Steve H. Kanzer, CPA, JD is Managing Director of VRVC, LLC. Mr. Kanzer is celebrating his 26th year in venture capital. His experience during such 26 years also includes broker/dealer ownership and operation, numerous public biotech company financings, biotech product development, technology licensing, business development, turn-arounds, public biotech company C-level management positions and board positions, as well as, M&A.
Mr. Kanzer began his computer programming career a the age of 13 prior to the founding of either Apple of Microsoft with Computer Microsystems in Manhassett, NY where he authored custom accounting and business management software packages for small; to medium size companies. Mr Kanzer later formed Manhattan Computer Products. a computer hardware importer/distributor while in high school, a company he continued to run while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Baruch College in New York.. In October 2009, he was a co-founder and lead investor in Michigan-based iOS app company Live G, LLC, which authored and published several travel-related apps shortly following the opening of Apple Computer's SDK.
Mr. Kanzer founded VRVC, LLC in 2017 as well as Virtual Reality Venture Capital LLC in 2015 to pursue investment opportunities in the VR/AR media space. In May 2017, VRVC, LLC acquired through WMKG-TV, LLC, WMKG-CD, a Class A television station located in Norton Shores, MI that has been broadcasting continuously since 1990 as West Michigan's Western-most TV station. Mr, Kanzer has been a part-year resident of Norton Shores for the last 14 years where he enjoys the many outdoor activities and natural beauty of Michigan's Western coastline.
Mr. Kanzer is also a founder of Accredited Venture Capital LLC in 2000. Mr. Kanzer founded portfolio company Synthetic Biologics Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN) in 2001, funding the company exclusively through its public offering in December 2006 and served in the roles as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President, Director of Biologics, member of the board and active in the clinical development of several promising disease-modifying therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease and Multiple Sclerosis, In 2007 and 2008, through his FINRA-registered broker/dealer, Accredited Equities Inc., Mr. Kanzer took the Synthteic Biologics public via merger with Sheffield Pharmaceuticals and provided an additional $14 million in equity financing. Mr. Kanzer initiated and led negotiations with the company’s corporate partnerships with the multi-billion dollar international pharmaceutical company, Meda AB in 2010 and the leading several hundred employee public synthetic biology company, Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON), in 2011 and 2012. In December 2013, Mr. Kanzer in-licensed Synthetic Biologics’ anti-methanogen program for constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome from Cedars-Sinai and served as CEO of this new subsidiary, Synthetic Biomics from inception through February 2014.
Mr. Kanzer was founder and CEO of Accredited Venture Capital's portfolio company, Developmental Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage cardiovascular biotech company acquired in by Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASD: TTNP).
Prior to founding Accredited VC, LLC and Accredited Venture Capital LLC and the FINRA registered broker/dealer, Accredited Equities,Inc. from December 2000 through September 2010, since entering the biotech industry in 1991, Mr. Kanzer co-founded a number of biotech companies originating from university-based research, including, Avigen, Inc. (NASD: AVGN), a public biotech company that pioneered the use of adeno-associated virus “AAV” vectors for gene-based medicines, now an industry standard. Mr. Kanzer was founding Chairman of the Board of Discovery Laboratories, Inc. (NASD: DSCO) where in 1995 he personally identified and in-licensed the investigational synthetic lung surfactant, SURFAXIN (KL4-surfactant/lucinactant) for infantile respiratory distress (IRDS) from the ATSRI and J&J (TSRI) and raised $22 million in initial financing for the company. SURFAXIN was approved for IRDS by the FDA in 2011.
In 1997, Mr. Kanzer was founding President of PolaRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that licensed and developed TRISENOX ® (arsenic trioxide), a leukemia drug that was approved by the FDA in 2000 and which currently holds the FDA record for fastest drug ever developed from IND filing until NDA approval (30 months). PolaRx was merged with Cell Therapeutics Inc. (NASD: CTIC) in January 2000, and Cephalon acquired the rights to TRISENOX ® in 2005 for $165 million.
In March 1998, Mr. Kanzer led the privatization of the Institute for Drug Research Kft. in Budapest, Hungary, a 400-employee, 26 acre pharmaceutical research and development center. Since 1950, IDR operated as the central pharmaceutical R&D center for the country of Hungary, served the active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) needs of Eastern Europe, and performed original drug discovery research, resulting in the registration of over 80 API products. Mr. Kanzer moved to Budapest Hungary and served as Chief Executive Officer of IDR from March 1998 until leading the sale of IDR in November 1999 to IVAX, a specialty pharmaceutical company that has since merged with Teva Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: TEVA).
Mr. Kanzer has been a co-founder and director of over 20 biotechnology companies, including Avigen, Titan Pharmaceuticals, Boston Life Sciences, XTLBio, Soligenix, PolaRx, IDR Inc., Discovery Laboratories, CD4 Biosceinces and Adeona Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Kanzer has also been a director and officer of Synthetic Biologics’s subsidiaries, including Solovax, Inc., Effective Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Putney Drug Corp. and CD4 Biosciences, Inc.
Prior to entering the biotech industry in 1991, Mr. Kanzer was an attorney at the 1,000 attorney law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York where he specialized in corporate mergers and acquisitions and corporate income taxation.
Mr. Kanzer received his J.D. from New York University School of Law and a B.B.A. in Accounting from Baruch College with a minor in Computer Science, where he was a Baruch Scholar, a full-tuition academic scholarship. Mr. Kanzer is also a Certified Public Accountant and has passed the following FINRA licensing exams: Series 62 (corporate securities), Series 24 (securities principal) and Series 27 (financial operations principal).
Mr. Kanzer is active in university and pharmaceutical licensing and has served as Co-Chair of the New York Chapter of the Licensing Executives Society. Mr. Kanzer is actively involved in entrepreneurship advocacy and philanthropy and endowed Baruch College's Steve H. Kanzer Scholarship for Entrepreneurship, a full-tuition scholarship for students majoring in Entrepreneurship having demonstrated experience starting or running a business.
Meghan M. Makary, JD, Senior Vice President, Intellectual Property. Meghan is a registered patent attorney.
Previously, Meghan was an in-house Patent Attorney for Wyeth in Madison, New Jersey. Her responsibilities there included patent portfolio management, drafting and negotiation of agreements, and evaluation of developing technology.
Prior to joining Wyeth, Meghan worked as an intellectual property attorney at the New York law firms of Kramer Levin Naftalis and Frankel LLP and Cooper & Dunham LLP, as well as, Edwards & Angell LLP in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Her practice at these firms included the representation of corporations, start-up ventures and university research centers in patent prosecution, licensing and litigation.
Meghan is admitted to the New York State Bar, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. She is also is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and separately admitted to practice and argue before the Supreme Court of The United States of America. Meghan received her J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law, and her B.S. in Biology from Vanderbilt University.