BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Board of Directors
Samuel J. Reich
Samuel J. Reich has served as executive chairman of our board of directors since our business combination with Big Cypress Acquisition Corp in October 2021 and prior to that was Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and a member on the board of directors of Big Cypress Acquisition Corp…Read More
Christine Hamilton, MBA
Compensation Committee Chair
Co-Founder, SAB Biotherapeutics
Managing Partner, Christiansen Land & Cattle
Co-Owner BioDak, LLC
Christine Hamilton, MBA, is our co-founder and has served as a member of our board of directors since 2014. Ms. Hamilton is the co-owner and managing partner of Christiansen Land and Cattle, Ltd…..Read More
Jeffrey G. Spragens
Audit Committee Chair
Jeffrey G. Spragens has served as a member of our board of directors since November 2020….Read More
David Link, MBA
Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Chair
Former Executive Vice President, Sanford Health
David Link, MBA, has served as a member of our board of directors since 2018 and is currently Vice-Chairman….Read More
Dr. William J. Polvino, MD
Dr. William J. Polvino, MD, has served as a member of our board of directors since 2019, after having served as our business advisor for several years….Read More
Edward Hamilton, DVM, MAgr
Co-Founder, Board Observer
Dr. Edward Hamilton is a large animal veterinarian and entrepreneur who has four decades of experience in food animal production, animal health, agricultural business analysis….Read More
Eddie J. Sullivan, PhD
Co-Founder, President & CEO
Eddie J. Sullivan, PhD, is our co-founder and has served as our president and CEO since 2014. Dr. Sullivan has served in biopharma leadership positions for more than 25 years….Read More
Dr. Mervyn Turner, PhD
Former Head of Strategy
Dr. Mervyn Turner, PhD, has served as a member of our board of directors since 2020. Dr. Turner has nearly 35 years of experience in pharmaceutical drug discovery, research and development….Read More
Samuel J. Reich
Samuel J. Reich has served as executive chairman of our board of directors since our business combination with Big Cypress Acquisition Corp in October 2021 and prior to that was Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and a member on the board of directors of Big Cypress Acquisition Corp since its inception in November 2020. Mr. Reich co-founded Biscayne Neurotherapeutics, Inc. in 2011 and served as its Executive Chairman until its sale to Supernus Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SUPN) in October 2018. Biscayne Neurotherapeutics was focused on novel treatments for seizure disorders. Previously, Mr. Reich was the Executive Vice President of OPKO Ophthalmologics, a division of OPKO Health, Inc. (Nasdaq:OPK) from March 2007 to November 2008, where Mr. Reich served on the executive committee and lead the Ophthalmologics business division. Prior to his position at OPKO, Mr. Reich was the Founder and Executive Vice President of Acuity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he worked from July 2002 through March 2007, at which time Acuity Pharmaceuticals merged with OPKO Health. Mr. Reich was a doctoral candidate in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He left graduate school prior to the completion of his Ph.D. to establish Acuity. Prior to that, he was a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in the Biomedical Studies graduate program. He has authored six peer- reviewed scientific publications and is currently an inventor on sixteen issued U.S. patents and over 50 issued foreign patents. Mr. Reich holds a B.A. with High Honors in Biochemistry from Clark University, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.
Our board of directors believes that Mr. Reich is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of the perspective and experience he brings as Executive Chairman and extensive background in the life sciences industry.
David Link, MBA
David Link, MBA, has served as a member of our board of directors since 2018 and is currently Vice-Chairman. Mr. Link is the former executive vice president and chief strategy office at Sanford Health with more than three decades of experience in strategy, planning and financial operations. During his tenure, Mr. Link contributed significantly to growing the organization from a regional health system into one of the nation’s largest non-profit, integrated health care delivery systems. He was also charged with overseeing Sanford Health Plan, Sanford Foundation and research and development, including Sanford Research. Under his leadership, the initial Sanford Clinic was created as well as the development of Sanford World Clinics, an initiative designed to provide communities around the world with permanent, sustainable health care infrastructure. Currently, Dave serves as an appointed program director in the President’s Office at Dakota State University, one of the nation’s leading programs in cyber security. Dave holds board or committee positions with Enterprise 605, the South Dakota REACH Committee, South Dakota Research and Commercialization Council and Sanford Research. In 2019, he was honored for his exemplary leadership and support of the state’s bioscience industry with the LIVE Award at the South Dakota Biotech. Dave holds a bachelor’s degree in data processing and computer science, an MBA from the University of South Dakota and a master’s in healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota.
Eddie J. Sullivan
Eddie J. Sullivan, PhD, is our co-founder and has served as our president and CEO since 2014. Dr. Sullivan has served in biopharma leadership positions for more than 25 years. Prior to joining us, he held the CEO role or other leadership roles in our predecessor entities, including CEO of Hematech, a subsidiary of Kyowa Hakko Kirin. During that time, he led initiatives to develop infectious disease, cancer, and autoimmune immunotherapies. In addition to raising over $250 million in capital to develop biopharmaceutical platform technologies, he has also led several successful mergers and acquisitions. A recognized thought leader in antibodies and transgenic animals, Dr. Sullivan serves on the board of directors for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and has served on its executive committee. He has worked with industry committees and discussion groups that have focused on animal biotechnology, regulatory framework, human immunotherapies, and global health threats. Dr. Sullivan was governor-appointed to South Dakota’s Research Commercialization Council and is Chairman of the state’s National Science Foundation-EPSCoR committee. He also founded, served as president, and remains an advisor to the state affiliate of BIO, South Dakota Biotech, and in 2014 was honored for his leadership, innovation, vision, and entrepreneurship with the inaugural LIVE award. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and graduate degrees from Brigham Young University, Kennedy-Western University, and Utah State University in both reproduction and business.
Christine Hamilton, MBA
Christine Hamilton, MBA, is our co-founder and has served as a member of our board of directors since 2014. Ms. Hamilton is the co-owner and managing partner of Christiansen Land and Cattle, Ltd., a large diversified farming and ranching operation in central South Dakota, and is also the co-owner of Dakota Packing, Inc., a wholesale meat distribution business. Ms. Hamilton is a director of Titan Machinery, a publicly-traded Farm and Construction Equipment Company, and a former director for the Federal Reserve Bank, Ninth District, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Among other attributes, skills and qualifications, the Board believes that Ms. Hamilton is uniquely qualified to serve as a director based on her extensive experience in the agri-business sector and in management roles and her knowledge of operating strategies and priorities and challenges in business decision-making. Ms. Hamilton has an MBA in Entrepreneurship from the University of Arizona and an AB in Philosophy from Smith College.
Dr. William J. Polvino, MD
Dr. William J. Polvino, MD, has served as a member of our board of directors since 2019, after having served as our business advisor for several years. Dr. Polvino is pharmaceutical entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare arena. He is currently chief executive officer of Bridge Medicines, a pioneering drug discovery company focused on advancing promising early technologies from concept to clinic. Prior to Bridge Medicines, Dr. Polvino was president and chief executive officer of Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S (NASDAQ-OMX: VELO), a public biotechnology company that deployed proprietary formulation technology to develop and commercialize an innovative oral drug product for transplant patients. He also served as president and CEO of Helsinn Therapeutics (formerly Sapphire Therapeutics) and has held executive and senior-level positions in drug development at Merck, Wyeth and Theravance. Dr. Polvino earned his medical degree from Rutgers Medical School and a B.S. in Biology from Boston College. He trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and was a fellow in clinical pharmacology at the National Institutes of Health prior to entering the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.
Dr. Mervyn Turner, PhD
Dr. Mervyn Turner, PhD, has served as a member of our board of directors since 2020. Dr. Turner has nearly 35 years of experience in pharmaceutical drug discovery, research and development, licensing and business development, emerging markets strategy development and implementation. He spent 27 years at Merck & Co. Inc., holding positions of increasing responsibility in Merck Research Laboratories before joining the company’s Executive Committee as Chief Strategy Officer. Upon his retirement from Merck & Co. in 2011, Dr. Turner founded a private consulting firm, through which he acts as an advisor to several institutions, including Bay City Capital, a San Francisco-based venture firm, Bridge Medicines, a commercial incubator for early-stage innovation based in New York City, and Adagene, a China-based therapeutic antibody company. Dr. Turner is also a member of the Board of EnGeneIC (Sydney, Australia), and the chairman of the board of LUNAC. He also serves on the scientific advisory boards of Blade Therapeutics and Spinogenix. Dr. Turner is a senior healthcare advisor to Lazard, a leading financial services and investment banking firm. He holds his Ph.D. in Chemistry and his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Sheffield, and completed his post-doctoral training at Harvard University.
Jeffrey G. Spragens
Jeffrey G. Spragens has served as a member of our board of directors since November 2020. From 2005 through 2013, Mr. Spragens was a Co-Founder and the CEO of SafeStitch Medical, Inc., a medical device company that pioneered incisionless surgery techniques that helps to relieve GERD and obesity. In 2013, SafeStitch merged with TransEnterix, Inc. (NYSE: TRXC). In addition, Mr. Spragens was one of the three founding board members of North American Vaccine, which became a publicly traded company in 1990. At North American Vaccine, Mr. Spragens was responsible for securing initial financing and building a commercial manufacturing facility. Mr. Spragens was instrumental in North American Vaccine’s acquisition by Baxter International (NYSE: BAX) in 1999. Mr. Spragens has also been a successful real estate developer and entrepreneur. Mr. Spragens was President of FCH services from 1973 until 1986. FCH developed and managed units of coop and condo housing financed with HUD financing with offices in several major cities. In 1986, Mr. Spragens converted to condo ownership 1,000 apartment units in San Mateo, California, resulting in one of the largest residential projects in California at that time. Mr. Spragens was Managing Partner of Gateway Associates, Inc. from 1990 to 2000. In addition, Mr. Spragens is President and 50% owner of Mint Management Company, a residential property management company he co-founded in 1987, which develops, owns and operates apartment units in New Jersey, Michigan and Kansas. Mr. Spragens developed and continues to own and operate Inman Grove Shopping Center in Edison, New Jersey. Mr. Spragens is also a well-known and respected philanthropist. Mr. Spragens is a Founding Board Member and Treasurer of Foundation for Peace. Foundation for Peace provides healthcare, education, and clean water to those in need in Dominican Republic and Haiti. He is also a member of the Board of Directors and Finance Committee of Hernia Help, which provides free hernia surgery to underserved children and adults in developing countries. Mr. Spragens has a BA from the University of Cincinnati, a Law Degree from George Washington University, and an MA from American University.
Mr. Spragens is well qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive public company management and multi-sector investment experience, and his public company board experience.
- Played a key role in national development of Standardized Performance Analysis (SPA)
- Co-Founder and member of the Board of Managers of BioDak, LLC
- Board member of MHCH Family Foundation
- Past President of the Farm Financial Standards Council
Dr. Edward Hamilton is a large animal veterinarian and entrepreneur who has four decades of experience in food animal production, animal health, agricultural business analysis, and design and construction of animal facilities. He also consulted on animal production challenges for biotechnology companies and was a faculty member at two land grant universities: South Dakota State University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Hamilton also managed several businesses including animal health companies, an animal genetics company, a service and maintenance company, an animal reproduction company, and a farming and ranching operation.
Hamilton has fifteen years of experience in private practice of large animal veterinary medicine in Texas. He also has fifteen years of experience in university teaching and extension experience at South Dakota State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Texas A&M University.
Dr. Hamilton’s primary area of expertise is in the integration of health, production, and financial records for production agriculture. He also played a key role in the national development of Standardized Performance Analysis (SPA), which is a business analysis tool for production agriculture. Along with these, he has also authored and co-authored multiple articles and book chapters on production, financial analysis, and health management programs for beef cattle.
Edward Hamilton has degrees from Texas A&M University including a B.S. in Veterinary Science, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine cum laude, and a Masters of Agriculture Economics. He also serves in leadership and ownership roles for BioDak, LLC., Christiansen Land and Cattle, LTD., Iron Horse Development Company, LLC., and MHCH Family Foundation.
Hamilton is a retired Professor Emeritus of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at South Dakota State University. He was also a Clinical Instructor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
He resides with his wife, Christine, on the family ranch near Oacoma. They have four daughters and eight grandchildren.