Dynamic, agile, innovative leaders
Mr. Higgins joined Assertio as President and Chief Executive Officer and Director in March 2017. He brings over 35 years of pharmaceutical and healthcare industry experience. Most recently, he served as a Senior Advisor to Blackstone Healthcare Partners, the dedicated healthcare team of The Blackstone Group, where he focused on product-based healthcare acquisitions. Prior to that, Mr. Higgins served as Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer HealthCare AG from January 2006 to May 2010 and Chairman of the Bayer HealthCare Executive Committee from July 2004 to May 2010. Prior to joining Bayer HealthCare in 2004, Mr. Higgins served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2001 to 2004. Prior to joining Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Higgins spent 14 years with Abbott Laboratories, including serving as President of the Pharmaceutical Products Division from 1998 to 2001. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), of the Council of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and President of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Mr. Higgins serves on the boards of Zimmer Biomet, a publicly held medical device company and EcoLab, a publicly held water, hygiene and energy technologies and services company. Mr. Higgins received a B.S. in biochemistry from Strathclyde University, Scotland.
Dr. Bukofzer joined Assertio as Senior Vice President, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer in April 2018. He brings over 20 years of medical and scientific executive leadership experience to this role. Most recently he served as Chief Medical Officer at Ocera Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on acute and chronic orphan liver diseases. Prior to this Dr. Bukofzer served as Chief Medical Officer of Hospira, Inc., where he oversaw the strategic direction and technical leadership of the Medical function across the company’s global device and pharmaceutical businesses. Prior to this, he held the role of Vice President of Scientific and Medical Affairs at Astellas Pharma where executed initiatives across the seven therapeutic areas of anti-infectives, dermatology, hematology, oncology, immunology, cardiovascular, and transplant. Prior to joining Astellas, over an 11 year span, Dr. Bukofzer held positions of increased responsibilities at Abbott Laboratories most recently serving as Division Vice President and Head of Global Medical Affairs where he oversaw the lifecycle management for Abbott’s international brand and product lines responsible for over $2 billion in annual sales. At Abbott he also served as Global Venture Head of Infectious Diseases, Medical Director of Clinical Development of Abbott International, Associate Director of U.S. Clinical Research and Medical Director of Africa and South Africa. Before joining the industry, Dr. Bukofzer spent more than 15 years in academic medicine and private practice. Dr. Bukofzer received his medical degrees from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa with accreditations in internal medicine, gastroenterology, and hepatology.
Ms. Larkin joined Assertio as Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Administration in April 2017. She brings over 25 years of global human resources leadership to this role. Most recently, she worked at Abbott, a Fortune 100 diversified healthcare company where she held roles of increasing responsibility for 23 years, most recently as Divisional Vice President, Human Resources, Medical Devices Group. In this role, Ms. Larkin provided worldwide human resources leadership for Abbott’s five medical device operating businesses which included Vascular, Diabetes Care, Medical Optics, Structural Heart and Electrophysiology. Prior to Abbott, she held leadership positions at the Federal Bank of Atlanta, Jacksonville Branch. Ms. Larkin received a B.S. degree in industrial management from the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Management.
Mr. Murugan has served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel since July 2018. Mr. Murugan joined Assertio in 2013 as Vice President, Legal Affairs. Prior to joining Assertio, he was a partner in the law firm of Baker Botts L.L.P., and prior to that, McDermott Will & Emery LLP. Mr. Murugan holds a B.S. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from UCLA.
Mr. Schineller joined Assertio in July 2017 as Senior Vice President, Sales and Managed Markets and Trade. He brings to Assertio over 25 years of commercial leadership experience within both the pharmaceutical and diagnostic industries. Most recently Mr. Schineller held the position of Chief Commercial Officer at SkylineDx, an early stage molecular diagnostic company with a focus on oncology. Prior to this he served as Chief Commercial Officer at Dutch/American Agendia, where he was responsible for the restructuring of the commercial business. Mr. Schineller has also held the following positions; Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Alexza Pharmaceuticals, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Ventana Medical Systems, acquired by Roche and Senior Vice President Sales, Marketing and Commercial Operations, at Genoptix Medical Laboratories, acquired by Novartis. Earlier in his career, Mr. Schineller was a co-founder at Verus Pharmaceuticals and held positions of increasing responsibility in sales and marketing with Cypress Bioscience, Dura/Elan Biopharmaceuticals and Abbott Laboratories. Prior to entering the healthcare industry, Mr. Schineller served as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Marine Corps where he attained the rank of Captain. Mr. Schineller received his B.A. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Mr. Booth joined Assertio as Senior Vice President, General Manager Specialty Business Unit in November 2017. He brings over 30 years of biopharmaceutical leadership and expertise to this role. Mr. Booth has a strong history of building brands and businesses over the course of his career and has played an integral role in numerous co-development/co-promotional partnerships that have achieved multi-billion dollar sales status. Most recently, he served as the Chief Commercial Officer for Orexigen Therapeutics. Prior to this he held the role of President, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America where he helped build the U.S. subsidiary into a multi-billion dollar business. Mr. Booth served as General Manager and Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations at Immunex Corporation, where he was responsible for Enbrel®. Mr. Booth began his career at Abbott Laboratories where he held multiple positions, in his last role at Abbott he held the title of Division Vice President and General Manager for the Anti-Infective/GI franchise. Mr. Booth serves as a Member of the Advisory Board at Exicure Inc. Mr. Booth holds a B.S. in Biology from Northern Illinois University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.
Mr. Donenberg has extensive experience, with more than 23 years of leadership in accounting, finance, mergers and acquisitions and operations, with most of his career focused in specialty pharmaceuticals, biotech and healthcare. Mr. Donenberg has served as our Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since July 16, 2018. Mr. Donenberg most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for a gene therapy company, AveXis, Inc. from October 2017 to June 2018, and served as AveXis’ Vice President, Corporate Controller from September 2016 to October 2017. At AveXis, Mr. Donenberg led all aspects of financial management and accounting operations, controls and reporting processes and played a key role in the 2018 sale of AveXis to Novartis AG for $8.7 billion. Mr. Donenberg served as the Chief Financial Officer of RestorGenex Corporation from May 2014 to January 2016, when RestorGenex merged with Diffusion Pharmaceuticals LLC and served as the merged company’s consultant CFO until September 2016. He served as the Chief Financial Officer of 7wire Ventures LLC from September 2013 to May 2014. Prior to that time, Mr. Donenberg served as the Chief Financial Officer of BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from July 1998 to June 2013, when BioSante merged with ANIP Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Since June 2018, Mr. Donenberg has served as a member of the Board and Chairman of the Audit Committee of AVROBIO, Inc. Mr. Donenberg serves on the Board of Directors at IR2Dx, Inc., a privately-held health IT company providing personalized therapy in diabetes. Mr. Donenberg holds a B.A. in accountancy from the University of Illinois and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Mr. McKercher joined Assertio in September 2017 as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Operations. He brings to Assertio over 35 years of leadership experience within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Prior to joining Assertio, Mr. McKercher held the position of President and General Manager of Ipsen North America, the U.S. affiliate of Ipsen, a global specialty biopharmaceutical group where he was responsible for creating and implementing regional business strategies. Prior to that he held the positions of Senior Vice President Corporate Business Development and Vice President Commercial Development, North America both at Ipsen. Prior to his seven years at Ipsen, over the course of his fourteen years at Abbott Laboratories, Mr. McKercher held positions in Abbott’s U.S. pharmaceutical products division in roles including General Manager, Strategic Alliance Franchise, General Manager for Abbott’s leading antibiotic, Biaxin, and General Manager, Marketing and Sales Operations. Prior to that he held roles of increasing responsibility in Abbott’s international division, including Commercial Director, Pacific/Asia/Africa Region and General Manager, South Africa and Africa Region. Mr. McKercher received his M.B.A. with an emphasis in Marketing from Schulich School of Business, York University and a B.Sc. in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo.
Mr. Peisert joined Assertio as Vice President, Business Development in September 2017. Most recently he served in the position of Vice President of Concordia International Corp.’s US Legacy Pharmaceuticals business where he had full P&L responsibility for the business unit. Prior to this, he was Vice President, Business Development for Concordia and was responsible for executing on the strategic M&A plan. From 2008 to 2012, Mr. Peisert was Director of Finance and Business Development for Marathon Pharmaceuticals, a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company. Prior to entering the pharmaceutical industry, he was a healthcare equity analyst and portfolio manager for Magnetar Capital and UBS O’Connor and began his career as an auditor for Price Waterhouse Coopers. Mr. Peisert holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business with an emphasis on Accounting from the University of Minnesota.
Mr. Thomas most recently served as Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations at Horizon Pharma. Prior to that, he served nearly 20 years at Abbott Laboratories, most recently, as Vice President, Investor Relations and Public Affairs and President of the Abbott Fund. ‘John is one of the most experienced and trusted Investor Relations Officers in the global healthcare industry,’ said Arthur Higgins, President and CEO of Depomed. ‘He brings valuable relationships on Wall Street as well as a keen understanding of Capital Markets and IR best practices. I’m confident John will make significant contributions to our strategic direction, long-term growth and shareholder valve creation.’ Mr. Thomas received his M.B.A. from The Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and a B.A. in journalism from The University of Mississippi.