Meet the senior leaders guiding Adamas
The Adamas executive team and board of directors are comprised of industry veterans, each dedicated to our vision of delivering innovative medicines that reduce the burden of neurological diseases on patients, caregivers, and society.
Our executive team
“I am proud to lead an organization with incredible passion and commitment to making a difference to people living with neurological diseases. ‘Patient First’ is more than a value to us, it’s the driving force behind our decisions, and our desire to bring additional benefits to the healthcare community.”
Neil joined Adamas as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors in September 2019. He brings over two decades of global biopharmaceutical and life sciences experience delivering value to patients suffering from serious illnesses. Neil has delivered growth in both specialty and orphan products in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Retrophin, Inc. with principal responsibility for global commercial operations, corporate development, patient services, and program and alliance management. Previously he held executive and general management positions at leading biopharmaceutical companies, including UCB, Genzyme, and Sangstat Medical Corporation. Neil served as an officer and enlisted soldier in the United States Army Reserves. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Nursing from the University of Florida.
“I’m passionate about growth and am motivated to see this passion embraced by everyone at Adamas. It’s exciting to work at a company that has a culture of being open to new ideas, knowing that our contributions can have a long-term impact on patients and all our stakeholders.”
Jill Jene joined Adamas in August, 2020, as Vice President and Head of Corporate Development, Strategy, Portfolio Planning and Alliance Management. Jill brings more than 20 years of biopharmaceutical BD experience and a deal sheet close to $4 billion to her new role at Adamas. Before joining Adamas, Jill was Vice President of Business Development for PDL, a publicly traded biotechnology company. Jill was responsible for developing the strategy and executing deal-making to maximize value for shareholders. Before PDL, Jill led BD and strategy at twoXAR where she led deal-making, closing 6 new partnerships and securing Series A funding. Prior to twoXAR, Jill was at Depomed, where she led over 36 transactions including licensing and M&A deals including acquiring 4 commercial franchises. Earlier in her career, Jill held BD positions at Baxter International, the 3M Company (Pharmaceutical Division now part of Valeant) and Cell Genesys (acquired by Biosante). Jill holds an BS from Bradley, a MS and PhD in Chemistry from Northwestern University, and an MBA from DePaul University.
“We are in the position where our work can help people live better lives each day, and that’s an incredible privilege. It forms a foundation for how we work together. There’s a real sense of wanting to deliver excellence and to strive to improve so we can continue to grow our company and do even more in the future.”
Sarah joined Adamas as Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications, Patient Advocacy and Engagement in February 2019. She previously served as Chief Executive Officer for Research Autism, a non-profit organization focused on research and education in the UK. Prior to this, she held various global leadership roles at GlaxoSmithKline, plc. including Global Head of Communications and Engagement overseeing strategy and brand for GSK Consumer Healthcare; Global Head of R&D communications leading on science and crisis communications, alliance management and product approvals; and Senior Director, Corporate Product Communications. During her time at Pfizer Inc., Sarah served as Head of Communications for Pfizer UK Ltd, responsible for over 20 products at all stages of product development, and spent the early years of her career in medical education and communications agencies, leading corporate communications, public relations and public affairs, advocacy, and medical education across a wide range of disease areas. She has a Bachelor of Science honors degree in Biomedical Sciences.
“Adamas is a place for growth for both careers and ideas. We have a culture where great ideas can come from anywhere in the company. Our philosophy is, if you come here, it is because you want to contribute, grow personally, and make Adamas a success.”
Chris joined the company in April 2015 as VP, Finance and Controller before becoming the Chief Accounting Officer of Adamas in September 2017. Before coming to Adamas, he was most recently VP, Finance and Controller at InterMune, Inc., a biotechnology company, until its acquisition by Roche. Prior to that, Chris was the Controller at Dynavax Technologies Corporation, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, and held the same position at MannKind Corporation, a biotechnology company, as well as a variety of other finance roles. Prior to joining MannKind, Chris was a Senior Manager at KPMG LLP in the assurance practice. Chris received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Loyola Marymount University, and a Masters of Business Administration from Indiana University. Chris is a CPA licensed in California.
“I thrive on working in a place where scientific exploration and creativity are encouraged and very much a part of the company culture. Research at Adamas is forward-thinking and always has the end goal in mind – providing healthcare professionals with meaningful medicines that can make a significant impact on their patients.”
Adrian joined Adamas as Chief Medical Officer in September 2020. He has over 20 years of global drug development and pharmaceutical experience, both in academia and industry, with a keen focus on unmet medical needs in patients with serious disorders. Adrian joins Adamas from BioMarin, where he initially served as head of Medical Affairs EUMEA progressing to becoming the head of global Medical Affairs, a position he held for the last 4 years. During this time, Adrian oversaw the launch of 6 products. Prior to BioMarin, he held senior positions responsible for clinical development and as principal investigator for several products at the Phase 1 unit at Chiltern, and positions in pharmacovigilance, clinical development and medical affairs at Paraxel, Icon and Astellas. Before joining the industry, Adrian worked as clinical research fellow at UCLA Cedar Sinai and as resident cardiothoracic surgery at Erasmus University Medical Center. Adrian obtained his medical degree from Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam in the Netherlands, obtained his post graduate specialization in pharmaceutical medicine from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine in London UK, and is GMC board certified in pharmaceutical medicine in the UK.
“When people interview here they have something in common – they’re looking to make an impact. I was motivated to join Adamas to help our people deliver their best work today, and grow into the opportunities that may arise tomorrow.”
Eric joined as Vice President and Head of Human Resources at Adamas in November 2019 with over 20 years of experience leading and developing human resources and legal functions at high-growth private and public companies. Prior to joining Adamas, he was the Head of Human Resources for Vir Biotechnology, helping the company grow from approximately 65 employees to 250 employees. Eric also led the human resources and facilities functions at Tessera Technologies, where he helped manage the company through a complete transformation of board, senior leadership, organizational focus, culture, and values. He has held various positions leading both legal and human resource functions at pharma, biotech, and technology companies in the Bay Area. Eric holds a JD from Washington University in St. Louis and an AB in Asian Studies from Dartmouth College.
“I am energized by the opportunity to commercialize a meaningful treatment option for patients with significant unmet need and doing so in a culture of collaboration and innovation. Our culture gives everyone here the opportunity to be heard while reinforcing that all of our work impacts the daily lives of the patients who rely on us.”
Vijay joined Adamas as Chief Commercial Officer in May 2019 from Amgen Inc. where he served in a variety of sales and marketing roles of increasing responsibility in multiple therapeutic areas. Most recently, Vijay was Executive Director and Integrated Commercial Lead for the Multiple Myeloma franchise with responsibility for national sales, brand marketing, and regional marketing teams. He brings extensive US product launch experience, successfully leading the market entry of new entities, expanded indications for approved products, as well as new drug-delivery systems. He has led strategy and execution for multiple brands, including Neulasta®, XGEVA®, Vectibix®, and Kyprolis®, with a demonstrated track record of generating robust demand growth in highly competitive markets. Vijay started his professional career as a scientist in the field of Immuno-Oncology, earning his PhD at the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and gaining experience in both academic and pharmaceutical research settings. He also earned an MBA in Healthcare Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Our board of directors
Mr. Mahoney is a private equity investor and currently serves on the board of directors of Corcept Therapeutics and Mercy Corps, and as a Trustee of the Schwab Mutual Funds and ETFs, Mount Holyoke College, and SFMOMA. Previously, Mr. Mahoney acted as Co-chief Executive Officer of McKesson HBOC, Inc. (now McKesson Corporation) and as Chief Executive Officer of McKesson LLC from July 1999 to February 2001. He joined McKesson in 1990 as Vice President for Strategic Planning and managed the company’s relationships with the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining McKesson, Mr. Mahoney was a principal with McKinsey & Company from 1981 to 1990. Mr. Mahoney is an honors graduate of Harvard Business School and Princeton University.
Mr. Bigham currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He has more than 25 years of senior leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. From 2003 to 2015, Mr. Bigham was a partner at Abingworth LLP, an international investment group dedicated to life sciences and healthcare. Earlier in his career, he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Coulter Pharmaceuticals up until the company’s acquisition by Corixa. Mr. Bigham currently is a member of the board of directors of InMediata and has held several directorships, including Avila Therapeutics, Magellan Biosciences, Portola Pharmaceuticals, Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Avedro, and Valeritas. He received his BS from the University of Virginia and his MBA from Stanford University.
Ms. Demski has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of finance and biotechnology. She is chair of the board of directors of Chimerix, where she also serves as a member of the audit committee. She also chairs the audit committee and serves on the compensation committee at ADMA Biologics and Equillium. Previously, Ms. Demski served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Ajinomoto Althea, Inc., as well as interim Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. She has also served as Chief Financial Officer of Vical Incorporated, where she was responsible for multiple private and public financings, including the company’s initial public offering. Additionally, Ms. Demski also has more than 13 years of banking experience with Bank of America. She holds an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA from Michigan State University. In 2014 Ms. Demski was awarded the CFO of the Year Award of Distinction by the San Diego Business Journal. In 2017 Ms. Demski was honored as the Director of the Year in Corporate Governance by the San Diego Corporate Directors Forum.
Ms. Dier serves as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical. Ms. Dier joined Ultragenyx after working with Portola Pharmaceuticals, where she served as Chief Financial Officer from 2006 to 2018 when her role was expanded to include Chief Business Officer from 2018 through its acquisition by Alexion Pharmaceuticals in 2020. Before joining Portola, Ms. Dier served as Vice President of Investor Relations at Chiron Corporation from 2003 until its acquisition by Novartis Pharmaceuticals in April 2006. Prior to joining Chiron, she served as a Director in the West Coast investment banking practice at Prudential Securities, where she focused on biotechnology and other life sciences companies. Ms. Dier was previously at KPMG Peat Marwick in the audit department. She holds a BS in biology from Stanford University and an MBA from The Anderson School at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2013, Ms. Dier was recognized as one of the most influential Bay Area businesswomen by the San Francisco Business Times and was a finalist for its Bay Area CFO of the Year Award.
Mr. Ericson is a managing partner of Mohr Davidow Ventures and a managing director of Wildcat Venture Partners. He currently serves on the board of directors of Pacific Biosciences and Rocket Fuel, as well as the boards of a number of privately-held software and healthcare companies. Mr. Ericson received his BSFS from Georgetown University of Foreign Service and his JD from Northwestern University School of Law.
Mr. MacPhee serves as Chief Executive Officer of The JED Foundation, a nonprofit organization that exists to reduce the risks of substance abuse, self-harm, and suicide, and to help young adults thrive. Prior to JED, he served as Executive Vice President of Par Pharmaceutical and President of Par’s Strativa Pharmaceuticals division, where he oversaw commercial operations, clinical development, medical affairs, and business development. Previously, he worked at Forest Laboratories, where he led the launches of Celexa® (citalopram), Lexapro® (escitalopram), and Namenda® (memantine HCl). Mr. MacPhee also serves as a board member for Bottom Line, a nonprofit organization that provides guidance counseling to disadvantaged urban youth to help them get into college and graduate. He earned a BA from Columbia College, an MBA from New York University, and an MPH from Columbia University.
Anna Richo, J.D., is General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, and Corporate Secretary at Cargill, Inc. Ms. Richo brings over 30 years of leadership experience managing legal and compliance functions within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, including UCB, Amgen and Baxter Healthcare as well as prior public-company Board, Audit and Finance Committee experience at Cytyc Corporation. Ms. Richo’s successful career path includes leadership roles in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies as general counsel and leading compliance, intellectual property and corporate litigation. Ms. Richo has previously been recognized as one of the ’Top 15 Women in Pharma’. She holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and a J.D. degree from DePaul University College of Law. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for DePaul University.
Adamas recognized by 2020 Women on Boards
The organization 2020 Women on Boards named Adamas as a Winning ‘W’ Company for both 2019 and 2020 for having more than 20% women on our Board of Directors. 2020 Women on Boards is a nonprofit education campaign which advocates globally to increase the number of women on corporate boards to at least 20% by 2020. The organization educates corporate stakeholders on the importance of board diversity, and they have recognized Adamas as an example of enlightened corporate governance.