Amit Munshi - Director, President and Chief Executive Officer
Amit Munshi has served as a member of our Board of Directors since June 2016, and as our President and Chief Executive Officer since May 2016.
Previously, Mr. Munshi served as President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of Epirus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. from May 2012 to May 2016. Prior to Epirus, Mr. Munshi served as Chief Executive Officer of Percivia LLC, a biotechnology company, from 2011 to 2012, was a co-founder and served as Chief Business Officer of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., from 2005 to 2010, and held multiple leadership positions at Amgen Inc. from 1997 to 2005, including General Manager, Nephrology Europe. Mr. Munshi holds a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in History from the University of California, Riverside, and an M.B.A. from the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. Mr. Munshi has more than 25 years of global biopharmaceutical industry experience in executive management, business development, product development and portfolio management. Mr. Munshi serves on the boards of Oxeia Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., and Cytrellis Biosystems, Inc., both privately held companies.
Vince Aurentz - Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer
Vince Aurentz has served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer since August 2016.
Previously, Mr. Aurentz served as the Chief Business Officer of Epirus Biopharmaceuticals. Prior to that, Mr. Aurentz served as President of HemoShear Therapeutics, where he oversaw the scientific and business development efforts including collaborations with global organizations such as Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Janssen R&D and Children’s National Health System. Prior to joining HemoShear Therapeutics, Mr. Aurentz was Executive Vice President and member of the Executive Management Board at Merck KGaA (Merck Serono) where he directed R&D programs, portfolio strategy and headed all deal activity and venture investments. Mr. Aurentz is a former Executive Vice President at Quintiles, Co-founder and Managing Director of a venture capital and advisory business and started his career at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).
Cheryl Lassen, BSc., MBBCh. - Vice President, Clinical Development
Dr. Cheryl Lassen, has served as Vice President, Clinical Development since June 2016.
Previously Dr. Lassen served as Vice President, Clinical Development at Epirus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. From 2007 to 2012, Dr. Lassen held global clinical leadership positions at Novartis and served in various positions previously at BMS, Abbott Laboratories, Smith & Nephew and Pharmacia/Pfizer. She has over 25 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology experience in leadership of global clinical development programs from phase 1 to phase 4, health authority approval (FDA, EMA, Japan, China and ROW) and global commercialization. Dr. Lassen has extensive experience in medical affairs, regulatory affairs, drug safety and business development. Dr. Lassen holds a B.Sc. in Microbiology and Physiology from the University of South Africa, and an MBBCh (equivalent to MD) from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
Kevin R. Lind - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Kevin R. Lind has served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since June 2016.
Previously, Mr. Lind was a Principal focused on healthcare at TPG Special Situations Partners, a global investment firm, from January 2009 to June 2016. Mr. Lind was a member of the TPG Pharma Partners effort at TPG-Axon, a global investment firm, from 2006 to 2008. He served in various capacities as a healthcare investment banker at Lehman Brothers, Inc., a former global financial services firm, from 1998 to 2002 and 2004 to 2006. Mr. Lind received a B.S. from Stanford University in Biological Sciences and an M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Preston Klassen, M.D., M.H.S. - Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Klassen has over 20 years of experience in biopharmaceutical product development.
Most recently, he was Chief Medical Officer of Laboratoris Sanifit S.L. and prior to that was Executive Vice President, Head of Global Development at Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. Previously, Dr. Klassen held several positions of increasing responsibility at Amgen Inc., including Therapeutic Area Head for Nephrology. Prior to joining Amgen, he was a faculty member in the Division of Nephrology at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Klassen received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine, fellowship in nephrology, and masters in health sciences degree at Duke University.
Steven W. Spector, J.D. - Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Steven W. Spector, J.D., has served as our Executive Vice President and General Counsel since February 2012.
Mr. Spector served as our Senior Vice President and General Counsel from June 2004 to February 2012, and as our Vice President and General Counsel from October 2001 to June 2004. Mr. Spector has also served as our Secretary since November 2001. Mr. Spector is a member of the board of directors and a former President of the Association of Corporate Counsel, San Diego, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Diego School of Law. Prior to joining Arena, Mr. Spector was a partner with the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, where he worked from 1991 to October 2001. Mr. Spector holds a B.A. and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
John Adams, Ph.D. - Head of Scientific Affairs
John Adams has served as our Head of Scientific Affairs since August 2016.
Dr. Adams has more than 15 years of drug discovery experience in the biotech industry, most recently at Arena Pharmaceuticals where he was Senior Director of Cardiovascular Research. In this role he provided leadership to multidisciplinary teams focused on the discovery of small molecule GPCR ligands for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Under his leadership multiple discovery programs have advanced successfully into clinical development, including temanogrel for acute coronary syndrome and ralinepag for pulmonary arterial hypertension. Prior to Arena, Dr. Adams was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, San Diego, and has a Ph.D. in Physiological Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Douglas A. Bakan, Ph.D. - Vice President, Technical Operations
Dr. Douglas A. Bakan has served as our Vice President of Technical Operations since January 2017.
He has extensive expertise in all aspects of pharmaceutical drug development and commercialization along with over 25-years of experience in firms ranging in size from entrepreneurial startups to established publicly traded companies. In various roles at companies including Medicis Pharmaceuticals (now Valeant Pharmaceuticals), Novalar Pharmaceuticals, Neurocrine Biosciences, Alerion Biomedical, MetaProbe LLC, Corvas International and Molecular Biosystems, Inc., Dr. Bakan has been responsible for activities including discovery research, nonclinical and clinical testing, CMC efforts for drug substance and drug product supply, quality system development, program management, regulatory submission preparation and review, intellectual property creation and prosecution, venture capital financing, technology in-licensing and out-licensing, and technical due diligence. Most recently, Dr. Bakan has provided pharmaceutical consulting services to various clients in the areas of product development, regulatory dossier preparation and technical due diligence. Dr. Bakan has been an author on more than 50 scientific publications and is an inventor on more than 35 issued or pending patents. Dr. Bakan earned his BS in Biomedical Engineering at UC San Diego, his Ph.D. in Biology from UC San Diego and completed post-doctoral research at the University of Michigan in the laboratories of Drs. Raymond Counsell and Jamey Weichert.
Ronald Christopher, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., FCP - Vice President, PreClinical Development
Dr. Christopher is Vice President of PreClinical Development at Arena Pharmaceuticals.
He is responsible for drug safety, drug disposition and early clinical development activities supporting metabolic, cardiovascular, and autoimmune therapeutic areas. Dr. Christopher received his Ph.D. in Veterinary Toxicology from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX and his B.S in Pathobiology from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology and a Fellow, American College of Clinical Pharmacology. Prior to joining Arena Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Christopher has served in roles of increasing responsibility within the research and development industry, to include Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Schering-Plough and Ligand Pharmaceuticals.
Anna Crivici, Ph.D. - Vice President, Program Management
Anna Crivici, Ph.D., has served as our Vice President of Program Management since August 2016.
Dr. Crivici has over 20 years of experience in the discovery, development and commercialization of new pharmaceutical and biotechnology products. Prior to joining Arena, Dr. Crivici led program management at Caladrius Biosciences and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, held program leadership roles at Pfizer, Ligand and Allelix Biopharmaceuticals, and served life sciences clients while working at Deloitte Consulting, LLP. Dr. Crivici holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Guelph (Canada) and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Waterloo (Canada), and was an MRC (Canada) post-doctoral fellow at the Ontario Cancer Institute.
Mark A. Longer, Ph.D. - Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality
Dr. Mark Longer has served as our Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality since November 2016.
Dr. Longer has extensive pharmaceutical industry experience in drug development, having worked at both small biotech and large pharmaceutical companies for over 25 years. Previously he served as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Mast Therapeutics, Inc., Executive Director of Regulatory Affairs at Ardea Biosciences, and Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs at Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Longer’s experience also includes twelve years at Pfizer’s laboratories in La Jolla, California (formerly Agouron Pharmaceuticals) in regulatory and pharmaceutical development. He has supported the development of products over a broad range of therapeutic areas, including metabolism and endocrinology, rheumatology, oncology, ophthalmology, and virology. Dr. Longer was a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Keele (England) and was an assistant professor at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy. He has a Ph.D. in pharmaceutics from the University of Wisconsin and a B.A. in chemistry from the College of Wooster.
Maurice Mezzino, CFA - Senior Vice President, Corporate Development
Maurice Mezzino has served as our Senior Vice President, Corporate Development since December 2015,
and before that as our Vice President, Corporate Development from August 2011 to December 2015. Previously, Mr. Mezzino served as Acting Vice President of Business Development in a consulting capacity for BeiGene, from January to August 2011; as Vice President, Chief Business Officer at Ceregene, from 2008 to 2010; in various leadership positions at IDEC Pharmaceuticals and Biogen Idec, from 2000 to 2008, most recently as Vice President of Business Development; and in various managerial positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Schering-Plough and Hoechst-Roussel Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Mezzino has over 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and has successfully led cross-functional teams to assess new product opportunities, build strategic and operational plans, manage collaborations and structure deal transactions across multiple therapeutic markets and various stages of commercialization. Mr. Mezzino holds a B.A. in Environmental Biology from Rutgers University, an M.S. in Microbiology from Louisiana State University, an M.B.A. in Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Cate Scanlon - Vice President, Global Human Resources
Cate Scanlon has served as our Vice President, Global Human Resources since October 2016.
Cate has over 15 years of diverse human resources experience from early-stage to Fortune 500 companies with an emphasis on the entrepreneurial biotechnology sector. Most recently she was Vice President of Human Resources at Verenium Corporation (now part of BASF) where she was a member of the Executive Leadership Team and led all the strategic and operational HR efforts with regards to Total Rewards, Talent Development and organizational development. Prior to Verenium, from 2001 to 2007 she held various roles at Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a global retainer research firm specializing in the energy sector and based in Cambridge, MA. Cate has a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Canisius College, Buffalo, NY and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA. She also holds certifications from World at Work (Certified Compensation Professional), Society for Human Resources, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Institute for the Future, Foresight Practitioner.