Management Team

Michael Gilman, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Jennifer C. Petter, PhD

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

James Barsoum, PhD

Senior Vice President, Research

Jacques Dumas, PhD

Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery

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 and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Petter is the founding CEO and current CSO of Arrakis Therapeutics. Previously, Jennifer was Vice President of Drug Discovery at Avila Therapeutics and, upon the acquisition of Avila by Celgene in 2012, she became Celgene’s Vice President of Chemistry, a position she held until leaving to found Arrakis in 2015. Prior to Avila, Jennifer served as Vice President of Research at Mersana Therapeutics, Director of Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Biogen and as Section Head in Oncology Chemistry at Sandoz/Novartis. Prior to her career in industry, Jennifer was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. Jennifer holds an A.B. in chemistry from Dartmouth College and earned her PhD in organic chemistry at Duke University with Ned Porter. She was a post-doctoral fellow in Ron Breslow’s group at Columbia University.

James Barsoum, PhD, Senior Vice President, Research

Dr. Barsoum is Senior Vice President, Research at Arrakis. Jim is a PhD scientist and biopharmaceutical executive with nine years of academic research experience and thirty years of industry experience in drug discovery and development. Previously, he was the Chief Scientific Officer at RaNA Therapeutics, a biotechnology company using oligonucleotides to target noncoding RNA for the selective upregulation of gene expression to increase the levels of therapeutic proteins. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President and Head of Research at Synta Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on small molecule drug discovery and development in oncology and inflammatory diseases. For many years, Jim held various leadership roles at Biogen, primarily focused on technology development and biological therapeutics (protein and gene therapies). Jim received a PhD in Biology from MIT and held postdoctoral fellowship positions at Stanford University and the Whitehead Institute at MIT.

Jacques Dumas, PhD, Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery

Dr. Dumas is Senior Vice President, 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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