Samuel J. Reich has served as executive chairman of our board of directors since our business combination with Big Cypress Acquisition Corp in October 2021 and prior to that was Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and a member on the board of directors of Big Cypress Acquisition Corp since its inception in November 2020. Mr. Reich co-founded Biscayne Neurotherapeutics, Inc. in 2011 and served as its Executive Chairman until its sale to Supernus Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SUPN) in October 2018. Biscayne Neurotherapeutics was focused on novel treatments for seizure disorders. Previously, Mr. Reich was the Executive Vice President of OPKO Ophthalmologics, a division of OPKO Health, Inc. (Nasdaq:OPK) from March 2007 to November 2008, where Mr. Reich served on the executive committee and lead the Ophthalmologics business division. Prior to his position at OPKO, Mr. Reich was the Founder and Executive Vice President of Acuity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he worked from July 2002 through March 2007, at which time Acuity Pharmaceuticals merged with OPKO Health. Mr. Reich was a doctoral candidate in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He left graduate school prior to the completion of his Ph.D. to establish Acuity. Prior to that, he was a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in the Biomedical Studies graduate program. He has authored six peer- reviewed scientific publications and is currently an inventor on sixteen issued U.S. patents and over 50 issued foreign patents. Mr. Reich holds a B.A. with High Honors in Biochemistry from Clark University, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.
Our board of directors believes that Mr. Reich is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of the perspective and experience he brings as Executive Chairman and extensive background in the life sciences industry.
Jeffrey G. Spragens has served as a member of our board of directors since November 2020. From 2005 through 2013, Mr. Spragens was a Co-Founder and the CEO of SafeStitch Medical, Inc., a medical device company that pioneered incisionless surgery techniques that helps to relieve GERD and obesity. In 2013, SafeStitch merged with TransEnterix, Inc. (NYSE: TRXC). In addition, Mr. Spragens was one of the three founding board members of North American Vaccine, which became a publicly traded company in 1990. At North American Vaccine, Mr. Spragens was responsible for securing initial financing and building a commercial manufacturing facility. Mr. Spragens was instrumental in North American Vaccine’s acquisition by Baxter International (NYSE: BAX) in 1999. Mr. Spragens has also been a successful real estate developer and entrepreneur. Mr. Spragens was President of FCH services from 1973 until 1986. FCH developed and managed units of coop and condo housing financed with HUD financing with offices in several major cities. In 1986, Mr. Spragens converted to condo ownership 1,000 apartment units in San Mateo, California, resulting in one of the largest residential projects in California at that time. Mr. Spragens was Managing Partner of Gateway Associates, Inc. from 1990 to 2000. In addition, Mr. Spragens is President and 50% owner of Mint Management Company, a residential property management company he co-founded in 1987, which develops, owns and operates apartment units in New Jersey, Michigan and Kansas. Mr. Spragens developed and continues to own and operate Inman Grove Shopping Center in Edison, New Jersey. Mr. Spragens is also a well-known and respected philanthropist. Mr. Spragens is a Founding Board Member and Treasurer of Foundation for Peace. Foundation for Peace provides healthcare, education, and clean water to those in need in Dominican Republic and Haiti. He is also a member of the Board of Directors and Finance Committee of Hernia Help, which provides free hernia surgery to underserved children and adults in developing countries. Mr. Spragens has a BA from the University of Cincinnati, a Law Degree from George Washington University, and an MA from American University.
Mr. Spragens is well qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive public company management and multi-sector investment experience, and his public company board experience.
- Played a key role in national development of Standardized Performance Analysis (SPA)
- Co-Founder and member of the Board of Managers of BioDak, LLC
- Board member of MHCH Family Foundation
- Past President of the Farm Financial Standards Council
Dr. Edward Hamilton is a large animal veterinarian and entrepreneur who has four decades of experience in food animal production, animal health, agricultural business analysis, and design and construction of animal facilities. He also consulted on animal production challenges for biotechnology companies and was a faculty member at two land grant universities: South Dakota State University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Hamilton also managed several businesses including animal health companies, an animal genetics company, a service and maintenance company, an animal reproduction company, and a farming and ranching operation.
Hamilton has fifteen years of experience in private practice of large animal veterinary medicine in Texas. He also has fifteen years of experience in university teaching and extension experience at South Dakota State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Texas A&M University.
Dr. Hamilton’s primary area of expertise is in the integration of health, production, and financial records for production agriculture. He also played a key role in the national development of Standardized Performance Analysis (SPA), which is a business analysis tool for production agriculture. Along with these, he has also authored and co-authored multiple articles and book chapters on production, financial analysis, and health management programs for beef cattle.
Edward Hamilton has degrees from Texas A&M University including a B.S. in Veterinary Science, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine cum laude, and a Masters of Agriculture Economics. He also serves in leadership and ownership roles for BioDak, LLC., Christiansen Land and Cattle, LTD., Iron Horse Development Company, LLC., and MHCH Family Foundation.
Hamilton is a retired Professor Emeritus of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at South Dakota State University. He was also a Clinical Instructor at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
He resides with his wife, Christine, on the family ranch near Oacoma. They have four daughters and eight grandchildren.