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.

John Coyle

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.

Ian Hart

Ian Hart

Vice President of Operations

Ian joins Akron with over 30 years of experience in all phases of biologics manufacturing under US, Canadian, and EU cGMPs. Prior to Akron, Ian served as the director of R&D Manufacturing Sciences at AstraZeneca where he was responsible for the clinical manufacturing of biological drug substance. Previously, he held roles of increasing responsibility within Aventis Pasteur (now known as Sanofi Pasteur), Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, and Biotest Pharmaceuticals. He has extensive experience in clinical and commercial manufacturing, tech transfer, scale-up, and facility startups. Ian received his BASc in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Management Sciences from the University of Waterloo and his MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Robert Margolin

Robert Margolin

Vice President of Commercial, BioProducts Business

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.

Ezequiel Zylberberg

Ezequiel Zylberberg, PhD

Vice President, Product Development and Planning

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 PhD in International Business from the University of Oxford and MSc in Development Economics from the London School of Economics.

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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.

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.