Leadership

EXECUTIVE TEAM

Vu L. Truong

Vu L. Truong, Ph.D.
Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director

 

Dr. Truong is a founder of Aridis and was elected CEO in 2014 after having served as the company’s Chief Scientific Officer since 2005. He has more than 20 years of experience in biopharmaceutical drug development, having held positions of increasing responsibilities in companies which were eventually acquired by larger entities, including Gene Medicine (sold to Megabios), Aviron (sold to MedImmune) and MedImmune (sold to Astra Zeneca). Having maintained a life-long interest in infectious diseases, he has focused on researching and developing innovative human monoclonal antibodies and vaccines designed to address life-threatening infections. His product development experience includes FluMist™, Synagis™ mAb and a number of other monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics. Dr. Truong is the principal architect of Aridis’ technologies, which includes a range of anti-infective products and pharmaceutical processing technologies. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Paul-Andre de Lame, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer

 

Dr. de Lame is an intensive care medical expert with strong experience in cardiovascular medicine and infectious diseases. He was a former executive focused on clinical development at Merck and Warner-Lambert (Pfizer). He was also the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Cardiokine Inc. and the Chief Executive Officer of Anabase International Corp., which provides regulatory and clinical research services. Dr. de Lame was a key contributor to many product development teams involving several vaccines and antibiotics. He was also principally involved with the clinical development of Lipitor® (atorvastatin) and the life cycle management of imipenem/cilastatin (Tienam®, Primaxin®), gemfibrozil, quinapril (Accupril®), norfloxacin and several medical devices. Dr. de Lame received his M.D. from the Universite Catholique de Louvain, with a specialization in anesthesiology and intensive care.

Fred-Kurland

Fred Kurland, J.D., M.B.A.
Chief Financial Officer

 

Mr. Kurland has more than 35 years of experience in corporate finance, most recently as the CFO of Xoma. Mr. Kurland has a long and distinguished career as Chief Financial Officer of a number of biotechnology companies including Bayhill Therapeutics, Corcept Therapeutics, Genitope Corporation, Aviron, Protein Design Labs and Applied Immune Sciences, Inc. Previously, he held a number of financial management positions at Syntex Corporation between 1981 and 1995 including Vice President and Controller between 1991 and 1995. Mr. Kurland received his B.S. from Lehigh University and his J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Chicago.

Steven Chamow, Ph.D.
Product Development

 

Dr. Chamow has more than 25 years of experience in biopharmaceutical product development and contributed to the development of three marketed products (Avastin, Natrecor, Vectibix). He served in leadership positions at a number of leading biotech companies, including Senior Vice President at Intradigm and Vice President of Process Sciences at Genitope Corporation and at Abgenix, Inc. (acquired by Amgen). He was also a senior scientist at Genentech. Dr. Chamow is author or co-author of more than 50 scientific publications and patents and co-editor of two books on therapeutic antibody fusion proteins. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry at University of California, Davis.

Elizabeth Leininger, Ph.D.
Regulatory and QA/QC

 

Dr. Leininger is an expert in regulatory affairs and quality, with more than 20 years of experience at CBER/FDA and at biopharmaceutical companies. She previously held senior management positions at Chiron (acquired by Novartis) and GSK. Additionally, she has significant expertise in global strategic development, licensing and post-marketing regulatory activities for biological and biotechnology products. She also ran large QA/QC organizations responsible for the evaluation, development and implementation of Quality Systems, including documentation, training and auditing. Dr. Leininger earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jeffrey J. Fessler, J.D.
Acting General Counsel

 

Mr. Fessler has more than 20 years of experience providing corporate and securities legal counsel in the biotechnology industry. He has extensive experience providing counsel in public offerings and private placements as well as mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, proxy contests, restructurings, and private equity and debt financings. He is a partner in the Sheppard Mullin law firm and has practiced corporate and securities law at several large firms, including Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, and Sichenzia Ross Friedman Ference LLP. Mr. Fessler holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland and J.D. (magna cum laude) from New York Law School.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Vu L. Truong

Vu L. Truong, Ph.D.
Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director

 

Dr. Truong is a founder of Aridis and was elected CEO in 2014 after having served as the company’s Chief Scientific Officer since 2005. He has more than 20 years of experience in biopharmaceutical drug development, having held positions of increasing responsibilities in companies which were eventually acquired by larger entities, including Gene Medicine (sold to Megabios), Aviron (sold to MedImmune) and MedImmune (sold to Astra Zeneca). Having maintained a life-long interest in infectious diseases, he has focused on researching and developing innovative human monoclonal antibodies and vaccines designed to address life-threatening infections. His product development experience includes FluMist™, Synagis™ mAb and a number of other monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics. Dr. Truong is the principal architect of Aridis’ technologies, which includes a range of anti-infective products and pharmaceutical processing technologies. He received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Eric J. Patzer, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Board

 

Dr. Patzer has served as a member of Aridis’ Board of Directors since 2014. He has more than 25 years of experience in biotechnology and was involved in the development of many pioneering biotechnology products at Genentech (Activase®, Protropin®, Herceptin® and Xolair®) and managed a large part of the development effort as VP of Product Development. In 1996, he joined Aviron (now MedImmune Vaccines) as VP of Development to build the expertise needed to advance new vaccines from research through product development. He was project leader of the intranasal influenza vaccine (FluMist™) during preclinical and clinical development. Dr. Patzer received his Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Virginia and was a Helen Hay Whitney Fellow at Stanford University.

Isaac Blech
Vice Chairman

 

Mr. Blech is among the most successful company founders and private financiers in the biotechnology industry. Over the past 35 years, Mr. Blech established some of the most renown biotechnology companies in the world, including Celgene Corporation, ICOS Corporation (acquired by Eli Lilly & Company), Nova Pharmaceutical Corporation, Pathogenesis Corporation and Genetics Systems Corporation. Collectively, these companies have produced major therapeutic advances in a broad array of diseases, including the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, chlamydia, sexual dysfunction, cystic fibrosis and AIDS, with a combined value of more than $100 billion. Mr. Blech earned a B.A. degree from Baruch College in 1975.

Robert Ruffolo, Ph.D.
Director

 

Dr. Ruffolo was appointed to the board of directors in April 2016. He has provided management, director, and consulting services since 2008 through Ruffolo Consulting, LLC. He served as the President of Research and Development and as the Corporate Senior Vice President of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (now Pfizer) from 2002 through 2008. In these roles, he managed an R&D organization of 9,000 scientists with an annual budget in excess of $3 billion.  Prior to joining Wyeth, Dr. Ruffolo spent 17 years at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals (now GlaxoSmithKline) where he was Senior Vice President and Director of Biological Sciences, Worldwide. Before joining SmithKline Beecham, Dr. Ruffolo spent six years at Lilly Research Laboratories where he was Chairman of the Cardiovascular Research Committee. Dr. Ruffolo served on the board of directors of Trevena, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRVN), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, from 2010 to 2013 and has served on its scientific advisory since 2008. Throughout his career, Dr. Ruffolo has played a significant role in the discovery and/or development of a number of marketed products, including Carvedilol (Coreg®/Kredex®/Dilatrend®), Ropinirole (Requip®), Dobutamine (Dobutrex®) and Eprosartan (Teveten®) and has authored nearly 500 full-length publications, more than 200 abstracts, and has edited 17 books. He received his B.S. degree in Pharmacy summa cum laude in 1973 and his Ph.D. degree in Pharmacology in 1976 from Ohio State University.

Craig Gibbs, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Director

 

Dr. Gibbs worked for Gilead Sciences for nearly three decades in a variety of leadership positions spanning research, corporate development and most recently, Vice President of Commercial Strategy/Commercial Planning and Operations. His broad expertise contributed to the development and commercial launch of 12 FDA-approved drugs. He currently serves on the Board of Tobira Therapeutics and is an advisor to several biotechnology companies and venture capital firms. Prior to Gilead, Dr. Gibbs served as a Scientist in the Department of Protein Engineering at Genentech. Dr. Gibbs earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and his M.B.A from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

Robert K. Coughlin
Director

 

Mr. Coughlin, currently President and CEO of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, was appointed to Aridis’ Board of Directors in 2014. Mr. Coughlin has spent his career in both the public and private sectors, most recently serving as Undersecretary of Economic Development within Governor Deval Patrick’s administration in 2007. Prior to this position, he was elected as State Representative to the 11th Norfolk, Massachusetts district for three terms. In the legislature, healthcare and economic development were his priorities. In addition to his extensive government and biotechnology experience, Mr. Coughlin has held senior executive positions in the environmental services, capital management and venture capital industries. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and is a Lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve. Mr. Coughlin has also been active in the community, having served on the boards of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. He has served as the honorary chairman of the Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Walk since 1996.

John F. Hamilton, M.B.A.
Director

 

Mr. Hamilton was elected to Aridis’ Board in 2015. Previously, he served as a director and audit chair of three companies: Vermillion, Inc. from 2008 to 2013; Anesiva, Inc. in 2009; and Encompass Funds from 2012 to 2015. From 1997 until his retirement in 2007, Mr. Hamilton served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Depomed, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company. Mr. Hamilton began his career in international banking with The Philadelphia National Bank and Crocker National Bank and went on to hold senior financial positions at several biopharmaceutical companies, including Glyko, Inc., which is now BioMarin Pharmaceuticals, and Chiron Corporation (acquired by Novartis). He sits on the regional Board of Directors of the Association of Bioscience Financial Officers. Mr. Hamilton received his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Shawn Lu, M.S., M.B.A
Director

 

Mr. Lu, currently the Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Hepalink USA, Inc., was appointed to the Board of Directors in December 2016. He brings to the Board extensive hands-on experience in the capital market and corporate finance transactions. His background includes positions of increasing responsibility in several financial institutions in China and Canada, including Bank of Montreal and TD Bank in Toronto for nearly 15 years. Prior to that, he was the CFO of ShenZhen Hepalink Biopharmaceutical Ltd., where he served for six years as an adviser to the company’s chairman, helped transition the company into a global supplier of heparin, and led to the eventual investment by Goldman Sachs.