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Our Investment Strategy

Cato BioVentures invests only in opportunities where we can make a difference in development or regulatory strategy by leveraging our CRO Service Capital. We often co-invest with other institutional investors and generally we do not require a Board seat as a condition of our investment. Still, in a Board-like manner, our principals regularly provide essential market, regulatory and drug development insights, as well as financial, operational and strategic advice, to portfolio company management through regular and uncompensated communications. We are long-term investors who can assist our portfolio companies with product development - including clinical development, regulatory affairs, manufacturing, government and private foundation grant-writing - and corporate development - including corporate finance, strategic planning and corporate partnering.

We value the opportunity to work closely with management in multiple areas to build value in our portfolio partners' drug or technology development opportunities. Typically, we deploy the collective development and regulatory expertise of our principals and the entire 300+ person CRO staff of Cato Research to achieve maximum value for our partners. Drug development, including preclinical studies, clinical studies, manufacturing, and regulatory affairs, have been the core components of the business of Cato Research for over 30 years.

We seek to invest our CRO Service Capital in companies with a reasonable business model built on innovative drug candidates or technologies supported by a strong intellectual property position and a solid pathway to commercialization.


Allen Cato, M.D., Ph.D.


Allen Cato, PrincipalDr. Cato is a principal and cofounder of Cato BioVentures. He also is a cofounder of Cato Research and serves as its CEO and director. Dr. Cato serves as a member of the clinical advisory board of VistaGen Therapeutics and in senior management or director roles for several of our portfolio companies, past and present, including but not limited to, Advanced Pain Remedies, Cancer Advances, Hemodynamic Therapeutics and Nutritional Restart Pharmaceuticals. He has 40 years' experience in clinical research and new drug development and has directed or participated in the development of more than 100 INDs and NDAs.

Lynda Sutton, B.S.


Lynda Sutton, PrincipalMs. Sutton is a principal and cofounder of Cato BioVentures. She also is a cofounder of Cato Research and serves as President and its' chief regulatory officer. Ms. Sutton serves in senior management and director roles for several of our portfolio companies, past and present, including but not limited to, Advanced Pain Remedies, Cancer Advances, Hemodynamic Therapeutics and Nutritional Restart Pharmaceuticals. She has more than 30 years' experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with special expertise in regulatory strategies and regulatory compliance requirements. She has coordinated activities in various disciplines (e.g., toxicology, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, analytical and pharmaceutical development, and clinical research), has been involved in the development of new clinical entities, has overseen the preparation of FDA meeting submissions, and has ensured that regulatory requirements necessary for the approval and launch of new products have been satisfied.

Daniel Pharand, C.P.A., C.A.


Cato Bioventures - Daniel PharandMr. Pharand is a chartered accountant with more than 25 years' experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and life sciences industries, where he has a proven track record as a portfolio manager. He serves as a principal of Cato BioVentures and as chief financial officer of Cato Research. Mr. Pharand was the CFO of Pharmacia Canada and of Pharmacia KK (Japan). He subsequently became an entrepreneur with a successful Canadian distribution company of innovative pedicular screw systems in orthopedic therapies. Mr. Pharand later was involved, as a portfolio manager, in a biotech venture with Innovatech Grand Montreal. Mr. Pharand has also acted as a director, including holding seats on various board committees for more than 30 publicly traded or life sciences corporations.

Michael Cato, M.S., R.A.C.

Vice President

Cato Bioventures - Mike CatoMr. Cato serves as Vice President for Cato BioVentures. He also serves as Vice President of Quality Assurance at Cato Research. Mr. Cato helps guide the integration of the corporate strategies of Cato Research and Cato BioVentures and is active in the licensing of select portfolio technologies. He has nearly 25 years experience in research and management in the area of material sciences, eight of which were at Michelin, where he was part of the senior management focusing on quality assurance. Mr. Cato obtained his M.S. from North Carolina State University in the Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry, and Science and is regulatory affairs certified by the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.

Jo Cato, Ph.D.

Vice President

Cato Bioventures - Jo CatoDr. Jo Cato serves as Vice President for Cato BioVentures. He also serves as Chief Operating Officer at Cato Research and Managing Director of Cato Research San Diego, San Francisco, Canada, and South Africa. Dr. Cato has nearly 25 years experience in drug development, with expertise in drug metabolism and mathematical modeling, clinical pharmacokinetic study design, data analysis and reporting, preclinical pharmacokinetics, and toxicokinetics. He served as a pharmacokineticist for both Abbott Laboratories and Ligand Pharmaceuticals prior to joining the Cato team.

Investment Team

Kris Dyszynski, B.A.

Strategic Business Developer

Cato Bioventures - Kris DyszynskiMr. Dyszynski serves as a Strategic Business Developer for Cato BioVentures and Cato Research. He has over 30 years of experience in the development, sales and marketing of pharmaceuticals and devices. Prior to joining Cato BioVentures, Mr. Dyszynski was VP Business Development for The Centre for Integrated Preclinical Drug Development at the University of Queensland, where he secured major strategic collaborations with multi-national pharmaceutical companies through co-development grants from the Australian Research Council. For the nine years prior, he was VP Business Development at Alchemia Limited, where he was instrumental in securing marketing and manufacturing partners for a generic anticoagulant which was subsequently launched on the US market. During his career in the biotechnology industry, his roles have also included strategic planning, project management, alliance management and investor relations functions.

Eric M. Nelson, Ph.D.

Strategic Business Developer

Cato Bioventures - Eric M. NelsonEric Nelson, Ph.D. currently serves as Strategic Business Developer for Cato BioVentures. Broadly experienced, R&D strategic partnerships business development professional. Background at Wyeth/Pfizer, Becton Dickinson, and Elan/Athena Neurosciences. Have closed on over 50 biotechnology drug development partnerships worth over $1B. As an entrepreneur have helped build 4 biotechnology companies in US and Europe from start-up through successful IPO or acquisition exits. Helped the NIH start its very successful rare diseases drug discovery program (2010-2013). Therapeutic areas of expertise are oncology, inflammation/musculoskeletal/pain, respiratory, neurology, genetic and Orphan diseases.

Randal R. Lane, M.B.A., R.A.C.


Cato Bioventures - Randy LaneMr. Lane serves as an Analyst for Cato BioVentures, as well as managing the pharmaceutical development function at Cato Research and serves as associate managing director for Cato Research's San Diego office. Mr. Lane has more than 28 years' experience in the pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics areas. Before joining the Cato team, Mr. Lane served for 8 years as senior director of Manufacturing and Pharmaceutical Development for Maxim Pharmaceuticals, and before that he worked for Accumetrics, Pacific Pharmaceuticals, and for Lilly subsidiaries Pacific Biotech and Hybritech. Mr. Lane has certifications in Production and Inventory Control, Materials Management, and Regulatory Affairs.

William T. Lee, Ph.D., R.A.C.


Cato Bioventures - Will LeeDr. Lee serves as an Analyst for Cato BioVentures. He also currently serves as Director of Regulatory Affairs at Cato Research. Dr. Lee has 25 years' research and industrial experience in gene therapy, cellular immunology, and therapeutic vaccines, including 11 years in regulatory affairs. He has experience in the writing of patents and in the design and execution of preclinical studies, and he currently participates in the preparation and submission of various INDs, NDAs, and FDA meeting packages. Dr. Lee has experience in pharmacogenetics and the therapeutic areas of infectious diseases and oncology. Dr. Lee is regulatory affairs certified by the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.

Medical Analysts

Neil J. Clendeninn, M.D., Ph.D.

Medical Analyst

Dr. Clendeninn has more than 30 years' experience in research and many therapeutic areas of medicine, specializing in oncology and HIV. He has a wealth of clinical knowledge and drug development experience gained in years at such organizations as Agouron Pharmaceuticals, where he was CMO, Burroughs Wellcome Co., the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health and Cato BioVentures. In addition to his doctor of medicine degree, he has a Ph.D. in microbiology and pharmacology. Dr. Clendeninn recently served on the Board of Scientific Advisors for the National Cancer Institute, is currently a member of the Data and Safety Monitoring Board of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B, a clinical cooperative group of National Cancer Institute and serves on several biotech companies' Board of Directors. He is a member of the American Association of Cancer Research and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Myron (Skip) Peterson, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.P.

Medical Analyst

Cato Bioventures - Myron Peterson Dr. Peterson serves as a Medical Analyst with Cato BioVentures. He is also currently a Senior Clinical Research Physician and is Vice President of Medical Affairs at Cato Research, and the managing director of Cato Research's Boston office. He received his medical degree at the University of Colorado and completed residency, as well as fellowship training in pulmonary medicine, anesthesia, and cardiovascular medicine, all at Harvard. Dr. Peterson has 35 years' experience in basic and clinical sciences and has served on the faculties at Harvard Medical School, Duke University, and Tufts University School of Medicine. He was Division Chief of the Pediatric Critical Care Services at Tufts University School of Medicine for 12 years. Dr. Peterson has extensive research experience in both basic and clinical sciences and has conducted preclinical and clinical trials in acute lung injury, cardiac and liver transplantation, septic shock, trauma, and reperfusion injury. Dr. Peterson is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in pediatrics and pediatric critical care medicine.

Heschi Rotmensch, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.P.

Medical Analyst

Cato Bioventures - Heschi RotmenschDr. Rotmensch serves as Medical Analyst for Cato BioVentures. He also manages the operations of Cato Research Israel and is in charge of overseeing all clinical trial activities in the EU. Dr. Rotmensch is board certified in internal medicine and clinical pharmacology and has served as chief of medicine at Edith Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel. Dr. Rotmensch is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a graduate of the E.M.B.A. Program at the Kellogg Recanati Faculty of Management. He has more than 18 years' experience in all aspects of pharmaceutical development, including 10 years of research experience in Israeli institutions. Before joining the Cato team, Dr. Rotmensch served as vice president of Clinical Research Germany for Parexel International.

Jackson Snyder, M.D., Ph.D., R.A.C.

Medical Analyst

Dr. Snyder serves as a Medical Analyst for Cato BioVentures. Dr. Snyder also serves as a Clinical Research Physician and managing director for Cato Research's Washington office. Dr. Snyder is a pharmacologist-toxicologist-pathologist with more than 25 years' experience in academia, government, and industry. Dr. Snyder has experience in diverse areas of business, including project management, policy development, strategic planning, regulatory and safety compliance, intellectual property, and quality control and improvement. He has conducted basic and clinical research, practiced clinical and laboratory medicine, inspected a variety of research and clinical laboratories, and edited or authored more than 120 publications.