Mahendra G. Shah, Ph.D. is a highly successful pharmaceutical entrepreneur and executive who has been at Vivo Capital since March 2010. He was also the founder and Executive Chairman of Semnur Pharmaceuticals(acquired by Scilex Pharmaceuticals) until March 2019. Dr. Shah currently serves as chairman of the board of Essentialis Therapeutics, board member of Biotie Therapies (NASDAQ: BITI), and a member of the board of trustees of St. John’s University. He is also a board member and charter member of EPPIC and a charter member of TIE.
From September 2005 to December 2009, he was the founder, chairman and CEO of NextWave Pharmaceuticals, a pediatric focused specialty pharmaceutical company, which was sold to Pfizer for a total of $700 million in upfront and milestone payments. From 1993 to May 2003 he was the chairman and CEO of First Horizon Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded specialty pharmaceutical company, where he raised over $200 million and built a highly profitable company before it was sold to Shionogi Pharmaceuticals for $1.4 billion. From 1991 to October 1999, he was vice president of E. J. Financial Enterprises, Inc., which manages a fund that invests in healthcare companies. He previously served on the boards of Unimed Pharmaceuticals (UMED), Introgen Therapeutics (INGN), Inpharmakon, Protomed, Structural Bioinformatics, and Zarix.
From 1987 to 1991 he was the senior director of new business development with Fujisawa USA (Astellas). Prior to that time he worked in various scientific and management positions with Schering-Plough and Bristol Myers-Squibb. Dr. Shah received his Ph.D. in industrial pharmacy from St. John’s University and his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Pharmacy from L.M. College of Pharmacy in Gujarat, India.