We have assembled a group of world-class professionals, committed to changing the world one injection at a time.
Jay Walker leads ApiJect’s board of directors and shapes the company’s overall vision. He is best known as the founder of Priceline and Curator of TEDMED.
A serial entrepreneur, Mr. Walker has founded three companies that have gone from launch to 50 million customers each. He is the world’s 10th most patented inventor, named on more than 950 issued U.S. and international patents in technology-related fields.
Active in the field of medicine since 2012, Mr. Walker serves as Director and Curator of TEDMED, the health and medicine edition of the world-famous TED Conference. He is also Chairman of Upside, a travel and technology company that serves the unmanaged business traveler. A passionate student and practitioner of imagination, Mr. Walker founded and curated the Library of the History of Human Imagination, which Wired Magazine called, “the most amazing private library in the world.”Learn More
The inventor of ApiJect’s breakthrough BFS injection device is Marc Koska, one of the world’s most respected and successful social entrepreneurs.
In the mid-1980s, Mr. Koska invented the K-1 Auto-Disable Syringe, a device that stops the spread of blood-borne diseases and infection by making it impossible to reuse medical needles and syringes. In 2005, he founded the nonprofit SafePoint Trust to educate children about the dangers of employing used needles.
To date, Marc’s invention and leadership are estimated to have saved 12 million lives. In 2015, WHO director, Dr. Margaret Chan announced a new global policy on injection safety, promoting Auto-Disable syringes. The K-1 is now licensed and manufactured by 14 global manufacturers. Among many other honors bestowed upon Mr. Koska, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his “contribution to global healthcare.”Learn More
Chief Executive Officer
Franco Negron is ApiJect’s Chief Executive Officer, leading its operating and manufacturing initiatives.
Mr. Negron comes to his new role at ApiJect after most recently serving as President of Commercial Operations of Thermo Fisher Scientific. He joined Thermo-Fisher in 2017 when it acquired his previous employer, Patheon Pharmaceuticals, where he served as President of Development & Commercial, North America. Shortly after the acquisition he was named President of Commercial Operations for the newly formed Pharma Services Group.
Mr. Negron’s experience in the pharmaceutical industry spans nearly 25 years, including serving as Vice President of Manufacturing and Supply at Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Global Vice President in Novartis’ Consumer Health Over-the-Counter and Pharmaceutical Products Division, and Site General Manager at McNeil Consumer Healthcare.
Hanjin In is the CEO of Tae-Chang Industrial Co., Ltd. of South Korea (T-C), a leading global manufacturer of needle products and blood bags. All of T-C’s products are GMP, ISO and CE certified. In recent years, Mr. In has expanded T-C’s product line across various medical applications.
Established more than 25 years ago, T-C today exports to more than 50 nations, including the U.S. and Japan, and serves as an OEM supplier to all major medical suppliers in the region. In addition to being a manufacturing partner, T-C is a key R&D contributor on ApiJect’s Needle Hub component.Learn More
Chief Operations Officer
Mr. Guidotti comes to ApiJect with more than 30 years of pharma experience in global business, operational strategy and execution, supply chain management, manufacturing network design, and capital project planning and execution. From 2009 to 2020, he served in a variety of executive leadership roles with Patheon Pharmaceuticals and Thermo Fisher Scientific (which acquired Patheon in August 2017). Most recently he was Group Vice President of Global Engineering, Capacity Planning, and Technical/Operations Services for Pharma Services Group within Thermo Fisher Scientific, a global leader in serving science and an industry leader in contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing services.
In his role as ApiJect’s COO, Mr. Guidotti will work closely with CEO Franco Negron on realizing the company’s growth strategy and continuing to build a world-class team in support of the delivery of the ApiJect platform. This will also include responsibility for the company’s scheduled construction of the previously announced ApiJect Campus in Durham, North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park that will have the capability to produce up to 3 billion doses of injectable medicines annually. The campus is being financed with a $590 million loan from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation in addition to more than $200 million of privately raised capital.
Chief Commercial Officer
With almost 20 years of experience in marketing and business development, Beth Totin has spearheaded the growth of BFS and traditional glass filling (PFS, vials and cartridge) efforts for several multinational contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs).
Prior to joining ApiJect, Beth was responsible for the introduction of a new manufacturing facility in North America for Unither Pharmaceuticals (France), significantly scaling the site for sterile and oral product technologies. During her time at Siegfried, Ms. Totin directed innovation efforts around biologics and delivery devices through domestic and international production sites of glass ampoules, vials, cartridges, and BFS. At Catalent, she expanded the customer base by helping to create a new injectable BFS product offering while overseeing a domestic BFS site and multiple international sites serving global customers. Before Catalent, Ms. Totin was the Marketing Manager at The Ritedose Corporation (TRC)/Holopack International.Learn More
Chief Financial Officer
Raj Asarpota joins ApiJect after his most recent role as EVP and CFO with NuVasive, where he was involved with supporting the company’s growth strategy through innovation and driving increased profitability with operating excellence.
Prior to that Mr. Asarpota spent 2 years in the private equity space at Imaging Advantage as EVP and CFO and at Cole Parmer as COO and CFO. In 2014, he served as the EVP and CFO for Questcor Pharmaceuticals.
Mr. Asarpota also spent a decade at Life Technologies, where he was responsible for helping scale the company with a commercial turnaround. During his tenure, the company revenue grew from ~$1B in 2014 to $4B+, leading to the company’s sale to Thermo Fisher for $16 billion in 2013.
Chief People Officer
Ms. Stewart is a Human Resources executive with more than 20 years of experience maximizing investment in human capital for organizations within and beyond the pharmaceutical industry. She is a former senior HR leader at Eurofins Scientific and Biomedical Systems Corporation. As a solutions-oriented change leader, Amy has a reputation for balancing people strategy with business strategy while demonstrating agility and collaboration throughout organizations. Ms. Stewart has always believed passionately that at its heart, a vibrant company culture is created by reinforcing company values through effective communication and leveraging its most important asset – its people.
Chief Technology Officer
Luc LaFontan is a global technology leader with experience in large and small enterprises across manufacturing, financial services, travel, and ecommerce in North America, Europe and Australia. Driven by challenges and learning, he has a history of creating technology-enabled competitive advantages for businesses by driving effective digital strategy, building world-class teams, and improving business productivity with intelligent process automation. Luc completed his undergrad studies in New Orleans at Tulane University, did a 2-year Technology Management program at Columbia University, and received his MBA from the University of Connecticut.
EVP & Global Head of M&A
Peter Stone has over 25 years’ experience in private equity, mergers & acquisitions and corporate finance, and as CFO of both private and publicly-traded companies both domestically and internationally.
Mr. Stone began his private equity and M&A career at Deutsche Bank before moving on to Mercury Capital and The Seabury Group. Peter gained his CFO and operations experience in a wide range of industries, including technology, manufacturing, travel, professional services and now healthcare. Mr. Stone is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.Learn More
Senior Adviser to the Chairman
Jon Ellenthal has 30 years of experience building and leading early-stage companies with transformational business models to positions of industry leadership. Jon is a Co-Founder and Board Member of The Upside Travel Company, the latest travel innovation from Priceline founder Jay Walker.
Previously, Jon served as the Chief Executive Officer of Walker Digital, a private R&D lab for business innovation. He is a Founding Patron and former President of TEDMED, the independently owned and operated health and medical edition of the world-famous TED organization. Earlier, Jon was the CEO of Synapse Group, Inc. In 10 years, Synapse grew from an idea with seed capital to a company with an exit valuation approaching $1B. Prior to becoming CEO, Jon served in a variety of senior leadership roles.Learn More
Chief of Staff
Josh Myers joined ApiJect with a diverse background with experience in contract, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical manufacturing including sterile products and BFS. His experience helps bridge the commercial operations with the technical group while interfacing with key stakeholders both internally and externally.
Before ApiJect, he helped run the commercial operations group in North America for Unither Pharmaceuticals, a leading BFS contract manufacturer. He spent two years at Unither helping transform the North American business unit from a traditional oral dose manufacturing site to a leading sterile BFS producer within Unither.
Prior to Unither, Mr. Myers spent seven years at North American Breweries in a number of different functional areas including operations, quality, product development, project management, and contract manufacturing.
Chief Compliance Officer & General Counsel
James (Jim) Garrett brings to ApiJect extensive legal and strategic business expertise both inside and outside of healthcare. Since 2012, Jim served at NuVasive, Inc. as Senior Vice President for Business and Quality Systems, as well as Government & Regulations Strategy (2018-2020), Vice President, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer (2017-2019), and Vice President, Associate General Counsel (2012-2017).
From 2001-2010, Mr. Garrett practiced law across diverse industries including retail, manufacturing, and biological sciences/healthcare with the firms Brobeck Phleger & Harrison LLP, (Associate, 2001-2003), Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, (Senior Associate, 2003-2008), and DLA Piper LLP, (Of Counsel, 2008–2010). He holds a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law.
Head of Intellectual Property
Magdalena Fincham, ApiJect’s Head of Intellectual Property (external), has almost 25 years’ experience in Intellectual Property, both as an attorney and as a business stakeholder. She is co-founder of, and a partner in, RowanTree Law Group, a streamlined law practice focused on Intellectual Property including patent, trademark and copyright procurement, management and monetization, and due diligence services.
Previously Ms. Fincham was a Partner at Fincham Downs, LLC, a boutique intellectual property law firm. Before that she served as Director of Intellectual Property Commercialization and then as Vice President, Intellectual Property at Walker Digital, an innovation laboratory that developed, protected and commercialized its wide range of Intellectual Property assets, the best-known of which is priceline.com. Ms. Fincham’s roles at Walker including spinning off businesses, partnering with key industry stakeholders and Licensing.Learn More
Acting Head of Manufacturing
Philip Leslie has worked internationally as a Pharmaceutical Executive and has more than 30 years’ experience in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, mostly with GlaxoSmithKline. Mr. Leslie has run production departments with 200 people as well as leading small teams to implement innovation and change programs. He led the team that developed and built the world’s first commercial vaccine facility using BFS technology.
Passionate about innovation, Mr. Leslie was responsible for creating the Pharmaceutical Innovation Centre with Monash University with the support of the Victorian Government in Australia. The Victoria Government inducted him into its Manufacturing Hall of Fame in 2017 in recognition of his “outstanding contribution to manufacturing excellence in Victoria.”Learn More
VP, Business Development
Ray Sell’s almost 25 years in the contract pharmaceuticals industry covers a wide range of customer interfacing roles.
Ray has held key roles at PCI Printed Components, Cardinal Health PTS, Catalent, Bellwyck Pharma Services, and most recently was Director, Business Development, CDMO North America for PCI Pharma Services.
Results of his efforts include repeated outstanding sales results including three-time President’s Club recognition for being the Top Global Performer in three different business functions.
Mr. Sell earned a BS in business administration from King’s College (Wilkes Barre, Pa.).
VP, Technical Operations
Kendall brings over 15 years of Vaccines and Biologics experience. He was previously the VP of Technical operations for a global allergy immunotheraphy company responsible for operations in North America across 3 manufacturing sites. Prior to this Kendall was at Novartis Vaccines as part of the Influenza Franchise and Operations group. Kendall supported the product development and licensure of a number of vaccines Flucelvax, Celtura, and Fluad. He has spent his professional career across 4 continents, with a significant amount of time outside of the U.S., including Germany, Switzerland, South Korea, and Argentina. Kendall holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and dual bachelors from North Carolina State University in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.Learn More
Prior to joining ApiJect, Nick Robinson was the CEO of North American Communications, a multinational manufacturing services provider for direct mail print & fulfillment. He has held senior management positions at data-driven marketing agencies and consulting firms, including DirectCom and Accenture. Mr. Robinson holds a BS from Georgetown University and an MBA from Columbia University.Learn More
Principal BFS Engineer
Jeff Price has 30 years of industrial, aerospace, and pharmaceutical manufacturing related experience, including 27 years specializing in all aspects of Blow-Fill-Seal sterile aseptic liquid filling technology. He has 7 years of experience at VP level of Operations Management and Engineering Development of a privately-owned sterile inhalation generic drug manufacturing facility using Blow-Fill-Seal technology. He also authored and presented several papers on aseptic design (referenced in the 2004 FDA Aseptic Guidelines document), as well as Heat Transfer analysis of the BFS process (product temperature profile during filling process) for heat sensitive products. Mr. Price has been awarded 11 patents for innovations related to BFS processes.Learn More
Eric Schmisseur is the Director of Quality, Medical Devices, at ApiJect. He is a seasoned Life Science Quality Leader with over 25 years of experience with ever-increasing responsibilities. He has wide range of commercialization experience including Quality leadership positions in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and combination products in the US and the EU.
His expertise and leadership in Quality has been demonstrated in intravenous medical devices, generic drugs, and biologic combination products. Eric is passionate about bringing the highest quality meaningful medical treatments, including those using combination products, to as many patients as possible.