our team

9 Meters is led by a strong management team and board of directors with a deep history of bringing novel GI therapeutics to public markets.

Bethany Sensenig

Chief Financial Officer

Sireesh Appajosyula, PharmD

SVP, Corporate Development & Operations

Nir Barak, M.D.

SVP, Scientific Affairs

Al Medwar

SVP, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications

board members

Mark Sirgo, Pharm.D.

Chairman of the Board of Directors

Dr. Sirgo joined our Board in April 2020 upon completion of the RDD Merger and was appointed as Board chairman. In January 2019, Dr. Sirgo was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Aruna Bio, Inc., a private development-stage company focused on central nervous system and neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Sirgo serves as a director of BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (Nasdaq: BDSI), a position he has held since August 2005. He was President and Chief Executive Officer of BDSI from January 2005 to January 2018. He joined BDSI in August 2004 as Senior Vice President of Commercialization and Corporate Development upon its acquisition of Arius Pharmaceuticals,Inc., of which he was a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Sirgo has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including senior and/or executive positions in research and development, business development, sales, marketing and business operations. Dr. Sirgo spent 16 years in a variety of positions of increasing responsibility in both clinical development and marketing at Glaxo, Glaxo Wellcome, and GlaxoSmithKline, including Vice President of International OTC Development and Vice President of New Product Marketing. From 1996 to 1999, Dr. Sirgo was Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at Pharmaceutical Product Development, Inc. (Nasdaq: PPDI), a leading contract service provider to the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Sirgo served on the Board of Directors and as Chairman of the Compensation Committee of Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SLXP), a specialty pharmaceutical company specializing in gastrointestinal products, from 2008 until its sale in 2015. In addition to his role on the Board of BDSI, Dr. Sirgo serves on the Board of Directors of Biomerica, Inc. (Nasdaq: BMRA), a gastrointestinal diagnostics and therapeutic company. Dr. Sirgo received his BS in Pharmacy from The Ohio State University and his Doctorate from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science.

We believe that Dr. Sirgo’s extensive executive level experience in the pharmaceutical industry qualifies him to serve on our Board.

Lorin K. Johnson, Ph.D.

Board of Directors

Dr. Johnson joined our Board in January 2018. He is the founder and Chief Scientist of Glycyx PharmaVentures Ltd., a biopharma investment and development company. In 1989, he co-founded Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SLXP), a specialty pharmaceutical company specializing in gastrointestinal products, and held senior leadership positions prior to its $15.8 billion acquisition by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (NYSEA: VRX) in April 2015. Prior to Salix, Dr. Johnson served as Director of Scientific Operations and Chief Scientist at Scios, Inc. (formerly California Biotechnology, Inc). Since June 2019, he has been a board member of Edesa Biotech, Inc. (Nasdaq: EDSA), a biopharmaceutical company in the fields of inflammation, infectious disease and gastroenterology. He is also a board member of Glycyx MOR, Inc. (Delaware) and Kinisi Therapeutics, Ltd. (Isle of Man), as well as Intact Inc. (California). All are GI specialty drug development companies. In addition to his career in industry, Dr. Johnson has served as an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Stanford University Medical Center and held academic positions at Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California, San Francisco. He is the co-author of 75 journal articles and book chapters and is the co-inventor on 22 issued patents. Dr. Johnson holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco.

We believe that Dr. Johnson’s extensive experience in the pharmaceutical and life science industries, both as an executive and investor, qualifies him to serve on our Board.

Michael Constantino

Board of Directors

Mr. Constantino joined our Board in June 2020. Mr. Constantino is a retired Ernst & Young LLP assurance partner who served in the Research Triangle Park Region of North Carolina for over 30 years. From 2009 to 2012, he served as the Office Managing Partner for the combined Raleigh/Greensboro office with over 200 employees. He was responsible for leading a growing practice that included assurance, advisory and tax services focused on public and privately held entrepreneurial companies representing many industries. During his career with the firm, he worked with several companies including life sciences companies (biotechnology, medical device and pharmaceuticals), contract research organizations, technology, manufacturing and transportation companies, and large SEC registrants. Mike assisted clients with over 20 initial public offerings, debt offerings, mergers and acquisition transactions, and private equity offerings. He worked closely with companies across the development continuum from start-up to mature public entities and assisted management teams and boards of directors with SEC compliance matters, Sarbanes-Oxley internal controls, global operations and strategic planning. Currently, he is the Chair of the Audit Committee of Humacyte (Nasdaq:HUMA), a biotechnology company that is pionerring the development and manufacture of off-the-shelf, universally implantable, bioengineered human tissues. Mike holds a B.A. in both Accounting and Business Management from NC State University and is a North Carolina CPA.

We believe that Mr. Constantino’s extensive experience as a CPA and with SEC compliance matters and Sarbanes-Oxley internal controls qualifies him to serve on our Board.

Michael Rice

Board of Directors

Mr. Rice joined our Board in February 2021. Mr. Rice is president and co-founder of LifeSci Advisors, LLC, a life sciences investor relations consultancy, and co-founder of LifeSci Capital, a research-driven investment bank, positions he has held since March 2010. Mr. Rice is also a founding member of LifeSci Communications, LLC, a corporate communications and public relations firm. From June 2019 to December 2020, Mr. Rice also served as Chief Operating Officer and a member of the board of LifeSci Acquisition Corp. until its merger with Vincerx Pharma, Inc. (f/k/a Vincera Pharma, Inc.). Prior to co-founding LifeSci Advisors and LifeSci Capital, Mr. Rice was the co-head of health care investment banking at Canaccord Adams from April 2007 to November 2008, where he was involved in debt and equity financing. Mr. Rice was also was a Managing Director at ThinkEquity Partners from April 2005 to April 2007, where he was responsible for managing Healthcare Capital Markets. Prior to that, from August 2003 to March 2005, Mr. Rice served as a Managing Director at Bank of America, serving large hedge funds and private equity healthcare funds. Previously, he was a Managing Director at JPMorgan/Hambrecht & Quist. Mr. Rice has been a director of Navidea, Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (NYSEA: NAVB) since May 2016 and served as a director of RDD from January 2016 until the Company’s merger with RDD in May 2020. Michael received his B.A. from the University of Maryland. Michael holds Series 7, 24, 63, and 79 licenses.

We believe Mr. Rice’s long-running healthcare investment and advisory experience qualifies him to serve on our Board.

Samantha Ventimiglia

Board of Directors

Ms. Ventimiglia joined our Board in October 2021. Since December 2011, Ms. Ventimiglia has served in various leadership roles at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a global biotechnology company, and is currently Senior Vice President, U.S. Public Affairs, responsible for developing and overseeing the company’s policy, government affairs and patient advocacy strategy, including building relationships with state and federal government officials, industry organizations, patient groups and other stakeholders. From February 2008 until December 2010, Ms. Ventimiglia was government affairs director at Astellas Pharma US, a multinational pharmaceutical company, and from April 2004 until February 2008, she was a principal consultant at Jeffrey J. Kimbell & Associates, a federal government affairs firm representing clients in the healthcare community who are seeking legislative and regulatory solutions to problems related to product approval, coverage and reimbursement and marketing practices. Prior to that, Ms.Ventimiglia was a policy director at the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the National Governors Association (NGA) where she played a pivotal role in development the associations’ policy and legislative agenda on Medicare, Medicaid, private sector healthcare and FDA issues. She also held legislative positions in the offices of U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe and U.S. Congressman Elton Gallegly. Ms. Ventimiglia received a B.A. from Catholic University of America and a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University.

We believe that Ms. Ventimiglia’s years of experience seeking legislative and regulatory solutions in the healthcare industry qualifies Ms. Ventimiglia to serve on our Board.

committee composition

Independant Board Member Audit Committee Compensation Committee Nominating & Governance Committee
Mark Sirgo, PharmD (Chairman of the Board) ☑️ ☑️ ☑️
Lorin Johnson, PhD. ☑️ ☑️ C ☑️
Samantha Ventimiglia ☑️
Michael T. Constantino ☑️ C ☑️
Michael Rice ☑️ ☑️ C
☑️ = Member C = Chairperson
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