Mr. Pauls has served as Savara’s Chief Executive Officer since December 2020, Chair of the Board of Directors since September 2020, and the Company’s Interim Chief Executive Officer from September 2020 to December 2020. He has been a member of Savara’s Board of Directors since April 2017 and was a member of Mast Therapeutics’ Board of Directors from October 2015 to April 2017. Previously, Mr. Pauls was the founder of Spartan Biopharma Insights, LLC, where he provided strategic advisement to institutional investors, C-suite executives, board directors, et al on investment thesis assessment, capitalization strategy, mergers and acquisitions, clinical execution, and commercialization. He also previously served on the Board of Directors of Zyla Life Sciences, which merged with Assertio Therapeutics in 2020. From August 2014 to November 2019, Mr. Pauls was President, Chief Executive Officer and (from October 2015 – November 2019) a member of the Board of Directors of Strongbridge Biopharma plc, a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company that he took public onto NASDAQ via IPO in October 2015. Strongbridge is focused on therapies that target rare diseases. From April 2013 to August 2014, Mr. Pauls was Chief Commercial Officer of Insmed, Inc., a publicly traded global biopharmaceutical company focused on rare diseases. Prior to Insmed, he worked at Shire Pharmaceuticals, a global specialty biopharmaceutical company, from 2007 to 2013, most recently as Senior Vice President, Head of Global Commercial Operations. Earlier in his career, Mr. Pauls held senior commercial leadership positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson in various U.S. and global commercial roles. Mr. Pauls holds B.S. and M.B.A. degrees from Central Michigan University and a J.D. from Michigan State University College of Law.
Mr. Lowrance has served as Savara’s Chief Financial Officer since November 2016. From September 2014 to October 2016, Mr. Lowrance served as the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Edgemont Pharmaceuticals, a fully-integrated specialty pharmaceutical company with multiple marketed products in the CNS space. From April 2011 to September 2014, Mr. Lowrance served as the Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of Acucela Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company that specializes in ophthalmic therapeutics, where he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of Acucela’s day-to-day operations, business development and growth endeavors, investor relations and corporate communications. While at Acucela, Mr. Lowrance helped lead a $162 million international IPO, with a listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. From March 2003 to April 2011, Mr. Lowrance was Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on commercializing branded prescription products, where he oversaw all aspects of finance and accounting, business and growth strategy and product development. Mr. Lowrance, a CPA, holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Georgia.
Dr. Chowdhury joined Savara as Chief Medical Officer in November 2019. Previously he was at AstraZeneca where he held the position of Senior Vice President, Chief Physician-Scientist for Respiratory Inflammation and Autoimmunity Late Stage Development in Biopharmaceuticals. For 16 years prior to that, Dr. Chowdhury served as Director, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Rheumatology Products, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) where he provided scientific and regulatory oversight of both common and rare diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythromatosis, and various autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Dr. Chowdhury is a medical doctor, and also holds a Ph.D. in Immunology. He completed Internal Medicine Residency training from the Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan, and Fellowship training in Allergy and Immunology from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland. He is double board certified in Internal Medicine and Allergy and Immunology.
Dr. Desai serves as Savara’s Head of Clinical Development. Prior to joining Savara, she was leading early- and late-stage clinical development programs across multiple therapeutic areas at AstraZeneca. During her 15-year tenure at AstraZeneca, Dr. Desai worked with both large and small molecule therapeutics and with multiple collaborators and partners. She has led a diverse portfolio of products to successful global submissions and approvals, including advisory committee experience. In addition to her development experience, Dr. Desai brings cross-cultural leadership skills, having successfully built an enterprise capability in Warsaw, Poland which handled medical and safety monitoring for late-stage Phase 3 programs. Dr. Desai is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician. She earned her M.D. from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, completed a Residency in Internal Medicine with Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago, followed by a Fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology with the University of California San Francisco.
As Savara’s Chief of Staff, Ms. Erickson has line management responsibilities, an enterprise-wide focus on operational excellence, and leads the company’s global investor relations, corporate affairs, and advocacy efforts. She is a seasoned executive with many years of experience within the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors. Ms. Erickson has held leadership roles of increasing responsibility within corporate, consulting, and agency settings at companies like Mirati Therapeutics, Pfizer, and Ogilvy.
Dr. Hemmingsen serves as Vice President, Head of Pharmaceutical Development and has more than a decade of experience developing pharmaceutical products. With a background in biophysical chemistry and chemical engineering, she has successfully led the development of a diverse portfolio of products, and robust manufacturing methods, for therapies such as cancer targeting liposomes, antibody drug conjugates, tamper-resistant tablets, and enhanced formulations for diabetes. Pernille has held leadership roles within both small- and medium-size biotechs as well as large pharmaceutical companies such as Genmab and Novo Nordisk. Pernille holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry at the Technical University of Denmark and a Master of Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School.
Ms. McCabe serves as Savara’s SVP of Legal Affairs. Prior to joining Savara, Ms. McCabe practiced corporate and securities law at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Professional Corporation, where she represented life sciences and technology companies in a variety of matters, including entity formation and structuring, venture capital financings, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, public company disclosure requirements, and SEC compliance matters. Ms. McCabe holds a B.S. in Accounting from Canisius College and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.