FSD Pharma was founded by Thomas Fairfull (retired), Zeeshan Saeed and Anthony Durkacz. The first initial of the last names of each of the founders represent the letters FSD.
Our leadership consists of a passionate management team with diverse industry knowledge, committed to science, therapeutic drug discovery and development.
With a highly-accomplished Board of Directors and BioSciences team, we have the adequate depth and breadth required to pursue our strategic vision.
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Anthony Durkacz
Founder, Interim CEO &
Executive Co-Chairman of
the Board
Mr. Durkacz is the "D" in FSD. Mr. Durkacz has served as a director and the Executive Vice-President of First Republic Capital Corporation since 2014. Prior to co-founding the Company, Mr. Durkacz was President of Capital Ideas Investor Relations.
He previously served as the Chief Financial Officer and a director of Snipp Interactive Inc., a global marketing solutions company that provides a modular software-as-a-service technology suite. Mr. Durkacz was instrumental in the financing and public listing of Snipp Interactive Inc. with operations in Canada, the United States of America, Mexico and India. From 2006 to 2009, he served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of MKU Canada Inc. and engaged in mergers and acquisitions of companies around the world. Mr. Durkacz also served as the Chief Financial Officer and a director of Astris Energi Inc., a dual-listed public company in the United States and Canada which was acquired by an international conglomerate. Mr. Durkacz began his career at TD Securities on the capital markets trading floor. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration from Brock University with a major in both Accounting and Finance.
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Zeeshan Saeed
Founder, President &
Executive Co-Chairman of
the Board
Mr. Saeed is the “S” in FSD. Mr. Saeed started as a partner in FSD when it was just a business plan on paper. He was instrumental in raising the initial seed capital and assisted FSD’s transition into a public company. He played a key role in bringing together a team of professionals to facilitate crucial relationships and develop the Company’s business plan.
Prior to founding the Company, Mr. Saeed served as President of ZZ Telecommunications Inc., a long-distance telecommunications common carrier. He has experience in international capital markets and has helped various start-ups with raising initial funding and obtaining listings on various stock exchanges. Before entering capital markets, Mr. Saeed was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Platinum Telecommunications Inc. He has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
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Donal Carroll
Director
Donal Carroll joined FSD Pharma as interim Chief Financial Officer in 2018 and was appointed to the position on a permanent basis in December 2019. An experienced business executive, Mr. Carroll has 20 years of corporate finance leadership and public company experience, as well as deep expertise in syndicate investing both in equity and debt securities.
With a balance of prudent financing practices and business insights, Mr. Carroll has successfully guided companies through expansion and growth. Mr. Carroll was previously with Danaher, Alberto Culver (now Unilever (NYSE:UL) and Cardinal Meats, where he was instrumental in major restructuring activities, mergers and acquisitions and the implementations of new internal controls and ERP systems resulting in significant efficiencies through periods of substantial change and strong company growth. Mr. Carroll has been a Director of Bird River Resources Inc., since September 15, 2017.

He holds a CPA-CMA designation as well as a Bachelor of Commerce degree from University College Dublin.

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Lawrence (Larry) Latowsky
Director
Mr. Latowsky is currently Chief Executive Officer of Canntab Therapeutics Ltd., an innovator in cannabinoid and terpene blends in hard pill form for therapeutic application. Mr. Latowsky has held a number of leadership positions throughout his career, including Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Top Drug Corp.
From 2014 to 2020 and previously President and CEO of Katz Group Canada, overseeing the largest network of pharmacy retailers in Canada operating as Rexall, Pharmaplus, IDA and Guardian Drugstores. Mr. Latowsky also led Propharm Technology and DC Labs, a vertical manufacturing and packaging division of pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter drug store product. Mr. Latowsky is a graduate of the University of Toronto Rotman Business School and Institute of Corporate Directors of Canada program and has served on many profit and non-profit boards, including as Chairman of the board for Well.ca, one of Canada’s leading E-commerce companies. Mr. Latowsky’s experience is a unique blend of traditional retail bricks and mortar, distribution, manufacturing and e-commerce/internet-based marketing and sales.
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Adnan Bashir
Director
Mr. Bashir is one of the first investors of FSD Pharma. He brings a wealth of over 14 years of experience in strategic management and operations. In the last decade, Mr. Bashir was General Manager for Al Batha group, a diversified business conglomerate based in Dubai, UAE. Mr. Bashir was responsible for overseeing the management and operations of 4 companies within the group and was instrumental in acquiring and developing new businesses and partners from Europe, the US and China
Mr. Bashir also has extensive experience in executing turnaround strategies, transforming weak businesses into sustainable and profitable ones, and implementing new technologies. Mr. Bashir holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology Lahore and has completed extensive executive education, including in strategic management, audit, sales management and technical management.
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Fernando Cugliari
Director
Mr. Cugliari has over 20 years of experience in finance and law, and is an attorney qualified to practice in Ontario and the Cayman Islands. Mr. Cugliari is currently an International Investment Advisor at CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, where he provides comprehensive investment advisory services to high and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and their families, as well as insurance, corporate, institutional and pension fund clients.
From November 2017 to April 2018, Mr. Cugliari worked as the Head of the Private Client and Private Equity Group at Etienne Blake Attorneys at Law, a law firm in the Cayman Islands, and from September 2016 to September 2017 he worked as General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer for FasPay Global, an international financial and payments technology company. He previously held senior positions in law firms in Ontario.
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Nitin Kaushal
Director
Since March 2020, Nitin Kaushal has served as President of Anik Capital Corp., his family's holding company. In February 2020, he retired from PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada ("PwC") where he was a Managing Director in the corporate finance practice, which focused on the pharmaceutical and healthcare spaces.
He had worked at PwC since 2012. Mr. Kaushal has over 30 years of experience in the healthcare and financial services industries, focusing on the biotechnology, medical devices and healthcare services markets. He was a Managing Director of leading healthcare investment banking teams at a number of Canadian investment banks including Desjardins Securities Inc., Orion Securities Inc., Vengate Capital, HSBC Securities Inc. and Gordon Capital. He has been involved in over 50 mergers and acquisitions, strategic advisory roles and licensing assignments for a range of companies from early-stage biotechnology companies to large pharmaceutical companies. He has participated in capital market transactions ranging from private placements to initial public offerings to bought deal underwritings in excess of $2B and has been a speaker at leading biotech conferences, including BIO and BioFinance. His entry into the biotech/healthcare space was in 1991 with MDS Capital Corp., a leading healthcare venture capital firm. Mr. Kaushal sits on a number of public and private company boards in the biotech and healthcare space, including Delta 9 Cannabis Inc., The Valens Company Inc., High Tide Inc. VieMed Healthcare Inc., Starton Therapeutics Inc., Flower One Holdings Inc., PsyBio Therapeutics Corp. and 3 Sixty Risk Solutions Ltd. Mr. Kaushal has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Toronto and is a Chartered Professional Accountant.
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MANAGEMENT TEAM
Dr. Lakshmi P. Kotra, PhD
CEO of Lucid
Dr. Lakshmi Kotra, Senior Scientist at Krembil Brain Institute, University Health Network (UHN), and Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Toronto, joined FSD Pharma as CEO of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Lucid, upon completion of its acquisition of Lucid Psycheceuticals in September 2021.
Dr. Kotra received his Ph.D. in Pharmacy/Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Georgia and completed postdoctoral training at Wayne State University. He has authored/co-authored over 130 publications and delivered over 140 scientific talks internationally. Dr. Kotra is the recipient of several awards, including the Julia Levy Award from the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) Canada in recognition of his substantial contribution to the successful commercialization of innovation in Canada in the field of biomedical science and engineering. An academic entrepreneur, Dr. Kotra has contributed to a number of important drug discovery and development projects, including anti-HIV drugs, antibacterials, insulin, antimalarials, medical cannabis-based therapeutics, and drugs targeting multiple sclerosis. In addition to Lucid Psycheceuticals, he co-founded WinSanTor Biosciences, a San Diego, CA-based company developing treatments for peripheral neuropathies, and CannScience Innovations (Scientus Pharma), a Toronto, ON-based company focussed on medical cannabis and cannabinoids.
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Nathan Coyle, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Nathan Coyle joined FSD Pharma Inc in 2020 as Corporate Controller and was appointed to the Interim Chief Financial Officer role in 2021. Mr. Coyle has 15 years of executive business experience as a finance leader in both public and private roles. With a keen eye for analytical analysis and innovative ideas he has always led his team to success.
Coyle was previously with Illinois Tool Works (NYSE:ITW) where he was a key player in restructuring the organization, shaping the growth and streamlining businesses within his industrial packaging segment. His involvement in multiple mergers and acquisitions and integrating those organizations was key to company growth. After ITW, he worked with a private organization implementing the same corporate strategies to maximize growth. Coyle holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with honours from Brock University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant.
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REGULATORY ADVISORY BOARD
Joga Gobburu, B.Pharm.(Hons), M.Sc., Ph.D.
Regulatory Advisory Board
Dr. Gobburu is Professor with the School of Pharmacy and the School of Medicine, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA. He held various positions at the US FDA between 1998 and 2011.
He has experience with overseeing the review of 1000s of Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs), over 250 New Drug and Biological Licensing Applications, numerous FDA Guidance and policies pertaining to drug approval and labeling. At the FDA, he was part of the committee responsible for 21st Review Process and provided input into PDUFA planning. He received numerous FDA awards such as the Outstanding Achievement Award and recognized with the Senior Biomedical Research Scientist appointment. He also received the Outstanding Leadership Award from the American Conference on Pharmacometrics (2008), the Tanabe’s Young Investigator Award from the American College of Clinical Pharmacology (2008) and Sheiner-Beal Pharmacometrics Award from the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (2019). He is also a Fellow of AAPS and ACCP. Dr. Gobburu is on the Editorial Boards of several journals. He has published over 100 papers and book chapters.
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Mary Melnyk, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Regulatory Advisory Board
Dr. Melnyk is a has over 25 years of pharma/biotech experience in all phases of manufacturing, global regulatory landscape, technology transfer, and business leadership.
Her expertise spans small molecule drugs, biologics and medical devices, especially during development phases and late stage for approvals, in the context of manufacturing and regulatory compliance.
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Kwok Chow, PhD
Regulatory Advisory Board
- President, Covar Pharma – a CDMO with global drug development expertise
- Regulatory strategies and product development
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EXPERT RESEARCH AND CLINICAL TEAM
Albert H.C. Wong, MD, PhD, FRCP(C)
Expert Advisory Committee Member
Dr. Albert Wong, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, and a Research Scientist in the Neuroscience Department and Staff Psychiatrist in the Schizophrenia Division at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, is a world-renowned expert on schizophrenia.
His research focusses on the investigation of genetic, cellular and developmental mechanisms underlying psychiatric symptoms.
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Peter K. Stys, MD, FRCP(C), FRSC
Expert Advisory Committee Member
Dr. Peter Stys, Professor of Clinical Neurosciences, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, is a neurologist/neuroscientist and a world leader in the detailed study of pathophysiological mechanisms of white matter injury in stroke and trauma.
Dr. Stys and his team have discovered several novel injury mechanisms responsible for axo-glial damage in ischemia/trauma and glutamate excitotoxicity, due to reversal of Na-dependent glutamate transport in damaged spinal axons. Dr. Stys’ insights provide a rational basis for devising drug therapy for the acute phases of stroke, spinal cord injury, brain trauma, and neuroinflammatory conditions (such as multiple sclerosis), in which axons, oligodendrocytes, and myelin are prominent targets of damage. Dr. Stys is the recipient of the Dr. Frank LeBlanc Chair in Spinal Cord Research, Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Axo-glial biology, and Alberta Heritage Foundation for Research (AHFMR) scientist award. He is an Adjunct Research Professor at the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering at Carleton University, an Adjunct Professor at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Neurology at Yale School of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Stys has published 88 peer reviewed articles, 17 book chapters, and two books.
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Shannon Dunn, PhD
Expert Advisory Committee Member
Dr. Shannon Dunn, a scientist at the University Health Network and Women’s College Hospital, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto, currently leads a research program focused on various risk factors for the development of T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis....
Dr. Dunn holds operating grants from the Canadian Institute of Health Research and MS Society of Canada to conduct her research and has been awarded a Don Paty Salary award from the MS Society of Canada. She was awarded her doctoral degree from the University of Western Ontario in 2002, after which she conducted post-doctoral training in the field of neuroimmunology at Stanford University.
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Hance Clarke, MD, FRCPC
Expert Advisory Committee Member
Dr. Hance Clarke is a staff anesthesiologist and the Director of Pain Services at the Pain Research Unit at the Toronto General Hospital (TGH). He is currently the knowledge Translation Chair for the University of Toronto Centre for the Study of Pain, and in 2016, was awarded an early Career Award from the Canadian Pain Society.
His research interests include identifying novel acute pain treatments following major surgery, identifying the factors involved in the transition of acute post-surgical pain to chronic pain, studying the genetics of acute and chronic pain after surgery, and identifying risk factors associated with continued opioid use and poor health related quality of life after major surgery as well as the efficacy of hyperbaric medicine. To-date, Dr. Clarke has authored over 100 peer reviewed manuscripts. Dr. Clarke has played a leading role in educating the Canadian public about pain control, risk factors for chronic opioid use, alternatives to opioids as a pioneering strategy at TGH, misconceptions about opioid use, and the need for further studies on understanding the beneficial and adverse effects of cannabis. He is a public champion of evidence-based solutions for the opioid crisis and a national pain and addictions strategist.
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Eleanor Fish, PhD
Research and Clinical Advisory Board
- Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Immunology, University of Toronto
- World-renowned immunologist and cytokines researcher
- WHO Consultant
- Member, Expert Scientific Panel to Chief Scientific Advisor, Government of Canada
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Daniele Piomelli, PhD, MD
Research and Clinical Advisory Board
- Professor, University of California at Irvine
- Leading expert in endocannabinoids and associated treatments
- Chief Editor, Cannabis and Cannabinoids Research
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