Formation Biologics                     Directors


David G.P. Allan - Director

Mr. Allan incorporated the Canadian public company, YM BioSciences Inc, in 1994 and has been Chairman of the Board of Directors since incorporation and serving as Chief Executive Officer from 1998 through 2010. He has been the Executive Chairman of Stem Cell Therapeutics Corp., Canada's only public company developing stem cell therapeutics since July 2011. In addition, Mr. Allan is lead director of the public company, DiaMedica Inc. (diabetes therapeutics) in Canada and a number of private companies.

In the final decade of a 35-year career in investment banking he founded the first Canadian investment banking and research team specializing in the life sciences.

He is a former member of the Awards Selection Committee for the Networks of Centers of Excellence in Canada and Governor of The Toronto Stock Exchange. Mr. Allan is also a founding and sunset Chair of the Toronto Stock Exchange Market Access Implementation Committee that created access for small and medium-sized enterprises to Canada’s principal capital market and was a member, and working group Chair, of the Ontario Biotechnology Advisory Board. He has been a board member of the Shaw Festival Theatre and of the Board of Trustees for the Ontario College of Art and Design. Mr. Allan is currently a member of  BioteCanada’s Emerging Companies Advisory Board, and is a member of the board of directors of Life Sciences Ontario, both biotechnology industry organizations.

Joerg Gruber - Director

Mr. Gruber is an Investment Banker and Venture Capitalist with over 30 years of experience in international finance. He is a Founder and Chairman of Tarix Pharmaceuticals Limited and also a Founder and Chairman of Pathfinder Cell Therapy Inc., a public cell therapy company. He co-founded Clubb Capital Limited, a London-based corporate finance and venture capital firm with a focus on healthcare, in 1995 and has served as its Executive Chairman since 1999. Prior to his career in venture capital, Joerg spent 14 years in Banking and Investment Banking at UBS, Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers.

Walter Blattler - Director

Dr. Blattler served as an Executive Vice President of Science and Technology at ImmunoGen, Inc. since 1996. Dr. Blattler is the inventor of FDA-approved ADC Kadcyla® (trastuzumab-DM1) and SMCC-DM1 payload technology. Prior to joining ImmunoGen at its newly established laboratories, Dr. Blattler held various positions at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, in Boston. In 1987 he joined ImmunoGen Inc., as Vice President and subsequently Senior Vice President, Research and Development. He has been a Member of Supervisory Board at Morphosys AG since May 2007. He served as a Director at Immunogen Inc. since September 1995. During his time with the company, ImmunoGen introduced multiple ADCs into clinical development and established several successful research and development collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Blattler studied Chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (ETH Zurich), and subsequently held a research position as a Post-Doctoral fellow at Harvard University, Cambridge, U.S.A. He received his Masters degree and his Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in 1973 and 1978 respectively.

Niclas Stiernholm - Director

Dr. Stiernholm is the CEO of Trillium Therapeutics Inc. (TTI). He joined TTI from YM BioSciences, where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, playing a significant role in the success of its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 2002. Dr. Stiernholm began his industry career as a member of Allelix Biopharmaceuticals' business development office and currently serves on several scientific and corporate boards of directors, including the Ontario Genomics Institute, AIM Therapeutics and Stem Cell Therapeutics Corp. He received his Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Toronto, where he also completed his postdoctoral training.

Ilia A. Tikhomirov - Director

Ilia A. Tikhomirov is an entrepreneur and founder of AvidBiologics Inc. (Avid), a Canadian biotechnology company developing oncology drugs. Ilia is also the inventor and co-inventor of several of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) that Avid is currently developing. Prior to Avid, Ilia occupied positions of increasing responsibility at YM BioSciences Inc. (YM), a publicly traded Canadian oncology drug development company, which was acquired by Gilead Sciences in a $500 million transaction. At YM, Ilia was involved in in-licensing, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) target analysis, strategic research, and business development. His findings at YM led to the development of the technology that is at the core of AvidBiologics’ science.

Brian Underdown - Director

Brian focuses on investments in North American therapeutics companies at all stages of development. With over 20 years of investment and operational experience in the biopharmaceutical sector, he has been a key player in the growth of over 10 life science companies in Canada and the US. 

Located in the Toronto office of Lumira Capital, Brian joined the firm in 1997 prior to which he was assistant vice-president, research, Pasteur Merieux Connaught (PMC) from 1994 to 1997, where he was responsible for the Canadian Universities Research program and several global vaccine development programs. During his academic career, Brian was associate dean, research at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine and at the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. Brian has published over 85 articles in immunology in numerous peer reviewed publications. 

Brian obtained his PhD in immunology from McGill University, and undertook post-doctoral studies at Washington University School of Medicine, where he focused on immune-mediated diseases and vaccine development. 

Brian’s past or current board positions and investment responsibilities include: Argos Therapeutics, Ception Therapeutics, Cytochroma Inc., enGene Inc., Golden Horseshoe Biotechnology Network, ID Biomedical, Lorus Therapeutics, Nysa Membrane Technologies, Trillium Therapeutics, Transmolecular Therapeutics, and Viron Therapeutics. Actively involved in many government-sponsored research organizations at the board and advisory level, Brian’s participation includes: Allergen and CANVAC, Canadian National Centers of Excellence in Asthma and Vaccines, and the Ontario Genomics Institute.

Board of Directors

DAVID G.P. ALLAN Director of Formation Biologics, Founder and Chairman of YM BioSciences, Chairman of Stem Cell Therapeutics

WALTER BLATTLER Director of Formation Biologics, leading drug and ADC development expert

JOERG GRUBER Director of Formation Biologics, Chairman of Tarix Pharmaceuticals, Chairman of Pathfinder Cell Therapy

NICLAS STIERNHOLM Director of Formation Biologics, CEO of Trillium Therapeutics

ILIA A. TIKHOMIROV Director and CEO of Formation Biologics

BRIAN UNDERDOWN Director of Formation Biologics, Managing Partner at Lumira Capital Corp.