About Eleison Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Management Team


Edwin J. Thomas – CEO

A biotechnology executive and entrepreneur, Mr. Thomas has been principal and founder of several successful life science companies, creating value for investors, and achieving timely and profitable exits. He has occupied leadership positions (CEO, COO, CFO) at Precision Pharmaceuticals (Gainesville, FL – anti-inflammatories), CMI (Princeton, NJ – antivirals), and Avid Therapeutics (Philadelphia, PA – antivirals). Before Eleison, Mr. Thomas was COO of Provid Pharmaceuticals (North Brunswick, NJ), a hybrid company engaged in the discovery and development of autoimmune disease therapeutics, and a fee-for-service medicinal chemistry provider to the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, where he continues to serve on the Board of Directors. Prior to his tenure in the biotech field, Mr. Thomas was CFO of Nobel Learning Communities, Inc. (Nasdaq: NLCI), an early education services provider. Mr. Thomas studied biochemistry and economics at the University of Pennsylvania (Bachelor of Science), and received his Masters in Business Administration from The Wharton School.

Guangtao Zhang, PhD – Vice President of CMC, and Asian Business Development

Dr. Zhang has more than 15 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in the U.S. and China. Before industry, he was a research associate at the Harvard Medical School and a postdoctoral fellow at MIT. He earned his Ph.D. at the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry and the University of Science and Technology of China, and has authored more than 25 journal and conference articles and holds several patents.

Michael J. Otto, PhD – Chief Scientist (Part-time)

Dr. Otto previously served as Chief Scientific Officer of Pharmasset Inc. from 1999 until the company was acquired by Gilead Sciences in 2012. He led the research team responsible for the discovery of sofosbuvir for the treatment of HCV infections. In previous capacities he has served as Associate Director of Anti-Infectives Clinical Research at Rhône-Poulenc Rorer, Vice President for Research and Development at Avid Therapeutics, Inc., Research Manager at DuPont Pharmaceuticals and DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals and as Group Leader in the Virology Dept. at Sterling Drug in Rensselaer, NY. Prior to joining Sterling drug, Dr. Otto was Research Assistant Professor at Yale University School of Medicine, Dept. of Pharmacology. Dr. Otto also has served as the US editor for Antiviral Chemistry & Chemotherapy from 1989 until the present. Dr. Otto holds a B.S. degree from Loyola University of Chicago and a Ph.D. degree in medical microbiology from The Medical College of Wisconsin. He is the author or coauthor of over 100 research papers and book chapters and named inventor on several patents and patent applications. Dr. Otto Currently serves on the Board of Directors for ContraFect, a company focused on therapeutics treating bacterial and viral infections.


Board of Directors


Bryan Wood

Mr. Wood is the founder and principal of Alta Berkeley (London, Geneva), a premier European venture capital firm investing in early stage communications, information technology, media and health care companies in Western Europe, USA and Israel. He has invested in 40 companies, resulting in nine IPOs (six on NASDAQ) and fourteen trade sales (mostly cross-border). He served as non executive director of 50 companies, public and private in ten European countries, USA and Israel. Previously, Mr. Wood was European Finance Vice President of Gould Inc and held several other European and US finance and operating positions in various companies. Mr. Wood obtained his Bachelor in Science in Industrial Engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and his MBA from the Harvard Business School in Boston.

Frank Seidman

Mr. Seidman is the founding principal and continues to serve as President of Capital Solutions, Inc., a real estate development and private equity firm. Since 2001, Capital Solutions, Inc. has facilitated over $700 million of transactions. From 1997 to 2000, he was a cofounder and managing director of Balanced Capital LLC, a real estate and venture capital firm. During this time, Balanced Capital closed on six venture capital investments and seven real estate investments. Prior to Balanced Capital, Mr. Seidman was a principal of Preferred Real Estate Investments, Inc., was associated with MSK Associates and Silver Harting and Co., and worked for seven years as a CPA at Laventhol & Horwath, an international certified public accounting firm. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Drexel University, where he majored in accounting and is currently a member of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA). In addition, Mr. Seidman sits on various boards of companies in which he is a principal shareholder.

Lane Wiggers

Lane Wiggers is the founding principal of Cordam Group, LLC, an early stage, Philadelphia based, private equity and venture capital firm. Through his involvement, Mr. Wiggers has helped to grow several companies into industry leaders. From 2006 to 2013, Mr. Wiggers served as partner of Capital Solutions, Inc. Prior to joining Capital Solutions, Inc., Mr. Wiggers was a Director for CD Ventures, a Philadelphia based private equity firm where he focused on the call center, aviation, and records management industries as well as overseeing the general capital formation function for the group. Prior to CD Ventures, Mr. Wiggers was an investment banker in the Defense, Aerospace and Technical Services ("DATS") Group at First Union/Wachovia Securities where he focused on M&A and public offerings. Mr. Wiggers early career included operational, engineering and managerial roles with Rockwell International, Cooper Industries and Cummins Engine. Lane holds an undergraduate degree from Clemson University in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. While at Maryland he was a Lamone Scholar, Treasurer of the MBA class and served as portfolio manager of a segment of the business school's endowment fund.


Business Advisory Board


Timothy Whitten

Mr. Whitten currently is the Chief Commercial Officer of Taiho Oncology, Inc., headquartered in Princeton, NJ.  Previously Mr. Whitten was President and CEO of Insmed Inc. (Nasdaq: INSM), and is the former President and CEO of Transave, Inc. and Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations and Business Development of Pharmacyclics, Inc.  Earlier, Mr. Whitten spent 16 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS). His roles included Vice President, Global Marketing, Oncology, Immunology and Pulmonary Diseases; Vice President, U.S. Marketing, Bristol Myers Oncology and Immunology; and Vice President, Global Pravastatin Initiative. During his 16 years in marketing, sales and strategic planning at BMS, Mr. Whitten led the successful U.S. launch and marketing of Taxol® (paclitaxel) Injection, an oncology product. He also led the company's strategic direction for the global oncology and immunology franchises. Mr. Whitten earned his master's degree in business administration from Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at University of Virginia and received his pharmacy degree magna cum laude from West Virginia University.