Board of Directors

John Patton, PhD

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman

Dr. John Patton began Dance Biopharm operations in 2010 with a carefully selected core team.  Previously, he was the co-founder of Inhale Therapeutics (now Nektar Therapeutics), where he helped lead the development and FDA approval of the first inhaled insulin product.  During his 18-year tenure at Inhale, Patton was a key driver for the company’s business development deals and participated in financings totaling more than $700M.  Prior to founding Inhale, Patton led the drug delivery group at Genentech from 1985-1990; before that time, he was a tenured professor at the University of Georgia.  Dr. Patton was the founding investor in Halozyme Therapeutics in 1998 and a co-founder in 2009 of Incarda Therapeutics, Inc., a product-focused cardiovascular company.  Dr. Patton previously served as a member of the board of directors of Activaero GmbH, a drug delivery company, from 2007 until its acquisition by Vectura Group plc in March 2014. Dr. Patton also serves as a member of the advisory board of the College of Science at Pennsylvania State University and is a member of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Advisory Counsel. Dr. Patton earned a B.S. in Zoology from Pennsylvania State University, an M.S. in Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island, and a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Patton also has held post doctorate positions in Biomedicine at Harvard Medical School and the University of Lund in Sweden. He is author or co-author of more than 100 publications, and inventor or co-inventor of more than 37 patents.

Donald Huffman

Chief Financial Officer and Director

Mr. Huffman has been a member of the Board of Directors of Dance since June 2013 and was appointed Chief Financial Officer of the Company in March 2017.  A senior financial and corporate development executive, Mr. Huffman has raised $700M in equity and debt financing and was a member of teams that structured more than $650M in merger, acquisition, and spinout transactions.  Previously, he held the position of CFO at three NASDAQ listed companies: EndoSonics Corporation (later renamed Volcano Corporation), an interventional cardiology medical device company later acquired by Philips for +$1 billion; Microcide Pharmaceuticals and Celtrix Pharmaceuticals, where he assisted in successful merger outcomes for these companies.  Huffman also served as CFO and Principal of Sanderling Ventures, a $1.2 billion top-tier biomedical venture capital firm, and participated in raising a $420M fund.  Don also serves on the board of directors of SteadyMed Ltd., a NASDAQ listed specialty pharmaceuticals company (drug/delivery device combination) and Amarantus Bioscience Holdings, OTC listed (therapeutic and diagnostic products for neurological disorders and orphan indications).  Huffman received his B.S. from Pennsylvania State University and an M.B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He completed the Financial Management Program at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Steve Thornton


Mr. Thornton served as president & CEO of Excelsior Medical LLC from 2011 until its sale to ICU Medical and Medline Industries in late 2015.  Previously, from 2007, he was president & CEO of Bioniche Pharma Inc., a company specialized in the development, manufacture and sale of both proprietary and generic injectable pharmaceuticals and oversaw its significant growth through acquisition and internal development programs until its sale to Mylan Corp in 2010 for $550 million. In 2002, Mr. Thornton joined SkyePharma Inc., a company developing drug delivery technology for the sustained release of injectable drugs, where he served as president until its sale in 2007, at which time he was asked to join its board of directors.  Steve has held numerous board of director positions including Halozyme Therapeutics and Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc. and has acted in advisory capacities for both private and public companies. Earlier in his career he held management positions with units of Bayer and Eli Lilly.  He is currently the chairman of the board for XBolt Orthopaedics, an Ireland based company focused on the marketing and sale of a novel device for hip fixation.

Vivian Yan


Vivian Yan is an Investment Director with Harmony Asset Management Limited, a Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission licensed entity. She has over a decade of experience in Financial Services, working with major financial institutions such as Citigroup and Standard Chartered Bank. Her experience within the industry ranges from direct investment, corporate finance, relationship management, operational risk to trade finance. She has participated and managed over 50 direct investments in Asia Pacific and North America. She has served on the board of hedge funds, natural resources, consumer goods and healthcare companies. Ms. Vivian Yan is also on the board of Harmony Biopharm Limited, our partner in Asia Pacific. In her role as director and consultant, she has provided fund raising and strategic advice to a number of companies seeking capital from or intending to enter the Asia Pacific market. She has earned her MBA from London Business School in the UK and a Bachelor degree in Computer Science and Economics from Smith College in the US.

Adam Stern


Adam K. Stern has served as a member of our board of directors since December 2014. Mr. Stern has been the head Private Equity Banking at Aegis Capital Corp. and CEO of SternAegis Ventures since 2012. Prior to Aegis, from 1997 to November 2012, he was with Spencer Trask Ventures, Inc., most recently as a Senior Managing Director, where he managed the structured finance group focusing primarily on the technology and life science sectors. Mr. Stern held increasingly responsible positions from 1989 to 1997 with Josephthal & Co., Inc., members of the New York Stock Exchange, where he served as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Private Equity Marketing. He has been a FINRA licensed securities broker since 1987 and a General Securities Principal since 1991. Mr. Stern is a director of Matinas Biopharma Holdings, Inc. Mr. Stern is a former director of InVivo Therapeutics Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ Global Market: NVIV), Organovo Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ Global Market: ONVO), LabStyle Innovations Corporation (NASDAQ Capital Market: DRIO) and PROLOR Biotech Ltd., which was sold to Opko Health, Inc. (NASDAQ Global Select: OPK) for approximately $600 million in 2013. Mr. Stern holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from The University of South Florida in Tampa. We believe Mr. Stern is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive experience in corporate finance with special emphasis on the life science industries.