“Now that the science has ripened to the point that it can help many thousands of children with orphan diseases, Akashi has built a bridge to efficiently cross the “valley of death” that has plagued drug development and biotech for decades.”
– Dr. Benjamin Seckler, co-founder
Cristina Csimma, PharmD, MHP
Cristina Csimma’s experience in the biopharmaceutical, venture capital and academic settings encompasses global development in multiple therapeutic areas including rare neuromuscular diseases, translational through registration clinical studies, and integration of biomarkers and novel technologies into development as well as leadership roles in new company formation and fund raising.
She was the founding CEO of Cydan Development, Inc., a privately held company focused on advancing the translation of therapeutics for orphan diseases and was previously Vice President of Drug Development at Virdante Pharmaceuticals Inc., Principal at Clarus Ventures LLC, held roles in Clinical Development and Translational Research at Wyeth (now Pfizer), Genetics Institute and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
She serves on the Board of Directors of Vtesse Inc. (rare diseases) and Columbia Laboratories Inc.; the Muscular Dystrophy Association Scientific Development Advisory Committee; the External Oversight Board to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) NeuroNext Network; the Steering Committee of NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network, the TREAT-NMD Advisory Committee for Therapeutics (TACT) (former chair), the Scientific Advisory Board of CureDuchenne, and Northeastern University’s Health Sciences Entrepreneurs steering committee.
Dr. Csimma received her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, and a Master of Health Professions from Northeastern University.
Mr. Dyett is a Founder of Salem Partners and Salem Partners Wealth Management. Mr. Dyett heads the firm’s efforts in the Life Sciences. He has raised in excess of $500 million of equity and completed multiple merger and acquisition assignments for Salem Partners’ clients. Mr. Dyett helped raise several rounds of venture capital for Adams Respiratory Therapeutics which was purchased for $2.3 billion by Reckitt Benckiser in 2008. Recently, Mr. Dyett helped launch ZS Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing non-absorbed drugs for renal, cardiovascular, liver and metabolic diseases. Salem raised several rounds of venture capital and participated in each round as a principal investor. ZS Pharma completed a successful initial public offering in June 2014 and currently trades under the symbol ZSPH.
Mr. Dyett also serves on the investment committees of Salem Partners Wealth Management and SW Contego, a fund of hedge funds established by Salem Partners Wealth Management in 2008.
Prior to founding Salem Partners, Mr. Dyett was a banker with Gerard Klauer Mattison & Co., Inc. and Needham and Co., Inc. Mr. Dyett serves on the Board of Trustees of Middlesex School in Concord, MA. Mr. Dyett is a graduate of Harvard College.
Bahaa W. Fam
Mr. Bahaa Fam is currently Senior Advisor to the MITRE Corporation, where he advises the Chief Executive and the officers leading MITRE Civil, Aviation and National Security enterprises on corporate strategy and works on solving critical problems for Federal cabinet and undersecretary level clients.
Prior to joining MITRE, Mr. Fam was a Senior Vice President/Venture Partner at the life sciences venture capital firm Fidelity Biosciences. Before joining Fidelity Biosciences, he was senior vice president and portfolio manager at Pyramis Global Advisors, Fidelity Investment’s institutional investment company. In that role, Mr. Fam actively managed $6 billion in domestic growth equity assets for a variety of institutions. He previously served as Fidelity’s Director of Quantitative Research.
Mr. Fam currently serves on the board (National Advisory Council) of The Whiting School of Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University as well as on the external advisory committee for Electrical and Computer Engineering. He also serves on the Board of Corporators of the Winchester Hospital Corporation.
Mr. Fam holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and computer science and a Master of Science degree with a concentration in optimization theory and economic systems from The Johns Hopkins University.