Board of Directors
Henry Ji, PhD
Henry Ji brings 25+ years of experience in the biotechnology and life sciences industry. Dr. Ji has been Chairman of Scilex since March 2019 and served as the CEO of Scilex Pharmaceuticals from November 2016 to March 2019. Dr. Ji co-founded Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. and has served as a director since 2006, as its CEO and President since September 2012, and as Chairman of its board of directors since 2017. During his tenure at Sorrento, he has engineered and led a phenomenal growth of Sorrento through acquisition and mergers including Bioserv, Scilex Pharmaceuticals, Concortis Biotherapeutics, Levena Biopharma, LACEL, TNK Therapeutics, Virttu Biologics, Ark Animal Health and Sofusa Lymphatic Delivery Systems. Dr. Ji has served as Sorrento’s Chief Scientific Officer from November 2008 to September 2012 and as its Interim CEO from April 2011 to September 2012. Prior to Sorrento, he held senior executive positions at CombiMatrix, Stratagene, co-founded Stratagene Genomics, a subsidiary of Stratagene, and served as its President & CEO and a member of the board of directors. Henry Ji received a doctorate from the University of Minnesota and an undergraduate degree from Fudan University.
Chief Executive Officer & President
Jaisim Shah has over 30 years industry success in leading product development & commercializing innovative therapies and creating companies with documented success in development and commercialization of some of today’s most recognized pharmaceutical brands. He is a seasoned life science executive and board director with extensive accomplishments at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche, PDL Biopharma, Sorrento, Pfizer/Upjohn, Scilex, and start-ups Elevation and Semnur Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Shah has been CEO and President of Semnur Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Scilex Pharmaceuticals) since its inception in 2013. He has served as CEO and President of Scilex Holding and Scilex Pharmaceuticals since March 2019 and also serves on the board of directors of Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. and Scilex Holding. Most recently, Mr. Shah served as Chief Business Officer of Elevation Pharmaceuticals where he focused on financing, mergers and acquisitions, and business development. He led the sale of Elevation to Sunovion Pharmaceuticals in 2012. At Facet Biotech and PDL BioPharma, he served from 2000 to 2009 as Chief Business Officer and also held the position of senior vice president of marketing and medical affairs. During this time, he completed numerous licensing/partnering and strategic transactions including with Roche, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Otsuka, and Biogen Idec. His leadership in marketing and leading the commercial enterprise helped the company make large improvements to meet its profitability potential. At Bristol-Myers Squibb, as vice president of global marketing from 1997 to 2000, Mr. Shah received the “Presidents Award” for completing one of the most significant collaborations in the company’s history. Prior to working with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mr. Shah led international marketing for oncology and virology and was global business leader for corporate alliances at Roche from 1991 to 1997 with Genentech and IDEC, and prepared products for worldwide launch and pre-launch at F. Hoffman-La Roche AG in Switzerland. He has played a key role in the formulation of long-range plans and pre-launch and launch strategies for such brands as Abilify®, Pegasys®, and Rituxan/MabThera®, each of which have generated well over $1 billion in sales. Mr. Shah holds a M.A. in Economics from the University of Akron and a M.B.A. from University of Oklahoma.
Dorman Followwill was Senior Partner of Transformational Health at Frost & Sullivan, a business consulting firm involved in market research and analysis, growth strategy consulting and corporate training across multiple industries from 2016 to September 2020. Prior to that time, he served in various roles at Frost & Sullivan, including Partner on the Executive Committee managing the P&L of the business in Europe, Israel and Africa, and Partner overseeing the Healthcare and Life Sciences business in North America, since initially joining Frost & Sullivan to help found the Consulting practice in January 1988. Mr. Followwill has more than 30 years of organizational leadership and management consulting experience, having worked on hundreds of consulting projects in 38 countries, encompassing all major geographies, across all industry sectors whilst focusing on Healthcare and Life Sciences. He has performed strategic analyses related to the imperative of growth for clients such as Bayer, Novartis, Merck, GE Healthcare, Siemens, Philips, IBM and HP, Inc., and has assisted Fidelity in making Healthcare investments off its balance sheet. His professional opinion and industry insight has been sought by key media outlets including U.S. News and World Report, the BBC, Pharma Times, and CNBC in London. He obtained his B.A. from Stanford University in The Management of Organizations in 1985.
Tien Lee, MD
Dr. Lee has 20 years of experience as a biotechnology innovator and executive who has been integrally involved with the founding or advancement of several biopharmaceutical companies. Since 2017, Dr. Lee has been the founder/CEO of Aardvark Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to this, Dr. Lee joined Nantkwest in 2014 and served as its Chief Strategy Officer until March 2017. His experience includes therapeutics for immunology, cardiovascular, oncology, neurology, and infectious disease indications. Dr. Lee is also an inventor or co-inventor of multiple biomedical and biotechnology innovations, licensed or assigned to several companies for development including Nantkwest (Nasdaq: NK), Simcere Pharmaceutical Group, Cellics Therapeutics, Sorrento Therapeutics (Nasdaq: SRNE) and Aardvark Therapeutics. Dr. Lee earned his M.D. degree from UC San Diego and his B.A. degree from UC Berkeley in Molecular Biology where he was also a Regents and Alumni Scholar. Dr. Lee received post-graduate training in Internal Medicine through UC Los Angeles and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UC Irvine.
Laura J. Hamill has deep experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, with over 30 years of global commercial experience in a variety of executive leadership positions. Most recently, she served as Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Operations, for Gilead Sciences, Inc., where she was accountable for 2,200 employees and $22 billion in annual revenue and led the global commercial strategic direction and long-term planning. Over an 18-year career at Amgen, Ms. Hamill held several executive roles in the United States and internationally. In her last role as Senior Vice President and General Manager of US Commercial Operations, she managed 2,000 employees across all of Amgen’s therapeutic areas with annual revenue of $20 billion. She also served as the Chairperson of Amgen’s Senior Women’s Leadership Council, member of the Amgen Foundation and other key corporate governance committees. Ms. Hamill is currently a member of the board of directors for Pardes Biosciences, BB Biotech, Y-mAbs Therapeutics and AnaptysBio. She also is a board member for a private company, Unchained. Ms. Hamill holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arizona.
Dave Lemus joined as our Director in April 2022. Mr. Lemus was previously the Chief Executive Officer of Ironshore Pharmaceuticals Inc. and serves on the board of directors of Silence Therapeutics, Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. and Biohealth Innovation, Inc. Previously, Mr. Lemus stepped down from Medigene AG’s board of directors to serve as the company’s Chief Operating Officer and Interim Chief Financial Officer. Preceding this position, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Sigma Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to this, he was Chief Financial Officer and executive VP of MorphoSys AG for more than 13 years, taking the company public in Germany’s first biotechnology initial public offering. Mr. Lemus received a M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received a B.S. from the University of Maryland. Mr. Lemus is a Certified Public Accountant in the USA, licensed in the State of Maryland.