Vericel develops, manufactures, and markets autologous cell-based therapies for patients with serious diseases and conditions. The company markets three cell therapy products in the United States. MACI® (autologous cultured chondrocytes on porcine collagen membrane) is a third generation autologous cellularized scaffold product that is indicated for the repair of single or multiple symptomatic, full-thickness cartilage defects of the adult knee, with or without bone involvement. Carticel® (autologous cultured chondrocytes) is an autologous chondrocyte implant intended to treat cartilage defects in the knee in patients who have had an inadequate response to a prior arthroscopic or other surgical repair procedure. Epicel® (cultured epidermal autografts) is a permanent skin replacement for the treatment of patients with deep dermal or full thickness burns greater than or equal to 30% of total body surface area. Vericel is also developing 1 additional cell product. Ixmyelocel-T is a multicellular therapy intended to treat advanced heart failure due to ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
Developing autologous (patient’s own) cell therapies—with integrity
Vericel uses rigorous scientific methods to develop novel therapies for the treatment of patients with autologous (patient’s own) cells. In addition, personal integrity, team work, collaboration, and innovative technology are the foundations of our work. We seek to practice transparency in our clinical trials and research, and in our relationships with each other, our patients, and the investors who support us.
Vericel is committed to improving the lives of patients with serious conditions by developing and manufacturing innovative cell therapies and specialty biologics.
Vericel is passionately committed to meeting significant patient and healthcare provider needs by providing potentially life-enhancing cell therapies to patients with serious medical conditions.
Vericel believes in encouraging each employee to exceed the expectations of the patients we serve, their healthcare providers, and the shareholders who support our efforts.
Meet Our Management Team
President & CEO
Nick joined Vericel in 2013 with more than twenty years of executive management and corporate development experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including nearly a decade with Eli Lilly and Company. Most recently, Nick was President and Chief Executive Officer of Promedior, Inc. During his career, he has held a variety of executive positions of increasing responsibility in product development, pharmaceutical operations, sales and marketing, and corporate development. He has extensive experience in the acquisition, development and commercialization of therapies to treat fibrovascular, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. During his tenure at Eli Lilly and Company, Nick held positions as Director of Strategy and Business Development for Lilly’s Diabetes Product Group and also served as a founding Managing Director of Lilly Ventures. Nick received his B.S.B.A. in Accounting, Magna Cum Laude, from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a J.D. degree, with Honors, from the Duke University School of Law.
Chief Operating Officer
Dan joined Vericel in August of 2012 and is responsible for manufacturing, operations and commercialization of our products. Prior to Vericel he held several executive positions at Takeda Pharmaceuticals including Sales, Marketing and Business Development. Dan has led many broad cross-functional teams that established organizational design and structure as well as strategy and execution for over a dozen brands in the development, launch and commercialization stages. His initial pharmaceutical experience came in progressively expanding roles at Abbott Laboratories. Dan holds an M.B.A. from Florida Atlantic University as well as a B.A. in Economics with Honors from the University of Florida.
Chief Financial Officer & Vice President of Corporate Development
Gerard joined Vericel in June of 2014 with over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry across multiple functional areas. He has considerable experience in business development, raising capital and executing successful financial transactions, rising over $500M in his career. Gerard was formerly Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Corporate Development of Biodel, where he oversaw strategic development, fundraising and capital structure management, marketing efforts, investor relations, and financial reporting and internal controls. Prior to his role at Biodel, Gerard served as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Corporate Development of NPS Pharmaceuticals, where he led the first syndicated royalty monetization, the structure of which has been widely copied. Prior to that, Gerard was a Principal at Booz Allen and also held a variety of commercial roles at both Lederle Labs and Wyeth Labs. Gerard holds a M.S in Microbiology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, an M.B.A. from the Simon School of Business, and a B.S. in both Biology and Geology from the University of Rochester.
David Recker, MD
Chief Medical Officer
David Recker has more than 20 years of experience in drug development, most recently at Takeda Global Research and Development where he served as Senior Vice President for Clinical Science. Dr. Recker has had responsibility for multiple development programs in a variety of therapeutic areas in his career which have resulted in many successful regulatory filings throughout the world. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians as well as a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology. He holds an M.D. with Distinction from the University of Michigan, where he completed his internship and residency while being named Chief Resident in Internal Medicine. He completed his fellowship in training at the National Institutes of Health.
Jacquelyn Fahey Sandell
Vice President and General Counsel
Jacqui joined Vericel in 2015 with more than twenty years of experience as in-house counsel in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries as well as in private practice. Jacqui has considerable experience in healthcare and pharmaceutical law and regulation, business development, commercial business transactions, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property licensing, securities law and compliance. Most recently, Jacqui was Associate General Counsel for Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. d/b/a Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Co., advising on global clinical trials, business development and translational medicine. Previously, she was Senior Corporate Counsel for Genzyme Corporation, providing legal support to the Genzyme Genetics division. Prior to Genzyme she began her legal career at Shearman & Sterling in New York, London and Paris before joining Allen & Overy in Rome, specializing in mergers and acquisitions and securities law. She holds a B.A. from Duke University and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Boston University School of Law.
Sr. Director, Human Resources
Heidi joined Vericel in September of 2010 and is responsible for leading the overall administration and strategic direction of Vericel’s Human Resources function. Heidi has held HR leadership positions for over 20 years across several industries, most recently with Cayman Chemical in Ann Arbor, MI. Previously she led the HR organization for Xycom Automation, a manufacturer of industrial PCs. She received a B.A. in Employment Relations, College of Social Science, from Michigan State University.
Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs
Mike joined Vericel in April of 2017 with over 28 years of regulatory, quality assurance, and clinical research experience with a variety of medical device, combination product, small molecule, biologic, and advanced therapy technologies. Prior to joining Vericel, Mike was with Sanofi and Genzyme Corporation; most recently as vice president, North American region regulatory head with responsibility for Sanofi Genzyme’s rare disease, immuno-inflammatory, multiple sclerosis and other business unit products. Mike has also served as vice president, regulatory affairs for Genzyme’s biosurgery division, with regulatory oversight of all biosurgery and cell and gene therapy products, including Carticel®, Epicel®, and MACI®. Prior to Genzyme, Mike held a number of regulatory, quality, and clinical affairs positions at several medical device companies, including Abbott/MediSense, C.R. Bard, and Abiomed. Mike received his master’s degree in biomedical engineering and bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Virginia.
Board of Directors
Robert L. Zerbe, M.D.
Lead Director since October 2012; Director since January 2006
Dr. Zerbe is the CEO of QUATRx Pharmaceuticals Company, a venture-backed drug development company which he co-founded in 2000. Prior to his role at QUATRx, he held senior executive management positions with major pharmaceutical companies including Eli Lilly and Pfizer. During his tenure at Eli Lilly, his clinical research and development positions included Managing Director, Lilly Research Center U.K., and Vice President of Clinical Investigation and Regulatory Affairs. He joined Parke Davis in 1993, becoming Senior Vice President of Worldwide Clinical Research and Development. In this capacity, he led the clinical development programs for key products including Lipitor® and Neurontin®. Dr. Zerbe received his M.D. from the Indiana University School of Medicine and has completed postdoctoral work in internal medicine, endocrinology and neuroendocrinology at Indiana University and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Zerbe currently serves on the boards of directors of one other public company, Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and two private companies, Metabolex, Inc. and Edgemont Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Zerbe’s qualifications to sit on the Board include his management positions at major pharmaceutical companies including the experience he gleaned in his clinical development roles.
Alan L. Rubino
Director since September 2005
Mr. Rubino has served as CEO and President of Emisphere Technologies, Inc. since September, 2012. Previously, Mr. Rubino served as the CEO and President of New American Therapeutics, CEO and President of Akrimax Pharmaceuticals, LLC and President and COO of Pharmos Corporation. Mr. Rubino has continued to expand upon a highly successful and distinguished career which included Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc. where he was a member of the U.S. Executive and Operating Committees and a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Corporate Officer. During his Roche tenure, he held key executive positions in marketing, sales, business operations, supply chain and human resource management, and was assigned executive committee roles in marketing, project management, and globalization of the worldwide pharmaceuticals business. Mr. Rubino also held senior executive positions at PDI, Inc. and Cardinal Health. He holds a B.A. in economics from Rutgers University with a minor in biology/chemistry and completed his post-graduate educational programs at the University of Lausanne and Harvard Business School. Additionally, he serves on the Boards of Sanuwave, Inc. (SANU), Genisphere LLC, and Rutgers University School of Business, Mr. Rubino’s qualifications to sit on the Board include his leadership roles in the life sciences industry in a wide range of capacities, including positions focused on business development, sales and marketing and SEC matters.
Director since January 2015
Kevin McLaughlin is the Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at Acceleron Pharma. He most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Qteros, Inc., a cellulosic biofuels company. He was a Co-founder of Aptius Education, Inc. and from 2007 through 2009 he worked as the Chief Operating Officer and a Director. From 1996 through 2007, Mr. McLaughlin held several executive positions with PRAECIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He joined PRAECIS as their first Chief Financial Officer where he had responsibility for private financings, partnership financings, the company’s initial public offering and subsequent stock offering. Later, Mr. McLaughlin became COO, then President and CEO, while serving as a member of the Board of Directors. In this capacity he was responsible for negotiating the sale of the company to GlaxoSmithKline. He began his career in senior financial roles at Prime Computer and Computervision Corporation. Mr. McLaughlin received a B.S. in business from Northeastern University and an M.B.A from Babson College.
Director since August 2013
Heidi M. Hagen is currently the COO and co-founder of Vitruvian Networks, a technology platform company committed to scaling and digitizing cell and gene therapies through advanced software systems, manufacturing services and data analytics. Prior to co-founding Vitruvian Networks, Heidi was the Global Chief Operating Officer for SOTIO, in Prague, Czech Republic with a US office in Boston, MA. She has an extensive and proven track record in leading operations and commercializing innovative technologies. Before joining SOTIO she worked for Dendreon for ten years as Senior Vice President of Operations, where she was responsible for technical operations, among other duties. Prior to joining Dendreon, she spent ten years with Immunex Corporation where she held various positions in drug development and supply/operations management. Heidi has a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology, M.S. in Bioengineering, and M.B.A. from the University of Washington.
Director since January 2015
Dr. Wotton currently serves as the President and CEO of Sigilon Inc. He served as the President and CEO of Ocata Therapeutics from July 2014, until its acquisition by Astellas Pharma US Inc. and as the Co-Chairman of the Integration Management Office at Astellas Pharma US, Inc. until May 2016. Prior to Ocata, Dr. Wotton had served as President and CEO of Antares Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: ATRS) since October, 2008. Prior to joining Antares, Dr. Wotton was the CEO of Topigen Pharmaceuticals and prior to Topigen he was the Global Head of Business Development of SkyePharma PLC. Earlier in his career he held senior level positions at Eurand International BV, Penwest Pharmaceuticals, Abbott Laboratories, Merck, Sharp and Dohme. Dr. Wotton is also past Chairman of the Emerging Companies Advisory Board of BIOTEC Canada. Dr. Wotton received his Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Nottingham. In 2014 he was named New Jersey Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Life Sciences.
Director since January 2015
Dr. Gilman has more than 28 years of experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining Cubist, he served as chairman of the Board of Directors and chief executive officer of ActivBiotics, a privately held biopharmaceutical company. Previously, Dr. Gilman worked at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he held a number of senior leadership roles including Vice President and General Manager of Inflammation. Prior to Millennium, he was Group Director at Pfizer Global Research and Development, where he was responsible for drug discovery in several therapeutic areas, including immunology and antibacterials. Dr. Gilman has also held scientific, business, and academic appointments at Wyeth, Cytogen Corporation, Temple Medical School and Connecticut College. He currently serves as Chairman and Interim CEO of ContraFect Corporation (Nasdaq: CFRX) and on the Board of Directors of Momenta Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: MNTA), SCYNEXIS (Nasdaq: SCYX), Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: KERX), the Massachusetts Biotechnology Association, the Northeastern University Drug Discovery Advisory Board and the Penn State University Biotechnology Advisory Board. Dr. Gilman received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Microbiology from Pennsylvania State University, his postdoctoral training at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, and received a B.A. in Microbiology from Miami University of Ohio.
President & CEO
Nick joined Vericel in 2013 with more than twenty years of executive management and corporate development experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including nearly a decade with Eli Lilly and Company. Most recently, Nick was President and Chief Executive Officer of Promedior, Inc. During his career, he has held a variety of executive positions of increasing responsibility in product development, pharmaceutical operations, sales and marketing, and corporate development. He has extensive experience in the acquisition, development and commercialization of therapies to treat fibrovascular, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. During his tenure at Eli Lilly and Company, Nick held positions as Director of Strategy and Business Development for Lilly’s Diabetes Product Group and also served as a founding Managing Director of Lilly Ventures. Nick received his B.S.B.A. in Accounting, Magna Cum Laude, from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a J.D. degree, with Honors, from the Duke University School of Law
Partnering With Vericel
Vericel Corporation is dedicated to the development of autologous (patient’s own) cell therapies for the treatment of patients with severe diseases and conditions. Vericel markets three autologous cell therapy products in the United States. MACI® (autologous cultured chondrocytes on porcine collagen membrane) is a third generation autologous chondrocyte implant for the treatment of cartilage defects in the knee. Carticel® (autologous cultured chondrocytes) is an autologous chondrocyte implant for the repair of symptomatic cartilage defects of the femoral condyle (medial, lateral or trochlea). Epicel® (cultured epidermal autografts) is a permanent skin replacement for full thickness burns greater than or equal to 30% of total body surface area. Vericel is also developing 1 additional cell therapy treatment, Ixmyelocel-T. Ixmyelocel-T is a multicellular therapy for the treatment of advanced heart failure due to ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). In a Phase 2b clinical trial, results showed that patients who received ixmyelocel‑T had a 37% reduction in cardiac events at 12 months compared with placebo (composite endpoint of cardiac events: all-cause death, cardiovascular hospitalizations, and unplanned outpatient and emergency room interventions to treat acute decompensated heart failure).
Vericel uses rigorous scientific methods to develop novel therapies for the treatment of patients with autologous (patient’s own) cells. In addition, personal integrity, team work, collaboration, and innovative technology are the foundations of our work. We seek to practice transparency in our clinical trials and research, in our relationships with each other, our patients, and the investors who support us. At this time Vericel is considering options for licensing and distribution of MACI and Epicel in various geographic regions outside of the United States. Furthermore, Vericel is evaluating partnerships for the development and global approval of ixmyelocel-T.