Bruce W. Kovacs, MD

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

bruce_kovacsBruce is the founder of Afecta and inventor of several of our core technologies. He has held senior executive management positions at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine and University Healthcare Management, Inc., a national healthcare services company. In addition to co-founding GenePrints, a company that pioneered the use of DNA for purposes of human identification and disease diagnosis, he became a nationally recognized expert in human molecular genetics and received board certification in several medical specialties, including Clinical Molecular Genetics and OB/GYN. Dr. Kovacs has authored numerous papers and book chapters and is an inventor on several patents. He has been an invited speaker at many national and international conferences focused on molecular genetics, clinical medicine, and pharmacogenomics. Dr. Kovacs received his M.D. from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and was a Clinical Professor and Director of the Molecular & Cytogenetics Laboratory at USC for over 20 years.

Shepard Bentley, RAC

Sr. VP of Regulatory Affairs and Drug Development

Shepard Bentley is the COO of Afecta where he oversees all regulatory and clinical activities. Shep began his career in 1984 at the Hospital Corporation of America as a research technician, produced drugs at Kendall-McGaw Laboratories, Inc. in Irvine, and became responsible for GMP compliance. He has since become a regulatory affairs consultant, joining the Drug Information Association, speaking at the Parenteral Drug Association and joining the managements of ACTUS Biotech, Pharmakos, Inc., the Board of Directors of the Life Sciences Industry Council (LINC) of Orange County/Los Angeles County, and the Program Committee of the Orange County Regulatory Affairs Discussion Group. He has been responsible for regulatory strategies leading to FDA and foreign approvals for several biotech companies. He has achieved market entry for numerous innovative medical technologies and applications within the European Union, Canada, Brazil and across Asia. Previously, Shep formed Synergy Biomedical, LLC, served as its President in collaboration with Washington D.C.-based Synergy, Inc. to provide biomedical regulatory expertise to the device and pharmaceutical industry of Southern California. He speaks regularly at regulatory conferences, has co-authored a book on regulatory strategy as well as contributed to Genetic Engineering & Biotech News (GEN), and provides independent consulting for clients of Intertek. He is an active member of the American Society for Quality - Biomedical Section (ASQ), the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (RAPS), and The Organization for Professional Regulatory Affairs (TOPRA). Mr. Bentley also served eight years of active duty as an officer in the United States Marine Corp, including as a part of the Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), deployed to Ash Shuaybah, Kuwait, to prosecute the invasion into Baghdad, Iraq, and then redeployed to Office of Force Transformation, in the Pentagon. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the President of the United States, twice, and retired from military service in 2005.

Beth Fordham-Meier, CLP

Sr. VP of Business Development

beth_fordham-meier-minBeth is the lead business development professional at Afecta.  She is a Certified Licensing Professional with more than two decades of experience in the industry. Previously, Beth was Vice President of Licensing and Intellectual Property at Targacept (NASDAQ: TRGT).  Prior to Targacept, she founded and led business development for Pilot Therapeutics and directed the technology transfer office at Wake Forest University.  Over her career she has led negotiations and completed numerous R&D and commercialization agreements with global pharmaceutical partners including AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, and Bristol-Myers Squibb valued in the billions of dollars. Beth is a graduate of High Point University and a member of the Licensing Executives Society.

George Nicola, PhD, MBA

Sr. VP of Computational Pharmacology

george_nicola-minDr. Nicola is the lead scientist on computational pharmacology at Afecta.  Prior to joining our company, Dr. Nicola was Project Scientist at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy at UCSD where his work was focused on computational drug discovery and design. He was also Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at the University of San Diego and a postdoctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute where he was awarded a Research Scholar Fellowship from the American Cancer Society. Dr. Nicola has authored numerous manuscripts and has been an invited speaker at several conferences and international symposiums. He holds a PhD in Biochemistry and received an MBA from the Rady School of Management at University of California San Diego.