Board of Directors

In This Section

Novelion's Chairman, Jason Aryeh, is the Founder and managing General Partner of JALAA Equities, LP, a private hedge fund focused on the Life Sciences sector, and has served in such capacity since 1997. Mr. Aryeh serves on the Board of Directors, as Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee and as a member of the Compensation Committee of Ligand Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Aryeh also serves on the Board of Directors and on the Transaction and the Compensation Committees of of Aralez Pharmaceuticals.  Mr. Aryeh also serves on the Board of Directors of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Therapeutics Board. Mr. Aryeh earned a B.A. in economics, with honors, from Colgate University, and is a member of the Omnicron Delta Epsilon Honor Society in economics.


Prior to being appointed to Novelion's Board of Directors, Sandy Smith previously served as interim chief executive officer of Aegerion from July 2015 until January 2016. He joined Aegerion's Board of Directors as a member of the Audit Committee in January 2012 and was appointed as chairman in January of 2016. Mr. Smith was previously Executive Vice President and President International Group for Genzyme Corporation (Genzyme), where he was a member of the company's Executive Committee. As President of the International Group, Mr. Smith grew Genzyme's offshore revenue to 65 percent of Genzyme's nearly $5 billion revenues. During his tenure, Mr. Smith was responsible for the successful global launch of 12 new products in various therapeutic categories, including rare diseases. Mr. Smith joined Genzyme in 1996, and served as Vice President and General Manager of Genzyme International and President of Genzyme Specialty Therapeutics before being named to his most recent position. Following Sanofi's acquisition of Genzyme in April of 2011, Mr. Smith was responsible for the integration of Genzyme's international business into the Sanofi global organization. Prior to joining Genzyme, Mr. Smith was President and Chief Executive Officer at Repligen Corporation. Under his leadership, Repligen completed several secondary stock offerings, raising more than $100 million, and established important partnerships with Merck, Eli Lilly, Gillette, and Centocor/Johnson & Johnson. He also held several international leadership positions within Bristol Myers Squibb. Mr. Smith has served as a Director on a number of boards of both public and private healthcare companies, including Ariad Pharmaceuticals, NVenta and BioBehavioral Diagnostics. He currently is a member of the Brigham and Women's Hospital President's Advisory Council.

Mr. Kotler has over 23 years of experience as an investor and analyst following the healthcare industry. He is the founder and Managing Partner of Broadfin Capital, LLC which is the investment advisor for Broadfin Healthcare Master Fund, Ltd., a healthcare focused investment fund which he launched in 2005. Mr. Kotler earned a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1993

Prior to being appointed to Novelion's Board of Directors, Jorge Plutzky was a member of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals' Board of Directors since April 2015. Dr. Plutzky is the Director of Preventive Cardiology, which includes the Lipid/Prevention Clinic, in the Cardiovascular Medicine Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Since 1995, he has been on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and he continues to direct his own NIH-funded basic science laboratory. Dr. Plutzky has been a member of the scientific advisory boards of the Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation since 2009, where he is now Chair Elect, a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. 

Prior to being appointed to Novelion's Board of Directors, Stephen L. Sabba, M.D. was a Director of QLT since 2012, Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee and a member of the Scientific Review and Compensation Committees. Currently, Dr. Sabba is also a Partner and Health Care Portfolio Manager at Knott Partners, LP (since 2006), an investment fund, and a Director of Ligand (since 2008), a public biotechnology company. Previously, he was a Partner and Director of Research with Kilkenny Capital Management (2001 to 2006), a Chicago-based hedge fund. Dr. Sabba received his medical degree from the New York University School of Medicine, and completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in gastroenterology at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in New York City. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree with honors at Cornell University.

Prior to being appointed to Novelion's Board of Directors, Donald Stern was a member of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals' Board of Directors since September 2015. Mr. Stern is Managing Director of Corporate Monitoring & Consulting Services at Affiliated Monitors Inc., a consulting firm providing independent integrity monitoring services and compliance services across a wide range of regulated industries and professions. He is also Of Counsel to Yurko, Salvesen, & Remz, PC, a boutique litigation law firm in Boston. Mr. Stern was United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts from 1993 to 2001. He was also the chair of the U.S. Attorney General's Advisory Committee from 1996 to 1998. Mr. Stern served as the chief legal counsel to Governor Michael S. Dukakis from 1987 to 1990. He also spent seven years (1975-1982) as an assistant attorney general in the Massachusetts Attorney General's office, where he held several positions, including Chief of the Government Bureau. Previously, Mr. Stern was a partner at three major law firms, Cooley LLP, Bingham McCutchen LLP, and Hale and Dorr LLP (now Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP), where his law practice focused on internal investigations, white collar defense and business litigation. He has extensive experience representing companies and individuals in complex civil, criminal and regulatory matters, with clients across a spectrum of industries, including health care, pharmaceutical, and financial services. Mr. Stern was an Advisor to President Barack Obama's Justice Department Transition Team. He currently co-chairs the American Bar Association/DOJ White Collar Liaison Committee, and is a former President of the National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys. He was a liaison to the American Bar Association Task Force on Corporate Monitors. Mr. Stern has been on the faculty of Boston College Law School and Harvard Law School. He received his LL.M. from the University of Pennsylvania, his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and his B.A. from Hobart College. He also received an honorary LL.D. from the New England School of Law. Mr. Stern is a member of the Board of Directors of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Prior to being appointed to the Novelion Board of Directors, John Thomas, Jr. was a Director of QLT since 2012. Mr. Thomas has more than 38 years of experience in a variety of financial and accounting positions, with the last 28 years spent in the medical, pharmaceutical and device fields. Currently, Mr. Thomas also serves as Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Director of CorMatrix (since 2001), a privately-held medical device company, and as Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Director of Motion Reality, Inc. (since 1991), a motion capture and simulation company. Since September 2013, Mr. Thomas has served on the Board of Medovex, Inc., a publicly-traded medical device company (MDVXU). Since 2014, Mr. Thomas has served on the Board of Directors of NantKwest, Inc. a publicly-traded biotechnology company (NK). In the past ten years, Mr. Thomas served as acting Chief Financial Officer for DemeRx, Inc. (2010 to 2011); as Chief Financial Officer for MRI Interventions, Inc. (1998 to 2010), MiMedx Group, Inc. (2007 to 2008) and DARA BioSciences (2003 to 2009); and as a director of MRI Interventions, Inc. (2004 to 2011) and DARA BioSciences (2012). Previously, Mr. Thomas also served as a Trustee and subsequently the Chairman of the Finance Committee of The Walker School, a private Pre-K through 12 grade school (1999 to 2012). Mr. Thomas is a Certified Public Accountant and graduated from the University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree in 1975.

Prior to being appointed to Novelion's Board of Directors, Anne VanLent was a member of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals' Board of Directors since April 2013. Ms. VanLent is President of AMV Advisors, providing corporate strategy and financial consulting services to emerging growth life sciences companies. Ms. VanLent had been Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Barrier Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly traded pharmaceutical company that develops and markets prescription dermatology products, from May 2002 through April 2008. From July 1997 to October 2001, she was the Executive Vice President – Portfolio Management for Sarnoff Corporation, a multidisciplinary research and development firm. From 1985 to 1993, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Liposome Company, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company. Ms. VanLent currently serves as a director, chair of the Audit Committee, and member of the Nominating and Governance Committee of Biota Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; a director, chair of the Audit Committee, and chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee of Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly Tranzyme Pharma, Inc.); and a director, chair of the Audit Committee, and member of the Compensation Committee of Onconova Therapeutics, Inc., each a NASDAQ-listed pharmaceuticals company. During the past five years, Ms. VanLent has served as a director of Integra Life Sciences Holdings, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed medical device company, where she served as chair of the Audit Committee from 2006 to 2012, and Penwest Pharmaceuticals Co., a NASDAQ-listed pharmaceuticals company, from 1997 until its sale to Endo Pharmaceuticals in 2010, where she served as chair of the Audit Committee from 2002 until 2010. Ms. VanLent received a B.A. degree in Physics from Mount Holyoke College. Our Board of Directors believes that Ms. VanLent’s qualifications to sit on our Board of Directors include her extensive leadership and finance experience, and her extensive experience serving as a board member, audit committee member and audit committee chair of public companies in the life sciences industry.

Dr. Cox previously served as Interim Chief Executive Officer of QLT Inc. Previously, Dr. Cox served as an independent consultant to the life sciences industry. From 2001 to 2010, Dr. Cox was Chairman, President and CEO of GTC Biotherapeutics Inc. (now rEVO Biologics), and from 1997 to 2001 he was Chairman, President and CEO of Aronex Pharmaceuticals Inc.  Prior to that, he served at Genzyme Corporation Inc., last serving as its Executive Vice President, Operations.  Dr. Cox is a former Chairman of MassBio, the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, and served for a number of years on the Board of the Biotechnology Industries Association (BIO).  Dr. Cox holds a BSc. in biochemistry from the University of Birmingham, UK and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of East Anglia, UK.

Mary Szela was appointed chief executive officer of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals in January 2016. Previously, Ms. Szela was chief executive officer of Melinta Therapeutics until August 2015, where she led the company’s revitalization effort, accelerated the lead asset into three phase programs and oversaw key business development transactions to monetize non-core assets. Before joining Melinta, she held various management positions at Abbott Laboratories, most recently as senior vice president for global strategic marketing and services. From 2008 to 2010, Ms. Szela served as president of the $8 billion U.S. pharmaceuticals division, during which time she directed the development and launch of more than eight new pharmaceutical products and multi-billion dollar sales growth for Abbott’s flagship product, Humira®. Between 2002 and 2008, Ms. Szela managed several of Abbott’s billion-dollar U.S. pharmaceutical businesses, and was VP of U.S. commercial operations. Prior to 2001, Ms. Szela held a series of leadership positions in the Abbott Hospital Products Division. She currently serves as a member of the boards of Novo Nordisk, Coherus Biosciences, and Suneva Medical. Ms. Szela earned an M.B.A. and a B.S. in nursing from the University of Illinois.