BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Cory S. Freedland
Cory S. Freedland joined Samsara in 2017. Prior to Samsara, Cory was a Principal at Sofinnova Ventures where he focused on biopharmaceutical investments. Cory played a central role in Sofinnova’s investments in BioClin Therapeutics, Civitas (acquired by Acorda), NextCure, NuCana Biomed (NCNA), Principia Biopharma, Spark Therapeutics (ONCE), Ziarco (acquired by Novartis), and ZS Pharma (ZSPH; acquired by AstraZeneca). Prior to Sofinnova, Cory was a Principal at Novo A/S.
Before his transition to healthcare investing, he was a Vice President in the healthcare investment banking practice at Morgan Stanley, where he advised on over $12 billion of strategic and financing transactions in the biopharmaceutical and life science tools/diagnostics sectors. Prior to transitioning to life sciences finance, Cory worked as a research scientist for Roche focusing on preclinical drug discovery and novel target identification for psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.
He received his PhD in Pharmacology from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. Cory holds a BA in Psychology and Religious Studies from Connecticut College.
David Hirsch is a founder and Managing Director of Longitude Capital. He focuses on investments in biotechnology.
From 2005 to 2006, Dr. Hirsch was a Vice President of Pequot Ventures where he worked in the life sciences practice. Prior to Pequot, Dr. Hirsch was an Engagement Manager in the pharmaceutical practice of McKinsey & Company. While at McKinsey, he worked with many large pharmaceutical companies across a range of projects including clinical and commercial strategies, M&A evaluations, portfolio prioritization and managed care strategy.
He currently serves on the boards of Collegium Pharmaceutical, Rapid Micro Biosystems, and Velicept, and is a board observer at InfaCare Pharmaceuticals. He previously served on the boards of Civitas Therapeutics (acquired) and Precision Therapeutics. Dr. Hirsch has been actively involved with Longitude’s investments in Amarin (NASDAQ: AMRN), Cadence Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CADX), Corcept Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CORT), and Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, as well as prior investments in Horizon Therapeutics and Sequenom (NASDAQ: SQNM).
Dr. Hirsch holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and a B.A. in Biology from The Johns Hopkins University.
Aidan King, MBA, CFA
Aidan King is Managing Partner and co-founder of Fountain Healthcare Partners. Aidan qualified as a pharmacist from Trinity College Dublin and in 1992 joined Elan Corporation’s strategic marketing group with the responsibility of identifying and evaluating product development candidates for Elan’s drug delivery technologies. In 1996, Aidan assumed Head of Strategic Marketing for Elan’s drug delivery division with a focus on competitive analysis and strategic positioning of Elan’s technology platforms.
Having completed an MBA at University College Dublin in 1998, Aidan moved to the U.S. as one of the founding members of Elan’s corporate venture capital group. Over the next five years, Aidan undertook twenty-two strategic investments in public and private specialty pharma, biotechnology and medical device companies, in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Investments included Quadrant Healthcare (acquired by Elan, 2000), Atrix Laboratories (acquired by QLT, 2004), Idun Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer, 2005) and Zealand Pharmaceuticals (IPO, 2010).
In 2004, Aidan joined Bio-IB, a New York-based boutique life science investment bank where he was responsible for M&A and strategic licensing transactions. Aidan is a CFA charter holder. He currently sits on the boards of Chrono Therapeutics, Syndesi Therapeutics, and Velicept Therapeutics. Previously, he was the firm’s representative on the boards of Civitas Therapeutics (acquired by Acorda, 2014) and Palyon Medical.
Jill Becker Mast
Ms. Mast joined Becker Ventures in 2009 as Executive Vice President – Finance after over ten years in education. In 2014, she took over the leadership role as Co-President of BV alongside her sister Carrie. She is based in Michigan and responsible for the corporate office in Troy.
Ms. Mast provides strategic direction and oversees all financial aspects of Becker Ventures portfolio and is solely responsible for its diverse investment portfolio. BV is an active participant in its investments which span a variety of industries including real estate, hospitality, philanthropic, aviation, biomedical and pharmaceutical. She ensures accountability and controls are in place to support the success of BV’s investments.
Ms. Mast earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Oakland University- Rochester, Michigan.
Scott Morenstein is a Managing Director at CAM Capital, a private investment company established by Bruce Kovner for his proprietary investment, trading and business activities. Scott has been a Director of Celator Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: CPXX) since 2013 and recently joined the Board of Synta Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SNTA). In addition to Celator, investments while at CAM Capital include: ProNAi Therapeutics (Nasdaq: DNAI), Agile Therapeutics (Nasdaq: AGRX), Cidara Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CDTX), and Blueprint Medicines (Nasdaq: BPMC). Prior to joining CAM Capital, Mr. Morenstein was a Managing Director of Valence Life Sciences and Caxton Advantage Venture Partners, venture capital firms focused on late-stage investing in private and small cap public drug development companies. He was previously a healthcare investment banker and research analyst at Lehman Brothers and Seaview Securities.
Mr. Morenstein received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in the Biological Basis of Behavior with a Concentration in the Physiology of Neural Systems and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Dr. James C. Walker
Chairman and CEO
Jim has over 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry. Jim founded and was CEO and Chairman of Octagon Research Solutions, Inc. (Octagon), a global pharmaceutical services and software company. Octagon was acquired by Accenture (NYSE: ACN) in September, 2012. Prior to founding Octagon, Jim worked as a Regulatory Affairs professional at both Johnson & Johnson and Schering-Plough.
Jim is a graduate of Villanova University earning a B.S. in Science Comprehensive. Jim also earned an M.S. in Environmental Science from Rutgers University and an M.B.A. from Duke University and his Doctorate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation was an exploratory study on adaptability in the workplace.
Jim served on the Board of Directors for the Cadient Group, acquired by Cognizant (Nasdaq: CTSH) in October, 2014. Jim is also the Chairman of TrialScope, Inc. and Zoomi, Inc. He also serves on the Advisory board of EmeraldStage2 ventures.