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Leadership

Mark Godsy, LLB.

Founder & Chief Executive Officer and Director

Mark is a seasoned and successful biotechnology and technology entrepreneur. Mark has started or co-founded many successful companies, including two $1 billion biotech firms - ID Biomedical, which became Canada's largest vaccine company and the fifth-largest vaccine company in the world; and Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, which created the first coated stent, which has gone on to save tens of millions of lives.

Mark is a seasoned and successful biotechnology and technology entrepreneur. Mark has started or co-founded many successful companies, including two $1 billion biotech firms – ID Biomedical, which became Canada’s largest vaccine company and the fifth-largest vaccine company in the world; and Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, which created the first coated stent, which has gone on to save tens of millions of lives.

Mark began his career as a lawyer, having first practiced law for approximately four years in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He subsequently served in a variety of corporate positions with early and mid stage growth companies, acting as CEO, CFO, director, chairman, or advisor, depending upon the need and interest of the venture. These roles covered many sectors, but emphasised the health and wellbeing of people and the planet. Mark is passionate about building teams and realizing synergies that can help create great results. He has also been involved in mentoring programs for CEOs of junior biotechs, as well as law students, and he is frequently approached to do the same for budding entrepreneurs.

Mark Godsy is currently chairman (and past CEO ) of Exro Technologies, a company whose goal is to improve the efficiency of electric motors and generators; and Chairman of Traxitt, a technology company focused on developing an IOT platform that allows devices with different architectures to communicate with one another. Mark serves on the advisory board for the Faculty of Law at McGill University. He holds a BA from the University of British Columbia and a law degree from McGill, and is a non practising member of the Law Society of British Columbia.

Alan Shackelford, MD.

Founder & Chief Medical Officer and Director

Dr. Shackelford is a Harvard Medical School trained internist and researcher who is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the clinical uses of cannabis. Dr. Shackelford has seen thousands of patients over the last decade for whom medical cannabis has proven beneficial and has worked with a number of state government agencies on establishing structures and rules governing medical cannabis programs.

Avi Livnat, PhD.

Founder & Vice President Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, and Director

Dr. Avi Livnat is a cardiovascular physiologist and Biomedical Engineer. His educational background includes physics, computer science, economics and business administration. His professional career covers academic (Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Illinois), Government (Deputy Head of the Pharmaceutical Administration, Ministry of Health) and private sector (founder and General Manager of several drug and medical device companies). Avi was a founder and CEO of Quintiles (now IQVIA – NYSE:IQV) in Israel, one of the world’s most highly regarded drug development companies. His areas of expertise are drug development, regulatory affairs and design and clinical research: design and conduct of clinical trials.

Michael Shannon, MD.

M.A.,M.Sc.,M.D. - Chief Science Officer

Dr. Shannon received his medical degree from Queen’s University in Canada, which included advanced training in surgery and sports medicine. He also holds post-graduate degrees in neurochemistry and physiology. He has been actively engaged in applied medical research within these areas for 30 years.

Dr. Shannon received his medical degree from Queen’s University in Canada, which included advanced training in surgery and sports medicine. He also holds post-graduate degrees in neurochemistry and physiology. He has been actively engaged in applied medical research within these areas for 30 years.

Dr. Shannon also spent 31 years in the Canadian Forces and retiring at the rank of Commodore (Brigadier General equivalent) and also had the responsibility of being Deputy Surgeon General for Canada. He assumed responsibilities within Health Canada for re-organizing the Canadian blood system. Working with both the provincial and federal governments he oversaw the development of a new corporate entity dedicated exclusively to the management of blood services in Canada. He was then appointed Director General for the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, a position he held for three years.

Dr. Shannon left the Canadian federal government in 2001 to pursue a new career in industry and gained significant experience successfully managing numerous multinational, multi centered phase III clinical trials in Canada, the United States and Great Britain. 

Following completion of that work, he served as an Audit Principal and Senior Medical Advisor to the Canadian Auditor General and then accepted responsibilities for rebuilding the Emergency Medical Response System withing the newly formed Public Health Agency of Canada. 

Dr. Shannon has been actively engaged in medical bio-oxidative (O3 based) research since 1987 and was directly responsible for the first human clinical trial to have ever been approved in North America which examined the efficacy of O3 delivered via minor autohemotherapy in the treatment of AIDS. He was also responsible for several primate studies utilizing O3 involving scientists from various departments within the Canadian Federal Government and Cornell University.

Dr Shannon has worked in the area of hospital disinfection for eight years, is coinventor of a new trioxidane-based broad spectrum decontamination system that has recently secured full US EPA approval, and is now engaged in completing a de novo FDA 510K submission.

On a parallel track, Dr Shannon has served as senior medical advisor for several Canadian cannabis LPs and is currently engaged in the development of more effective, zero residue, approaches to insect control and fungal elimination within cannabis growth facilities.

Hugh MacNaught

Product Development

Hugh MacNaught is a Fortune 100 trained executive with expertise in the innovation, development, financing, and commercialisation of medical and life science technologies. His thirty years of work experience spans R&D, manufacturing, marketing, sales, finance, regulatory affairs and strategy at companies including Atomic Energy of Canada, Amersham Life Sciences, Boehringer Mannheim, Philips and Pulmonox Technologies. He has founded, financed and led ventures focused on drug discovery, rational design, synthesis and production of novel pharmaceutical products.

Chris Clark

Financial Strategic Advisor

Chris has 25 years finance and accounting experience in public practice and in public and private companies, most recently focused in the medical device sector. A highly sought after consultant for biotechnology startups, Chris continues to hold the role of Chief Financial Officer at Neovasc and the for last 14 years has been instrumental in the initial and ongoing development of Neovasc as a publicly traded company. He received his designation as a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and articled with KPMG before moving to Canada from England in 1998. He has an honors degree in Economics from Swansea University and a post graduate diploma from Keble College, Oxford.

Geoff Griffiths

Director of Commercialization

Geoff Griffiths comes to SPI with 20 years of pharmaceutical experience. He brings a broad spectrum of commercial experience including sales, sales training, sales management, business intelligence, marketing, market access, healthcare policy and commercial development. Before joining SPI he was a foundational hire for Mylan’s leading pipeline of biosimilars. As Director of Biosimilar Development for Mylan, Geoff worked to establish the new business inside Mylan coordinating commercial launch activities such as marketing, regulatory approvals, sales forecasts, etc. for Canada, while also supporting the North America, and the Global teams. Geoff is also the former Chairman of the Board, and current Vice-Chair of the Down Syndrome Research Foundation.

Scott Dunlop, LLB

Executive General Counsel

Scott Dunlop, a graduate of Princeton and McGill Universities, practiced law at two of British Columbia’s major law firms for over thirty years, acting for national and provincial corporations in labour and administrative law and commercial disputes before a full spectrum of courts and tribunals, he served as Chair of Employment and Labor and Government Relations departments. He attended and served as an instructor at the Harvard School of Law Program on Advanced Negotiation and Mediation. Over the last 15 years he has been retained primarily as strategic corporate counsel for growth companies.

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