Management Team

Anne Whitaker

Anne Whitaker

Chief Executive Officer and Director

Anne is a seasoned healthcare executive and corporate director with more than 25 years of experience across multiple companies and geographies.  She has a proven track record of building and leading high-performance teams to successfully commercialize pharmaceuticals, consumer products and medical devices. Anne attributes her career success to being an authentic, courageous and agile leader who establishes high performance cultures that enable teams to deliver exceptional results. She has been recognized in the pharmaceutical industry by Fierce Pharma as one of the top 25 Most Influential People in BioPharma in 2012 and 2013, and in 2014 as one of the top 25 Most Influential Women in BioPharma. She is active in the North Carolina community mentoring women and men in pursuit of STEM careers and leadership positions.  She is a member of Women Corporate Directors, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, International Women’s Forum and OnBoardNC.

Anne started her healthcare career with The Upjohn Company selling pharmaceuticals to treat diabetes and arthritis. She subsequently transitioned to GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK: NYSE) where she rose in the commercial ranks to become a Senior Vice President for the Cardiovascular, Metabolic, and Urology franchises in 2009.  Anne joined Sanofi SA (SAN-FR: Euronext Paris) in 2011 as the President of the North America Region where she led more than 5000 commercial and medical employees to deliver ~$10B in net sales equaling > 30% of the net sales and >50% of the profit for Sanofi globally.  Anne served as the CEO and President of Synta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SNTA: NASDAQ) traded company in 2014 and 2015.  She joined Bausch Health Company, Inc. (BHC: NYSE) as an Executive Vice President and Company Group Chairman for the Branded Pharmaceuticals segment in mid 2015 where she led the successful integration of Salix Pharmaceuticals and Dendreon, built the U.S. Pharmaceutical Commercial Operations and Market Access team, launched Xifaxan for irritable bowel syndrome and led the Western European Region.  

More recently, Anne served as the CEO and President of KNOW Bio, LLC, a privately held life science company, and its subsidiary, Novoclem Therapeutics, Inc., now Vast Therapeutics, from February 2017 until April 2018.   She is currently an independent director on the board of Cree (CREE: NASDAQ), a LED and semiconductor company, Mallinckrodt (MKN: NYSE), a specialty pharmaceutical company, Vectura (VEC-GB: London Exchange), a pharmaceutical and medical device company, and a Trustee for the University of North Alabama.  

Anne holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of North Alabama.

John Patton, PhD

John Patton, PhD

Founder, Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer

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

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.

Truc Le

Truc Le

EVP Operations, Pharmaceutics and Quality

Truc Le is responsible for building a Best-in Class Operation and Quality organization for Dance.  Previously, Mr. Le was the COO for Avid Bioservices, a leading CMO that specializes in clinical trials and commercial distribution of monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins.  Le was also SVP of Operations and Quality for Nektar Therapeutics, where he led the CMC quality approval of the first approved inhaled insulin product, Exubera.  Truc has over 30 years of experience in worldwide operations, quality systems management, and business effectiveness.  He has assisted numerous companies in developing their operations and regulatory affairs to meet USFDA and International Standards, including achievements of ISO registration and CE mark approval for the European Union.  He has also assisted multiple companies in Business Excellence, utilizing 6-Sigma programs to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.  Previously, Mr. Le was employed by a division of Johnson & Johnson as the Worldwide Vice-President of Regulatory Compliance and Quality Systems.  Le has a B.S. in mechanical engineering, an M.B.A. in Management, and completed executive leadership training programs, including World Class Manufacturing at Duke University, Executive Management at Harvard University, and a QSR trainer at AAMI/FDA.

Mei-chang Kuo, Ph.D.

Mei-chang Kuo, Ph.D.

SVP Pharmaceutics

With a long track record in pharmaceutical R&D, Mei-Chang Kuo has seen several new and life-cycle-management products through different phases of research and development at a several start-up and mid-size life science companies. At Immulogic, Kuo developed two AllerVax products for cat and ragweed allergies to Phase 3. In the last 15 years, at Inhale/Nektar, Dr. Kuo formulated dry powder insulin for Exubera® and was responsible for the second and third generation of insulin formulation development. Kuo earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and completed an Arthritic Postdoctoral Fellowship at National Institute of Health (NIH).

Lisa Molloy

Lisa Molloy

Senior Director, Device Development

In a career that spans more than two decades, Lisa Molloy has spent the bulk of her professional life focused on drug delivery products. Molloy played a key role in the development of such products as Nektar’s inhalable insulin, Exubera®, Anesiva’s transdermal device, and MAP’s inhalable migraine medication—so she’s familiar with the complexities of combining drug delivery devices with specific formulations. Molloy came to the biotech field from the electronics industry, where she designed automated handling and test systems for high-frequency devices. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from San Jose State University.

Blaine Bueche, PhD

Blaine Bueche, PhD

Senior Director of Pharmaceutics

With over 12 years of experience formulating and characterizing insulin, Dr. Bueche is a leader in the field. His involvement with the Exubera® product from Phase 1 through FDA approval has brought deep technical knowledge of insulin’s remarkable physico-chemical properties, as well as the ability to optimize the properties for analytics and formulation stability. Dr. Bueche began his career synthesizing and purifying custom DNA strands by ion exchange chromatography at Operon, Inc. Since then he has worked on many research projects and advanced several therapeutic development programs. His name appears on seven US patents. Dr. Bueche received his B.S. in Biochemistry from San Francisco State University and earned his PhD from the University of Bradford in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Samantha Miller, MSc, MBA

Samantha Miller, MSc, MBA

Strategic Consultant

With more than two decades of corporate biotechnology and pharmaceutical development experience, Samantha Miller has negotiated, executed, and managed global and regional partnerships and licenses the world over. Miller’s partners have included a long roster of companies—Glaxo Smithkline, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Astra Zeneca, Astellas, Asahi Kasei, Transgene, Lee’s, and many others. Miller has held senior positions in corporate development at Jennerex, Theravance, Inhale/Nektar, Scios, Onyx, and has been involved in numerous technology acquisitions, corporate financings, and other strategic transactions. Ms. Miller earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego, and an M.S. in Microbiology and Immunology and an M.B.A. from the University of Rochester.

Jim Fink, PhD, RRT, FAARC, FCCP

Jim Fink, PhD, RRT, FAARC, FCCP

Senior Fellow Clinical Aerosol Product Development

A highly trained clinician and researcher, Dr. Jim Fink has spent the past 25 years of his career focused on understanding the design of aerosol devices and how patients interface with them. In his capacity as Fellow of Aerosol Science at Aerogen (later Nektar), Fink developed efficient liquid aerosol delivery systems for adults, children, and infants, in critical care and ambulatory contexts, with multiple patents both in the US and abroad. Dr. Fink is a Registered Respiratory Therapist with a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Innovation from Bradford University, UK and a Fellow of both the American Association of Respiratory Care (FAARC) and the College of Chest Physicians (FCCP). An internationally recognized researcher and lecturer, Fink has authored 3 textbooks and more than 120 chapters and peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Fink serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Aerosol Medicine and is adjunct Professor for the Respiratory Therapy Program at Georgia State University in Atlanta GA, and faculty at Rush Medical School in Chicago.