Primera Management Team
We have built a proven management and scientific team of internationally recognized leaders from biotech and pharma with successful, research and discovery, drug approvals and commercial launches alongside key scientific and clinical thought leaders from the world-renowned Mayo Clinic.
CEO & CMO
Dr. Ekker is a trained molecular biologist, engineer, and entrepreneur. His academic lab triangulates using a combination of human cells and the zebrafish as the pioneering animal model for gene editing technology development and for the science of engineering health. He believe's we can make a better world through science and technology to foster innovation and entrepreneurship, and that the 21st century is a tipping point for humanity on Spaceship Earth. Dr. Ekker is focused on the Bench to Business to Bedside model for the Science of Translation through entrepreneurial efforts as the next major wave in biotechnology.
Chris is a 25+ year veteran of healthcare and biotech. Beginning his career Chris ran clinical laboratories for the U.S. Air Force and civilian hospitals in the early 90’s. Since then, he has held various roles including CEO, General Counsel, Vice President of Drug Discovery, Managing Director and has served as outside counsel to hundreds of life science companies ranging from big pharma to individual inventors. Chris was a partner in the Washington, DC office of Mintz Levin, where he led a multidisciplinary team specializing in representing biotech and pharma companies in complex corporate, financing and commercial transactions as well as general business advising.
Program Lead - Product
Development and Clinical Operations
Amanda is an experienced clinical operations lead with a history of delivering clinical programs across various therapeutic areas, including infectious disease, vaccines, cardiovascular, and gene therapy, both adult and pediatric, as well as rare disease. She provides operational expertise in design and execution of clinical development strategies, driving cross-functional teams in the delivery of complex global clinical trials, and utilizing new and innovative methodologies for clinical trial delivery. Amanda has held positions in clinical operations at MedImmune/AstraZeneca and most recently at REGENXBIO.
Head of Business and Corporate Development at Primera
Sia is Co-Founder at Mayflower Bioventures and Hibiscus Biotechnology, Co-founder and Board Member of WhyWeVaccinate. She was previously Sr. Director of Corporate Development at Immunomic Therapeutics, focused on BD, corporate development, technology in-licensing, communications, strategy & product management. Significant work on and leading of cross-functional teams to create product and overall corporate strategy and responsible for sourcing, vetting, engaging and managing collaborations, advisors, & consultants.
Brings 15+ years broad experience to an organization, working primarily in the biotech industry with 9+ years in Immunomic Therapeutics, which develops autologous dendritic cell, DNA and RNA vaccines, and 2+ years in Theranostics Health, having focused on cancer proteomic molecular diagnostics. Also has 3 years of general management and entrepreneurship experience, as founder and owner of Tatari Design, a Design/Build and product import business which culminated in a sale to another entrepreneur.
Colin brings more than a decade of genome editing expertise. Beginning his scientific career as a molecular virologist, Colin began studying genome editing to control HIV infection by engineering hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) to produce cells resistant to infection. Through an Academic-Industry collaboration he advanced studies through an IND filling towards a clinical study investigating the use of gene edited HSC as a “functional cure” for HIV infection. He also pioneered studies into making gene addition through gene editing more efficient in hematopoietic cells. He then went on to lead molecular biology teams at Synthetic Genomics and United Therapeutics focusing on utilizing gene editing to control the T cell responses both attacking cancers and protecting transplanted organs. His team was also creating genome edits in porcine cells to create organs that could be transplanted into humans with limited rejection culminating in edits that have led to the longest living xeno-heart transplantation patient.
Michael King, CFO of Primera, is the CFO of Hibiscus Biotechnology and Adaptive Phage Therapeutics. He is former CFO and CBO of PDS Biotechnology, serving from 2014 through its reverse merger with Edge Therapeutics in March 2019, then continuing as a senior advisor since that time. He has been a senior advisor at Akari Therapeutics since 2014, when he played a key role in the public-private merger and concurrent $75 million PIPE that formed the company in 2015. Michael was CFO and CBO of Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, where he raised more than $70 million in private financing, and CBO of Atrin Pharmaceuticals. He was a member of the US Executive Committee for Sandoz GmbH, the $10 billion subsidiary of Novartis AG.
A former management consultant with McKinsey & Company in its Pharmaceutical and Medical Products practice, Michael also has a background in corporate finance and sell-side analyst research, with deep knowledge of the pharmaceutical/biotech industry. Mr. King holds an M.B.A. with Honors from the Columbia Graduate School of Business.
By leveraging an innovative toolbox with the support of key strategic partners, Primera seeks to accelerate the development of mitochondrial disease cures and rapidly support this underserved by leveraging an innovative toolbox with the support of key strategic partners, Primera seeks to accelerate the development of mitochondrial disease cures and rapidly support this undeserved