Management Team

Michael Gilman, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Jennifer C. Petter, PhD

Founder & Chief Innovation Officer

Jacques Dumas, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Heather Lounsbury

Vice President, Program & Alliance Management and Operations

Patrizio Renzetti

Vice President, Human Resources

Erik Spek, PhD, JD

Vice President, Legal and Intellectual Property

Michael Gilman, PhD, Chief Executive Officer

Michael is CEO of Arrakis. In addition, Mike currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Novartis Venture Fund, Obsidian Therapeutics, and Scholar Rock and on the Scientific Advisory Board of FutuRx. Previously, Mike was Chief Executive Officer of Obsidian Therapeutics, a venture-funded company focused on applying synthetic biology to gene and cell therapies. Prior to Obsidian, Mike was Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Padlock Therapeutics, a venture-funded company focused on autoimmune disease, acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2016. From 2012-2013, Mike served as Senior Vice President, Early-Stage Pipeline, at Biogen Idec, with responsibility for managing the company’s development programs through clinical proof-of-concept. He joined Biogen Idec in March 2012 following its acquisition of Stromedix, a venture-funded company focused on fibrosis and organ failure, where he was Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to founding Stromedix in 2006, Mike served as Executive Vice President, Research at Biogen Idec, with responsibility for the company’s discovery research activities in Cambridge and San Diego. From 1994 to 1999, Mike was at ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. From 1986 to 1994, Mike was on the scientific staff of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, where his research focused on mechanisms of signal transduction and gene regulation. Mike was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Robert Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute. He holds a PhD in Biochemistry from University of California, Berkeley, and a SB in Life Sciences from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jennifer C. Petter, PhD, Founder & Chief Innovation Officer

Jennifer Petter, Ph.D., is a Founder & Chief Innovation Officer of Arrakis Therapeutics. An experienced drug hunter, scientist, and life science executive, Dr. Petter’s research has spanned different fields over the years, with a current focus on RNA at Arrakis. She is the author or co-author on over 50 papers and over 50 patents and/or patent applications. Prior to creating Arrakis, Dr. Petter was Vice President of Chemistry at Celgene. She joined Celgene after the acquisition of Avila Therapeutics, a startup, in 2012. She has also held roles at Mersana Therapeutics, Biogen, and the Sandoz Research Institute (now a part of Novartis). She is a member of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), the Society of Neuro-Oncology, and the RNA Society and an associate member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Dr. Petter serves on the scientific advisory boards for Cygnal Therapeutics and PIC Therapeutics, and on the boards of directors for OUTBio and Theon Therapeutics. Dr. Petter received her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and her Ph.D. from Duke University. She completed her post-doctorate research at Columbia University.

Jacques Dumas, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Dumas is Chief Scientific Officer, Drug Discovery for Arrakis.  He is an industry leader with more than twenty years of experience managing teams across the R&D continuum and managing external partnerships. Previously, he served as Chief Scientific Officer of Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals where he led teams conducting drug discovery, preclinical development, CMC and commercial manufacturing. While at Tetraphase, he contributed to regulatory submissions for Xerava®, a novel, fully-synthetic tetracycline antibiotic approved in the US and EU and managed a pipeline of projects at earlier stages of development. Prior to that, he was Chief Scientific Officer at Idenix Pharmaceuticals, focusing on novel nucleosides for antiviral and oncology applications. Jacques transitioned to Vice President at Merck Research Laboratories after Merck’s acquisition of Idenix. Prior to Idenix, Jacques worked at AstraZeneca, most recently as Vice President and Head of Strategy, Infection Innovative Medicines, with responsibility for disease area strategy and external collaborations. Earlier in his career, he worked at Bayer Healthcare for fifteen years in Medicinal Chemistry and is a co-inventor of two marketed oncology products, Nexavar® and Stivarga®. Dr. Dumas received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Paris IV University in France and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University.

Heather Lounsbury, Vice President, Program & Alliance Management and Operations

Ms. Lounsbury is Vice President, Program & Alliance Management and Operations of Arrakis Therapeutics. Heather is a proven leader with over 20 years in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Previously Heather served as the Executive Director of Strategy & Operations at Celgene Corporation following the acquisition of Avila Therapeutics, Inc. by Celgene in 2012. Heather was the Operational Site Head for Celgene’s team in Cambridge and led the integration efforts of first Avila and later Quanticel, into the global Celgene R&D organization. At Avila, Heather was the head of Project & Alliance Management, where she was responsible for a dynamic portfolio of programs including Avila’s clinical programs and strategic alliances with Clovis Oncology, Sanofi, and with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Prior to joining Avila in 2008, Heather was Director, Project Leadership at Praecis Pharmaceuticals until the acquisition of Praecis by GSK. From 1995-2003 Heather held positions of increasing responsibility at UCB Pharma, ranging from bench scientist to research operations to Development Project Leadership. Heather is a graduate of Colby College.

Patrizio Renzetti, Vice President, Human Resources

Mr. Renzetti is responsible for all aspects of human resources and will be a key contributor to the company’s plans for continued growth. He is an experienced human resources leader with broad expertise at dynamic high-growth companies, both large and small, including Agios Pharmaceuticals, Lilly, and Procter & Gamble.

Patrizio has twenty years of human resources experience building cultures that attract, retain and develop world class talent at high-growth companies, including leading biopharmaceutical companies. He joins Arrakis from Agios Pharmaceuticals where he most recently served as Vice President of Human Resources for R&D, Technical Operations, and Europe, and previously led the Talent Acquisition group. Patrizio previously held HR leadership roles at Eli Lilly and Company, including in Global Clinical Development, the Diabetes Business Unit, and the Italian Manufacturing site. Earlier in his career, he served in several HR roles for Procter & Gamble in Italy.

Erik Spek, PhD, JD, Vice President, Legal and Intellectual Property

Dr. Spek oversees all corporate legal matters and leads Arrakis’ intellectual property strategy. He is an experienced biotech executive who has been a leader in corporate legal affairs and intellectual property for several biotech companies. Erik most recently served as Senior Vice President and Head of Legal Affairs and Intellectual Property at Vedanta Biosciences. At Vedanta, in addition to being responsible for all legal affairs, he developed a fundamental patent portfolio in the microbiome field and successfully defended a key European patent against multiple opponents. Prior to Vedanta, Erik served as Director of Intellectual Property for Epizyme, Inc. Previously, he worked as Boston-based IP law firm Wolf Greenfield, focusing on legal matters for a variety of bio and pharma related technologies. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry and Philosophy from Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Dr. Spek received a J.D. from Suffolk Law School, a Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from New York University, and conducted his postdoctoral research in biological engineering at MIT.

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