Kevin B. Bacon, Ph.D.
PRESIDENT & CEO
Dr. Kevin Bacon is a seasoned Senior Executive and Board Member with more than 35 years of success across the pharmaceutical, drug/clinical development, and biotechnology industries. Prior to joining Sequoia Vaccines inc., he served as the CEO of Abcentra LLC (2020-2023), President and Chief Executive Officer of SMA Therapeutics Inc. (2017-2023), acting CEO of Raft Pharmaceuticals, LLC (2018-2020), Chief Scientific Officer, Head of Research and Development, and Founder of Actimis Pharmaceuticals inc. (2004-2018), and the President of Axikin Pharmaceuticals Inc. (2008-2017). Dr. Bacon was the VP Respiratory Diseases Research for Bayer Healthcare AG from 1999-2004. Prior to joining Bayer AG, Dr. Bacon held positions of increasing responsibility at Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., in San Diego, was a Visiting Scientist at the DNAX Institute for Molecular Biology, and started his industry career at the Glaxo Institute for Molecular Biology (latterly Merck-Serono) in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Bacon received his Bachelor of Science, with Honors, in Pharmacology from King’s College at the University of London and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of London, is an author of over 100 original manuscripts, book chapters and reviews in the field of drug discovery and inflammation biology, and a co-author on numerous issued and filed patents.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Mr. Spellmeyer served in various financial management roles at Emerson Electric Co., Kellwood Company, and a variety of entrepreneurial companies – both independent private businesses and private-equity-owned entities. Mr. Spellmeyer has experience with accounting systems, cash flow planning, and rapid growth entrepreneurial companies. He was a Manager at PwC, providing accounting/audit, tax and consulting services to a wide variety of clients, both public and private. Mr. Spellmeyer received his MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and Honors BS, Accounting from St. Louis University. He is a Certified Public Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant.
Jennifer L. Harris, PharmD
VICE PRESIDENT, CLINICAL DEVELOPMENT
Jennifer Harris leads Sequoia’s clinical development programs. In this role, Jennifer is responsible for leading the clinical and regulatory strategies for the Sequoia pipeline including interactions with FDA and other country regulatory authorities as well as responsibility for the design and execution of clinical trials. Jennifer has over 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience involving 20 IND programs and 3 NDA/BLA submissions. Her experience encompasses big pharma, biotech as well as emerging biotech including roles in clinical development, regulatory affairs and medical affairs. Jennifer has particular expertise in immune therapies for treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. She has held clinical positions at major academic centers as well as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has industry experience at GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co., Celgene, Dendreon, Heat Biologics and most recently she lead a team of clinical scientists at Syneos Health focused on clinical development activities. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
VICE PRESIDENT OF PROCESS DEVELOPMENT & MANUFACTURING
Eric Cunningham leads our process development, technology transfer, and manufacturing team. Before joining Sequoia Vaccines in 2021, Eric was Director of Manufacturing at Pfenex Inc. where he oversaw the manufacturing and successful validation of drug substance, drug product and combination product processes for their first commercial product. Prior to Pfenex, Eric managed the technical process support team at Biogen for the technology transfer of multiple early and late stage clinical programs. Eric has also held positions at Genentech in both manufacturing and process development. Eric holds a BA in Biological Sciences from Sonoma State University.
VICE PRESIDENT, ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
Mark O’Neil-Johnson is a natural products chemist and began his career performing total synthesis of natural products under Professor John McMurry at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His industrial work began at IBM Research , joining IBM Instruments at its inception, starting up the San Jose Dem Lab. Mark then joined Bruker Instruments, setting up the West Coast NMR Demo facility in the San Jose area. After joining Sequoia at its inception as a scientific co-founder, Mark built Sequoia’s advanced analytical capabilities for the structure characterization group, pushing the frontiers of structure elucidation to the microgram scale. He has been Issue Editor for the special editions of Planta Medica, a leading international journal for natural products research that have covered annual meetings of the American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP).
Gary Eldridge was the President and CEO of Sequoia Vaccines since its inception in 2012. Sequoia Vaccines was formed to develop its vaccine for the prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections. Gary previously co-founded Sequoia Sciences in San Diego, CA in 1999 and led its R&D programs. While at Sequoia Sciences, Gary led all R&D programs and established strategic research collaborations with the Missouri Botanical Garden and Washington University, and numerous research collaborations pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. He co-developed and led the validation of Sequoia’s platform technologies.