Executive Team


Aridis’ global management team is comprised of a highly dedicated group of senior executives with notable clinical development and commercial expertise and achievements, as well as vast knowledge about and familiarity with antibacterial, anti-infectives and monoclonal antibodies. By leveraging their past experience of successfully executing aggressive development programs and previous work at Genentech, FDA, AstraZeneca and Novartis, the collaborative Aridis team is well-equipped for delivering potentially transformative milestones in 2021, including top line Phase 3 data and potential approval for AR-301, Phase 2 data for AR-501, Phase 2/3 date for AR-101 and Phase 1 clinical trial initiation for AR-711.

Vu L. Truong, Ph.D.

Founder, CEO 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.

Hasan Jafri, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Jafri comes to Aridis from AstraZeneca, where he served as Senior Medical Director, Clinical Research and Development, Microbial Sciences, Clinical Head of Antibacterial mAb Program. He led the clinical development of AstraZeneca’s anti-bacterial monoclonal antibodies within the Serious Bacterial Infections Franchise, including the company’s Phase 2 programs MEDI4893 (anti-S. aureus alphatoxin mAb) and MEDI3902 (anti-P. aeruginosa Psl/PcrV mAb) and has been a leader in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) R&D. Dr. Jafri has over 25 years of experience in clinical practice and research, especially in the area of serious healthcare associated and community acquired infections, respiratory viral infections and invasive fungal infections (in immunocompromised and immunocompetent hosts). Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Dr. Jafri served as a professor in the department of pediatric infectious diseases and the department of clinical science research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He was the Chief of Division of Clinical Pharmacology, director of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellowship program.  Dr. Jafri has authored over 70 peer reviewed journal articles and presented over 100 original research abstracts at National and International Conferences.

Fred Kurland, J.D., M.B.A.

Senior Financial Consultant

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.

Vice President of Research and 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.

Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality

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.