Alex Franzusoff, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Franzusoff joined PACT Pharma in January 2017. Previously, he was consulting for several private and public biotech/pharma companies in the I-O space, in addition to his role as founder and CEO of Krypton Immuno-oncology. At Bavarian Nordic, he worked at the forefront of the electrified I-O space as SVP R&D, which resulted in the $1B deal with BMS for Prostvac, its Ph3 cancer immunotherapy product. He had returned to California for that role, from Boston, after serving as Chief Executive Officer and Board Director for AZTherapies, developing Alzheimer’s therapies based on re-purposing previously approved drugs via the 505(b)2 pathway for Phase 3 studies. He previously led the venture-backed Permeon Biologics as President and a member of the board of directors. Dr. Franzusoff’s career in the biotechnology industry was launched with the co-founding of the biotech GlobeImmune, Inc., where he served as Vice President of Research & Development for immunotherapy against cancer & infectious diseases.
Dr. Franzusoff trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Nobel Laureate, Dr. Randy Schekman, at the University of California, Berkeley after earning his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at SUNY at Stony Brook. He was a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine until 2004.
President and Chief Operating Officer
Tim Moore has more than three decades of leadership experience in biopharmaceutical manufacturing and operations. Most recently, he served as Executive Vice President, Technical Operations at Kite, a Gilead Company, since March of 2016. During this time Mr. Moore was responsible for overseeing the process development, manufacturing, quality and supply chain for the launch of Yescarta®, one of the first CAR T therapies to be developed, manufactured and commercialized, as well as advancement of the Kite pipeline. In addition, Mr. Moore globally expanded the biopharmaceutical operations to serve and support the US, EU, as well as key partners in Asia.
Prior to Kite, Mr. Moore served as the Senior Vice President, Head of Global Technical Operations – Biologics of Genentech, Inc. and as a member of the Genentech Executive Committee since 2010. In this role, Mr. Moore oversaw global leadership for more than 7,500 professionals across 10 internal sites and over 37 contract manufacturing organizations, as well as global manufacturing and end-to-end quality supply performance of more than 20 biological product families. Prior to that, Mr. Moore was Genentech’s Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain and Global Engineering from 2007 to 2010. Previously, Mr. Moore served as Vice President, Operations at ZLB Behring (formerly Aventis Behring). He is currently a member of ISPE, PDA and has been a part of the Executive Committee of BioPhorum and serves as a Board member for Cerus. Mr. Moore received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Tulsa University and a M.S. in Engineering Management from Northwestern University.
Atulya Agarwal, J.D., Ph.D.
Chief Legal and Compliance Officer and Corporate Secretary
Atulya Agarwal, J.D., Ph.D., serves as PACT’s Chief Legal and Compliance Officer, Corporate Secretary, with oversight of all corporate legal functions, including compliance, IP and licensing-related activities, as well as oversight of HR matters. Dr. Agarwal is a seasoned attorney with more than 25 years in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Fifteen of those were spent at Genentech, where he held various roles of increasing responsibility, including the Head of IP Licensing and Business Strategy as well as the Head of Patents for Genentech’s Oncology franchise.
Dr. Agarwal also has held the positions of Chief IP officer at Elan Pharmaceuticals and Partner at Dickstein Shapiro, where his practice focused on all aspects of IP strategy, including IP diligence, contract drafting and negotiation, IP enforcement, and U.S. and foreign patent prosecution. Dr. Agarwal received a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Boston University School of Medicine and a B.S. in Biochemistry from the Pennsylvania State University.
Chief Financial Officer
Uneek Mehra joins PACT as Chief Financial Officer. Uneek has over 23 years of experience in strategy, finance and operations with his most recent role as Chief Financial officer at Proteus Digital Health. At Proteus, Uneek helped scale the company from 150 employees to ~300 employees, managed investor relationships and partnered with the Board & Executive team to help launch the first-ever Digital Medicine.
Previously, Uneek has had extensive experience in senior finance roles with Novartis, IBM and Citibank. At Novartis, he worked in roles with increasing responsibilities in the Corporate Finance, Business Development and Treasury departments across US, Switzerland and China. He also served as CFO of two of the largest specialty Medicines Franchises within the Novartis US business.
Uneek has an MBA in Strategy and Leadership from IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland as well as a Masters in Finance and a Bachelors in Engineering from premier universities in India.
Chief Technology Officer
Kyle Lapham joins PACT Pharma as Chief Technology Officer. He has over 12 years of experience as an engineering and operations leader, specializing in automation, technology development, and rapid scaling of technical operations at diagnostics and biotechnology startups. He most recently served as Chief Technology Officer at Synthego, where he built out and led the engineering, scientific development, and program management functions. Prior to Synthego, Mr. Lapham led engineering and automation at Counsyl (acquired by Myriad), where he designed and built their automated clinical sequencing platform, scaling operations to thousands of patient samples a day. He advocates for the advancement of laboratory technology in the life sciences as an active member of SLAS, where he has held various leadership positions over the past eight years. Mr. Lapham started his career developing ultra-high throughput genotyping robots with the Nobel Laureate, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, at the University of California San Francisco.
Chief Information Officer
Ashish has over 25 years of experience in technology operations, and strategy leadership roles within Life Sciences, high tech, and financial services companies. He was most recently the Chief Information Officer at Veracyte, where he provided technology leadership to commercialize oncology and IPF diagnostics products and scaled business operations for rapid growth. Ashish has previously held leadership positions at Quest Diagnostics, Celera, CareDx among others. Ashish holds a master’s degree in Computer Science.
Jeroen Grasman, M.B.A.
Vice President, Finance and Corporate Treasurer
Jeroen Grasman, M.B.A. joins PACT as Vice President, Finance and Corporate Treasurer is responsible for the Company’s finance, accounting, information technology, facility and procurement functions. Jeroen has more than 20 years of experience in finance and operations, most recently as Vice President, Finance at Intarcia Therapeutics. At Intarcia, he served as finance head for manufacturing and global commercialization of its MediciTM Drug Delivery System. Prior to Intarcia, Mr. Grasman spent 11 years at Genentech-Roche, where he held positions of increasing responsibility in Strategic Planning, Business Development Finance, R&D Finance and finally as global finance head for Biologics Manufacturing at Roche. Mr. Grasman received an MBA at Harvard Business School and an MS in Statistics and Operations Research at the University of Groningen.
Vice President Quality Assurance
Chris Garten serves as Vice President, Quality Assurance at PACT Pharma, responsible for quality oversight of corporate clinical, manufacturing, laboratory and supply operations. Chris joined PACT Pharma as Executive Director, Quality Assurance in June 2019 with more than twenty-five years of experience in clinical supply operations and commercial launch in the cell/ gene therapy and pharma/ biotech space. With extensive experience from Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi-Aventis, Chris is a seasoned quality professional in regulatory, product lifecycle development, building strong Quality organizations and design of global Quality Systems to support lean operations.
Prior to joining PACT, Chris held senior leadership positions at KBI Biopharma, Bellicum Pharmaceutical, and Mesoblast providing quality oversight and supplying global clinical programs with NK cell, CAR-T and MPC/MSC allogenic therapeutics.
Martin A. Giedlin, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President Process Development
Marty is a T cell biologist that joined PACT Pharma Inc in March 2020 as the SVP of Process Development supporting the development of personalized TCRs to tumor neoAgs as a therapy for solid cancers. Previously, he was the VP of Technical Operations at Poseida Therapeutics, leading the process development and manufacturing teams supporting their non-viral process for developing autologous and allogeneic CAR-T programs. While at Novartis AG, he guided the Process Development group in the Cell and Gene therapy unit in generating the clinical and commercial manufacturing process for the CD19 CAR-T program (Kymriah™). The opportunity at Novartis allowed him to “bookend” his career from generating LAK cells at Chiron to supporting the commercialization of the first adoptive CAR-T therapy for cancer. Previous to Novartis, he led the CMC, Pharm/Tox, and QA/QC groups at Sangamo Therapeutics for all of their gene-modification programs. This involved process and assay development for both vector (AAV, Adeno) and gene-modified cell therapies (T cells, CD34+ progenitor cells). A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, he received his doctorate from the Medical College of Virginia/VCU, followed by fellowships at Scripps Research Institute and DNAX.
Arati Rao, M.D.
Vice President Clinical Development
Arati Rao, M.D. serves as Vice President, Clinical Development, following her tenure with rigorous academic clinical experience at Duke as well as compelling cell therapy clinical experience at Kite-Gilead. She led the KTE-X19 mantle cell lymphoma program, including patient management and enrollment into the ZUMA-2 study, as well as working alongside translational sciences and the CMC teams. Arati was responsible for all regulatory interactions and successfully filed both a BLA and an MAA for KTE-X19 in relapsed/refractory mantle cell lymphoma with the FDA and EMA respectively.
Dr. Rao completed her medical school training at the B. J. Medical College, Pune, India followed by a residency in Internal Medicine and fellowships in Hematology-Oncology and Geriatrics at the Duke University School of Medicine. Until 2016, she was an Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke where she served as a PI/Co-PI on several hematologic malignancy trials, and was an NIH funded clinical researcher. She served as a faculty on the NCCN-Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma guidelines (v1.0) and on several ASCO and ASH committees including the ASH- scientific committee for myeloid biology.
Stefanie Mandl, Ph.D.
Vice President, Translational Research
Stefanie Mandl, Ph.D. has been appointed to the role of Vice President, Translational Research.. She is responsible for leading PACT’s personalized neoTCR-T cell engineering, adoptive T cell therapy product characterization and immune monitoring/biomarker development. Dr. Mandl has extensive experience in the development of immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious disease. Dr. Mandl joined PACT Pharma in April of 2017 as the Senior Director, Tumor Immunology. Prior to PACT, she was the Senior Director, Immunology at Cidara Therapeutics, to direct scientific development of the CloudbreakTM platform for the treatment of infectious disease. Before Cidara, Stefanie worked 9 years at Bavarian Nordic, most recently as the Director, Pre-clinical Oncology Research. Dr. Mandl’s experience in cancer immunotherapy began in Berlin, where she received her MS in Biology from Freie Universität Berlin, then earned her PhD in Immunology at the University of California San Francisco and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University.
Maria Simon, M.B.A
Vice President, Human Resources
Maria Simon, M.B.A. joins PACT as Vice President of Human Resources with responsibility for the Company’s people strategy. She has over 25 years experiences in Human Resources in a variety of industries from high tech, pharmaceutical, to biotech. Most recently, Maria led the human resources function at Audentes Therapeutics. She also worked at Medivation (becoming Pfizer after the acquisition) providing HR leadership and oversight to the Chief Medical Officer and Senior VP of Technical Operations and Regulatory, three different Johnson and Johnson Operating Companies in the Medical Device Sector, Symantec Corp, PeopleSoft, and SGI leading various teams within Human Resources. Maria has her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Notre Dame de Namur University.
Vice President, Quality Control
Will White joined PACT Pharma in 2018 with over 30 years Quality Control management experience in biopharmaceutical and diagnostic industries producing vaccines, recombinant monoclonal antibodies and proteins, oligonucleotides products, and drug/device combination products. Prior to joining PACT, Will consulted for several years in the biopharmaceutical industry leveraging his extensive experience managing all aspects of product quality analysis. His industry experience includes 11 years at MedImmune focused on FluMist® and a pandemic influenza vaccine. Will also spent 14 years in a number of roles with increasing responsibility within Genentech Quality organization, working on both clinical and commercial products. Will received his baccalaureate in Biological Sciences from University of California, Santa Barbara.
Vice President, Program and Portfolio Management
Susan Whitehead has spent over 18 years in the pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology arena where she’s played key roles in early and late stage development. Susan joined Pact Pharma in 2018 as Senior Director, Program Operations and was promoted to VP, Program & Portfolio Management in 2019.
With her BS in Chemistry from Michigan State University, Susan began her biotech career at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, where she soon transitioned from the lab to work in Project Management. Susan served as Project Manager, Program Manager/Project Leader and Department Head at multiple organizations, including ALZA Pharmaceuticals & Conor Medsystems (both Johnson & Johnson companies), BiPar Sciences (a Sanofi Aventis company), Bavarian Nordic and again at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals. Susan has managed numerous on-time regulatory filings in acute pain, cardiology and oncology. Susan has also worked in Medical Affairs Operations and served as Global Head of Operations at Caligor Rx, where she earned General Manager responsibility for oversight of their Global Access Programs Business Unit.