Efrem Kamen is Managing Member at Pura Vida Investments, a life sciences investment firm he co-founded in 2012. The firm has significant investments across the healthcare universe, including Medical Technology, Life Science Tools and Biotechnology.
Efrem is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia Business School, where he created and teaches a course on investing in medical technology and is an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Columbia Engineering School. Efrem is a board member of the Global Vitiligo Foundation as well as actively involved as an official partner, through Pura Vida, with the Bowery Mission, The Skatepark Project, and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Efrem is also a Director of the National Cannabis Roundtable, an industry trade association focused on federal cannabis reform.
Efrem has given numerous board and leadership presentations to both directors and management teams including those of Baxter International, Trulieve and Establishment Labs. Efrem was a guest speaker at Institutional Investor’s Absolute Return Conference in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016. He also periodically speaks at NYU Stern School of Business and McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management.
Prior to founding Pura Vida, Efrem was a Portfolio Manager at Waterfront Capital Partners and an Analyst at Diamondback Capital Management, LLC. Prior to joining Diamondback, he was an Analyst at Chicago-based Citadel Investment Group, responsible for medical device investments. Earlier in his career, Efrem held positions of increasing responsibility as an Equity Research Analyst covering medical device companies at Cowen Group, Inc. and then Citigroup, where he also conducted due diligence for public offerings and other transactions. Efrem began his career in Investment Banking at JP Morgan. Efrem received a B.A. with Honors from Columbia College in New York, majoring in Economics and Linguistics.
Frank Litvack, MD
Member & Director of Designated Investments
Frank is a co-founder of Pura Vida Investments and serves as Member, Director of Designated Investments. Frank has an extensive background in healthcare ranging from clinical practice and research to founding and operating companies. He currently serves as CEO of Vida FLaSH Acquisitions, Inc., a life sciences SPAC as well as co-managing member of FLaSH Investments LLC, the SPAC sponsor. He is Executive Chairman of Capricor, Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology firm developing novel therapeutics for treatment of heart failure, and a General Partner of Reprise Technologies, LLC, a medical device incubator. In addition he serves as a Director or Chairman of several privately held companies including V-Wave Ltd, a clinical stage medical device company focused on the treatment of heart failure, Credence Medsystems, a medical device company, and Levation Pharma Ltd, a facial aesthetics company. Until 2020, he served both on the Board of MedAvail Technologies, Inc, a healthcare technology company which became publicly traded on the NASDAQ, and as Director of Trialtech Medical, a software and services company which was sold to Scarrett Sciences. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Recor Medical Inc, a medical device company in the field of renal denervation that was sold to Otsuka Pharmaceuticals in 2018. Frank served as Chairman & CEO of Conor Medsystems, a drug-eluting stent company that was sold to Johnson & Johnson for $1.4 billion in 2007. He was Chairman of Savacor, a maker of implantable remote pressure monitoring devices that was sold to St. Jude in 2005. Frank was Co-Founder and Chairman of Progressive Angioplasty, the developer of the stent delivery system for the Palmaz-Schatz stent marketed by Johnson & Johnson. The company was sold to US Surgical, which eventually was acquired by Covidien. Frank was a Director of One Lambda Inc., a leader in transplant diagnostics that was sold to Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., in 2012 for $925 million. He was Co-Founder and Director of Advanced Interventional Systems Inc until its merger with The Spectranetics Corporation in 1993.
From 1986 until 2000, Frank was Co-Director of Cardiovascular Intervention at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. He attained the rank of Full Professor of Medicine at UCLA and Board Certification in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Interventional Cardiology. He has authored over 100 research articles and chapters on various areas of cardiology. Frank received his undergraduate and medical degrees from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He resides and operates out of Los Angeles, CA.
Head of Therapeutics
Beau is Head of Therapeutics at Pura Vida, where he leads idea generation for the therapeutics subsectors and works with Efrem Kamen on risk management decisions for the therapeutics subsectors. Prior to re-joining the firm in 2017, Beau was the Senior Analyst for the drug portfolio at Passaic, a healthcare dedicated pod at Millennium. On the drug team, he worked with two junior analysts and reported to the Portfolio Manager. He was responsible for idea generation and advising on trading strategies for all therapeutics names in the universe with the assistance of the junior analysts.
Prior to his time at Millennium, Beau was a Therapeutics Analyst at Pura Vida from January 2013 to May 2016. For the majority of this time, he was the only Therapeutics Analyst, and worked closely with the Portfolio Manager to generate ideas, establish the risk/reward and downside risk for names in the book. Prior to joining Pura Vida, Beau was an Equity Research Associate covering specialty pharmaceuticals at Cowen & Company. He received a B.A. from the University of Toronto with High Distinction.
Capital Markets Analyst
Alessandro is a Capital Markets Analyst at Pura Vida. His areas of focus include trading and syndicate deals. Prior to joining in 2021, he served as a Business Analyst at McKinsey, where he served clients on a diverse set of projects, including corporate & investment bank digital strategy, venture capital fundraising, and post-merger integrations. Alessandro received a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Turin Polytechnic, where he graduated cum laude, a M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering, with a minor in Finance, from Milan Polytechnic, and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.
Adi is a Principal at Pura Vida, specializing in private and crossover investments across the healthcare universe, with a focus on tools and diagnostics. Prior to joining in 2021, he spent 6 years as a Senior Engagement Manager at McKinsey, where he served life sciences, pharma/biotech and medical device clients and worked extensively with management teams across M&A, Strategy and Commercial topics. Prior to McKinsey, Adi received a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his Ph.D, he focused on developing single molecule genomics tools to study genome evolution during disease progression in cancers, and is a published first author in PNAS. Adi grew up in India and received a Bachelor of Engineering in Biotechnology with Distinction from University of Delhi.
Tae-Il is a Senior Analyst at Pura Vida, focused on medical devices and technologies. Prior to joining in 2018, he was a Senior Associate at Baring Private Equity Asia, one of the largest private alternative investment firms in Asia. He started his career as an Analyst at Citigroup’s Asia TMT team in its global investment banking division. Tae-Il received a B.A. in Economics and International Relations, with minor in Mathematics, from University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.
Doris Ting Heffernan
Doris is Managing Director specializing in private investments at Pura Vida. Prior to joining in 2019, she served as Senior Vice President of Sales Operations and Revenue Strategy at iHeartMedia, Inc. (formerly Clear Channel Communications, Inc.) the nation’s largest owner and operator of radio stations. At iHeartMedia, she led a team responsible for supporting and enabling the ~1,800 person iHeartMedia salesforce to sell better, faster and more efficiently. She previously served as the business unit CFO of the National Sales Division as well as the head of the Strategic Initiatives Office at iHeartMedia. Prior to joining iHeartMedia, she worked as an investment professional at Ripplewood Holdings, a $4 billion private equity firm headquartered in New York, and as Vice President of Strategy and M&A at D+M Group (a consumer electronics portfolio company of Ripplewood). She began her career as an Investment Banking professional within Morgan Stanley’s Mergers and Acquisition team in New York. Doris received a B.A. in Economics from Columbia College, Columbia University and graduated cum laude.
Jon Helander, PhD
Jon is a Therapeutics Analyst at Pura Vida. Prior to joining Pura Vida in 2020, he worked as a biotech associate at JMP Securities and Deutsche Bank. He has worked on numerous academic programs in developing small molecule therapeutics for multiple diseases and in collaboration with private biotechnology companies as well as in applications for agriculture. Jon received a B.S. in Chemistry from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from University of California, Riverside, with an emphasis on chemical biology.
Brian is a Senior Analyst at Pura Vida. He previously served as a Senior Consultant and Project Manager at Siemens, specializing in management consulting and financial advisory. Brian received a B.S. in Finance and Mathematics from University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A from Columbia Business School, where he was active in the Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing and currently participates as a judge for the ongoing Investments Ideas Club’s Stock Pitch Competition. Brian has passed the CFA Level II.
Head of Equities
Matt is the Head of Equities at Pura Vida. Previously, he worked at Moore Capital Management, where he built out Moore Equity Strategies Americas (MESA), a diversified long/short equity team. This included formation of a 20-person, multi-manager investment team that managed just under $3 billion gross including a best ideas portfolio he co-managed. Prior to Moore, he spent 10 years at Citigroup in various positions. He was a co-founder of Citi Principal Strategies, a multi-manager fundamental long-short equity investment team where he was head trader and co-portfolio manager on the best ideas portfolio. He served as Head of US Cash Trading at Citigroup, where he managed a 50-person trading desk. Previously, he held trading positions within Citigroup’s Cash Equity department, including Sector Head for Diversified & Healthcare sectors. Before Citi, he had worked in US Shares Trading for Goldman Sachs and Global Equity Trading for Scudder Kemper Investments. Matt received a B.A. in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany and an M.B.A. from NYU Stern School of Business.
Head of Pura Vida Pro
Gerrel is Head of Pura Vida Pro. He previously served as an Analyst at Davidson Kempner Capital Management, a $36 billion multi-strategy hedge fund based in New York. At Davidson Kempner, he was one of five investment professionals on their US Long / Short public equity team, specializing in both large-cap Healthcare and Consumer Packaged Goods investments. Prior to that, he served as an Associate at The Carlyle Group, a $200 billion multi-national private equity firm headquartered in Washington D.C. There, he specialized in identifying and analyzing investment opportunities across a variety of subsectors within the healthcare industry; key areas of focus included Medical Devices, In Vitro Diagnostics and Healthcare Services. Gerrel began his career in investment banking at Morgan Stanley on their Mergers and Acquisitions team in New York. He received his B.S. from the Carroll School of Management Honors Program at Boston College, where he graduated cum laude, and M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.