Matthew Pauls was appointed Chairman and Interim CEO in September 2020 and has served as a member of the Savara Board of Directors since April 2017. He was previously a member and Chairman of the Board at Mast Therapeutics, Inc. With more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, Mr. Pauls brings a wealth of general management and senior leadership experience. Most recently he served as the Founder of Spartan Biopharma, LLC, a consulting company that provided strategic advisement to institutional investors, C-suite executives, board directors, et al on investment thesis assessment, capitalization strategy, M&A, clinical execution, and commercialization. In addition, he is on the Board of Directors of Zyla Life Sciences (subsidiary) and Amplo Biotechnology. For five years prior, Mr. Pauls was President and Chief Executive Officer and on the Board of Directors of Strongbridge Biopharma plc, a biopharmaceutical company focused on therapies that target rare diseases. His earlier leadership positions include Chief Commercial Officer of Insmed, Inc. and Senior Vice President, Head of Global Commercial Operations at Shire Pharmaceuticals. He has also held management roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson and 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.
Mr. Ciesla serves as Savara’s SVP Finance and Director of SEC Reporting. Mr. Ciesla has over twenty years of financial management and accounting experience with an emphasis in life sciences, semiconductor, and software industries. Mr. Ciesla began his career in public accounting providing business assurance, advisory, and taxation services. He has rendered financial management leadership services and held the position of CFO for various high-tech and life-sciences companies. Mr. Ciesla has rendered financial services to Savara through his prior financial and accounting consulting practice since 2011. Mr. Ciesla holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master in Professional Accounting from The University of Texas at Austin and is a Certified Public Accountant licensed to practice public accounting in the State of Texas.
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. Ganslandt (MD, MSc Pharmaceutical Medicine) serves as Head of Medical Affairs and has more than 19 years of experience from positions within global clinical development and medical affairs in small, mid-size and large pharma companies. She has supported a number of clinical development programs from early clinical phase up to and beyond marketing authorizations in Europe, US and Asia. Prior to joining Savara, she was CMO for Serendex Pharmaceuticals, assuming overall responsibility for nonclinical and clinical development.
Ms. Vinge serves as Vice President, Head of Regulatory Affairs and is responsible for all regulatory activities. She has more than 18 years of experience in regulatory affairs focusing on biopharmaceutical products within rare diseases. She has successfully driven the regulatory development strategy and registration activities for several projects at pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Takeda and Serendex. Ms. Vinge holds a Master of Pharmaceutical Science from University of Copenhagen and a Diploma of Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs.
Ms. McCabe serves as Savara’s VP 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.
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.