and partner of Vida Ventures. Mr. Kazam was also a co-founder and director of Kite Pharma where he served on the board until its acquisition by Gilead (GILD) in 2017. Mr. Kazam also serves as a director of several privately held companies including Second Science and Hubble Contacts. Mr. Kazam is a Member of the Wharton School’s Undergraduate Executive Board and serves on the Board of Directors of the Desert Flower Foundation. Mr. Kazam received his B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Manzo has been a member of the Board since November 2013. He was one of the initial investors in Capricor, Inc. and joined the Capricor, Inc. board of directors in 2006. Mr. Manzo is also a member of the Company’s Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Mr. Manzo has been a prominent mid-Atlantic entrepreneur for over three decades and has extensive experience in the area of finance. Mr. Manzo received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Notre Dame and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He served in the armed forces as an officer in the United States Navy. After completing his M.B.A. at Harvard, Mr. Manzo joined, and in a few years became General Partner of, Baker, Watts & Co., a New York Stock Exchange Member Firm. His experience there included being Director of Equity Research and, later, the Head of Corporate Finance. During the 1980’s, Mr. Manzo started his own private investment firm, LVM Venture Partners. Beginning in 1989, Mr. Manzo became part of the founders group which helped a Johns Hopkins cardiologist fund his launching of a research center for preventive cardiology. Mr. Manzo remained as an advisor during the center’s formative years. His continued interest in preventive research included a major investment to research the use of protein modeling for early disease detection. Since 2002, he has been following and supporting research into the use of adult stem cells in the repair of spinal cord and heart damage. The list of private company boards, senior advisory roles, and charities that Mr. Manzo has been involved with over the years are numerous and varied, including: the Johns Hopkins Preventive Cardiology Center, a hospital center; Greater Baltimore Medical Center, a hospital; Goodwill Industries of Maryland, a non-profit organization; E.I.L. Instruments, Inc., an instrument company; and University of Notre Dame, Advisory Council for Graduate Studies and Research.
David B. Musket
Mr. Musket has been a member of the Board since November 2013. He joined the Capricor, Inc. board of directors in 2012 and is Chairman of the Company’s Audit and Compensation Committees. Mr. Musket has vast experience in strategic finance and has been following developments in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries for over 30 years. Mr. Musket began his investment career as an equities research analyst at Goldman Sachs & Co. following the pharmaceutical industry. From 1991 through 2016 he served as President of Musket Research Associates, a registered broker/dealer focused exclusively on venture banking transactions for emerging healthcare companies. In 1996 he co-founded ProMed Management, a healthcare-focused investment management company which he continues to run today. He has served on the boards of several private and public companies throughout his career. From 1999 to 2007, Mr. Musket served on the board of directors of publicly-traded Conor MedSystems, Inc., a medical device company sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2007 for $1.4 billion. Mr. Musket holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Psychology from Boston College.