Board of Directors and Executives
The company’s CEO, Dr. Thomas Koch, is a founding member of the North American Veterinary Regenerative Medicine Association and the Immediate Past Chair. He is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, from which he obtained his Ph.D. in the area of equine stem cells.
Dr. Koch was first to report the presence of stem cells within the umbilical cord blood of new born foals. Dr. Koch’s research focus for the past 15 years has been on how these and other stem cells can be utilized to treat joint pain and damaged joint cartilage. Studies on equine, canine and human stem cells, joint cartilage and synovial joint health are pursued in parallel, along with tendon and ligament repair, and the regulatory roles of microRNA.
Within this applied research approach basic mechanistic insights of joint homeostasis and the chondrogenic cell fate is sought including studies in the area of cell mechanobiology. Emerging research areas of interest include novel therapies applied in horses and dogs with natural spontaneous disease that serve as important translational pre-clinical animal models of similar human diseases.
He currently holds two research awards; Special Recognition Research Excellence Award, University of Guelph; Early Researcher Award, Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation and is the awardee of a number of recognitions for his work in veterinary stem cells.
His work has been recognized by over $6,000,000 in grants from local, provincial, national and international sources of importance to animal as well as human health. These include Equine Guelph and Pet-Trust at OVC, Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Ministry of Innovation, The Leaders Opportunity Fund (Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Ministry of Innovation), the Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Morris Animal Foundation, US, and the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation, US.
He received his Veterinary degree from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen, Denmark, and completed a rotational internship in large animal medicine and surgery at the Ontario Veterinary College followed a residency in large animal medicine.
David Allan is the recipient of the 2017 Julia Levy Award recognizing successful commercialization of innovation in the field of Bio-medical Science and Engineering, the 2016 Leadership Award from Life Sciences Ontario and the 2012 Gold Leaf Award for Industry Leadership from Canada's industry association BIOTECanada.
In addition to his finance and biotech industry background, David Allan is an Advisory Board member at Haygain Ltd, the world’s leading producer of devices for the maintenance of equine health, adopted by competitive and recreational riders worldwide, selected by Olympic teams, and partnered with both the United States and British Equine Federations.
He is currently an Advisory Board member at Inteligex Inc. developing novel stem cell therapies for the treatment of traumatic spinal cord injuries and other diseases of the Central Nervous System.
He was the Founding Chairman and CEO of YM BioSciences, acquired by Gilead Sciences, 2013; Founding Chairman of Formation Biologics acquired by Bristol-Myers, 2020; and Executive Chairman of Stem Cell Therapeutics that acquired Trillium Therapeutics, itself acquired by Pfizer, 2021.
Previously a Governor of the Toronto Stock Exchange, he has been a member of the Ontario Biotechnology Advisory Board, the Awards Selection Committee of Canada's Network of Centers of Excellence and the Multidisciplinary Assessment Committee of the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
Dr. McIlwraith is the Founding Director of Colorado State University’s Orthopaedic Research Center, Founding Director of CSU’s Musculoskeletal Research Program, and a University Distinguished Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences. The CSU’s Translational Medicine Institute is named in his honour in part because of his translation into therapeutic advancements for humans his extensive orthopedic findings in diagnosing, preventing, and treating equine joint injury and disease – the process known as “translational medicine".
He holds the Barbara Cox Anthony University Endowed Chair in Orthopaedics and is the recipient of the Orthopaedic Research Society’s Marshall R. Urist Award for Excellence in Tissue Regeneration Research.
Dr. McIlwraith is noted for his achievements in the fields of osteoarthritic cartilage injury, regenerative therapies, and contributions on understanding of joint pathology and repair, the development and validation of equine models of joint diseases, surgical technologies, intra-articular therapies, cartilage resurfacing, tissue engineering, and gene therapies for osteoarthritis, many of which have been, or are, translatable to human joint disease.
Dr. McIlwraith is a consultant and surgeon in equine remediation in the US, Ireland, England, France and New Zealand. He obtained his veterinary degree from Massey University, New Zealand, interned at University of Guelph, Canada and in a surgical residency at Purdue University, from which latter he obtained his MS and PhD degrees.