We have assembled an experienced leadership team including world-class scientists, advisors, and collaborators. We have established, and continue to expand, a robust intellectual property position to advance and protect our business objectives.
Nassim Usman, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Usman is currently President and CEO and a member of the Board of Directors at Catalyst Biosciences. Dr. Usman joined Catalyst from Morgenthaler Ventures, where he is a Venture Partner. Prior to joining Morgenthaler in 2005, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Sirna Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:RNAI – acquired by Merck NYSE:MRK) from 2004 to 2005 and held various R&D positions at both Sirna and Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:RZYM), including VP of R&D and Chief Scientific Officer, from 1992 to 2004. During his industrial career Dr. Usman has entered several drugs into clinical development, completed multiple licensing deals with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and raised capital in both private and public financings. Prior to moving into the biotechnology industry in 1992, Dr. Usman was an NIH Fogarty and NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow and Scientist in the Departments of Biology and Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1987 to 1992. He has authored more than 70 scientific articles and 130 patents and applications.
Dr. Usman serves on the Boards of Mosaic Biosciences and Principia Biopharma, is a past director of Osprey Pharmaceuticals, Archemix Corporation and atugen AG (now Silence Therapeutics, LSE/AIM:SLN) and served on the SABs of RXi Pharmaceuticals and Noxxon Pharma AG.
Dr. Usman received his B.Sc. (Honours) and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from McGill University. In his doctoral dissertation he developed a method for the solid-phase synthesis of RNA that is widely used in science and in a marketed RNA product (Macugen™).
Howard Levy, M.B.B.Ch., Ph.D., M.M.M.
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Levy joined Catalyst as Chief Medical Officer in April 2016. He has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry with a focus on benign hematology and critical care therapeutic areas. Dr. Levy practiced as an intensivist with specialty board certification in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Intensive Care. Since 2010, as a CMO or Consultant, he has advised various public and private biotechnology and medical device companies on clinical and drug development strategy and execution. In addition, Dr. Levy was the Senior Global Medical Program Director at CSL Bering responsible for the clinical development of single-chain coagulation factor VIII in 2013 for hemophilia A. He was the Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, a company solely focused on innovation in hemophilia in 2012 and successfully developed a factor IX for hemophilia B, as well as a porcine factor VIII for acquired hemophilia. Dr. Levy served as Chief Medical Officer at Sangart, Inc., which was developing pegylated hemoglobin as an oxygen therapeutic agent, and a treatment for sickle cell vaso-occlusive crisis, from 2008 to 2011. Prior to Sangart, from 2006 to 2008, he was Associate Vice President, Clinical Research, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, at Novo Nordisk and was responsible for a number of clinical research programs, including hemostasis agents, recombinant factor VIIa for hemophilia with inhibitors, reduction of bleeding during surgery and trauma and intracerebral hemorrhage, as well as anti-inflammatory biological compounds. Earlier in his career, Dr. Levy was Clinical Research Physician and Medical Director, Acute Care in the U.S. Medical Division of Eli Lilly and Company supporting post-marketing clinical trials and medical affairs for recombinant Activated Protein C (Xigris) in severe sepsis, and antiplatelet agents ReoPro and prasugrel. He was also Chief of Critical Care Medicine at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque for 11 years where he established a leading critical care trials unit that participated in the majority of severe sepsis studies that were conducted. Dr. Levy has been actively engaged in the research of gasotransmitters such as carbon monoxide for use as therapeutics. He has served on many clinical trial committees including Data Safety Monitoring Boards, Clinical Evaluation Committees and Health Economic assessment.
Dr. Levy has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and chapters in books, and holds M.B.B.Ch and Ph.D. degrees from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and a M.M.M. from Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III College.
Dr. Levy is a member and Fellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine.
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Payne has been Catalyst’s Chief Financial Officer since January 2015. Prior to Catalyst, he has been a consulting chief financial officer with CFP Advisory since November 2011. From September 2008 to November 2011, Mr. Payne served as chief financial officer of Pathwork Diagnostics. Mr. Payne has also served in senior financial positions at CytomX Therapeutics, Plexxikon Inc., Rinat Neuroscience Corporation, Dynavax Technologies Corporation, Cell Genesys, Abgenix, Sun Micro Systems, and IBM. Mr. Payne has over 20 years of experience helping life science companies achieve their business goals. His life science experience includes successful start-ups, initial public offerings, mergers, spin-outs, financings, business collaborations and working with R&D teams whose efforts have led to four products receiving FDA clearance.
Mr. Payne graduated with a B.S. in Finance from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.
Andrew Hetherington, M.B.A.
Vice President of Manufacturing Operations
Mr. Hetherington joined Catalyst as Vice President of Manufacturing Operations in September 2015. He brings to Catalyst Biosciences more than two decades of experience in global commercial and clinical manufacturing, technology transfer and product development. Mr. Hetherington most recently served as Head of Immuno Manufacturing at Novartis Diagnostics division, responsible for providing recombinant and finished product for Novartis’ $400 million blood testing business. Previously Mr. Hetherington held several key Manufacturing positions at Bayer Healthcare’s Biotechnology Division, with the most recent being the Head of New Products and Contract Manufacturing where he was responsible for manufacturing Bayer’s commercial recombinant Factor VIII and clinical stage replacements to supply the company’s global $1 billion annual business. At Bayer, Mr. Hetherington also held the positions of Director of Manufacturing for the Purification and Plasma group as well as Senior Production Manager of Fermentation, Purification and Plasma. Prior to Bayer, Mr. Hetherington was a Production Manager of Solid Dose Manufacturing and Packaging at Glaxo Wellcome’s Pharmaceutical Division.
Mr. Hetherington holds an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, and Bachelors degrees in Chemical Engineering (Honors) and Chemistry from Monash University.
Jeffrey Landau, B.S., M.B.A.
Vice President of Business Development
Mr. Landau joined Catalyst as Vice President of Business Development in April 2016. Prior to Catalyst, he served as Director of Corporate Development and Global Strategic Marketing at Threshold Pharmaceuticals since 2012 where he co-led various in-licensing and co-promotion deals. Prior to Threshold, Mr. Landau held increasingly senior global product strategy and new product planning positions at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, where he contributed to global commercial strategy and development related to sorafenib, carfilzomib and regorafenib, all successful oncology products. Earlier in his career, he held various sales positions at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Orphan Medical and Eli Lilly.
Mr. Landau holds a B.S., Biotechnology/Biochemistry In Honors from Virginia Tech, and an M.B.A. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.