Executive Leadership

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Christopher Murphy

Chief Executive Officer

Christopher Murphy is a biotech/advanced therapies expert who most recently served as Vice President and General Manager of Viral Vector Services at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Prior to joining Thermo Fisher, Chris was chief operating officer for Brammer Bio, building a best-in-class viral vector services business, and general manager for the Sanofi-Genzyme Allston Landing manufacturing site leading an integrated remediation program associated with the consent decree. Chris has more than 30 years of experience in biologics development, manufacturing, and operations, with a focus on advanced therapies. He holds an M.Sc. in biochemistry from New York Medical College, and a B.Sc. in biology from Rutgers University. In addition, Chris serves as Board Chair for the Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation and as a board member at West End House Boys and Girls Club in Allston, MA.

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David Smith

President and Chief Commercial Officer

David joined Akron Biotech in May 2020 to focus on global sales, marketing strategy, and to support Akron’s business development efforts by utilizing his deep expertise in the field of cell and gene therapy. Previously, he served on the Board Directors of Healios K.K. before he assumed the position of chief commercial officer of Healios NA, Inc., Healios’ subsidiary in the United States. In September 2019, he assumed the additional role of executive director of Manufacturing for Healios K.K. and was promoted to president of Healios NA. Prior to joining Healios, David held various roles at Cambrex Bioproducts. After Lonza’s acquisition of Cambrex, David became the head of Therapeutic Cell Solutions. By 2015, he was Lonza’s VP of Global Business Development, focusing on strategic agreements and alliances for the Emerging Technologies business unit, which includes cell and viral therapy. David also spent 14 years at The Upjohn Company in various sales and marketing roles, including leading the launch of the Parkinson’s therapeutic, Mirapex. David is a member of various government expert panels, company executive committees and advisory boards.

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Cameron Oden

Chief Financial Officer

Cameron joined Akron Bio in February 2022 and brings over 20 years of financial leadership across a number of industries and companies. He has held numerous roles in the finance area, including most recently as Chief Financial Officer at Bote, and has worked closely with operations functions within companies and industries. Before Bote, he held several progressive finance roles across various companies, industries, and geographies. Cameron has a Master of Business Administration from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Arizona.

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Rachael Atlee

General Manager, Boca Raton Site & Supply Chain Head

Rachael joins Akron after serving as the Executive Director of GMSAT at Bristol Meyers Squibb (BMS) where she managed gene delivery and editing viral vector supply activities in Seattle and New Jersey. Prior to joining BMS, Rachael spent 17 years with Merck in West Point, PA with responsibilities that included managing external technology and sterile operations. In addition to her technical achievements, Rachael has extensive experience in building teams/operating systems, and she will bring the expertise and tools to drive our operational excellence program in Boca.

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Ned Drey

General Manager, Sarasota Site

Ned joins Akron with more than 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry. Most recently, Ned held the position of Site Head at Kincell Bio, a technology-forward cell therapy CDMO located in Gainesville, Florida. Ned's scope of work included site leadership, transformation from an internal- to an external-facing organization, and site operational readiness. In addition, Ned brings a wealth of experience to Akron that encompasses start-up, established commercial, and CDMO. His tenure includes various leadership roles with industry Fortune 500s including Merck and Catalent. Ned is also proud to have scaled up and grown start-up companies such as Halo Pharmaceuticals, Genus Lifesciences, and Inceptor Bio.

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John Coyle

Vice President, Quality and Regulatory Affairs

With over 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry, John has experience across the entire life cycle of pharmaceutical products from research and development, pre-clinical testing to dossier submission, manufacturing, testing, and stability. He has been the site quality leader for a large variety of dosage forms and medical devices. John has worked at several major pharmaceutical companies including Allergan, GlaxoSmithKline, Teva, Proctor and Gamble, and Catalent. He has extensive experience working with the U.S. FDA and a variety of global regulatory agencies. John has a degree in Biology from the State University of New York.

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Jeff Humke

Vice President, Human Resources

Jeff joined Akron bio in 2020 and brings over 20 years of experience managing the human resources function for organizations in Florida. Throughout his career, Jeff has acquired extensive experience in key people operation areas like recruiting, compensation, HR technology, project management, performance management, internal process development, and employee relations. Prior to his role at Akron Bio, Jeff served as the Vice President of Human Resources at divisions of The Stronach Group, Ltd. Jeff also held several progressive human resources roles at Nabi Biopharmaceuticals. Jeff holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Health Care Administration, as well as a PHR designation and is the past president of the BioFlorida Human Resources association.

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Ezequiel Zylberberg, PhD

Vice President, Corporate Development

Ezequiel brings more than a decade of research and operational experience to Akron, where he focuses on developing and delivering high-quality, industrial-scale solutions to accelerate cell and gene therapy commercialization. Prior to joining Akron, Ezequiel was a Research Affiliate at MIT’s Industrial Performance Center (IPC) and a strategic management consultant focused on supply chain optimization, innovation management, and investment promotion across industries and around the world. He received his Ph.D. in International Business from the University of Oxford and MSc in Development Economics from the London School of Economics.

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Mahajoub Bello-Roufai, PhD

Vice President, Research and Process Development

Mahajoub brings more than 14 years of upstream and downstream process development experience to the Akron Bio team. He joins after serving as Senior Director of Technical Operations at Voyager Therapeutics. Prior to his role at Voyager, he oversaw scientific operations and technology transfer at Ology (now Resilience) and upstream development for Florida Biologics (now Thermo Fisher) in Alachua, FL. Mahajoub holds a Ph.D. from the University of Orleans (France) and did post-doctoral work at the University of Florida.

Robert Margolin

Robert Margolin

Vice President, Commercial

Robert Margolin brings 14 years of business leadership and sales experience in the cell and gene therapy market, with a focus on business development and corporate strategy and execution. His experience ranges across cell therapy drug product and ancillary material manufacturing. Robert’s deep knowledge of clinical and commercial operations has driven process development, scale-up, and design and configuration of electronic systems and logistics platforms for each stage of development. Robert has worked closely with the field’s leading companies and industry organizations throughout the U.S. and Europe. Additionally, Robert played an instrumental role in the formation and growth of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, serving as its vice president of communications, along with launching several of the field’s preeminent conferences and events. Robert’s network spans the entire industry encompassing KOLs from business, science, medicine, regulatory, policy and advocacy.

Claudia Zylberberg

Claudia Zylberberg, PhD

Founder & Executive Chair

With over 30 years of experience in the regenerative medicine industry, Dr. Zylberberg has established herself as a leader in her field. For nearly 15 years, she led Akron Bio as its founder and CEO with leadership, foresight, and expertise in advanced therapies manufacturing. Her passion for pushing the industry forward in the development and commercialization of safe novel therapies also led her to co-found the Standards Coordinating Body and serve as an active member of numerous industry boards and advisory committees. Claudia co-founded AssureImmune, an adult stem cell bank, and worked with Nabi Pharmaceuticals, specializing in human plasma-derived products. Her experience in product development and protein manufacturing was instrumental in the development of key materials to accelerate the regenerative medicine industry. She holds numerous patents and developed several patent-pending platform technologies in cryopreservation, novel formulations, and others. Claudia received her PhD from the University of Buenos Aires, where she studied Immunology, and conducted her doctoral research at the University of British Columbia. She also authored a children’s book called You’re Full of Genes to introduce the younger generation to genetics. Claudia is a member of the Forum on Regenerative Medicine at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.