Five Named to New BioVentures Board of Directors

By Ben Boulden

The board is the governing body of BioVentures and responsible for overseeing its activities and leading it in achieving its goals. Board members will serve three-year terms and replace an interim board created after BioVentures became a private, nonprofit limited liability company in late 2016.

The five members of the board:

  • Louise Epstein, MBA, is the director of university partnerships for the Walton Personal Philanthropy Group. Before joining the foundation, she was the managing director of the Innovation Center in the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Remi Barbier, MBA, is the founding president and CEO of Cassava Sciences, serving since its establishment in 1998. Before 1998, he helped in the growth and founding of two publicly traded drug development companies and a chemistry company.
  • Kevin Heyeck is a venture partner in 6 Dimensions Capital, a leading U.S. and China–focused investment group specializing in health care and life sciences. Heyeck is a biopharmaceutical executive with 20 years of experience building multiple venture-backed life sciences companies.  He is also a director of Hibercell and Ultivue.
  • Bobby W. Sandage Jr., Ph.D. is a general partner in Cultivation Capital Life Sciences venture fund and has more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He has been president and CEO of Euclises Pharmaceuticals Inc. since January 2015.
  • Steve Abell is vice president of strategic innovations and investments for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield.  Also, he is executive vice president of USAble Corporation, Blue Cross’s wholly owned subsidiary focused on adding value and earnings through diversified private equity and venture capital investments.

Ex-officio members of the BioVentures Board of Directors are Shuk-Mei Ho, Ph.D., UAMS vice chancellor for research and innovation; Amanda George, M.H.S.A., CPA, vice chancellor for finance and administration and chief financial officer; and Nancy Gray, Ph.D., BioVentures president.

BioVentures is a technology commercialization organization and startup incubator focused on promoting a biomedical technology industry for Arkansas and translating research into products that benefit human health. BioVentures links the health care research minds to global markets to advance Arkansas’ scientific and economic development.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report named UAMS Medical Center the state’s Best Hospital; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide; and named six areas as high performing — cancer, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. UAMS has 2,727 students, 870 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.