Dr. Iwaki holds three professorships at the University of Southern California School of Medicine in the Departments of Urology, Surgery and Pathology and has been Director of the Transplantation Immunology and Immunogenetic Laboratory since 1992. He is also a visiting professor at the Nihon University School of Medicine, Kyushu University and the Tokyo Women's Medical School in Japan. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, Dr. Iwaki held professorships at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the Departments of Surgery and Pathology from 1989 through 1991. He received both his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Sapporo Medical School in Sapporo, Japan. Dr. Iwaki is the author of 200 peer-reviewed publications and more than 40 books. He has been advising pharmaceutical companies and venture capital funds regarding research and investment strategies for over 20 years and is a board member of several biotechnology companies.
Mr. Coffee has served as Chief Business Officer since June 2010. He previously was Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from May 2009 to February 2010. From February 2005 to May 2009, Mr. Coffee was Chief Business Officer of Avigen, Inc., which was acquired by MediciNova in December 2009. Prior to joining Avigen, Mr. Coffee co-founded the Alekta Group, LLC, a consulting firm, in 2004 to provide a comprehensive range of pharmaceutical development consulting services to emerging pharmaceutical companies. From 2001 to 2004 Mr. Coffee served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Amarin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the U.S. drug development and marketing subsidiary of Amarin Corporation PLC. Mr. Coffee also served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Elan Pharmaceuticals, North America from 1998 to 2001 and held marketing and executive management positions, including President and Chief Operating Officer, of Athena Neurosciences, Inc. between 1991 and 1998. Mr. Coffee received a B.S. in biology from Siena College and an Advanced Management degree from Amos Tuck School of Business.
Dr. Johnson joined MediciNova in February, 2010. Prior to joining MediciNova, he was Vice President, Research and Development at Avigen through the close of the merger with MediciNova in December 2009. Before joining Avigen in early 2004, he was Senior Director, Pharmacology and Preclinical Development and a member of the executive management team of Genesoft Pharmaceuticals. From 1991 through 2001, Dr. Johnson was employed in both protein and small molecule therapeutic R&D at Chiron Corporation (Novartis) and eventually served as Director, Pharmacology and Preclinical Research. Aside from general pharmacology/toxicology and other development responsibilities, he has led research and clinical development projects for diverse indications including neuropathic pain, PD, hemophilia, respiratory, antibacterials, diabetes, obesity, acute inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Johnson has contributed to successful IND, foreign ethics committee, and NDA filings at his prior companies. His academic training includes a B.S. in toxicology from the University of California, Davis, and a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the Medical College of Virginia. He did postdoctoral fellowships studying the mechanism of action of IL-2 with Dr. Kendall Smith at Dartmouth Medical School and with Dr. Marian Koshland at the University of California, Berkeley. He has published approximately 70 manuscripts and has over a dozen issued U.S. patents.
Mr. Okajima joined MediciNova in September 2006. Before joining MediciNova, Mr. Okajima served as Deputy General Manager, Daiwa Securities SMBC Co., Ltd. From 1999 through 2002, Mr. Okajima served as Manager, Daiwa Securities' SB Capital Markets Co., Ltd. (currently Daiwa Securities SMBC Co., Ltd.). As Deputy General Manager, Mr Okajima was involved in pivotal phases of initial public offerings, subsequent public offerings, corporate bond issuances, and mergers & acquisitions. In addition, he handled Investors Relations and stock trading. From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Okajima served as Manager, Sumitomo Capital Securities Co., Ltd. Mr. Okajima served in various positions at Sumitomo Bank, Ltd. (currently Mitsui Sumitomo Bank) between 1991 and 1996. Mr. Okajima graduated with a B.S. Degree from the Department of Science and Technology, Tokyo Science University.
Dr. Matsuda has served as Vice President of Clinical Development for MediciNova since 2010 and is responsible for all clinical development. Previously, Dr. Matsuda was a clinical advisor to MediciNova for its MN-221 and MN-166 development programs. Prior to joining MediciNova, Dr. Matsuda was assistant professor, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine after an appointment at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Matsuda commenced her residency in internal medicine/pediatrics at Michigan State University and completed a pediatric residency at Loma Linda University. She is a board certified pediatrician in both the United States and Japan. Dr. Matsuda received her M.D. and Ph.D. from Sapporo Medical School and MPH from Harvard University, School of Public Health.
Mr. Gennaro is a certified public accountant in New Jersey and California with over 25 years service as Chief Financial Officer and/or Vice President of Finance for a variety of public and private technology related firms. His experience includes all areas of finance and administration. Mr. Gennaro started his career in the New Jersey office of the international CPA firm of Arthur Young & Co. He holds an MBA from Rutgers Graduate School of Business and a BS in mathematics from Rutgers University.
Mr. O’Brien joined MediciNova in June 2009. Prior to joining MediciNova, Mr. O’Brien worked on Wall Street for 10 years as an equity research analyst and investment banker covering pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies at UBS, DLJ/Credit Suisse First Boston, Nomura, and Punk Ziegel, and was a Vice President from 2004-2008. During his career as a senior equity research analyst on the sell side and buy side, he focused on clinical, scientific, financial, strategic and competitive analysis of development programs and marketed products. He used this analysis to predict the future prospects of both development-stage and established pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. At UBS, Mr. O’Brien worked on the specialty pharmaceuticals team, which was ranked #2 in Institutional Investor magazine’s All-America Research Team survey. He executed acquisitions and equity offerings as a health care investment banker at DLJ/Credit Suisse First Boston. Prior to graduate school, Mr. O’Brien worked on the successful development of a biotechnology product at The Liposome Company. Mr. O’Brien received a B.S. in chemistry, cum laude, from the University of Delaware and completed his J.D. and M.B.A. simultaneously at Vanderbilt Law School and Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University.