Board of Directors

Crine pic

Philippe Crine, Ph.D.


Philippe Crine has over 30 years experience in protein engineering and molecular endocrinology.

As cofounder and chief scientific officer of Enobia Pharma, Dr. Crine was responsible for development of new tharapies for rare bone metabolic diseases. Notably, Dr. Crine was responsible for the initiation and preclinical development of the asfotase alfa (now Strensiq®) prior to Enobia’s acquisition by Alexion. In 2015 Strensiq received worldwide marketing approval for hypophosphatasia, an ultra-rare metabolic bone disease.

Both prior to and simultaneously with the creation of Enobia, Dr. Crine also served as full professor at the Université de Montréal Medical School, chair of the Biochemistry department and finally assistant dean for Medical Research.  Under his tenure the Biochemistry department recruited four new faculty and created a structural biology group jointly with McGill University and the National Research Council of Canada.

Dr. Crine received his Ph.D from the Université de Montréal Medical School and postdoctoral training at Brandeis University (Massachusetts) and at the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal. He co-authored over 120 publications in peer reviewed scientific journals.


Danny Gagné, B.Comm., M.Sc.


Danny Gagné joined the Fonds de solidarité FTQ in 2003 as a portfolio manager in the life sciences sector. With a career spanning over 20 years, Mr. Gagné has built solid expertise in business financing, having worked first as a financial analyst for Innovatech Grand Montréal and then as an associate analyst – healthcare at National Bank Financial. Mr. Gagne’s experience includes transactions in private and in public companies, M&A and fund investments.

Mr. Gagné holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Finance from HEC Montréal. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Ilkos Therapeutics and Precithera.


Richard Labaudinière, Ph.D.

Independent Director

Richard Labaudinière is an experienced pharmaceutical scientist and executive with over 30 years experience in Senior leadership positions in Pharma and Biotech, most recently as CEO of FoldRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dr. Labaudinière has discovered and developed several drugs in different therapeutic areas. Under his leadership, FoldRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  developed the drug, tafamidis (Vyndaqel®), a disease modifying therapy for the treatment of transthyretin-related hereditary amyloidosis, a rare but deadly neurodegenerative disease. FoldRx was acquired by Pfizer in 2010. At Glaxo, he led the preclinical program to discover, optimize and develop the PDE5 enzyme inhibitor tadalafil (Cialis®, Adcirca®) currently used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED), of pulmonary arterial hypertension, and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Dr. Labaudinière has a PhD’s degree in organic chemistry from “Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier” in France.

Robert McNeil

Robert McNeil, Ph.D.


Robert McNeil has over 35 years of experience as an active investor and management participant in seed and early-stage life science companies. He founded Sanderling Ventures in 1979 and has served since then as managing director of Sanderling’s seven investment partnerships.

Previously, Sanderling Ventures was the seed investor for several companies that became the corner stones in the practice of modern medicine, including Advanced Cardiovascular Systems (the basis of Guidant Corp.) ,Ventritex (the basis of rhythm management at St. Jude Medical) Torax and several biotech pharma companies such as Regeneron, Intermune and Pacira . His ability to develop a close relationship with management and careful understanding of the companies’ technologies has allowed successful development of products at very early stage.

Dr. McNeil earned his Ph.D. in the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics from the University of California, Irvine.

Daniel O’Connell

Daniel O’Connell, MD, Ph.D.


Daniel O’Connell has over 10 years’ of experience in healthcare. Dr. O’Connell joined Arix Bioscience from OrbiMed Advisors, where he played key roles across investments in both biotherapeutics and medical devices. Investments he has supported include CardiAQ (acquired by Edwards), Civitas Therapeutics (acquired by Acorda), Relypsa (acquired by Galenica), Cynapsus (acquired by Sunovion), as well as other public and private companies.

Prior to OrbiMed, Dr. O’Connell was the Associate Director of Cardiovascular Research at Arisaph Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for pre-IND discovery and development for programs in lipid modulation. Dr. O’Connell received his MD and PhD in Biochemistry from Tufts University School of Medicine, and has undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Chemistry from MIT.

Laurence Rulleau, Ph.D.


Laurence Terrisse Rulleau, is currently a Partner at CTI Life Sciences Fund. Previously, Dr. Rulleau served as a life sciences analyst covering the Canadian life sciences sector for more than 10 years. She worked at different firms including Desjardins securities, Yorkton securities and Blackmont securities. In her experience as an analyst, she researched over 100 life sciences companies with scientific due diligence on these companies as well as market analysis and competition assessment.  Dr. Rulleau was ranked the number one Canadian life sciences analyst by the Starmine survey (a Thomson Reuters Company) and number one independent analyst by Brendon Wood survey.

Dr. Rulleau was involved in numerous mergers and acquisitions as well as IPOs. Dr. Rulleau was also CEO of HLA-G Technologies a biotechnology start-up based in France and more recently she served as Vice-President Business Development of Univalor, the technology transfer office of Montreal’s university and affiliated schools. Under her responsibility at Univalor in the last 3 years, more than 40 licences with the industry were signed and 8 companies started.

Dr. Rulleau has a Masters in Biology from The Universite du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM) and a Ph.D. from Montreal University executed at Montreal Clinical Research Institute.


Nicola Urbani, Ph.D, MBA


Nicola Urbani has 14 years of experience in venture capital investments, primarily in life sciences and cleantech, with two different venture capital groups, GeneChem Management and Emerillon Capital. Dr. Urbani has served on numerous Boards and helped shape company strategies, C-level management teams and Board committees. Dr. Urbani has had an active involvement in the growth of several companies developing therapeutics through human clinical trials, and participated in numerous financing rounds with top tier International and Canadian venture capital funds. Dr. Urbani has also led several in-and out-licensing deals in life sciences and cleantech.

Prior to joining Emerillon, Dr. Urbani was the VP Commercialization at the McGill-affiliated Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, where he was responsible for technology transfer and creating start-up companies. Dr. Urbani received his Ph. D in molecular genetics from McGill University and his MBA from Université du Québec à Montréal.