Dr. Bill Levine is the founder of Izun Pharmaceuticals Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in Botanical Medicine. This area of specialty pharma develops pharmaceutical and healthcare products from plant-based sources. Bill, who received his DDS degree and specialty training in Periodontics from Columbia University, initially utilized this background to formulate novel oral care products to treat periodontal disease more effectively. Izun has also developed wound care products, oncology support products, and products targeting women’s health care.
Recognizing the Izun expertise with botanicals, Bill subsequently applied this knowledge to the cannabis plant and established CannRx. In a short time, CannRx has developed validated assays (receiving ISO 17025 service laboratory certification) and new and differentiated delivery systems. CannRx has identified & licensed new potent strains and appears well on its way to establishing itself as a leading player in the cannabis field.
Dr. Nussbaum trained and was US board-certified in internal medicine after completing an MD/PhD at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He performed post-doctoral studies at the Weizmann Institute of Science, an internationally known research center in Israel. He continues to be actively involved in the investigation of inflammation and autoimmunity. In addition, Dr. Nussbaum has research experience with botanicals, specifically cannabis. Dr. Nussbaum has numerous publications in leading scientific journals.
Mr. Kraus commenced as COO of Izun in 2013. For the 12 years prior to this, Les served as Chief Financial Officer of Retail Apparel Group Pty Ltd (RAG), the largest menswear retailer in Australia. During his time at RAG, Les managed two sale processes to private equity firms. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant in Australia and has over 30 years of operational and financial experience within the clothing industry, covering both retail and wholesale businesses.
Dr. Lecht is a visionary researcher and scientist with an entrepreneurial approach. He is an experienced multidisciplinary drug development projects leader. Dr. Lecht brings along valuable experience in pre-clinical R&D, from early discovery, through formulations development to clinical trials.
Prior to joining CannRx, Dr. Lecht took a leading part in several botanical drug development projects, provided regulatory services to bio-tech start-up companies towards engagement with FDA and co-founded a pharmaceutical consulting company. Dr. Lecht completed post-doctoral training in Regenerative Medicine (Temple University, PA), holds an MSc and a PhD in Pharmacology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and is a licensed pharmacist (BSCPharm, RPh) in Israel. Dr. Lecht has published numerous peer-reviewed publications and has presented at dozens of international meetings and conferences.
Sim Mann is Chief Strategy Officer and Partner of Exigent Capital Group, and is responsible for driving new strategic initiatives for Exigent. Sim is responsible for venture capital related investments and heads the distressed debt practice.
Prior to joining Exigent, Sim invested over $1B in distressed debt and special situation investments in Europe and Israel on behalf of York Capital Management, a global investment firm. During that time, he played a key role in three of the largest corporate debt restructurings in Israel’s history and supported the successful transformation of Psagot from the 6th largest asset manager in Israel into the largest, before successfully selling the business to Apax Partners.
For over eight years, Sim was also intimately involved in early to late stage technology investments and multi-jurisdictional European public and private credit opportunities.
Alan Adler was Chairman of the Board and CEO of Israeli-based Oridion Ltd, a global leader in patient monitoring systems, from 2004 until the company was acquired by a major American healthcare conglomerate, Covidien (now Medtronic), in 2012.
Prior to that, he had over 30 years of experience as a consultant and partner at McKinsey & Company and, afterward, as a partner at Evergreen, the Israeli venture capital group. He has served as a director on the Boards of numerous technology and life science companies and currently also serves as a director on the Boards of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and Shalem College.
Alan holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA with honors from Stanford University.
Jonathan Kalman has been a real estate developer for over 35 years and has carried out developments throughout Israel, the UK, and Eastern Europe. In 2010 Jonathan made the strategic decision to diversify away from real estate and invest in Israeli technology companies, which is now his sole focus of business activity.
Jonathan is the founder and CEO of Dion Holding Ltd, which invests in early-stage Israeli technology companies with an emphasis on bio-pharma and medical devices. Dion currently holds investments in 15 portfolio companies including those investments owned by Jonathan privately which are managed by Dion. Jonathan was a member of the Board of Directors of Neuroderm (NDRM) from November 2014 until its acquisition by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation in October 2017 for $1.1 Billion. Jonathan is currently a director of Revelator Ltd., a leading supplier of data services for today’s digital business. He is also on the board of directors of The Jerusalem Print Workshop, a non-profit art center dedicated to the advancement of the graphic arts in Israel.
Mr. Ellberger is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Celldex. From 2003 to 2012, he was Founding Partner of HVA, a consulting firm specializing in business development, product acquisition and licensing, and mergers and acquisitions for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, drug delivery, and medical device companies. He served as Chairman of the Board of Omrix Biopharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson in 2008. Mr. Ellberger was a director of NeuroDerm, a NASDAQ-listed Israeli biotech company, until its acquisition by Mitsubishi Tanabe in 2016.
Mr. Ellberger was a Board member and Senior Vice President of Powderject plc from 2000 to 2003 when it was acquired by Chiron. From 1995 to 1999, Mr. Ellberger was an officer of W.R. Grace & Co., serving as interim Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning and Development. From 1975 to 1995, Mr. Ellberger held numerous senior executive positions at American Cyanamid Company, serving the last four years as Vice President, Corporate Development. He is also a founding director of The Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn, NY.
Mr. Ellberger received a B.A. in economics from Columbia College and a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Columbia School of Engineering.
Mr. Schafer is the Chairman of Rivulet Capital, LLC, a private investment partner, which he seeded in 2012.
Prior to Rivulet, Mr. Schafer founded O.S.S. Capital Management in 2001. Between 1982 and 2001, he was a member of Cumberland Associates. Prior to that, Mr. Schafer was a General Partner at Steinhardt, Fine, Berkowitz, & Co. from 1970 to 1982. He began his investment career with positions at Kuhn, Loeb & Co., Havenfield Corp., and Boxwood Associates between 1964 and 1970. He has been a member of the Barron’s Roundtable for 30 years.
Mr. Schafer earned a BA, Magna Cum Laude, at Harvard College in 1961 and an MBA at Harvard Business School in 1964.
He has served on The Visiting Committee for the Department of Music at Harvard and funds The Oscar Straus Schafer Fellowship for teachers of Harvard’s introductory music course. He currently serves on the board of the Schafer Family Foundation, which supports the arts and social service organizations, and on the Board of Trustees at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Mr. Schafer joined the board of The NY Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007 and became its Chairman in January 2015.
Mr. Schafer is married to Didi Fenton-Schafer, who serves on the Board of the Central Park Conservancy and is Vice Chairman of the New York Common Pantry. The couple are special event donors and were underwriters of the New York Philharmonic’s 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Concert. Since the summer of 2007, Mr. & Mrs. Schafer have presented the Philharmonic’s annual Concerts in the Parks and, as a tribute to his wife, Mr. Schafer conducted the orchestra in Central Park in July 2013.
Walter was the CFO of Oridion Ltd, a publicly traded company in Switzerland and a global leader in patient monitoring systems, for most of his career. Following the sale of Oridion to Covidien (today Medtronic), Walter continued with Medtronic in different management roles both overseas and in Israel for a number of years.
Today, Walter is the CFO of Medasense Biometrics Ltd and the Chairman of the Board for MazeBolt Ltd.
Walter is a Certified Public Accountant with a BA degree in Accounting and Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.