Management Team

James Helliwell, MD

President and Chief Executive Officer

Eupraxia founder James Helliwell holds a medical degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC), with a specialization in anesthesiology. He also received sub-specialty training in cardiac anesthesiology and transplantation, and board certification in Perioperative Echocardiography.  Prior to founding Eupraxia, he held a clinical practice at a quaternary academic cardiac center in St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver. He also served as Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

With an active interest in administration, systems analysis and public policy reform, James has held many positions of leadership, most recently the presidency of the provincial body guiding anesthesiology care in British Columbia. Involvement with Eupraxia is a natural extension, allowing use of his scientific and administrative knowledge to lead a progressive company dedicated to providing patients with innovative pharmacologic treatments to relieve suffering and improve lives.

Amanda Malone, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Malone has worked on the development of drug delivery systems for over 10 years.  She is a founding member of Eupraxia’s team, and has guided the scientific programs through the pre-clinical and manufacturing process and into the clinic.  Prior to joining Eupraxia, Dr. Malone was the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of a drug delivery company that was granted over $9 million from the U.S. National Institute of Health and had over 15 products in its pipeline.   She graduated with High Honors from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California with a degree in engineering and was the inaugural PhD student in Stanford’s Bioengineering Department. While at Stanford, she received both a National Science Foundation Fellowship and a Stanford BioX Graduate Fellowship.

Alex Rothwell, B.Ch.E., M.B.A

Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operating Officer

Prior to moving to Victoria, BC, Alex was President & Executive Director of Macquarie Capital Markets Canada in Toronto.  There he had management and P&L responsibility for all operations in equities (sales, trading, research, risk management, finance, IT, HR, legal, regulatory & compliance) with staff in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver, New York and London.  While in this role, he also worked closely with the firm’s corporate clients to advise them on their growth & acquisition strategies, associated funding requirements, and to manage their engagement with the institutional investor community. He began his finance career in 1995 with UBS Canada advising US hedge funds on their trading strategies. In addition to his hedge funds expertise, he has an extensive knowledge of, and connections to, the global network of institutional funds that finance Canadian companies and are active in Canadian equity markets.

He has an MBA from the Ivey School of Business (1995) and holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from McGill University (1991).

Paul Brennan

Chief Business Officer

Paul Brennan has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical & biotech industries working in leadership roles in general management, corporate strategy, commercial planning, business development and regulatory affairs in Canada, Sweden the UK and the US. Prior to joining Eupraxia, Mr. Brennan was Vice-President of Business Development at Aquinox (NASDAQ: AQXP), where he successfully completed the out licensing of rosiptor to Astellas in the Asia-Pacific region for $100 million in upfront and milestones. Prior to Aquinox, he was Senior Vice-President of Business Development at Arbutus Biopharma Corp (NASDAQ: ABUS) and played a central role in the merger of Tekmira (NASDAQ:TKMR) and Oncore (private) to create Arbutus which at the time of the merger was valued at over $1 billion.  In previous executive roles Mr. Brennan played a significant contribution to the sale of Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Corp. to Vifor Pharma Ltd. for $915 million and the sale of AnorMED Inc. to Genzyme Corp. for $580 million. Mr. Brennan also served in senior business development and regulatory affairs roles with AstraZeneca PLC.

Vik Peck, BSc/BJourn, PMP

Vice-President, Program Management

Vik Peck has over two decades of experience in pharmaceuticals, and has managed programs across a wide variety of indications and developmental stages – from business case analysis through development, global registration and market launch of both prescription and consumer health care products.  Vik joined Eupraxia from Vifor Pharma, an international pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Zurich, where she served as Head of Global Project Management and worked on flagship products and initiatives covering 20+ countries. She also established the Alliance Management function for the company’s co-development activities in Asia-Pacific. Earlier in her career, Vik held both operational and management positions in a global contract research organization. Vik holds a Combined Honours in Biology and Journalism from Carleton University and is a longstanding, certified Project Management Professional.

Murray Webb, PhD

Senior Director of Translational Science

Dr. Webb has 25 years of drug discovery and development experience in both industrial and academic settings, with a focus on the conduct and management of translational preclinical studies supporting the entry of novel drugs into clinical trials. This expertise includes an extensive background in vivo efficacy, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetic studies, ADME/biodistribution studies, non-GLP and GLP toxicology studies, drug combination studies and natural products.

Dr. Webb also has expertise in the regulatory requirements for novel oncology in clinical testing and has initiated and managed Phase I and II cancer clinical trials. Collectively, Dr. Webb has more than 90 published research articles, including 32 patents (seven granted) and is the co-inventor of Marqibo®, FDA approved for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, plus five novel drugs in advanced preclinical and clinical testing by three different US-based companies.

Nicola Price, BSc

Senior Director of Clinical Science and Operations

Nicola has more than 20 years of pharmaceutical development experience both at large pharma in the UK, and small CROs and Biotech in Canada. Her experience spans several therapeutic areas and all phases of clinical, with an emphasis on clinical pharmacology and proof of concept trials.

Nicola received a BSc. (Hons) in Biological Sciences from the University of Warwick and her focus is the design, planning and implementation of Eupraxia’s clinical development programs

Jim Price, MSc

Senior Director of Mathematical Sciences

Jim Price has nearly 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, working at Pfizer, AstraZeneca and a number of smaller companies, predominantly involved in early phase and non-clinical research. In this time, he has worked as a Statistician; a modeling and simulation expert in both pharmacometrics and more generally; and as a consultant identifying and solving unique problems. He holds a MSc in Medical Statistics and Information Technology from Leicester University, and a BSc (hons) in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Warwick.

Troy Loss, BSc

Technical Director of Manufacturing

Troy Loss has developed and manufactured drug delivery systems for over 15 years, both at Northern Lipids (now Transferra Nanosciences) and Angiotech Pharmaceuticals.  At Northern Lipids, he rose from Manufacturing Associate to GMP Facility Manager and oversaw all operations of their GMP manufacturing facility, which produced sustained release lipid-based formulations.  At Angiotech, he contributed to the development of drug coated medical devices and formulations designed for local drug delivery.  Prior to joining Angiotech, Mr. Loss worked at Cantest, which performed analytical services for multiple industries. At Cantest, he was responsible for performing routine testing and developing new assays. Mr. Loss received a BSc. (Hon) in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia.  At Eupraxia, he oversees the process optimization and manufacturing of our portfolio of products.

Ash Bassett, BCom

Director of Finance

Ash Bassett has over 12 years of finance experience in both public practice and technology startups.  In his previous role as Director of Finance at Pulse Energy, he oversaw the finance and administrative functions of a rapidly growing software development company.  This led to the successful acquisition of Pulse Energy by EnerNOC in late 2014.  Ash has a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Accounting & Finance from Curtin University of Technology and also maintains his CPA designation with CPA Australia.