President, Chief Executive Officer
Prior to joining Abeona, Mr. Amoroso held various senior level commercial positions at leading biopharmaceutical companies, including Kite, Eisai Inc., Celgene Corporation (now a subsidiary of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company), and Sanofi. At Kite, he was responsible for the company’s worldwide commercial organization leading the commercialization efforts for the autologous CAR T-cell therapy, YESCARTA®, and the future cell therapy pipeline. Before Kite, Mr. Amoroso was Senior Vice President, Americas for Eisai’s Commercial Oncology Business Group, where he was accountable for teams charged with creating and driving commercial strategy and implementation for the company’s approved products and earlier-stage assets. Previously, Mr. Amoroso worked at Celgene for six years in several commercial roles before serving as the organization’s Commercial Lead for CAR T-cell therapy programs. In this capacity, he helped Celgene develop an organizational model to commercialize cell therapies including specialized manufacturing and customer services for patients with lymphoma and myeloma. Before joining Celgene, Mr. Amoroso held various marketing and sales leadership positions over his 10-plus year tenure at Sanofi. Mr. Amoroso earned his M.B.A. in Management from the Stern School of Business, New York University, and his B.A. in Biological Sciences, summa cum laude, from Rider University.
Chief Technical Officer
Jay Bircher, Chief Technical Officer, brings more than 28 years of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device experience, knowledge and leadership in the areas of microbiology, quality assurance, quality control, regulatory compliance, validation, sterile manufacturing and operational excellence. Mr. Bircher has lead FDA (CBER and CDER), EMEA and other regulatory body inspections with successful outcomes.
Prior to Abeona, he held quality positions of increasing responsibility with GlaxoSmithKline, Amgen, Tyco Healthcare and most recently Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD), where he was Head of Quality from groundbreaking of a 120,000 ft2-sterile manufacturing facility through an FDA pre-approval inspection (PAI) and eventual launch of several ready-to-administer, prefilled syringe products. Later in his tenure at BD, Mr. Bircher served as Head of Manufacturing where he was responsible for all formulation, fill and packaging operations. He holds a B.S. from Marshall University and is Six Sigma certified.
Chief Accounting Officer, Principal Financial Officer
Ed Carr, Chief Accounting Officer, joined Abeona in 2018, bringing more than 25 years of corporate public accounting experience to the Company. Most recently, he served as Vice President and Assistant Controller at Coty Inc., a publicly listed multinational company. Mr. Carr has significant experience managing various accounting, financial reporting, internal controls, tax and treasury matters. Prior to Coty, he served for more than 10 years as Chief Accounting Officer at Foster Wheeler AG. Mr. Carr, who is a Certified Public Accountant, began his career at Ernst & Young LLP. He holds a B.S. and Master of Professional Accountancy from West Virginia University.
Jodie Gillon, M.P.H.
Chief Patient Officer
Jodie Gillon, M.P.H. joined Abeona in 2019, bringing more than 20 years of industry experience in various roles across Development, Medical and Corporate Affairs. Prior to joining Abeona, she cumulatively spent over a decade with Pfizer as the Global Medical Lead for Patient Engagement within the Rare Diseases Business Unit and the Director of Medical Communications within the Chief Medical Office. In these roles, Ms. Gillon facilitated collaborations with patient groups across many therapeutic areas and served as a core member of several cross-functional teams. Prior to Pfizer, she was the Head of Patient Advocacy and Professional Affairs with Achillion Pharmaceuticals. Ms. Gillon also previously served as the Head of the Chief Medical Office of AstraZeneca, which was preceded by additional roles at Novartis and Oridion. She holds a M.P.H. with a dual degree in Health Economics and Epidemiology from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a BSFS from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.
Vishwas Seshadri, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Senior Vice President, Head of Research & Clinical Development
At Celgene (BMS), Dr. Seshadri served in roles of increasing responsibility focused on research & development and commercialization for novel therapies in hematology and oncology, most recently as Executive Director & Worldwide Brand Leader for Breyanzi® (lisocabtagene maraleucel; liso-cel), a CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy for relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma. While at Celgene, he led franchise level marketing and the project management office for CAR T commercialization and led teams supporting the successful global launch of Breyanzi®. He also led development project teams for clinical development and regulatory submissions for REVLIMID® (lenalidomide) in lymphoma, strategic go/no-go decisions for Avadomide and IMFINZI® (durvalumab) while implementing program-wide efficiency measures, and managed post-marketing commitments for ISTODAX® (romidepsin). Previously, he was Head of Early-Stage Upstream Process Development for Biologics at Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, where he led cell-line development, current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) cell banking, characterization, and cell culture optimization for biosimilars. Dr. Seshadri completed his Ph.D. in Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Biology and his post-doc in epigenetics at University of Arizona, and earned his M.B.A. in Finance and Healthcare from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Greg Gin joined Abeona as Vice President, Investor Relations in May 2020. In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of Abeona’s investor relations program, along with involvement in wider communications programs and supporting the company’s financing activities. Mr. Gin has served as the Head of Investor Relations at four public companies and brings more than 25 years of investor relations, communications, and capital markets experience with small- and mid-cap biotechnology and specialty pharmaceutical companies developing novel treatments for orphan diseases and areas of high unmet medical need. Immediately prior to joining Abeona, Mr. Gin was Head of Investor Relations at Affimed, an immuno-oncology company, where he was responsible for the company’s global investor relations program.
Vice President, Human Resources
Ms. Maximenko has 15 years of human resources experience, having most recently served as the Global HR Director and Head of HR for Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAAP), a Novartis company. Prior to Novartis’ acquisition of AAAP, she was responsible for more than 700 employees operating in a matrix environment within 11 International locations and in more than 20 US states.
Ms. Maximenko has hands-on experience setting up the HR function from the ground up in growing biotechs from pre-clinical to commercialization stage and building out teams in various functional areas including R&D, Medical Affairs, Commercial, Quality & TechOps, and others. She’s got expertise in multiple HR disciplines, including talent acquisition, employee relations, organizational development and compensation.
Ms. Maximenko received a Master of Laws degree in International Law from Far Eastern National University with additional certifications in Human Resources.
Vice President, Business Operations
Scott Nogi, Vice President of Business Operations, joined Abeona in 2018 with 20 years of operational and administrative management expertise across a wide range of organizations. In his role, he leads Business Development activities and is responsible for information technology (IT), database management systems (DBMS), and commercial property management. Previously, Mr. Nogi held roles as Vice President of Business Development at Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he worked on partnerships for an oral mucoadhesive product in the cancer space; and Vice President of Operations at SCO Capital Management, a biotech-focused value fund, where he managed all operations, audit, fund administration, IT systems, and human resources. Mr. Nogi also served as Executive Director of Kolot Chayeinu / Voices of Our Lives, a non-profit organization, where he led the business strategy and operations, finances, facilities, and staff. Mr. Nogi earned his MBA in Management and Strategy from the Stern School of Business at New York University and his BFA also from New York University.
Brendan O’Malley, J.D., Ph.D.
Vice President, Head of Legal and IP
Brendan O’Malley, J.D., Ph.D., joined Abeona in 2019 as Chief IP Counsel, bringing significant technical and legal expertise to the Abeona team. Prior to joining Abeona, he was a partner at the prominent New York patent litigation firm Fitzpatrick Cella Harper & Scinto, where he started his career as a summer associate in 2006, and then at Venable LLP, which merged with Fitzpatrick in 2018. While at Fitzpatrick and Venable, Dr. O’Malley litigated a wide variety of biopharmaceutical patent cases in the United States District Courts, at the Federal Circuit, and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, negotiated numerous settlement and license agreements, and provided many patent opinions in connection with M&A due diligence in the biotech space.
While attending law school at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Dr. O’Malley served as a judicial intern to Judge William H. Pauley in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Before law school, he earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology & Microbiology from Tufts University School of Medicine, where he studied the role of protein-protein interactions in hepatitis virus assembly, and a B.S. degree magna cum laude from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Juan Ruiz, M.D., Ph.D.
Head of European Medical Affairs
Juan Ruiz, Ph.D., joined Abeona as Chief Medical Officer in 2017 and transitioned to Head of European Medical Affairs in October 2018, bringing years of experience in clinical drug development including C-level positions at Lykera Biomed and Digna Biotech, where he spent more than 10 years leading teams dedicated to developing gene therapy translational medicine programs. His proven track record demonstrates a start-to-finish scope, from early preclinical and proof of concept studies to manufacturing, regulatory IND and IMPD submissions, clinical trial design and execution, as well as manufacturing and quality control of the adenoviral vectors. Dr. Ruiz has been instrumental in achieving multiple Orphan Product Designations, has led teams for successful Scientific Advice and Protocol Assistance meetings with the FDA and EMA, and has helped design Patient Reported Outcomes (PRO) in the U.S. to assess skin outcome measures in patients with systemic sclerosis for use as primary endpoints in late-stage clinical trials.
He is the author of more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and is an inventor on multiple issued patents. Dr. Ruiz earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Navarra. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Connecticut and earned his MBA from the IESE Business School at the University of Navarra.
Brian Kevany, Ph.D.
Director, Product Development
Brian Kevany, Ph.D., joined Abeona at the beginning of 2018 as a scientist in the product development department bringing a significant background in molecular biology and biochemistry to Abeona. Prior to joining Abeona, he managed a small biotechnology startup company which utilized next-generation sequencing for high throughput genotyping in both the medical and agricultural spaces. A postdoctoral research position at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working on developing new first-line antibiotics to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis, and a Fellowship at Case Western Reserve University, studying a wide range of vision research topics, resulted in an exemplary publication record in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals. His research at Case Western, under the mentorship of Dr. Krzysztof Palczewski, involved studying both the biochemical basis of retinal development as well as the pathophysiology of animal models of blinding diseases.
Prior to his postdoctoral research, he earned a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Florida, where he studied the role of a hormone receptor family during plant development and a B.S. degree with honors from Michigan State University.
Phillip B. Maples, Ph.D.
Vice President, Process Development
Dr. Maples has more than 35 years’ experience in international biotechnology, focused on cell and gene therapies, including twelve years at Baxter Healthcare prior to embarking on several business initiatives, exploring clinical and commercial applications of pioneering cell and gene therapies for inherited diseases and cancers. He has worn “many hats” in his career, providing leadership in product development, manufacturing, quality assurance, technical marketing support, regulatory and clinical affairs, but his central focus has been product/process development.
Dr. Maples has teamed to design, construct and or operate more than ten cell and gene therapy processing centers (ex. NIH), gene/cell therapy clinics and GMP manufacturing facilities for biologics. He has held 2 CRADAs with NIH. He has provided professional guidance to universities, private foundations, government bodies, professional societies, public and private companies. Dr. Maples has been on the editorial board of BioProcessing Journal for eighteen years. He has 47 publications, over 170 abstracts and presentations and 17 issued US patents.
Linas Padegimas, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Product Development
Linas Padegimas, Ph. D. has 20 years of experience in gene therapy working in the BioTech Industry and 11 years of experience in the academic research labs. He joined Abeona Therapeutics in August 2015 and as Senior Director of Product Development continues leading a team of scientists developing new AAV virus capsids and AAV based gene therapy pre-clinical programs for the list of genetic disorders. From 2005 to 2015 Linas Padegimas lead research of developing gene therapy remedies based on pegylated polylysine compacted DNA technology for cystic fibrosis, Parkinson disease and several ocular inherited diseases at Copernicus Therapeutics Inc. Prior this he was working at Athersys Therapeutics Inc., for various therapy developing projects including gene therapy for Hurler’s disease based on human mini-chromosome synthesis. He has deep expertise in advanced molecular biology techniques for mammalian and plant systems, including extensive experience with: gene therapy vector design and testing, engineering trap-vectors for gene activation or knock-out, creating human synthetic micro-chromosomes and BAC vectors, engineering cDNA and reporter gene expression constructs, mammalian cell manipulations, nuclear injection, microscopy, RTqPCR, expression profiling and other PCR based techniques. Linas Padegimas graduated from Vilnius University, Lithuania (MS in Biochemistry) and earned his PhD in Chemistry with emphasis in molecular biology at Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology, Academy of Sciences of Russia.