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 serves on the boards of directors of Mosaic Biosciences and Principia Biopharma. 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 a marketed RNA product. 

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.

Fletcher Payne

Chief Financial Officer

photo of Fletcher PayneFletcher Payne has served as Chief Financial Officer of Catalyst Bioscience since January 2015. He has been a consulting Chief Financial Officer of CFP Advisory since 2011, and from 2008 to 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 [and financial] 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.

Senior Vice President of Technical Operations

photo of Andrew HetheringtonMr. Hetherington joined Catalyst as Vice President of Manufacturing Operations in September 2015 and was subsequently promoted to Senior Vice President of Technical Operations in February 2017. 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.

Grant Blouse, Ph.D.

Vice President of Translational Research

Grant Blouse photo

Grant Blouse has served as Vice President of Translational Research at Catalyst 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 candidate marzeptacog alfa (activated) and co-inventing its Factor IX candidate CB 2679d/ISU304. 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.

Jeffrey Landau, B.S., M.B.A.

Vice President of Business Development

photo of Jeffrey LandauJeff 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.

Arwa Shurrab

Vice President of Regulatory Affairs

Arwa Shurrab photo

Arwa Shurrab joined Catalyst Biosciences as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs in November 2017. Prior to joining Catalyst, Ms. Shurrab served in various regulatory affairs roles of increasing responsibility within the hematology field. Most recently, Ms. Shurrab served as a Director leading the Hematology CMC team at Shire, where she led the development of strategic plans and regulatory submissions for global filings including initial INDs/ IMPDs/MAA/MDA/BLAs. Prior to Shire, Ms. Shurrab led regulatory activities for hemophilia products at Baxter/Baxalta including BLA approvals and expansion into more than seventy countries. Ms. Shurrab has acted as the primary contact for regulatory authorities for the last ten years. Earlier in her career, Ms. Shurrab held various positions in Quality Control and Quality Assurance.

Ms. Shurrab earned her B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Biology from The American University in Cairo.

Amanda Hill

Senior Director of Human Resources

Amanda Hill photo

Ms. Hill has served as the head of Human Resources at Catalyst since 2006. Prior to joining Catalyst, Ms. Hill served in various roles of increasing responsibility and most recently as a Worldwide Human Resources Business Partner at Genesys, a global technology company. Her career began at Exelixis in 1999 where she saw the Company through its start-up phase, initial public offering and exponential growth. At Catalyst, Ms. Hill spearheads the Company’s Catalyst for Women leadership initiative, training and organizational development and is committed to integrating the Company’s values throughout each stage of its business practices alongside Catalyst’s management team and board of directors.

Ms. Hill holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Psychology and Ethnic Studies from Mills College and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Bay Area Human Resources Network (BHRN).