Mr. Palmer was appointed President and CEO of Unigene in June 2010 specifically to turnaround the Company and exploit its considerable unfulfilled potential. Upon Mr. Palmer's arrival, he completed a comprehensive business audit and SWOT analysis resulting in a compelling growth strategy and organizational realignment. In the fourth quarter of 2010 Mr. Palmer recruited a high-performance, custom-built management team specifically for this turnaround assignment, with a particular focus on aggressive corporate/business development and organization-wide partnering and customer orientation.
Prior to joining Unigene, Mr. Palmer headed the strategic advisory firm, Creative BioVentures(tm) Corporation and served as CEO of Critical Biologics Corporation, a development-stage critical care company. Previously, Mr. Palmer was Vice President of Business Development at Ohmeda, Inc. During his tenure, Mr. Palmer played a key role in the $1.2 billion sale of Ohmeda to a consortium including Baxter and Becton Dickinson by spinning out Ohmeda's inhaled nitric oxide assets to found INO Therapeutics, Inc. Under his leadership as founding President and CEO, INO Therapeutics commercialized the world's first selective pulmonary vasodilator, INOmax®, establishing a $100 million plus orphan drug revenue stream within the first 24 months of launch with only 13 sales representatives. In 2007, INO Therapeutics was acquired by the critical care company Ikaria for $670 million..
Earlier in his career, Mr. Palmer held positions of increasing responsibility at Reckitt and Colman PLC and Seton Healthcare Group. He received his MBA from the University of Bradford, England and his BSc joint honors in Biochemistry and Applied Molecular Biology from the University of Manchester, England.
Dr. Mehta, our Chief Scientific Officer, served as our Vice President, Research and Development from March of 2005 through August of 2012. . Dr. Mehta served as our Director of Biological Research and Development Dr. Mehta served as our Director of Biological Research and Development from May 2003 through February 2005, as our Director of Molecular and Cell Biology from 1999 through May 2002 and in various other capacities with the Company from 1982 through 1999. Dr. Mehta obtained a Doctorat d'Université degree (equivalent to a Ph.D.) with honors from the Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France in 1976. Prior to joining Unigene, Dr. Mehta worked at the Cancer Research Institute in Bombay, India and at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
Dr. Shields has served as our Vice President, Manufacturing Operations since March 1, 2005. Dr. Shields served as our Director of Plant Operations from 2001 through February 2005, as our Plant Manager from 1995 through 2001, and in various other capacities with the Company from 1989 through 1995. Dr. Shields holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan.
Ms. Tavakkol joined Unigene in March, 2010 and was promoted to Vice President of Global Regulatory Affairs in October, 2010. Ms. Tavakkol brings 20 years of pharmaceutical regulatory and research experience to her position. Prior to joining Unigene, she served on the Thrombosis Business Unit senior leadership team for The Medicines Company. Ms. Tavakkol spent 13 years at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in positions of increasing responsibility in Drug Regulatory Affairs. Early in her career, she worked in biologic drug discovery in both industry and academic settings. She holds a Masters Degree in Molecular Biology from The Ohio State University.
Mr. Brian Zietsman, our Chief Financial Officer, joined the Company in April 2012. Mr. Zietsman brings more than 20 years of accounting experience to his position of which more than ten years are in the pharmaceutical industry, both in public and private companies. Prior to joining Unigene, Mr. Zietsman was the Corporate Controller at Duff & Phelps (NYSE DUF) from June 2011 to April 2012. Before joining Duff & Phelps, Brian served as a consultant at Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (NASDAQ – ENZN) from May 2011 through June 2011. Mr. Zietsman was the Vice President and Corporate Controller at Enzon a position that he assumed in October 2007 through April 2011. Prior to that Brian was Enzon’s Corporate Controller from November 2005. At Enzon Mr. Zietsman was responsible for overseeing all the Company’s accounting functions. Prior to Enzon Brian was the Corporate Controller at Reliant Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (June 2002 – October 2005) a privately held company which was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2007. From May 2001 to June 2002 Mr. Zietsman was Reliant’s Director of Financial Reporting. Earlier Mr. Zietsman worked at Deloitte (April 1994 – May 2001) and held various levels of increasing responsibility when he left as a Senior Manager in the audit group. Brian is a graduate from Rhodes University, South Africa where he earned his B. Com (Accounting), BSc (Computer Science) and HDIPACC certifications. Brian is a registered CPA.
Ms. Cantor joined Unigene in July of 2011 and was promoted to Vice President, Human Resources and Business Administration in August of 2012. She has over 20 years of experience in all aspects of Human Resources, working primarily in the biotech/pharmaceutical space. Before joining Unigene, Ms. Cantor held the position of Director, Human Resources at Inttra. Prior to that, she was a member of the Senior Management Team at INO Therapeutics, where she held the position of Vice President, Global Human Resources and greatly contributed to the successful sale and transition of the Company to Ikaria. Before joining INO Therapeutics, Ms. Cantor held various human resources positions of increasing responsibility at Baxter Healthcare and Ohmeda, Inc.