Naseem Amin, M.D.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Dr. Amin serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Dr. Amin has broad industry experience in the biotech and medical device industries and has served as the Chief Executive Officer at Orphalan since June 2017. He was the Chairman of Arix Bioscience plc, a global venture capital company focused on investing in life sciences, until April 2021. Dr. Amin served as a Venture Partner at Advent Life Sciences until 2020 and as the Chief Scientific Officer of Smith and Nephew Plc until 2014. Previously, he was Senior Vice President, Business Development, at Biogen Idec from 2005 to 2009, and was with Genzyme Corporation from 1999 to 2005, most recently as Head, International Business Development, and where he has also led the clinical development of five currently marketed therapeutic products. Dr. Amin began his career at Baxter Healthcare Corporation, where he served as Director, Medical Marketing and Portfolio Strategy, Renal Division. He currently serves as an Advisory Board member for Imperial College, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and as Chairman of OPEN-London, a non-profit organization focused on encouraging and mentoring South Asians from Pakistan who are interested in starting entrepreneurial companies.
Dr. Amin received his medical degree from the Royal Free School of Medicine, London, and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.
Principal Executive Officer and Chief Regulatory, Safety & Quality Officer
Peter Fernandes has served as our Principal Executive Officer since November 2021 and has served as our Chief Regulatory, Safety & Quality Officer since May 2015. Prior to joining us, Mr. Fernandes was Vice President of Global Regulatory Affairs at Ikaria Inc., from October 2012 to May 2015, and in this capacity also led our regulatory group since its inception in February 2014. Previously, he led Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance for OptiNose, Inc. from October 2010 to September 2012, was Vice President US Drug Regulatory Affairs Respiratory and US DRA Respiratory Franchise Head for Novartis Pharmaceuticals from November 2007 to October 2010. He has also served as the Head of US Development Site and Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Altana Pharma, a subsidiary of Nycomed Inc., and led the US Respiratory and GI Drug Regulatory Affairs group at Boehringer Ingelheim. Mr. Fernandes has over 30 years of experience leading cross functional global development teams covering respiratory and cardiovascular diseases with successful US and global submissions and approvals obtained for a number of well-known drugs e.g., Flomax, Spiriva, Omnaris. Mr. Fernandes also serves as Co-Chair of the Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute (PVRI) Innovative Drug Development Initiative that is instrumental in developing novel regulatory endpoints and clinical trial design for Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) in collaboration with academia, industry and regulators. Mr. Fernandes has an M. Pharm. from the Grant Medical College and a B. Pharm. from the K.M. K College of Pharmacy, both at the University of Bombay in India.
Principal Financial and Accounting Officer
Nicholas Laccona has served as our Principal Financial and Accounting Officer and Secretary since October 2021. Mr. Laccona previously served as the Controller of the Company since August of 2020. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Laccona served as Senior Manager, Audit at KPMG LLP from December 2014 through August 2020. Prior to that, Mr. Laccona served as an auditor with Sobel & Co., LLC. Mr. Laccona holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, is a Certified Public Accountant and an active member of the America Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Parag Shah, Ph.D.
Vice President, Business Operations
Parag Shah, Ph.D. has served as our Vice President of Business Operations since April 2016 with responsibilities for Project Management, Supply Distribution, Pre-Clinical and Business Development activities. Prior to joining Bellerophon, Dr. Shah was Principal Scientist at Pfizer from 2004 through 2010 where he was responsible for leading multiple parenteral and liquid formulation development teams. In addition, Dr. Shah was a member of multiple Limited Duration Teams including serving as Pfizer’s Team Lead for the Nanoparticle Network responsible for internal and external evaluation of nanoparticle technologies. Dr. Shah joined Ikaria as Parenteral Development Lead in 2010 and assumed additional responsibilities in 2012 as Director, Pharmaceutical Science, covering both Pharmaceutical Development and Clinical Supply Management.
Dr. Shah received his Bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.
Vice President, Engineering and Manufacturing
Martin Dekker has served as our Vice President of Engineering and Manufacturing since January 2015. Prior to joining us, Mr. Dekker held several positions at Spacelabs Healthcare, a company that develops and manufacturers medical devices, from November 1998 to January 2015, most recently as Director of Global Operations Engineering. During his time at Spacelabs Healthcare, Mr. Dekker led and co-designed new products, developed and launched transformative manufacturing technologies and championed cross-functional quality/engineering projects. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
Mr. Dekker received a B.S. in electronics from Noordelijke Hogeschool Leeuwarden, the Netherlands.
Edwin L. Parsley, D.O.
Acting Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Parsley is a practicing physician previously certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, Critical Care Medicine and Sleep Medicine. Prior to joining Bellerophon, Dr. Parsley most recently served as Acting Chief Medical Officer for Respira Therapeutics, in the development of inhaled vardenafil powder for symptomatic use in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Previously, he was Medical Monitor and consulting Chief Medical Officer for Liquidia Technologies in the development of inhaled treprostinil for PAH. He also served as Chief Medical Officer for Mast Therapeutics and Aires Pharmaceuticals and prior to that worked at Pfizer where he oversaw clinical trials for sildenafil.
Dr. Parsley earned his D.O. from Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and a B.S. Pharmacy from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Prior to joining industry, Dr. Parsley was an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and a medical director of Medical Intensive Care and Respiratory Therapy Services, with an active inpatient care and office practice with focus on pulmonary hypertension and fibrosis research, at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. In the course of his practice, Dr. Parsley treated patients with a range of acute care needs, including patients with PAH, pulmonary fibrosis, sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, and heart failure.