President and Chief Executive Officer
Marija Zecevic, Ph.D.
Chief Commercial Officer
Sheila Wilson, M.B.A.
Chief Operating Officer
Geoffrey S. Gilmartin, M.D., M.M.Sc.
Chief Medical Officer
Ben Munoz, M.Sc., Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Board of Directors
Mr. Berger is a consultant to biotechnology industry participants, including major biopharmaceutical firms, mid-capitalization biotechnology companies, specialist asset managers and venture capital companies, providing business development, strategic advisory, financing, partnering and royalty acquisition advice. Mr. Berger is also a biotechnology industry analyst with over 25 years of experience in capital markets and financial analysis. Mr. Berger worked at Sectoral Asset Management as a co-founder of the small-cap focused NEMO Fund from January 2007 through May 2008. From May 1998 to March 2003, he served at J.P. Morgan Securities, most recently as Managing Director, Equity Research and Senior Biotechnology Analyst. Previously, Mr. Berger served in similar capacities at Salomon Smith Barney and Josephthal & Co. Mr. Berger also serves on the boards of directors of Atreca, Inc. (NASDAQ: BCEL), BELLUS Health, Inc. (Nasdaq:BLU, TSX:BLU), ESSA Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: EPIX), Five Prime Therapeutics, (NASDAQ: FPRX), Kezar Life Sciences, Nasdaq: KZR), and Tocagen (Nasdaq:TOCA), each of which is a public biotechnology company. Mr. Berger formerly served on the boards of, Seattle Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGEN), Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: AUPH), Immune Design Corp. (Nasdaq: IMDZ) (acquired by Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK), Emisphere Technologies, Inc., BioTime, Inc., and, VaxGen, Inc., each of which were public biopharmaceutical companies during Mr. Berger’s service as a director. Mr. Berger received a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in International Economics both from Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Mr. Arkowitz is the Chief Financial Officer of Flexion Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: FLXN). He has over 25 years of financial and operational leadership experience in the life sciences and biotechnology industries. Prior to joining Flexion, Mr. Arkowitz served as Chief Operating Officer and CFO at Visterra, a biotechnology company which was acquired by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., where he led the finance, business development, corporate planning and other functions. Previously, Mr. Arkowitz was CFO and General Manager at Mascoma Corporation, a bioconversion company which was acquired by Lallemand, Inc. Mr. Arkowitz was Executive Vice President, CFO and Chief Business Officer of AMAG Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AMAG), a specialty pharmaceutical company. Prior to his tenure at AMAG, he served as CFO and Treasurer of Idenix Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK). Prior to his tenure at Idenix, Mr. Arkowitz spent more than 13 years at Merck & Co., Inc. where he held roles of increasing responsibility, including Vice President and Controller of the U.S. Human Health division and Controller of the Global Research and Development division, and CFO of the Canadian subsidiary. Mr. Arkowitz serves on the board of directors and as chair of the audit committee of Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SBPH), a public biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Arkowitz has a BA in Mathematics from Brandeis University and an MBA in Finance from Columbia University Business School.
Ms. Chhabra serves as our President and Chief Executive Officer. From August 2007 to May 2014, Ms. Chhabra was President and Chief Executive Officer at Allozyne, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. From December 2006 to August 2007, she served as Vice President of Business Development and Licensing at the Novartis Pharmaceuticals division of Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS). From July 2003 to November 2006, she served as Chief Business Officer at BioXell SpA, a spin-off from F. Hoffmann-LaRoche Ltd.’s Milan Research Institute (Italy), where she led corporate development and financing activities. Ms. Chhabra has also held management positions with Fresenius Kabi AG, Warner-Lambert Company, LLC, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY). She obtained her M.B.A. from York University and her B.Sc. from the University of Toronto. Ms. Chhabra is a member of the Emerging Companies Section and Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Board, and the Vasomune Therapeutics Board.
Dr. Chowdhury is the Chief Medical Officer of Savara Inc. (Nasdaq: SVRA). Prior to joining Savara, he served as Senior Vice President, Chief Physician-Scientist, Respiratory Inflammation and Autoimmunity, Late Stage, Research and Development Biopharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN). Prior to that he was Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Astra Zeneca Medimmune; Head of Respiratory Inflammation and Autoimmunity (RIA) Innovative Medicine Early Development at Medimmune. Dr. Chowdhury practiced medicine for more than a decade and has more than two decades of regulatory leadership experience. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Dr. Chowdhury served at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) where he held numerous leadership roles, including Director of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Rheumatology Products at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). Dr. Chowdhury has a M.B., B.S. in Medicine from University of Dhaka, Dhaka Medical College, Bangladesh, and a Ph.D. in Immunology from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. He completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, and fellowship in Allergy and Immunology at the National Institutes of Health’s, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland, and is double board certified in Internal Medicine and Allergy and Immunology.
Ms. Drapkin is the Chief Financial Officer at Jounce Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:JNCE). She has over two decades of financial leadership experience working with private and publicly traded biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, establishing financial infrastructure, raising capital and leading strategic financial planning. Prior to her role at Jounce, Ms. Drapkin owned a financial consulting firm, where she served as Interim CFO for numerous early stage biotechnology companies, including Avila Therapeutics (acquired by Celgene Corp. (Nasdaq: CELG)), Blueprint Medicines (Nasdaq: BPMC), Eleven Biotherapeutics (now Sesen Bio (Nasdaq: SESN)), NinePoint Medical, and Voyager Therapeutics (Nasdaq: VYGR). Prior, Ms. Drapkin served as CFO of EPIX Pharmaceuticals for four years. For the preceding ten years, she served at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now a wholly owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. (NYSE: TAK)) as Director of Finance, with leadership responsibility for financial reporting, technical accounting, internal audit and Sarbanes Oxley initial implementation and compliance. Ms. Drapkin began her career in the technology and life sciences practice at PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP (NYSE: PWC). She earned her B.S. from Babson College and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Dr. Dulac is the Chief Executive Officer at Zealand Pharma A/S. Prior to joining Zealand, Dr. Dulac was Chief Commercial Officer at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ALNY), where he established the company’s global commercial organization and capabilities to successfully launch their first commercial drug. He has over twenty years of international biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry expertise, launching and marketing multiple drugs, including cystic fibrosis products. Prior to Alnylam, Dr. Dulac led the Rare Disease Business Unit at Shire (now Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. (NYSE: TAK)) and held several leadership roles of increasing responsibility at Novartis (NYSE: NVS), Abbott (NYSE: ABT) and Sanofi (Nasdaq: SNY). Notably, he led the clinical trials, global regulatory approvals and global launch of TOBI® podhaler for cystic fibrosis patients. During his career, Dr. Dulac has built successful sales, patient services, marketing and market access organizations. He has launched five brands and led two blockbuster drugs globally. He graduated from the University of Paris XI with a Doctorate in Pharmacology (PharmD, Ph.D.) and completed an MBA from the ESSEC School in Paris.
Jeffery W. Kelly, Ph.D.Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Chemistry, Chairman, Molecular and Experimental Medicine, Scientist and Director, The Scripps Research Institute
Dr. Kelly, a co-founder of our company, has served on our Board of Directors since December 2006, when our company was founded. Since January 2019, he has served on the board of directors and as a scientist at The Scripps Research Institute. Since September 2008, he has served as the Chairman of Molecular and Experimental Medicine and the Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Chemistry within the Skaggs Institute of Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. From August 2000 to December 2008, he served as Dean of Graduate Studies at The Scripps Research Institute, and from July 2000 to December 2006, he also served as Vice President of Academic Affairs. Dr. Kelly also co-founded FoldRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Misfolding Diagnostics Inc. He received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Clinical Advisory Board
Dr. Richard B Moss is currently Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics (Pulmonary Medicine) at Stanford University’s Center for Excellence in Pulmonary Biology. Previously he was the Chief of Pediatric Pulmonology and Chief of Allergy-Immunology in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University, the director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center, the principal investigator of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s (CFF) Translational Therapeutic Development Center, director of postgraduate fellowship training programs in Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy-Immunology, member of the Institutional Review Board, and member of the Child Health Research Institute and Institute of Infection and Immunology. He has served as reviewer or consultant for the National Institutue of Health, CFF, numerous international grant agencies and biopharmaceutical companies. He was the inaugural Chair of the CFF Therapeutic Development Network Protocol Review Committee. Dr. Moss focuses on the research of development and clinical appraisal of cystic fibrosis therapies including CFTR modulators and nucleic acid-based agents, development and assessment of novel outcome measures, chronic inflammatory lung diseases of childhood such as asthma and bronchopulmonary dysplasia and allergic fungal lung disease. Dr. Moss earned his bachelors degree from Columbia University and his medical degree from State University of New York Downstate Medical Center. Dr. Moss completed his pediatric residency at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and his fellowships in allergy-immunology and pulmonary medicine at Stanford University.
Prof. Jane C. Davies is currently Professor of Paediatric Respirology and Experimental Medicine within the National Heart & Lung Institute at Imperial College London and is an Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, UK. Prof. Davies focuses on the research of airway microbiology, CF clinical trials (she is the site’s co-principal investigator for the European CF Society Clinical Trials Network) and outcome measures of clinical trials (she directs the ECFS Lung Clearance Index Core Facility). Prof. Davies earned her medical degree from Dundee University Medical School.
Dr. Michael R. Knowles is currently co-head of a multicenter study on genetic modifiers of disease severity in cystic fibrosis lung and liver disease, which includes a Consortium that is performing whole genome sequencing in approximately 5,200 cystic fibrosis subjects. Dr. Knowles was the Principal Investigator at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served on the Steering Committee, during the inception of the Cystic Fibrosis Therapeutic Development Network (TDN). Dr. Knowles focuses on the research of translational research of genetic disorders of the pulmonary conducting airways, including development of pharmaco and molecular-based therapy directed towards genetic diseases of the airways. Dr. Knowles earned his medical degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). He completed his residency training at Duke University and completed his fellowship within pulmonary/critical care medicine at UNC-CH. He is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine.
Dr. Naimish Patel is currently the Global Head of Clinical Development in Immunology and Inflammation at Sanofi. He leads the development group in the Immunology and Inflammation Therapeutic Area with a portfolio of compounds for the treatment of respiratory, dermatologic, and rheumatologic diseases. He has taken roles of increasing responsibility within Sanofi, previously leading the Early Development team in Immunology and the Global Program team for Dupilumab. Prior to Sanofi, Dr. Patel was the Senior Director and Project Leader in Respiratory, Inflammation, and Autoimmunity at AstraZeneca. Prior to that, he was the Associate Medical Director at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where he led clinical studies for cystic fibrosis compounds including VX-809 and VX-661. Dr. Patel has a background in translational and clinical research with a focus on respiratory disease. Dr. Patel trained at the Harvard University’s combinedpProgram within Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and is board certified for both Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. He earned his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received his M.D., C.M. from McGill University Faculty of Medicine.
Dr. Felix A. Ratjen co-leads the Cystic Fibrosis Centre at The Hospital for Sick Children and is the Program Head of Translational Medicine in the Research Institute. Dr. Ratjen’s focuses on researching clinical trials in cystic fibrosis, and new outcome measures to capture treatment effect of interventions. Dr. Ratjen earned his highest degree (PhD) at the University of Essen, Germany.
Dr. Isabelle Sermet-Gaudelus is currently the head of the pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Center at Necker Enfants Malades Hospital, Paris, and the head of a research group at INSERM U1151 dedicated for epithelial respiratory misfolding diseases. Dr. Sermet’s foucses her research on (i) translational research with particular focus on phenotype-genotype studies, using different epithelial electrophysiological measurements and biochemical tests both in vivo and in tissues derived from patients and search for prognostic biomarkers and (ii) Basic research investigating for proteins interacting with CFTR and modulating its function and identification of these partner proteins as novel targets for therapies. Dr. Sermet received her degree in 2002 as medical doctor and 2006 as PhD.
Dr. Pamela L. Zeitlin is Professor and Chair of Pediatrics at National Jewish Health (NJH), and Professor and Affiliate Vice Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado, Children’s Hospital of Colorado. Prevously, Dr. Zeitlin was an intern and resident on the Harriet Lane Service of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, followed by a fellow in Pediatric Pulmonology. She then joined the faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Zeitlin focuses her research on cystic fibrosis disease pathogenesis and therapeutics. Currently, at NJH, Dr. Zeitlin continues her research in cystic fibrosis with a focus on chloride channels, protein chaperones, F508del pathophysiology and protein rescue in cystic fibrosis. Dr. Zeitlin is also a basic science investigator working in the area of chloride channels, proteomics, and protein trafficking. Dr. Zeitlin has conducted clinical trials of investigational molecules in pediatric asthma and cystic fibrosis. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Stanford University, after which she entered the MSTP program at the Yale School of Medicine and earned an M.D., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in Cell Biology.
Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Hartl is Head of the Department of Cellular Biochemistry at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB), Munich, Germany, where he continues to study the basic mechanisms of protein folding in vivo as well as the role of the protein quality machinery in diseases of aberrant folding. In 1985, Dr. Hartl moved to the laboratory of Walter Neupert in Munich where he worked on the mechanism of protein transport into mitochondria, first as a post-doctoral fellow and then as a research group leader. In 1988, Dr. Hartl initiated work that resulted in the demonstration of the basic role of molecular chaperones in protein folding. In 1990, Dr. Hartl joined the faculty of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York where he investigated the mechanisms of protein folding in the bacterial and eukaryotic cytosol. Dr. Hartl reconstituted the pathway of chaperone-assisted folding in which the Hsp70 and the GroEL chaperone systems cooperate and discovered that GroEL and its co-factor GroES provide a nano-compartment for single protein molecules to fold unimpaired by aggregation. In 1993, Dr. Hartl was promoted to full professor with tenure, and in 1994 became an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Hartl has received multiple awards for his work on chaperone-assisted protein folding, including the Gairdner Award, Wiley Prize, Rosenstiel Award, Horwitz Prize, Lasker Award, Heineken Prize, Shaw Prize, Albany Prize, Paul Ehrlich and- Ludwig Darmstaedter-Prize, Paul Janssen Award, and the Breakthrough Prize in Lifesciences. Dr. F. Ulrich Hartl received his doctoral degree in Biochemistry from the University of Heidelberg.
Dr. Daniel Finley is a Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on understanding how the proteasome recognizes its substrates, how it coordinates deubiquitination with protein degradation, how it assembles and how it unfolds and translocates the substrate in preparation for degradation. His research, in collaboration with Dr. Randall King, has led to the discovery of a novel target, Usp14, which inhibits proteasome activity by decoupling ubiquitin tags from proteins, as well as small molecule inhibitors of Usp14 that increase turnover of neurotoxic or damaged proteins. Prof. Finley earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and earned his doctorate degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Jeffery W. Kelly received his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, in 1986, and performed post-doctoral research at The Rockefeller University, New York, USA. The Kelly group’s research focuses on uncovering protein structure–function–folding relationships and on understanding the aetiology of protein misfolding and/or aggregation diseases. Dr. Kelly discovered the first drug that alters the underlying aetiology of a human amyloid disease and is credited with demonstrating that transthyretin conformational changes alone are sufficient for amyloidogenesis. Dr. Kelly has received numerous awards and was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016 and the National Academy of Inventors in 2017. Dr Kelly co-founded FoldRx Pharmaceuticals based on his discovery of tafamidis. This first-in-class drug is the first pharmacologic agent that delays neurodegeneration in a human amyloid disease.
Dr. Randall W. King is currently the Harry C. McKenzie Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. King focuses his research on targeting the ubiquitin-proteasome system with small molecules. His lab developed the first inhibitors of the Anaphase-Promoting Complex and collaborated with Dr. Dan Finley’s group to develop selective inhibitors of the deubiquitinating enzyme Usp14. Dr. King earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Carleton College, his doctorate degree in biochemistry from University of California San Fransisco and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He performed post-doctoral training as the first Institute Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry of Cell Biology at Harvard.
Dr. Richard Morimoto is currently the Bill and Gayle Professor of Biology in the Department of Molecular Biosciences at Northwestern University. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Harvard University. Dr. Morimoto focuses his research on the regulation of the heat shock response and the function of molecular chaperones within the proteostasis network in cellular and organismal health during aging, environmental and physiological stress relevant to diseases of protein conformation including neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS and Huntington’s disease), metabolic diseases and muscle wasting diseases. Dr. Morimoto earned his bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago, his master’s degree in Pharmacology from the University of Illinois Medical Center and his doctorate degree in Molecular Biology from The University of Chicago
Dr. Gergely L Lukacs is currently the Professor of Physiology and Biochemistry, and Canada Research Chair in Cystic Fibrosis and Conformational Diseases at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Dr. Lukacs was previously a Senior Scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute, Toronto. Dr. Lukacs focuses his research on the molecular and cellular basis of plasma membrane proteins folding, misfolding, trafficking and peripheral protein quality control with special emphasis on the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) and the hERG potassium channel. He also focuses on the pharmacological rescue mechanism of the conformationally defective variants of these channels in cystic fibrosis and LQT syndrome, respectively. Dr. Lukacs earned his doctorate degree and his medical degree from Semmelweis Medical School, Budapest, and received postdoctoral training at the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Yale Medical School, and at the University of Toronto and Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute.