Frank Litvack M.D., FACC
Dr. Litvack joined the Capricor, Inc. board in 2012 and since November 2013 has been serving as the Company’s Executive Chairman. Dr. Litvack is a native of Canada. He completed medical school and residency at McGill University in Montreal and a Cardiovascular Fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he subsequently became co-director of the Cardiovascular Intervention Center and Professor of Medicine at UCLA. There he led a prominent clinical and research program known for its excellence in innovation, care, and leadership in Translational Medicine. Dr. Litvack was board-certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Interventional Cardiology. He has published more than one hundred research articles and chapters and is the recipient of several awards, including an American Heart Association Young Investigator Award, the Leon Goldman Medical Excellence Award for contributions to the field of biomedical optics, and the United States Space Technology and Space Foundation Hall of Fame for pioneering work with the excimer laser. Dr. Litvack left full-time practice and academics in 2000 to concentrate on entrepreneurial activities. Dr. Litvack has founded and operated several healthcare ventures, both as chairman and/or chief executive officer, including Progressive Angioplasty Systems Inc., a medical device company that was acquired by United States Surgical Corp. in 1998; Savacor, Inc., a medical device company that was acquired by St. Jude Medical in 2005; and Conor Medsystems, Inc., a publicly-traded medical device company that was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2007. He presently sits on the boards of several early-stage healthcare companies, including Credence MedSystems, a drug delivery company; V Wave Medical, a heart failure company; and as Director of Levation Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company in the area of facial aesthetics which he co-founded. Additionally, he was an early investor and Board Member of MedAvail Inc., a disruptive player in the evolving technology-enabled pharmacy space. In 2018, he co-founded Trialtech Medical Inc., a software and services company in the clinical trial recruiting space. Trialtech was sold to Scarritt Sciences in December 2020. Dr. Litvack was a former director of Nile Therapeutics, Inc. (predecessor entity to the Company) from 2009 to 2012. Dr. Litvack is also currently a Member of the Management Company of Pura Vida Investments, LLC, a healthcare hedge fund, and is serving as a Director on the board of Cardiovascular Research Foundation, a non-profit research and education entity and on the Advisory Board of the Tannenbaum Open Science Institute at McGill University.
Linda Marbán, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Dr. Marbán is currently serving as our Chief Executive Officer, and has served in that capacity and on the Board since November 2013. As co-founder of Capricor, Inc., our wholly-owned subsidiary, Dr. Marbán has been with Capricor, Inc. since 2005 and became its Chief Executive Officer in 2010. Dr. Marbán has been in the biotechnology field for more than 20 years and brings extensive experience across research, product development and business development to the Company.
From 2003-2009, Dr. Marbán held various senior roles at Excigen, Inc., a gene therapy biotechnology company, where she was responsible for operations and business development and where she oversaw the development of a biologic pacemaker for the heart. Prior to Excigen, Dr. Marbán worked in academic science, first at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation working on the development of contractile dysfunction in heart failure due to myocarditis, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. While at Johns Hopkins, she advanced to the rank of Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, specializing in the mechanism of the biophysical properties of cardiac muscle. Her tenure at Johns Hopkins ran from 2000 through 2003.
Dr. Marbán earned a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in cardiac physiology and her Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland.
Earl M. (Duke) Collier Jr.
Mr. Collier has been a member of the Capricor, Inc. board since 2011 and became a member of the Company’s Board in November 2013. He is a member of the Company’s Compensation Committee and Chairman of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. From 2010-2014, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of 480 Biomedical, a medical device company developing products used in the treatment of peripheral artery disease, and the executive chairman of Arsenal Medical, Inc., a medical device company. Mr. Collier was formerly Executive Vice President at Genzyme Corporation, a biotechnology company acquired by Sanofi for $20.1 billion in 2011. Mr. Collier also served as President of Vitas Healthcare, a hospice provider, as a partner at the Washington, DC-based law firm of Hogan and Hartson, and as Deputy Administrator of the Health Care Finance Administration (now CMS) in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. He is Chair Emeritus of the Innovation Advisory Board of Mass General Brigham. Additionally, he is a member of the board of the Boston Athenaeum. Previously, Mr. Collier served as a director of publicly-traded Decode Genetics Inc. (DGI Resolution, Inc.), a biopharmaceutical company; GenSight, a gene therapy company in Paris that trades on the French Euronext exchange; and Tesaro, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Collier earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Yale University and received a law degree from the University of Virginia Law School.
George W. Dunbar, Jr.
Mr. Dunbar has been a member of the Capricor, Inc. board since 2012 and a member of the Company’s Board since November 2013. He is a member of the Company’s Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. He is Managing Partner of The Dunbar Group, LLC, and provides advisory services to healthcare and life science investors and companies who recognize they need short-term or interim industry expertise as they grow in order to be capital efficient. Mr. Dunbar has extensive healthcare and life sciences operating experience and has served as a director or chief executive officer with private and public life science companies specializing in diagnostics, specialty pharma, cell therapy and biologics, two as chief executive officer, where he led initial public offerings. He served as chief executive officer of ISTO Technologies and ISTO Biologics, two private orthobiologics companies acquired by Thompson Street Capital Partners. Prior to ISTO, Mr. Dunbar served as a Venture Partner with Arboretum Ventures, a leading healthcare venture capital firm. Mr. Dunbar is currently a board member of Progenitor Life Sciences, a private next-generation immunotherapy development company, and Executive Chairman of Akadeum Life Sciences, a private next-generation sample prep/separations tools company with a focus on cell and gene therapy. Mr. Dunbar attended Auburn University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and later received his M.B.A. He served on the Harbert College of Business M.B.A. Advisory Board and is an advisor with Life Science Tennessee and to Vanderbilt University’s Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization.
Mr. Manzo has been a member of the Company’s Board since November 2013. He was one of the initial investors in Capricor, Inc. and joined the Capricor, Inc. board in 2006. Mr. Manzo is also a member of the Company’s Audit Committee. Mr. Manzo has been a prominent mid-Atlantic entrepreneur for over three decades and has extensive experience in the area of finance. Earlier in his career, Mr. Manzo joined, and in a few years became General Partner of, Baker, Watts & Co., a New York Stock Exchange Member Firm. His experience there included being Director of Equity Research and, later, the Head of Corporate Finance. During the 1980s, Mr. Manzo started his own private investment firm, LVM Venture Partners. Beginning in 1989, Mr. Manzo became part of the founder’s group which helped a Johns Hopkins cardiologist fund his launching of a research center for preventive cardiology., remaining as an advisor during the center’s formative years. His continued interest in preventive research included a major investment to research the use of protein modeling for early disease detection. Since 2002, he has been following and supporting research into the use of adult stem cells in the repair of spinal cord and heart damage. The list of private company boards, senior advisory roles, and charities that Mr. Manzo has been involved with over the years are numerous and varied, including: the Johns Hopkins Preventive Cardiology Center, a hospital center; Greater Baltimore Medical Center, a hospital; Goodwill Industries of Maryland, a non-profit organization; E.I.L. Instruments, Inc., an instrument company; and the University of Notre Dame, Advisory Council for Graduate Studies and Research. Mr. Manzo received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Notre Dame and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He previously served in the armed forces as an officer in the United States Navy.
David B. Musket
Mr. Musket has been a member of the Capricor, Inc. board since 2012 and a member of the Company’s Board since November 2013. He is Chairman of the Company’s Audit and Compensation Committees. Mr. Musket has vast experience in strategic finance and has been following developments in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries for over 30 years. Mr. Musket began his investment career as an equities research analyst at Goldman Sachs & Co. following the pharmaceutical industry. From 1991 through 2016 he served as President of Musket Research Associates, a registered broker/dealer focused exclusively on venture banking transactions for emerging healthcare companies. In 1996 he co-founded ProMed Management, a healthcare-focused investment management company that he continues to run today. He has served on the boards of several private and public companies throughout his career. From 1999 to 2007, Mr. Musket served on the board of directors of publicly-traded Conor MedSystems, Inc. a medical device company sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2007 for $1.4 billion. Mr. Musket holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Psychology from Boston College.
Karimah Es Sabar
Ms. Es Sabar joined the Company’s Board in July 2021 and is a member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Since 2016 she has been the CEO and General Partner at Quark Venture LP, a venture capital investment firm, leading their global health sciences enterprise. Prior to Quark Venture, Ms. Es Sabar was President and CEO at the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), Canada’s national drug development and commercialization center, responsible for developing and executing on the overall strategic direction. Ms. Es Sabar has held senior management positions with multinational pharmaceutical companies, most notably as Director International Division, and later Global Head Marketing and Business Development at Pasteur Merieux Connaught (Sanofi Pasteur) based in Toronto. She holds degrees in Neurochemistry from the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, in Biochemistry and Chemistry from the University of Salford Manchester, and an Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Ms. Es Sabar is also the Chair of the Health Biosciences Economic Strategy Table (Government of Canada).