Prabhavathi Fernandes, Ph.D., Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Prabhavathi Fernandes founded Cempra in January 2006 and has served as President and Chief Executive Officer and a Member of the Board of Directors since then. In 2012, she led the initial public offering and listing on Nasdaq for Cempra, and has successfully raised over half a billion dollars to date for the company, building value for its investors and taking its first antibacterial product candidate, solithromycin, from the bench to the NDA with the plan to launch the product in the U.S. She has licensed solithromycin in Japan to Toyama/Fujifilm. In addition, she has successfully obtained funding from BARDA, the biodefense arm of Health and Human Services in the U.S. for the development of solithromycin for use in pediatric patients and for biodefense. She has also established partnerships with the NIAID for the development of solithromycin. Her career of more than four decades has focused on anti-infectives, first in clinical microbiology and infectious diseases and then in pharmaceutical discovery and development. Prior to Cempra, Dr. Fernandes held executive leadership positions at pharmaceutical corporations including Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Abbott Laboratories and The Squibb Institute for Medical Research. During these years she was directly involved in the development of antibiotics, four of which have been approved with one, clarithromycin, achieving sales over a billion dollars. After leaving Bristol-Myers Squibb in 1997, she founded and led three biotechnology and CRO companies and was President and Chief Executive Officer of DarPharma, Ricerca and Small Molecule Therapeutics. Dr. Fernandes has served on the U.S. Congressional Panel for Assessment of Impact of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria and on the American Society for Microbiology Advisory Panel for Antibiotic Resistance. She has continued to work on policy matters to help in combating antibiotic resistance with IDSA and the Anti-infective Working Group. She serves on the editorial board of several journals, was a member of the Product Development working group for Biodefense for the NIAID, and was an Advisory Board Member of Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as well as the Supervisory Board of GPC Biotech. She has authored over 250 publications and numerous reviews and book chapters. She received her Ph.D. in microbiology from Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia.
Mark W. Hahn, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Hahn has over 25 years of experience as a senior financial executive in biotechnology and high technology companies. he has conducted over $500 million in financial transactions for both public and private companies. Prior to joining Cempra, Mark was CFO of Athenix Corp., a leading agricultural biotechnology company where he led the company in its $400 million merger with Bayer CropScience. He previously was the CFO of several rapidly growing technology companies including BuildLinks, Inc. and Charles & Colvard, Ltd., where he led the growth of the firm from three to 75 employees and spearheaded that company's IPO. Mark began his career with Ernst & Young. Mr. Hahn holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accouning and Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Maryland.
David Moore, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer
Mr. Moore is responsible for commercial development. He has spent over 15 years developing and managing pharmaceutical commercial programs, with the majority of those years spent with the Ortho-McNeil and Janssen Pharmaceutical divisions within Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Moore has held leadership roles in key sales and marketing functions, and was part of teams that developed and executed launch plans for several prescription pharmaceuticals for both primary and acute care settings. He developed payer value platforms for several therapeutic areas including antibiotics, pain and women’s health, in which he successfully implemented pricing and reimbursement strategies with hospitals and managed care organizations. Following Johnson & Johnson, he was chief business officer and vice president of Worldwide Commercial Operations of Tranzyme, Inc., where he was responsible for building the commercial organization as well as in- and out-licensing clinical-stage assets and was chief business officer of Ocera Therapeutics where he was responsible for developing the commercial plans for an Orphan-designated advanced liver disease product for both the community and acute care markets. Mr. Moore received his B.Sc. in Biology from Towson University and an M.B.A. from Lehigh University, and a second graduate degree in Health Policy Excellence from Thomas Jefferson University.
David Oldach, M.D., FIDSA, Chief Medical Officer
David Oldach joined Cempra Pharmaceuticals in 2011. Between 2006 and 2011, Dr. Oldach directed clinical research at Gilead Sciences, Inc., where his drug development experience ranged from IND/first-in-human trial development and execution through NDA-supportive Phase 3 protocol development and execution. Dr. Oldach received his Medical Degree, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He completed an Infectious Disease Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, serving under John Bartlett. His academic clinical research included studies in community-acquired pneumonia and surgical infections, as well as HCV pathogenesis. At the time of his transition from academic medicine to industry, Dr. Oldach was a tenured Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and served as the Infectious Diseases Section Chief in the Baltimore Veterans Administration Hospital.
Munir Abdullah, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
Dr. Abdullah is head of regulatory affairs and project management. Prior to joining Cempra, Munir had 23 years of experience in regulatory affairs at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) with extensive involvement across multiple therapeutic areas. At GSK his responsibilities included successful dossier planning and preparation of global marketing applications; NDA submission and review by FDA leading to the approval and launch of new drugs; regulatory consultancy to business development teams and regulatory due diligence reviews; life cycle management; and pediatric plan development and negotiation. He has broad scientific knowledge and regulatory strategic expertise in drug development for all phases of product life cycle and has filed numerous INDs, NDAs and MAAs, and has registration knowledge for both small molecules and biopharmaceuticals with use of innovative regulatory mechanisms to expedite drug development and approval. Dr. Abdullah received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, and was a recipient of a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Ulster Cancer Foundation, Northern Ireland. He also conducted postdoctoral research in Protein Biochemistry at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a Senior Staff Fellow at National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).
John Bluth, Executive Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Prior to joining Cempra, Mr. Bluth headed investor relations and corporate communications for two of Silicon Valley’s leading biotechnology companies, CV Therapeutics, which was acquired in 2009, and Aviron, which was acquired in 2002. Before joining Aviron, Mr. Bluth led the west coast healthcare practice for Fleishman-Hillard, an international public relations firm. From 2009-2012, he was senior vice president of investor relations and group communications at German-based Elster Group, one of the world’s largest electricity, gas and water measurement and control providers. Mr. Bluth served as a member of Elster’s group executive board and built the investor relations and corporate communications functions for the company through its initial public offering in 2009. Elster was acquired in 2012. From 2012 through mid-2016, Mr. Bluth was senior vice president of investor relations and corporate communications and served on the executive committee at PowerSecure International, Inc., a leading provider of energy technologies and services to electric utilities and their large industrial, commercial, institutional and municipal customers. PowerSecure was acquired in May 2016. Mr. Bluth holds a Bachelor’s degree in physiology from Cornell University.
Richard Skow, Vice President, Legal and Compliance
Mr. Skow is an attorney with over 25 years of experience in the legal, compliance and business development functions for organizations that span small start-up biotech companies to large international pharmaceutical manufacturers. Starting with a federal judicial clerkship, Rick’s career includes global General Counsel experience where he established and sustained corporate legal and compliance in the Americas, Europe, Asia and emerging markets. Rick joined Cempra to build and manage the legal and compliance functions. Mr. Skow holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado State University, an MBA from the University of Texas, Dallas, and a law degree from the University of Memphis.
Glenn S. Tillotson, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs
Dr. Tillotson has over 30 years pharmaceutical experience in preclinical and clinical research, commercialization, medical affairs, scientific communications including publication planning strategic drug development, life cycle management and global launch programs. Dr. Tillotson has been instrumental in the development and launch of ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, gemifloxacin, fidaxomicin and several other agents during his tenure at Bayer, ViroPharma, Optimer and other pharmaceutical firms. Glenn has held several key committee positions with the American College of Chest Physicians, and he is on the Scientific Steering Committee for the GTCBio Annual Summit on Anti-infective Partnering.