Team

James Sapirstein

President and CEO

Mr. Sapirstein, who most recently served as chief executive officer and board member for ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now known as Hepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASADQ: HEPA)), has nearly 36 years of pharmaceutical industry experience spanning areas such as drug development and commercialization. In particular, Mr. Sapirstein has participated in 23 product launches, six of which were global launches that he led. He is also credited with leading numerous business development transactions over the course of his career. Prior to ContraVir, Mr. Sapirstein was chief executive officer of Alliqua Therapeutics, served as the founding chief executive officer of Tobira Therapeutics, and as executive vice president, metabolic and endocrinology for Serono Laboratories. Mr. Sapirstein’s earlier career included a number of senior level positions in the area of marketing and commercialization, including global marketing team lead for Viread (tenofovir) while at Gilead Sciences and director of international marketing of the infectious disease division at Bristol Myers Squibb. Mr. Sapirstein serves on the emerging companies and health section boards of Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and is currently the Chairman Emeritus of BioNJ. Mr. Sapirstein earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Rutgers University and holds an MBA degree in management from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Maged Shenouda

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Shenouda has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and securities industries. Most recently, Mr. Shenouda was the Head of Business Development and Licensing at Retrophin, Inc. Prior to that, he served as the Head of East Coast Operations at Blueprint Life Science Group, a strategic investor relations consultancy. Mr. Shenouda spent the bulk of his career as an equity analyst with senior level positions at Stifel Nicolaus, UBS and JP Morgan, covering a broad range of small and large cap biotechnology companies. Mr. Shenouda started his sell-side career with Citigroup and Bear Stearns where his coverage universe focused on U.S and European pharmaceutical companies. Before entering Wall Street, Mr. Shenouda was a management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers' Pharmaceutical Consulting practice and also spent time in pharmaceutical sales, having worked as a hospital representative and managed care specialist for Abbott Laboratories' Pharmaceutical Products Division. Mr. Shenouda earned a B.S. in pharmacy from St. John's University and is a registered pharmacist in New Jersey and California. He also received an M.B.A. from Rutgers University Graduate School of Management.

James Pennington

MD, Chief Medical Officer

Previous to joining AzurRx, Dr. Pennington spent eleven years at Anthera Pharmaceuticals as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Clinical Fellow.  Prior that, he has held senior medical positions in a number of biopharmaceutical companies, including InterMune, Cotherix, and Bayer Pharmaceutical.  Dr. Pennington has led registration efforts for twelve successful BLA/NDA submissions in the U.S. and another ten in Europe and Asia.  Prior to joining the biotech industry, Dr. Pennington spent ten years on the Medical Faculty of Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Pennington received his medical degree from the University of Oregon Health Sciences Universary, and is boarded in internal medicine and infectious diseases.

Martin Krusin

Vice President for Finance and Business Development

Mr. Krusin is an experienced executive with 20 years of business development, strategic marketing, financing and operating experience in the healthcare, financial services, and consulting sectors. Prior to joining AzurRx BioPharma as VP for Business Development in 2014, Mr. Krusin was VP for BD at FluoroPharma Medical, Inc.; Director of Business Development at Clewed (a business services and investment partnership); an Experienced Commercial Leader at GE Capital in its Global Sponsor Finance, Healthcare Financial Services, and Capital Solutions units; Vice President of Marketing & Sales and Director of Business Development at Electro-Optical Sciences (now MelaSciences); and an analyst in the Emerging Markets Strategic Planning Group at Citigroup. Mr. Krusin received a MBA from Columbia Business School in finance and marketing, a MPhil. in political economy from Oxford University, and a BA in international relations from Swarthmore College.

Luc Lebreton

PhD, R&D, Programs Director

Dr. Lebreton joined AzurRx in June 2015 after serving as R&D Programs Director at Eyevensys from 2013-2015.  Previously he served as Therapeutic Area Leader in occular diseeases at Abbott (formerly Solvay Pharmaceuticals) from 2009-2013 and as the Global R&D Programs Director at Solvay Pharmaceuticals from 2007-2009.  From 2001-2007 he held several roles at Laboratoires Fournier including Research Program Manager, Chemistry Group Leader/Senior Medicinal Chemist, and Chemistry Lab Manager from 2001-2007.  Dr. Lebreton received his PhD in pharmaco-chemistry at the University of Paris VII.

Mathieu Schué

PhD, Head of Laboratory

Dr. Schué joins after serving as Project Leader for the development of a new therapeutic protein (AZX1103), to be associated with antibiotics, at ProteaBio Europe since 2009. He is also involved in the API aspects (cell banking, API production and characterization) of the MS1819 pharmaceutical development. Dr. Schué graduated first as a chemical engineer at “Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier” (ENSCM), Montpellier with specialization in biochemistry and molecular biology and then with a PhD in molecular microbiology at the University of Birmingham, UK. With three years of post-doctoral positions at “Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique” (CEA) at Cadarache, and CNRS, Marseille, he has gained solid expertise in biotechnology (recombinant protein expression and purification) and enzymology (molecular and structural characterizations). Dr. Schué received his Ph.D. in molecular microbiology at the University of Birmingham in the UK.

Dinesh Srinivasan

PhD, Vice President for Translational Research

Dr. Srinivasan  has over 15 years of  leadership experience in drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry. He previously was Director, Scientific BD at Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc., where he wore multiple hats including program management and translational sciences to support the ongoing clinical development programs. He began his career in industry as a post-doctoral fellow at Roche Palo Alto and worked in drug discovery as Scientist/Senior Scientist/Group Leader at Roche in Palo Alto and Nutley, NJ. Dr. Srinivasan received his MSc in Biotechnology from The University of Mumbai, India and a PhD In Pharmacology & Toxicology from the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Monica Gangal

Vice President for Clinical Operations

Ms. Gangal is an experienced clinical operations executive with over 12 years of experience in leading clinical trials across small and large biotech and joined AzurRx in July 2018.  She has extensive experience in leading and executing late phase trials with a specialization in global trials having led clinical studies in over 25 different geographies.  She has led numerous trials across the cystic fibrosis community.  Monica holds a Masters of Biotechnology from the University of Toronto and a Bachelors in Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering from the University of Ottawa.