Robert Neville has served as Savara’s CEO and Chairman since he co-founded the company in June 2008. From January 2003 to December 2004, he served as managing director of Clockwise Consulting, where he worked with the Texas Children’s Hospital and the Baylor College of Medicine to develop an ICU-based monitoring and diagnostic device. From June 2000 to December 2002, he served as Vice President of Engineering at BMC Software where he oversaw the integration and expansion of the product line based on the acquisition of his previous company. From June 1998 to May 2000, Mr. Neville served as co-founder and CEO of Evity, Inc. where he led the development of the company until its acquisition by BMC Software. Based on his work at Savara and Evity, Mr. Neville was honored as a two-time finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Mr. Neville holds a post-graduate Engineering degree from the University of Natal South Africa.
Dr. Taneli Jouhikainen is a co-founder of Savara, has served as Chief Operating Officer since October 2009. From October 2006 until September 2009, he served at Akela Pharma Inc., a public clinical stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused on orphan drugs and inhalation products, first as Head of Corporate Development, and subsequently as interim CEO until the company’s merger with Nventa Biopharmaceuticals. From January 2004 to September 2006 he served as President of LAB Pharma Oy, and Head of the Drug Development Business Unit of its parent company, at LAB International, Inc., a public clinical stage specialty pharmaceutical company. From January 2001 to January 2004 he served at Focus Inhalation Oy, a clinical stage specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on inhaled products, first as Vice President of Business Development & Strategy, and subsequently as President & CEO, until the merger of Focus Inhalation with LAB International, Inc. From May 1994 to December 2000, he served at Schering AG, a global pharmaceutical company, first as Research Manager, and subsequently as Head of Clinical Development. Dr. Jouhikainen holds an MD degree, and a Ph.D. degree in hematology and immunology from the University of Helsinki, and an MBA from the Helsinki School of Economics.
David 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. Cecilia 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.
Dr. Lord serves as Head of Research and Development and is responsible for directing and overseeing all aspects of the development lifecycle for programs within the company’s portfolio. He has more than over 26 years of inhalation product development experience including leadership roles at pharmaceutical companies like Rhône-Poulenc Rorer and Nektar Therapeutics. He has experience across multiple inhalation formulation and device technologies including dry-powder inhalers, pressurized metered dose inhalers and nebulizers. Dr. Lord holds a PhD in Pharmaceutics from the University of Bath.
Dr. Tarnow serves as Sr. Director, Head of R&D Operations and Project Lead for Molgradex and has more than 15 years of experience from biotech and mid-size pharma companies and from academia. She has experience in managing bioanalytical programs, clinical development projects from early phase to Phase III and extensive laboratory research experience. Dr. Tarnow is Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and holds a PhD in pathophysiology from University of Copenhagen. Her latest position in academia was Professor of Veterinary Clinical Pathology and prior to joining Savara, she served as Medical Manager in Serendex.
Ms. Vinge serves as Head of Regulatory Affairs and is responsible for all regulatory activities. She has more than 14 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.
Mike 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.
Peter Ginsberg serves as Vice President of Business Development. An accomplished orphan lung disease business development and investment executive, Mr. Ginsberg brings to Savara a wealth of experience in biopharma business development and strategic planning, in addition to a unique perspective as a former senior biotechnology analyst and healthcare institutional investor. Most recently, Mr. Ginsberg served as Vice President of Business Development for BioDelivery Sciences International (NASDAQ: BDSI). Prior to that, Mr. Ginsberg headed business development for United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: UTHR), where he led the sale of its Priority Review Voucher for a record $350 million. Previously, Mr. Ginsberg was responsible for acquisitions and licensing as Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Planning for SurModics (NASDAQ: SRDX), and he also spent 15 years in the healthcare investment industry, during which time he was named a Wall Street Journal All-Star as Piper Jaffray’s lead biotechnology analyst where his coverage focused heavily on pulmonary drug delivery companies. He earned an A.B. from Princeton University, an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst®. In addition, Mr. Ginsberg acts as a reviewer for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
Kate 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.
Anne Erickson serves as Savara’s VP of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. Ms. Erickson has broad strategic communications experience within the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors, including investor and media relations, employee communications, M&A, branding and crisis communications. With more than 20 years of experience, she has held leadership roles within corporate, consulting and agency settings at companies like Mirati Therapeutics, Pfizer and Ogilvy.
Pernille Hemmingsen serves as 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.