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Wednesday, October 10th, 9:00 am-9:55 am, Twin Peaks N/S

A promising company is no longer a start-up and has secured its series C…now what? Are more companies and investors in favor of continued dilution and subsequent rounds down the venture alphabet, or is it better to exit early? Should the company attempt to exit into the public markets or through M&A? M&A for private companies has been lucrative in 2012, while the JOBS Act aims to turn IPO hopes into reality. Decision makers that have previously navigated these crossroads will discuss the lessons learned and how this year’s developments could affect exit strategies. 


  • Peter Reikes, Vice Chairman, Healthcare Investment Banking, Stifel Nicolaus Weisel


  • Mark Leuchtenberger, President & CEO, Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Dennis Purcell, Senior Managing Partner, Aisling Capital
  • Todd Smith, Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer, Horizon Pharma
  • Timothy Trost, CPA, SVP & CFO, Chimerix, Inc.

Who's Who

Mark Leuchtenberger
President & CEO, Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Mark Leuchtenberger has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Rib-X since March 2010, bringing experience in commercial operations, business development and preparing biopharmaceutical companies for product approval and commercialization.

Prior to joining Rib-X, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Targanta Therapeutics Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company, from September 2006 until August 2009, following Targanta’s acquisition. As President and Chief Executive Officer at Targanta, he led its initial public offering in 2007 and its acquisition in 2009. From March 2002 to August 2006, Mr. Leuchtenberger served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Therion Biologics Corporation, a privately-held cancer vaccine company. Prior to Therion, Mr. Leuchtenberger was a senior officer at Biogen Idec Inc., where he led the Avonex development and launch in the United States and subsequently managed North American and international commercial operations.

Mr. Leuchtenberger received his MBA from the Yale School of Management and his BA from Wake Forest University. He is a past Chairman and current member of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council Board of Directors and serves as a trustee for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is a co-founder of Albor Biologics, Inc. and Alvos Therapeutics, Inc.

Dennis J. Purcell
Senior Managing Partner, Aisling Capital

Mr. Purcell has served as the Senior Managing Director of Aisling Capital since February 2000 and is responsible for the management of the Partnership. The fund has approximately $1.7 Billion of assets under management.

Prior to joining Aisling Capital, Mr. Purcell served as Managing Director of the Life Sciences Investment Banking Group at Chase H&Q (formerly Hambrecht & Quist, “H&Q”) for over five years. While at Hambrecht & Quist, he was directly involved with over two hundred completed transactions and supervised over $10 billion of financing and advisory assignments in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical products industries.

During his tenure, BioWorld and other industry publications cited H&Q as the leading underwriter of life sciences securities. Mr. Purcell is a frequent commentator on the industry and has been honored in the “Biotech Hall of Fame” by Genetic Engineering News, named to the Biotechnology All-Stars list by Forbes ASAP and honored as one of the top 50 Irish- American businessmen and cited as the top 100 contributors to the biotechnology industry. Prior to joining H&Q, Mr. Purcell was a Managing Director in the Healthcare Group at PaineWebber, Inc.

Mr. Purcell currently serves as a director of Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Previously he served as a director of Aton Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Bridge Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cengent Therapeutics, Inc., Dynova Laboratories, Inc., and Valentis, Inc.

He has served as a member of the Advisory Council at Harvard Medical School, the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Industry Association, as well as the New York Biotechnology Association and the Irvington Institute. He also serves on the Board of L.E.K. consulting.

Mr. Purcell received his M.B.A. from Harvard University, and his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Delaware. 

Timothy W. Trost, CPA
Sr. Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Chimerix, Inc.

With more than 30 years of experience working in the financial field Timothy W. Trost joined Chimerix in 2011 as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer. In this newly-created position, Mr. Trost will be responsible for overseeing the company’s financial operations. Prior to joining Chimerix, Mr. Trost was Vice President and CFO at Argos Therapeutics, Inc., a venture-backed immunotherapy company located in Research Triangle Park. Previously, he was Senior Vice President and CFO at InteCardia, Inc., a venture-backed cardiac imaging company. While at InteCardia, Mr. Trost played a key role in negotiating and executing the sale of the company to Syncor International Corporation (NASDAQ: SCOR). Prior to InteCardia, Mr. Trost served as Executive Vice President and CFO of Coastal Physician Group, Inc. (NYSE: DR), a contract provider of emergency room physicians, having joined the company as Vice President of Corporate Development. He also held the positions of Vice President of Finance at Morganite North America, Inc., and Senior Manager at Price Waterhouse. Mr. Trost holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a Certified Public Accountant.