Our Team

Our Team

ALAN COOKE

Alan Cooke serves as chief executive officer, president and member of the board of directors. Prior to Sebela Pharmaceuticals, Alan held a number of executive-level positions primarily in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, including chief financial officer and subsequently chief executive officer of Trulife Group Limited; chief financial officer and subsequently president and chief operating officer of Amarin Corporation, plc; and vice president, global strategic planning of Elan Corporation, plc.

Alan is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (Ireland), having qualified with KPMG in 1994. Alan also served as chairman of the board of the Institute of Neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin and is a Director of DS Biopharma Limited.

PARAIC McDONOGH

Paraic McDonogh serves as chief financial officer. Prior to Sebela Pharmaceuticals, Paraic was the global finance director and chief financial officer for Global Consolidated Aesthetics. Paraic has also held senior-level finance positions at Wellman International and KPMG.

Paraic is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and is a graduate of the National University of Ireland Galway.

ROBERT RALEIGH

Robert Raleigh serves as the general counsel and head of operations for Sebela Pharmaceuticals. Prior to working with Sebela Pharmaceuticals, Rob was the general counsel and director of purchasing and planning at Braintree Laboratories, Inc. from 2004 until 2018. From 1991 until 2004, Rob held a wide range of positions with Braintree Laboratories in operations, sales and business development. While at Braintree Laboratories, he also helped launch multiple products, managed the company’s supply chain, directed the intellectual property portfolio, and managed the company’s litigation. Rob has also advised multiple startup companies in the areas of diagnostics and pharmaceutical development.

Rob obtained his law degree as well as an MBA from Suffolk University in Boston, MA. Robert holds a BA in Economics from Stonehill College in Easton, MA.

SUE HALL, PhD

Dr. Sue Hall serves as chief scientific officer and head of research and development. Sue has over 30 years of international experience in pharmaceutical research and development. Prior to Sebela Pharmaceuticals, Sue served as executive vice president, chief scientific officer and global head of research and development for Endo Pharmaceuticals. There, she was responsible for the research and development pipeline and life cycle management for the marketed products portfolio of medicines and for the company’s quality assurance activities. Previously, Sue also served as senior vice president and global head of research and development for Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Sue also held several research and development leadership positions at GlaxoSmithKline, including clinical pharmacology, project management, medical affairs, and regulatory affairs.

Sue holds a PhD in Pharmacokinetics from the University of Manchester, UK, and a BS in Pharmacology from the University of Leeds, UK.

SCOTT BRIGGS

Scott Briggs serves as chief commercial officer. Scott has over 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical marketing and sales, strategic planning and business management. Prior to Sebela Pharmaceuticals, Scott served as vice president, marketing and sales at Noven Pharmaceuticals, where he led commercial operations. Previously, he also served Noven in the roles of vice president – women’s health sales, and executive director – marketing and managed markets. Prior to joining Noven, Scott was senior director of marketing for JDS Pharmaceuticals. He also has held leadership positions in management and marketing with Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical (part of Johnson & Johnson).

Scott holds a BA in Business Administration from Villanova University.

AUTUMN AKIN

Autumn Akin serves as vice president of commercial affairs. Prior to joining Sebela Pharmaceuticals, Autumn held a wide range of positions at Alaven Pharmaceutical from 2003 to 2010, including territory business manager, district sales manager, product manager and director of marketing. Autumn started her pharmaceutical career at First Horizon Pharmaceutical (now Shionogi), where she was a sales representative and later promoted to national sales trainer.

Autumn holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Georgia.

TIM CAVICCHI

Tim Cavicchi serves as vice president of sales – gastroenterology. He has over 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical sales, marketing and training. Prior to Sebela Pharmaceuticals, Tim held a wide range of positions with Braintree Laboratories from 1995 to 2018, including territory manager, field sales trainer, regional sales manager, corporate training manager, director of sales and vice president of sales. While at Braintree Laboratories, he also helped launch and manage multiple products in the gastroenterology and renal therapeutic areas.

Tim is an adjunct professor in the marketing department at the Meehan School of Business – Stonehill College in Easton, MA and holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Hartford and an MBA from Suffolk University.

STUART SEDLACK

Stuart Sedlack serves as vice president, business development. He has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, leading corporate business development and closing numerous transactions. Prior to joining Sebela Pharmaceuticals, Stuart was senior vice president, corporate development at Velocity Pharmaceutical Development, Amarin Pharma and Alba Therapeutics, serving as a member of the executive team at each company. Stuart also headed transaction negotiations for Novartis Pharma’s infectious disease franchise and served as vice president, corporate development at Elan Corporation after serving as director at the University of Maryland Medical System’s tech transfer office. Before entering the pharma industry, Stuart spent 5 years in international trade banking.

Stuart holds a BS in Economics from the University of Richmond and an MBA from Babson College.

JAI WALL

Jai Wall serves as vice president, corporate affairs. Prior to joining Sebela Pharmaceuticals, Jai served as director of marketing and pediatric/dermatology sales at Arbor Pharmaceuticals Inc. He also held the position of vice president, commercial operations at Meda Pharmaceuticals US after its acquisition of Alaven Pharmaceuticals, where he ran the marketing department. Prior to Alaven, Jai held a number of positions with Solvay, both in the United States and in its corporate headquarters in Belgium, at Abbott Laboratories, and was one of the first employees at ZS Associates.

Jai holds a BS in Industrial Engineering With Distinction from Northwestern University and an MBA from Duke University.

Sebela Pharmaceuticals is pleased to have the support of the following leading industry professionals:

VIRINDER NOHRIA, MD, PhD, Chairman of the Board

Dr. Virinder Nohria serves as executive chairman of the board of directors of Sebela Pharmaceuticals, Meridian Research and Saol Therapeutics. He was previously a director of Horizon Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Nohria co-founded Vidara Therapeutics in 2011 and most recently served as its president and chief medical officer. In the past, Dr. Nohria was part of the founding team of Alaven Pharmaceutical and Alaven Consumer Health LLC and served as its chief medical officer, chief compliance officer and executive vice president from 2008 until its sale to Meda Pharma in October 2010. Additionally, Dr. Nohria worked for Eli Lilly on Zyprexa and at UCB, where he was clinical lead for submission and commercialization of Keppra in the United States. Between 2003 and 2005, he was vice president and chief medical officer of Xcel Pharmaceuticals, where he led development of retigabine (ezogabine) for the treatment of epilepsy.

Dr. Nohria is an experienced biotechnology entrepreneur and drug developer with a track record of success in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector. He is a board-certified neurologist with special qualification in child neurology. His medical training was conducted at the University of Cambridge in England. His postgraduate training was completed in the United Kingdom and the United States at Duke University. He also holds a PhD in Neuropharmacology and has authored many publications and book chapters.

HOWARD HOFFEN

Howard Hoffen is the chairman and chief executive officer of Metalmark Capital, an independent private equity firm. He began his career at Morgan Stanley in 1985 and joined Morgan Stanley Capital Partners in 1986, where he rose to chairman and chief executive officer overseeing the private equity businesses. In 2004, Howard, along with colleagues from Morgan Stanley, established Metalmark. He currently serves as a director of EnerSys and Pacific Coast Energy Holdings LLC (the general partner of Pacific Coast Oil Trust), which trade on the NYSE. Howard also serves on the boards of several private companies in industries such as healthcare, energy, industrials and agribusiness.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, Howard was appointed a Young Global Leader at the 2004 Annual Summit in association with the World Economic Forum and is currently a member of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Board of Visitors at Columbia University.

Howard earned a BS in Engineering from Columbia University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

RYAN MELKONIAN

Ryan Melkonian is the founder and managing partner of Melkonian Capital Management. With 25 years of investment experience, Ryan is responsible for overseeing the firm’s investment portfolio (private equity, real estate and public markets) and chairs the investment committee. Prior to founding Melkonian Capital, Ryan spent 9 years at First Long Island Investors, LLC where he was a principal and senior portfolio manager with oversight of $1 billion in assets invested across multiple asset classes. First Long Island Investors is a registered investment adviser that provides money management, investment banking and financial planning to high net worth families and institutions. From 1998 to 2000, he also was a partner at W.P. Stewart Asset Management, a leading money management firm with $12 billion in assets under management. Ryan currently serves on the board of directors of Browz, Sebela Pharmaceuticals, and Beach Bay Holdings. Ryan is actively involved in a number of community and philanthropic organizations, including serving as the chairman of the board of Harboring Hearts Foundation as well as Cornell University ILR School’s advisory council.

Ryan is a chartered financial analyst and received a BS from Cornell University and an MBA with Honors from Columbia University.

BALA VENKATARAMAN

Bala Venkataraman is an experienced operating executive in the specialty pharmaceutical industry. Most recently, Bala was co-founder and executive chairman of Vidara Therapeutics until its sale to Horizon Pharma in September 2014. Prior to founding Vidara Therapeutics, Bala was the co-founder and CEO of Alaven Pharmaceutical from 2003 until its sale to Meda Pharma in October 2010. Bala also served as chief operating officer, chief financial officer and vice president of business development, strategic planning and operations at First Horizon Pharmaceutical (now Shionogi Pharma). Bala has authored several papers in research publications related to medicinal chemistry and holds numerous drug and formulation patents.

Bala holds an MS in Chemistry from Case Western University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

KEITH PENNELL

Keith Pennell serves as the managing partner of DFW Capital Partners, a services and healthcare focused private equity firm and original investor in Sebela. Keith joined DFW in 1998 as a partner from First Atlantic Capital, a New York–based middle-market LBO investment firm. He was with First Atlantic for 6 years, 4 years as a partner. While at First Atlantic, he was responsible for sourcing, structuring, executing and monitoring portfolio investments in a broad range of industries. Prior to First Atlantic, Keith spent several years arranging private equity and debt financing with the investment banking group of Dean Witter.

Keith holds a BA in Economics and Art History from Middlebury College.

JOHN DEVANE, PhD

Dr. John Devane currently serves as a scientific advisor and board member to Sebela Pharmaceuticals. He is also a board member of Saol Therapeutics and is an advisor to Avego Healthcare Capital. Previously, Dr. Devane was chief scientific officer with Horizon Pharma Ireland Ltd., and from 2012 to 2014, he served as CSO to Vidara Therapeutics Research Ltd.  Dr. Devane was part of the founding team of AGI Therapeutics plc. and served as its chief executive officer from 2004 to 2012. Additionally, Dr. Devane founded and led Athpharma Ltd. as chief executive officer from 2002 to 2005. Dr. Devane worked for Elan Corporation from 1981 to 2001 and held various senior leadership positions, including executive vice president of research and development from 1993 to 2001 and senior vice president of clinical and regulatory, where he led key clinical trial programs in the USA and negotiated NDA approvals directly with the FDA. From 1990 to 2001, Dr. Devane and his team were responsible for 6 NDA and 3 ANDA approvals. Dr. Devane has had a long career designing and successfully delivering major product development programs spanning the full range of drug development. He has a deep knowledge in pharmacology, drug delivery, clinical development, regulatory affairs and intellectual property. Dr. Devane is the inventor/co-inventor on many granted and pending patent applications and has also been widely published in the scientific/medical literature.

Dr Devane’s graduate and post-graduate scientific training was conducted at University College in Dublin, Ireland. He holds a diploma in Accounting & Finance (ACCA) and is a certificate/diploma holder from the Institute of Directors (UK).

ALAN COOKE

Alan Cooke serves as chief executive officer, president and member of the board of directors. Prior to Sebela Pharmaceuticals, Alan held a number of executive-level positions primarily in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, including chief financial officer and subsequently chief executive officer of Trulife Group Limited; chief financial officer and subsequently president and chief operating officer of Amarin Corporation, plc; and vice president, global strategic planning of Elan Corporation, plc.

Alan is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (Ireland), having qualified with KPMG in 1994. Alan also served as chairman of the board of the Institute of Neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin and is a Director of DS Biopharma Limited.