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 been awarded approximately $30.0 million in non-dilutive grant awards which have funded our research and development programs and a loan award that 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.
Karen Krasney, J.D.
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Ms. Krasney has served as our Executive Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel since November 2013. Ms. Krasney has been providing legal services to Capricor, Inc. since 2011 and in 2012 joined Capricor, Inc. as its Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Ms. Krasney’s career spans over 40 years serving as general counsel for numerous corporations and private companies engaged in a wide variety of industries. Her extensive background and vast experience has been focused on domestic and international corporate and business law, as well as litigation. Ms. Krasney has been involved in the medical technology arena since the mid 1990’s, representing several medical technology companies developing products for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Commencing in 2002, Ms. Krasney served as legal counsel of Biosensors International Group Ltd., a multinational medical device company that develops, manufactures and sells medical devices for cardiology applications. In 2006, she accepted the position of General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Biosensors and served in that capacity until 2010. During her tenure at Biosensors, among other things, Ms. Krasney headed the legal team that facilitated the company’s successful initial public offering in Singapore and was responsible for negotiating and documenting all agreements for the company worldwide, including licensing agreements with major medical device companies and agreements required for the company’s international clinical trials. Ms. Krasney also serves as a director on the board of Cardiovascular Research Foundation, a non-profit research, and education entity. Ms. Krasney received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California.
AJ Bergmann, M.B.A.
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Bergmann has served as our Chief Financial Officer since January 2018. Mr. Bergmann joined Capricor, Inc. in 2011 and served as its Director of Finance until November 2013. After the merger between Capricor, Inc. and a subsidiary of Nile Therapeutics, Inc., he became the Company’s Vice President of Finance. He also serves as the Company’s corporate treasurer. Prior to joining Capricor, Inc., Mr. Bergmann had experience in accounting, finance and operations management of companies ranging in size from start-ups to mid-size companies. Most recently he was with the business management firm, Gettleson, Witzer and O’Connor, in Beverly Hills, California, where he focused on accounting and finance for several production studios generating motion picture releases and worldwide revenue that exceeded $1 billion. The firm’s clients included foundations, trusts, and independent actors, writers, producers and directors across the entertainment industry. While at the firm, he focused on budgeting, tax forecasting and asset management. Earlier in his career, Mr. Bergmann served in financial positions in various industries. Mr. Bergmann assisted with Capricor, Inc.’s Series A-3 $6.0 million Preferred Stock offering, helped structure the Company’s successful $19.8 million budget proposal to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and coordinated the Company’s reverse merger and financings yielding over $50.0 million, to date. He has experience in developing corporate and financial strategy alternatives and executing on strategic plans. Mr. Bergmann manages the Company’s finance, accounting and human resource functions. Mr. Bergmann graduated from Providence College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and a minor in Finance. He has an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. He is actively involved in various venture capital and entrepreneurial associations throughout the Los Angeles area.
Vice President of Clinical Operations
Mr. Modafferi is currently serving as our Vice President of Clinical Operations. He has over 25 years of clinical operations and clinical development experience within several companies including Amgen, Omeros, and Nanostring technologies. Prior to Capricor, he led the Nephrology clinical operations team at Amgen for approximately 7 years and in this role contributed to the post-marketing studies on Cinacalcet and registrational studies on Parsabiv. Additionally, he held senior leadership positions at Omeros where he helped build the clinical operations team while leading phase I-III studies in the development of a MASP-2 inhibitor in rare diseases and at Nanostring where he led the clinical team in efforts to prepare a regulatory submission for a Lymphoma subtyping test on the n-counter diagnostic system. Before starting his career in drug development, Mr. Modaferri worked as an EMT and Paramedic in both a voluntary and professional capacity. Mr. Modafferi earned his bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.