Our leadership has years of specialized expertise spanning pharmaceutical drug development, biotech research and medical care.

Management Team

Par Nijhawan, MD, FRCPC, AGAF

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Nijhawan is the Chief Executive Officer and Secretary of Edesa, positions he has held since forming the company in 2015. Dr. Nijhawan is a seasoned pharmaceutical entrepreneur with 19 years of experience in cross-functional roles including finance, marketing and business development. Prior to Edesa, Dr. Nijhawan was the founder and CEO of Medical Futures Inc which was sold to Tribute Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Nijhawan founded and led Digestive Health Clinic into becoming Canada’s largest provider of private endoscopy services. He is also the founder of Exzell Pharma, which was sold to BioLab Pharma in 2022. Dr. Nijhawan was Inducted into the CHLA BD Hall of fame in 2018 and Awarded Business Development Deal of the Year 2017. Dr. Nijhawan received his MD (University of Ottawa), Internship (Yale), Residency IM (Mayo), Fellowship GI (Mayo).

Michael Brooks, PhD, MBA


Dr. Brooks was appointed President of Edesa in January 2019. He initially joined Edesa in September 2015 as Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy. Prior to joining Edesa, Dr. Brooks held positions of increasing responsibility at Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc (TSX:CPH) from 2010 to 2015 and served most recently as Director of Business Development. Prior to joining Cipher, Dr. Brooks was a Post-Doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto. Dr. Brooks holds a Hons B.Sc. degree in Microbiology and a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Toronto. Dr. Brooks also holds a Master of Business Administration, degree from the Rotman School of Management where he was a Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) Science to Business Scholar.

Kathi Niffenegger, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Ms. Niffenegger was appointed Chief Financial Officer in June 2019, having previously served as CFO and Corporate Secretary of Edesa’s legacy business since 2013. Ms. Niffenegger has more than 30 years of experience in accounting and finance in a range of industries. She held positions of increasing responsibility in the audit division of Glenn Burdette CPAs from 1988 to 2012 and served as technical partner. She obtained CFO experience at Martin Aviation, and began her career at Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. (now KPMG LLP). Ms. Niffenegger has held leadership roles for audits of manufacturing, aquaculture, pharmaceutical and governmental grant clients, and developed specific expertise in cost accounting systems and internal controls.

Blair Gordon, PhD

Vice President, Research and Development

Dr. Gordon is responsible for the design, management, and execution of Edesa’s clinical programs. He completed his PhD studies at the University of Toronto in the Department of Molecular Genetics where he was an NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Fellow. His previous roles include Business Development at Cipher Pharmaceuticals (TSX:CPH) and Medical Affairs at ArcticDX. Dr. Gordon is excited to be commercializing scientific discoveries at Edesa.

Gary Koppenjan

Vice President, Investor Relations and Communications

Mr. Koppenjan has more than 20 years of experience in corporate communications, marketing, and investor relations. Most recently, he led investor relations for a public life science company that was acquired by a large conglomerate. Previously, he held various marketing and communications positions at a global crop science company. During his career, Koppenjan has received multiple advertising and public relations awards for product introduction campaigns and stakeholder outreach. He is a past member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s communications committee and the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Technical Advisory Committee. Koppenjan is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles.

Raj Puri

Senior Vice President, Manufacturing

Raj Puri is a biopharma executive with more than 20 years of experience in biologics manufacturing, business development, regulatory affairs and product marketing. Prior to joining Edesa, Mr. Puri served as VP of Business Development for CMAB Biopharma, a start-up contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) sold to Wuxi Biologics. He was an original member of the Therapure Biopharma executive team, and helped successfully grow the CDMO to over 250 employees during a ten year tenure. Prior to his experience with CDMOs, Mr. Puri worked in both biotech and large pharma companies including regulatory affairs at Eli Lilly. Mr. Puri was a board member for the Pharma & Biopharma Outsourcing Association. He holds an MBA in Science and Technology, and a Master of Science degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada.

Edesa Board of Directors