Dr. Foster first began working on cyclophilin in 1988, and brings more than 30 years of pharmaceutical and biotech experience to Hepion. Prior to Hepion, he was CEO and Founder of Ciclofilin Pharmaceuticals Inc., which merged with Hepion in 2016. He founded Isotechnika Pharma Inc. (TSX:ISA) in 1993, and was its Chairman and CEO for approximately 21 years. Dr. Foster was founding CEO, and later CSO, of Aurinia (NASDAQ:AUPH) after it was acquired by Isotechnika. During his tenure at Isotechnika, Dr. Foster, together with a core team, discovered the immunosuppressive drug voclosporin.
In 2002, while CEO of Isotechnika, Dr. Foster structured a $215 million USD licensing deal, Canada’s largest at the time, for voclosporin with Hoffman-La Roche (Basel, Switzerland). In addition to pharmaceutical discovery and development, Dr. Foster also developed and obtained regulatory approvals for a commercially available diagnostic test (carbon-13 urea breath test), called Helikit, for the diagnosis of H. pylori. Helikit, which Dr. Foster subsequently sold, realized multimillion-dollar commercial sales that continue in Canada and other countries.
Dr. Foster is currently Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta, and is currently a Board member of Transcriptome Sciences Inc. He previously served as a Board member for Alberta Economic Development Authority, Business Competitiveness and Diversification Committee; Board member of Alberta Economic Development, Fiscal Planning and Policy Committee; Council Member, Alberta Premier’s Advisory Council on Health; Advisory Board Member, Industry Liaison Office, University of Alberta; Co-Chair and Board member of BioAlberta; and Board of Management, Alberta Science and Research Authority.
After graduating with a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Foster served as a tenured, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta from 1988 to 1997, and then as an Adjunct Full Professor from 1998 to 2001. From 1990 to 1994, Dr. Foster was Medical Staff, Scientific and Research Associate in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the Walter C. MacKenzie Health Sciences Centre.
Dr. Foster has published nearly 200 papers, abstracts and book chapters focused on drug analysis, development, and pharmacokinetics, and received numerous awards for both pharmaceutical research and teaching. Dr. Foster was named one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People in 2002, and on behalf of Isotechnika, received recognition as both Alberta Venture’s 3rd Fastest Growing Company, and Profit Magazine’s top 100 Fastest Growing Canadian Company in 2003. Dr. Foster previously served as Division Chairman of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Alberta and has acted as a consultant to many pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Foster is named as an inventor on more than 200 patents.