James Kovach was introduced to Mercaptor in late 2016 and has since been a key advisor from a medical, R&D and business perspective. Dr. Kovach serves as Vice President of Business Development for CrowdOptic, a venture-backed company using real-time sensor data from electronic devices and its own patented CrowdOptic algorithms to identify and track where devices are aimed (focus) and to identify groups of people with the same focus (clusters). Dr. Kovach also directs a program in entrepreneurship and innovation at UC Davis Health.
Dr. Kovach is also founder of Beneufit, a start-up company providing a personalized exercise system for people fighting chronic disease, tapping into the body’s natural ability to self-heal through exercise. He received his medical degree with distinction from the University of Kentucky while simultaneously playing in the National Football League. After playing for seven seasons in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers, he attended law school at Stanford University and practiced corporate law in Palo Alto California.
Dr. Kovach has served as Chief Operating Officer of Athersys, Inc., a leading public biotechnology company developing stem cell therapeutics. Two stem cell products initiated under his tenure now are in Phase II clinical development for inflammatory bowel disease and ischemic stroke. He has also served as President of the Buck Institute for Age Research. Named by the National Institutes of Health as a national center of excellence, the Buck Institute is an independent research institute dedicated exclusively to research on aging and age-associated disease. Dr. Kovach also previously served as a member of the NFL Concussion Committee.