Chairman & CEO
Entrepreneur and Independent Investor
JEFF NEWTON, M.B.A.
Managing Director at Gemini Investors
Jeff Newton has been a managing director of Gemini Investors since 1997 and an active participant in the private equity market since 1992. He has played a lead role in more than 40 transactions and has represented Gemini on the board of directors of more than 20 portfolio companies, including on Beryllium’s board since 2009. Prior to joining Gemini, Jeff was president of Concord Partners Ltd., a middle-market investment banking firm that advised privately-held companies on merger and acquisition transactions. Previously, he served as a senior vice president and treasurer of Lifetime Corporation, which at the time, was the largest home health care services company in the U.S. and before that, as a vice president in the investment banking division at Prudential Securities. Jeff is a member of the M.B.A. board of advisors at the Tuck School. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont and a Master of Business Administration from Dartmouth College.
NEIL WEIR, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President of Discovery at UCB
Dr. Neil Weir leads discovery at UCB, where he oversees an integrated portfolio of small-molecule and antibody therapeutic projects in the areas of immunology and neurology. Neil and his discovery team have transitioned 20 novel molecules from discovery into development. His research interests during 25 years in the biopharmaceutical industry have included antibody engineering and expression and modification of antibodies in the fields of drug conjugates, half-life modification and gene therapy; he is one of the inventors of the antibody fragment-based drug, Cimzia®. Neil joined Beryllium’s board in 2014. Neil is also a member of the Research Directors Group of EFPIA (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) and has sponsored three call topics in the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). He currently serves as chair of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) innovation board. He has a bachelor’s degree with honors in biology from Edinburgh University and a doctorate in at the University of Kent at Canterbury’s Institute of Biotechnology studying metabolic flux through amino acid biosynthesis pathways.
SUE R. WINDHAM-BANNISTER, Ph.D.
Vice Chair, Tufts Health Plan
Managing Partner, Biomedical Innovation Advisors LLC
Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister is a nationally and internationally recognized innovation expert. She was recognized by the Boston Globe as one of the “10 Most Influential Women in Biotech” in 2013. Dr. Windham-Bannister currently serves as Managing Partner of Biomedical Innovation Advisors LLC, which she founded with Dr. Harvey Lodish, co-founder of Genzyme and a member of the Whitehead Institute, MIT. She also serves as the President and CEO of Biomedical Growth Strategies, LLC. Both of these advisory firms leverage Dr. Windham-Bannister’s experience as the immediate past President and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), a state-funded investment organization charged with administering the $1-billion Life Sciences fund that was proposed by Governor Deval Patrick in 2007 and signed into law in June 2008. The MLSC is the hub for all sectors of the Commonwealth’s life sciences community – biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical diagnostics and bioinformatics. During her tenure as the founding executive of the MLSC, Dr. Windham-Bannister was responsible for the overall implementation of the Life Sciences Initiative, including formulating the investment strategy for the $1B fund, staffing and managing the organization, developing policies and procedures and building national and international partnerships. The MLSC’s portfolio of investments is promoting economic development, catalyzing innovation, strengthening Massachusetts’ global leadership position in the life sciences, and accelerating the commercialization of promising treatments, therapies and cures.