Management Team

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

photo of Nassim UsmanDr. Nassim Usman served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Catalyst Biosciences from 2006 until 2015. Since the merger with Targacept in 2015, Dr. Usman has served as Catalyst’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Usman joined Catalyst from Morgenthaler Ventures, where he is currently a Venture Partner. Prior to joining Morgenthaler in 2005, from 2004 to 2005, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Sirna Therapeutics Inc., which was subsequently acquired by Merck, and held various R&D positions at both Sirna and Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, including Vice President of R&D and Chief Science Officer, from 1992 to 2004. Dr. Usman has overseen the entry of several drugs into clinical development, completion of multiple licensing deals with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and raised capital in both private and public financings.

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 is the named inventor in 130 issued patents and patent applications.

Dr. Usman has served on the boards of Principia Biopharma (NASDAQ:PRNB), Osprey Pharmaceuticals, Archemix Corporation and atugen AG, (Silence therapeutics LSE/AIM: SLN) and the scientific advisory boards of RXi Pharmaceuticals and Noxxon Pharma AG. He received his B.Sc. 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 two marketed RNA products.

Howard Levy, M.B.B.Ch., Ph.D., M.M.M.

Chief Medical Officer

photo of Howard LevyDr. Howard Levy joined Catalyst Biosciences as Chief Medical Officer in April 2016. Prior to joining Catalyst, Dr. Levy served as Chief Medical Officer or consultant with various public and private biotechnology companies on clinical and drug development strategy and execution since 2010. In addition, Dr. Levy was the Senior Global Medical Program Director at CSL Bering in 2013, and he was the Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, a company focused on innovation in hemophilia, in 2012. From 2008 to 2011, he served as Chief Medical Officer at Sangart, Inc., which was developing pegylated hemoglobin as an oxygen therapeutic agent and a treatment for sickle cell crisis. Prior to Sangart, from 2006 to 2008, Dr. Levy was Associate Vice President, Clinical Research, Medical and Regulatory Affairs, at Novo Nordisk and was responsible for a number of clinical research programs, including recombinant Factor VIIa (NovoSeven). 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.

Dr. Levy has served on many clinical trial committees including Data Safety Monitoring Boards, Clinical Evaluation Committees and Health Economic assessment. He has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.

Dr. Levy 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.

Clinton Musil

Chief Financial Officer

photo of Clinton MusilClinton Musil joined Catalyst Biosciences as Chief Financial Officer in July 2020. Prior to joining Catalyst, he held the position of Chief Business Officer at Personalis, where he helped build a pipeline and rapidly scale revenue as well as complete the Company’s $150 million initial public listing. Prior to Personalis, Mr. Musil was a member of the executive management team at ARMO Biosciences, where he oversaw the Company’s initial public offering and $1.6 billion sale to Eli Lilly. In addition to his operational experience, Clinton brings an extensive background in healthcare investment banking. Earlier in his career, Mr. Musil served in various positions at Gilead Sciences and Sanofi.

Mr. Musil received a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Grant Blouse, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Translational Research

Grant Blouse photoGrant Blouse has served as Senior Vice President, Translational Research at Catalyst since January 2020 and as Vice President Translational Research since July 2018. Previously, Dr. Blouse was Principle Scientist and Project Manager at Novo Nordisk A/S, Haemophilia Enzymology, where he led early and late stage hemophilia projects and drove the strategic evaluation of new therapeutic areas in the rare disease space. Prior to Novo Nordisk, Dr. Blouse was a Senior Scientist at Catalyst Biosciences where he helped build Catalyst’s next-generation hemophilia franchise, including identification of Catalyst’s Factor VIIa clinical candidate, marzeptacog alfa (activated) and co-inventing its Factor IX clinical candidate, dalcinonacog alfa. Dr. Blouse has held research and investigator positions at Aarhus University’s Department of Molecular Biology, Henry Ford Health System’s Division of Biochemical Research and Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology.

Dr. Blouse has authored more than 50 peer reviewed papers and abstracts and delivered more than a dozen invited talks in the biochemistry and hematology spaces.

Dr. Blouse earned his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Delaware, his M.Sc. in Biochemistry from Clemson University and his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Anju Chatterji, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Biologics Development & Manufacturing

Anju Chatterji photoAnju Chatterji has served as Senior Vice President, Biologics Development & Manufacturing at Catalyst since September 2020. Before this position, Dr. Chatterji was at Exelixis, leading biologics development and manufacturing. Dr. Chatterji previously held the role of a VP, Drug Substance Development and Manufacturing at Catalyst starting in May 2019, providing effective leadership and technical guidance for the establishment and implementation of the CMC strategy for clinical manufacturing of CBIO’s biologics portfolio. Dr. Chatterji originally joined Catalyst in May 2018 as Senior Director of CMC Development and External Manufacturing, overseeing process and analytical method development, qualification and validation, as well as manufacturing of bulk drug substance.

Prior to Catalyst, she served as Director of Technical Development for three years at Grifols, where she provided strategic leadership for Grifols’ process and technology development organization. Before Grifols, Dr. Chatterji held various leadership positions at Novartis in its manufacturing sciences and technology department, and at Bayer HealthCare in its global biological development and manufacturing sciences department for six years, where she was a process development scientist and in API operations for two years.

Dr. Chatterji began her career as a BOYSCAST research fellow at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla.

Dr. Chatterji holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Virology from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute.

Charles Democko

Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs & Quality

Photo of Charles DemockoMr. Democko joined Catalyst in June 2020. He was previously at CytomX, where he led the Company’s regulatory affairs and quality. Prior to CytomX, Mr. Democko was a Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Ascendis, KaloBios, Novacea, PharmacoFore, and Connetics. Earlier in his career, Mr. Democko held regulatory affairs positions at Theravance, Elan and Genentech. Mr. Democko oversaw successful marketing applications for Activase (ischemic stroke), Myobloc (cervical dystonia), Olux (whole-body psoriasis) and Evoclin (acne), conduct of over 30 high-level meetings with FDA, EMA, and EU competent authorities, and the corporate presentation at the Activase ischemic stroke FDA advisory committee meeting, which resulted in a unanimous recommendation for approval. Mr. Democko holds a B.S. from Ohio State University.

Norah Conway, M.Pharm

Vice President, Program Management

photo of Norah ConwayNorah Conway joined Catalyst as Vice President, Program Management in May 2020. In this role, Ms. Conway is responsible for all project management aspects of Catalyst’s pre-clinical and clinical portfolio. Ms. Conway brings 20+ years of experience as a drug development professional managing global multi-disciplinary project teams. Her experience was gained through international leadership positions with Bayer in Regulatory Affairs and Program Management and most recently as Executive Director Program and Portfolio Management at Ultragenyx, where she led a rare disease program for X-linked hypophosphatemia, through licensure and launch in multiple regions.

Ms. Conway’s career experience encompasses biological and small molecule products; research phase through late-stage clinical development; regulatory submissions and approvals; launch and life cycle management as well as development collaborations. She has led multiple development programs in a broad range of therapeutic areas including haemophilia, sickle cell disease, cardiovascular, women’s health, oncology and HIV. In addition, she has had extensive engagement with Regulators in the USA (FDA) and Europe, as well as Japan and other international regulatory bodies, which has informed her strategic approach to Program Management.

Ms. Conway earned her Master’s in Pharmacy degree at the University of Pretoria, Faculty of Medicine, and graduated as a pharmacist at Pretoria College of Pharmacy. She also holds a Certificate in Project Management (PMP) from the Project Management Institute.

Tom Knudsen, DVM, Ph.D.

Vice President, Corporate Development

Tom Knudsen photo

Tom Knudsen has served as Vice President, Corporate Development at Catalyst since January 2021. Prior to that, Dr Knudsen was a Vice President of Research at Catalyst.

Dr. Knudsen is responsible for Catalyst’s overall corporate development strategy, including the company’s systemic complement program and MarzAA as well as partnerships.

Dr. Knudsen brings to Catalyst 15+ years of experience across the fields of strategy consulting (Deloitte) and biopharmaceuticals research (Novo Nordisk). At Novo Nordisk Dr. Knudsen held various line as well as portfolio and project management leadership roles across the early biopharmaceuticals portfolio.

Dr. Knudsen earned his DVM and PhD degrees in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Copenhagen in collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Faisal Shawwa

Vice President, Finance

photo of Faisal ShawwaFaisal Shawwa joined Catalyst in April 2008 and serves as Vice President, Finance. He brings more than 25 years of finance, accounting, and operations experience. Mr. Shawwa is responsible for leading all aspects of the Finance, Accounting, and IT organizations. Before his role at Catalyst, he held Finance leadership positions of Corporate Controller and Principal Accounting Officer for Preferred Financial Group and the Head of Finance and Accounting for Provident Funding. Mr. Shawwa played a vital role in these organizations by establishing financing capabilities for originations and maintaining liquidity by ensuring timely sale of securities to institutional investors. Mr. Shawwa worked to develop Finance and Accounting systems and teams to scale to continued growth. Mr. Shawwa holds a M.B.A, from Notre Dame University, Graduate School of Business.