In addition to his role as Protagenic Therapeutics’ Executive Chairman, Dr. Armen is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Agenus Inc., the biotechnology company he co-founded in 1994. From mid-2002 through 2004, he also served as chairman of the board of directors of Elan Corporation, where he successfully engineered the restructuring of the company.
Prior to Agenus Inc., Dr. Armen established Armen Partners, a money management firm specializing in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and was the architect of the widely publicized creation of the Immunex Lederle oncology business in 1993. Earlier, he was a senior vice president of research at Dean Witter Reynolds, having begun his career on Wall Street as an analyst and investment banker at EF Hutton.
In 2002, Dr. Armen founded the Children of Armenia Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to significantly rebuilding and revitalizing impoverished rural Armenian towns to provide immediate and sustainable benefits to children and youth. He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2004 for his humanitarian efforts, and received the Sabin Humanitarian Award from the Sabin Vaccine Institute in 2006 for his achievements in biotechnology and progressing medical research. Dr. Armen was also the Ernst & Young 2002 New York City Biotechnology Entrepreneur of the Year, and received a Wings of Hope Award in 2005 from The Melanoma Research Foundation for his ongoing commitment to the melanoma community. Dr. Armen received a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the Graduate Center, City University of New York, after which he worked as a research fellow at Brookhaven National Laboratories in Long Island, NY.
Since 1999, Mr. Corvese has been the President and Founder of private equity firm Vencor Capital, a private equity firm. Prior to Vencor, Mr. Corvese was a Managing Director and partner at Soros Fund Management, the largest hedge fund in the world at the time. From 1988 to 1996, Mr. Corvese was a partner at Chancellor Capital Management, a $25 billion money management firm. From 1981 to 1988, Mr. Corvese was with Drexel Burnham Lambert as an equity analyst following the chemical and specialty chemical industries and participated in a significant number of mergers and acquisitions. While at Drexel, he was a member of the top chemical and specialty chemical research team, as ranked by Institutional Investor. Mr. Corvese currently serves on the Boards of Directors of biotechnology company Agenus, Inc., and the National Telecommunications Corporation, based in Cairo, Egypt. Mr. Corvese earned degrees in finance and political science from The University of Rhode Island and attended New York University Graduate School. With over 30 years of experience in the financial industry, Mr. Corvese brings substantial financial expertise to our Board.
Chief Medical Officer
In addition to his role as the Chief Medical Officer of Protagenic, Dr. Robert B. Stein is Senior Advisor, R&D for Agenus, Inc. and its cell therapy subsidiary AgenTus. He leads Agenus’ Research, Preclinical Development and Translational Medicine functions. He helps shape clinical development strategy for vaccines and adjuvants. Additionally, he lead integration of the 4-Antibody, PhosImmune, and Xoma Pilot Plant acquisitions, which includes the company’s fully human antibody drug discovery and optimization technology platform, and portfolio of immune checkpoint antibody programs. Over his 35 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry he played a pivotal role in bringing to the market Sustiva®, Fablyn®, Viviant®, PanRetin®, TargRetin®, Promacta® and Eliquis®. Prior to joining Agenus, he held executive management positions at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, DuPont Merck, Incyte Pharmaceuticals, Roche Palo Alto and KineMed. Dr. Stein began his career at Merck, Sharp and Dohme. He holds an MD and a PhD in Physiology & Pharmacology from Duke University.
Mr. Silverman is the Co–founder and Managing Member of Parkfield Funding LLC, and is a former Principal and Managing Partner of Iroquois Capital Management, LLC. Mr. Silverman served as Co–Chief Investment Officer of Iroquois from 2003 until July 2016. From 2000 to 2003, Mr. Silverman served as Co–Chief Investment Officer of Vertical Ventures, LLC, a merchant bank. Prior to forming Iroquois, Mr. Silverman was a Director of Joele Frank, a boutique consulting firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions. Previously, Mr. Silverman served as Assistant Press Secretary to The President of The United States. Mr. Silverman received his B.A. from Lehigh University in 1992. In the past five years, Mr. Silverman has served as a director of MGT Capital Investments, Inc. and National Holdings Corporation.
Khalil Barrage is a Managing Director at Invus, based in New York. He joined Invus in 2003 and established its Public Equity activity. Since its inception, Invus Public Equity has concentrated its investments in the emerging innovative biotech companies. Prior to joining Invus, he worked at The Olayan Group in New York and ran their US equity portfolio for 15 years. He holds a BA in Economics from the American University of Beirut. He is a member of the board of Celtaxsys. As part of his philanthropic engagement, Khalil serves on the board of the Children of Armenia Fund and Solving Kids’ Cancer.
Dr. Buell serves as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Agenus Inc. Since 2013, Dr. Buell has served Agenus as the Head of Global R&D operations, Head of Research, and Chief External Affairs and Communications Officer. During her tenure, Dr. Buell advanced the expansion of Agenus from a neoantigen vaccine company to a global, fully-integrated platform company with a unique pipeline of immune modulating antibodies, adoptive cell therapies, adjuvants, and cancer vaccines. With over 20 years of biopharmaceutical R&D experience, Dr. Buell has a proven record of success in R&D leadership, most recently at Agenus, where she has led high performing teams in outpacing large pharmaceutical companies in advancing novel therapies to the clinic through Agenus’ proprietary pipeline and in collaboration with Incyte, Merck, and Gilead. Prior to joining Agenus, Dr. Buell held leadership positions in R&D operations at Bristol-Myers Squibb and was later responsible for Programs and Alliances at Harvard Clinical (Baim), where she led the strategy and operations of a portfolio of programs in oncology, neurology, nephrology, and cardiometabolic diseases. Dr. Buell obtained her PhD in Cellular, Biochemical, and Molecular Biochemistry with an MS in Biostatistics from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts.