Investors | Corporate Governance

Edesa Board of Directors

Sean MacDonald

Board Chair

Mr. MacDonald has chaired our Board since June 2019, having previously served as a director of the company’s principal operating subsidiary, Edesa Biotech Research, Inc., since September 2017. In his career, he has led and closed multiple licensing transactions, financings, acquisitions and divestments, and corporate strategy for several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Mr. MacDonald is currently Chief Business Officer of iOnctura SA, a Swiss clinical-stage oncology company, a position he has held since August 2021. From April 2019 to August 2021, he was the Head of Business Development for Cosmo Pharmaceuticals NV, a European gastroenterology focused pharmaceutical company; and from October 2018 to August 2021 he was the chief executive of Corbin Therapeutics, a Montreal-based biotech company focused on treating neuroinflammation. Mr. MacDonald held various operational and executive leadership roles from October 2012 to October 2018 at Pharmascience Inc., one of Canada’s largest pharmaceutical companies, including Vice President of Business Development and Corporate Development. He received his BSc in Molecular Biology and MBA from the University of Ottawa. Mr. MacDonald’s qualifications to serve on the board of directors include his extensive operational experience and background in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry.

Jennifer Chao

Board Director

Ms. Chao has over 25 years of experience in the biotech and life sciences industries focused primarily on finance and corporate strategy. She is Managing Partner of CoreStrategies Management, LLC, a company she founded in 2008. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Endo International plc. (Nasdaq: ENDP) and is a member of Endo’s Audit Committee and Compliance Committee. Prior to joining Endo, Ms. Chao served as a Director (since 2015) and as Board Chair (since October 2019) of BioSpecifics Technologies Corp. until its acquisition by Endo in December 2020. She also served as Chair of BioSpecifics’ Compensation Committee and as a member of its Audit Committee, Strategy Committee, Intellectual Property Committee, and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. In addition, since March 2022, she has been a Board Director of Cardiol Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: CRDL) and serves as Chair of Cardiol’s Corporate Governance and Compensation Committee.

Additionally, from 2004 to 2008, Ms. Chao was Managing Director and Senior Lead Biotechnology Securities Analyst at Deutsche Bank, responsible for U.S. biotechnology companies with global client coverage; and was known for differentiated fundamentals securities analysis and high visibility coverage of game changing technologies, paradigm shifting treatment algorithms, industry trends and portfolio risk/reward management. Prior to that, Ms. Chao served as Managing Director and Senior Lead Biotechnology Analyst at RBC Capital Markets and VP, Senior Biotechnology Analyst at Leerink Swann & Co. Ms. Chao was a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, as a recipient of the BioMedical Research Career Award, and received her B.A. in Politics and Greek Classics from New York University.

Lorin Johnson, PhD

Board Director

Dr. Johnson is a seasoned pharmaceutical entrepreneur and innovator with more than 30 years of experience in building companies. He has been a member of our board of directors since June 2019, having previously served as a director of the company’s principal operating subsidiary, Edesa Biotech Research, Inc., from its founding in January 2015 to January 2016. Dr. Johnson is currently the Chief Scientist of Glycyx Pharma Ventures Ltd., a biopharma investment and development company he founded in March 2016. Prior to Glycyx, Dr. Johnson cofounded Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company, and held senior leadership positions prior to its acquisition by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. in April 2015. Earlier in his career, Dr. Johnson served as Director of Scientific Operations and Chief Scientist at Scios, Inc. (formerly California Biotechnology, Inc). In addition to Edesa, he currently serves on the board of 9Meters Biopharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: NMTR), and is a member of 9Meters’ Audit Committee, Compensation Committee (chair) and Nominating and Governance Committee. He also serves on the boards of Glycyx MOR, Inc., Intact Therapeutics, Inc., Kinisi Therapeutics, Ltd. and NeVAP, Inc. Dr. Johnson has also held academic positions at Stanford University School of Medicine where he served as an Assistant Professor of Pathology and at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the coauthor of 76 journal articles and book chapters and is the coinventor on 23 issued patents. Dr. Johnson holds a PhD from the University of Southern California and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Johnson’s qualifications to serve on the board of directors include his knowledge of our business and his significant experience in the pharmaceutical industry.

Par Nijhawan, MD, FRCPC, AGAF

Board Director, Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Nijhawan has served as our Chief Executive Officer, Corporate Secretary and a member of our board of directors since June 2019, having previously founded and led the company’s principal operating subsidiary, Edesa Biotech Research, Inc., since January 2015. Dr. Nijhawan is a seasoned pharmaceutical entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in cross-functional leadership roles in finance, marketing, corporate strategy and business development. Prior to Edesa, in 2002 Dr. Nijhawan founded Medical Futures Inc., and served as its CEO. He sold Medical Futures to Tribute Pharmaceuticals in 2015. Dr. Nijhawan also founded Digestive Health Clinic in 2000 and led it to become Canada’s largest provider of private endoscopy services. In 2014, he founded Exzell Pharma, a specialty Canadian-based pharmaceutical organization that markets and commercializes approved products. He continues to serve on the Boards of Exzell Pharma and Digestive Health Clinic.  Since January 2021, he has served on the advisory board of Private Debt Partners, a Canadian alternative asset management firm. Dr. Nijhawan received his MD from the University of Ottawa and completed his internship at Yale University, and his internal medicine residency and fellowship at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Nijhawan’s qualifications to serve on the board of directors include his extensive executive leadership and experience in the life sciences industry and his knowledge of our business as its chief executive.

Frank R. Oakes

Board Director

Mr. Oakes has more than 40 years of executive leadership experience. He has been a director of the company since April 2010 and served as the Chairman of the Board until June 2019. From 1999 to 2019, he also served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the company’s legacy operating subsidiary, which he founded. Prior to founding Stellar Biotechnologies, Inc., he was the Chief Executive Officer of The Abalone Farm, Inc., where he led the company through the research and development, capitalization, and commercialization phases of development to become the largest abalone producer in the United States at the time. Mr. Oakes has consulted and lectured around the world. He received his BS degree from California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo and is a graduate of the Los Angeles Regional Technology Alliance University’s management program. Mr. Oakes qualifications to serve on the board of directors include his extensive operational experience building companies and management teams and leading a U.S. and Canadian publicly listed life science company.

Paul William Pay

Board Director

Mr. Pay is an executive with over 40 years of experience in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry. He has been a member of our board of directors since June 2019, having previously served as a director of the company’s principal operating subsidiary, Edesa Biotech Research, Inc., since its founding in January 2015. From November 2002 to May 2021, he led all business development activity at Norgine. He is now Senior Advisor, Corporate & Business Development at Norgine reporting to the Chairman. Prior to joining Norgine, Mr. Pay held senior management positions at large, specialty and early-stage pharmaceutical companies, and cofounded a university spin-out company. His commercial roles have included sales, marketing, market research, licensing, business development, public relations, intellectual property and product development. In addition to Edesa, Mr. Pay is currently a director of Exzell Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company. He is a past Director of Arc Medical Design, a medical device development company and a portfolio company of Norgine; Norgine Ltd., an affiliate of Norgine and of Merus Labs Inc., a Norgine wholly owned subsidiary. Mr. Pay received a BSC (hons) from the University of Leeds. Mr. Pay’s qualifications to serve on the board of directors include his extensive experience in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry and his knowledge of Edesa’s business.

Carlo Sistilli, CPA, CMA

Board Director

Mr. Sistilli has more than 35 years of financial experience and has held a variety of executive positions in accounting and finance during his career. He has been a member of our board of directors since June 2019, having previously served as a board observer of the company’s principal operating subsidiary, Edesa Biotech Research, Inc., since September 2017. Mr. Sistilli has served as the Chief Financial Officer of Arista Homes since March 2003 to present. Prior to Arista, Mr. Sistilli was a founder and served as CFO and a board member of an Internet start-up company in the automotive sector, and played a key role in taking the company public on the Alberta Ventures Exchange. Earlier in his career, Mr. Sistilli was the Controller and a member of the senior management team of a major regional trust company, which Mr. Sistilli helped sell to Manulife Financial. Since January 2021, he has served on the board of directors and audit committee of Aleafia Health Inc. In addition to his professional career, Mr. Sistilli is an officer and a member of the board of directors of Mother of Mercy Centre. Mr. Sistilli holds a Bachelor of Arts from York University, with a major in economics, Certified Management Accountant Designation and a Chartered Professional Accountant Designation. Mr. Sistilli’s qualifications to serve on the board of directors include his knowledge of Edesa’s business and his background in accounting and finance.

Contacting the Board

To contact Edesa’s Board of Directors or Audit Committee, please write to:

Board of Directors
Edesa Biotech Inc.
100 Spy Court
Markham, ON L3R 5H6 Canada

Committee Composition

Audit Committee Compensation Committee Nominating and Corporate
Governance Committee
Jennifer Chao Member Member
Lorin Johnson Member
Sean MacDonald Member Member Chair
Paul Pay Member Chair
Carlo Sistilli Chair Member

Member = Chair

Member = Member