Leadership

Our leadership team is a highly successful and uniquely experienced group of clinicians, scientists, investment professionals, and health policy experts.

Our focus: deliver novel antiviral treatments to the right patients at the right time, to significantly reduce morbidity, mortality, and costs associated with viral infections.

Altesa’s world-class scientific founders and team have significantly benefited human health against the two greatest pandemics of the past 100 years. Specifically, Altesa’s DRIVE/Emory partners invented some of the most acclaimed, lifesaving, and impactful antiviral drugs worldwide, including emtricitabine (Emtriva®), which combats HIV/AIDS, and molnupiravir (Lagevrio®), which prevents hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Altesa’s clinical, regulatory, and scientific teams also have helped develop and market critical antivirals like brincidofovir (Tembexa®), to treat smallpox, and enfuvirtide (Fuzeon®), the first HIV fusion inhibitor to treat HIV/AIDS.

Management Team

Brett P. Giroir, MD

CEO and Acting Chief Medical Officer

Full Bio

  • Former US Assistant Secretary for Health and Admiral, USPHS
  • Former Acting FDA Commissioner
  • Former CEO, ViraCyte (now AlloVir)

John M. Clerici, JD

Founder and Chief Operating Officer

Full Bio

  • Founder, Tiber Creek Partners LLC, Raised over $6B in Non- Dilutive Capital
  • Former Partner & Life Sciences Chair, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP
  • Former Board Member, Aeolus Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Dan Geffken, BS, MBA

Chief Financial Officer (Acting)

Full Bio

  • Co-founder and Managing Partner, Danforth Advisors

Andrea True Kelly, PhD

VP Medical Affairs and Clinical Development

Full Bio

  • 20+ years experience in clinical ops leadership with small biotech to large pharma.
  • Long working relationship with Altesa team.
  • Significant antiviral clinical development experience.

Anne McKay

VP Regulatory & Quality (Acting)

Full Bio

  • 35 years of Regulatory experience. Former Director Regulatory Affairs Burroughs Wellcome North America; EVP Reg and Quality, Triangle Pharmaceuticals

Laura K. Smart, BA, MA

VP Operations & Non-Dilutive Capital

Full Bio

  • Former Principal and Co-founder, Tiber Creek Partners, LLC
  • Former Policy Advisor, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

Erica Bitten

Acting Senior Director, Human Resources

Full Bio

  • Human Resources and Program leader
  • Specialist in employee relations, employee engagement and HR ccomplience

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Seth Rudnick, MD

Altesa Co-Founder and Board Chair

Full Bio

  • Chairman, DRIVE Advisory Board
  • Former Canaan Partners, General Partner
  • Former CytoTherapeutics, CEO & Chairman
  • Forbes Midas List: top deal makers in biotechnology (named twice)

John M. Clerici, JD

Founder and Chief Operating Officer

Full Bio

  • Founder, Tiber Creek Partners LLC, Raised over $6B in Non- Dilutive Capital
  • Former Partner & Life Sciences Chair, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP
  • Former Board Member, Aeolus Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Brett P. Giroir, MD

CEO and Acting Chief Medical Officer

Full Bio

  • Former US Assistant Secretary for Health and Admiral, USPHS
  • Former Acting FDA Commissioner
  • Former CEO, ViraCyte (now AlloVir)

Ittai Harel, BSc, MSc

Managing General Partner Pitango

Full Bio

  • Former Director of Corporate Development at Nektar Therapeutics
  • Previous management roles with IDEXX Laboratories and IDGene Pharmaceuticals.

David Perryman, PhD, JD, Observer

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Intellectual Property Officer Emory DRIVE

Full Bio

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD

George R. Painter, PhD

Altesa Co-Founder

Full Bio

  • Co-Founder & CEO, Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE)
  • Executive Director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development
  • Co-Inventor brincidofovir and Molnupiavir

James F. Donohue, MD

No Title

Full Bio

  • Former Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Gary Ferguson, MD

No Title

Full Bio

  • Clinical Professor of Medicine, Michigan State University
  • Director Emeritus, Pulmonary Research Institute of Southeast Michigan
  • Former Director of the Emphysema/COPD program, National Jewish Medical Center

Dennis C. Liotta, PhD

Altesa Co-Founder

Full Bio

  • Co-founder, Pharmasset
  • Co-founder, DRIVE and Emory Institute for Drug Development
  • Co-inventor emtricitabine and lamivudine

MeiLan K. Han, MD, MS

No Title

Full Bio

  • CProfessor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at the University of Michigan

Richard Whitley, MD

No Title

Full Bio

  • Professor of Microbiology, Medicine and Neurosurgery, University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Collaborative Antiviral Study Group

Our

Partners / Collaborators

Emory University, DRIVE

Altesa has an innovative relationship with Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE), formed by Emory University, to discover and advance drug candidates for critical global viral diseases. DRIVE is both a key scientific collaborator and a founding shareholder of Altesa.

Altesa’s DRIVE/Emory lead scientists, George R. Painter, PhD, and Dennis C. Liotta, PhD, are Altesa scientific co-founders and serve on the firm’s Scientific Advisory Board. Drs. Painter and Liotta were instrumental, respectively, in the successful commercialization of molnupiravir, which combats COVID-19, and emtricitabine, which combats HIV/AIDS.

The unprecedented partnership agreement between Altesa and DRIVE led to the licensing of a late-stage, preclinical, antiviral drug (ALT-2023) in January 2022. ALT-2023 is a broad-spectrum nucleoside analog that is active against most enteroviruses and flaviviruses, including rhinovirus and hepatitis C. Altesa has a unique, preferred relationship with DRIVE/Emory, giving Altesa exclusive access to up to five additional DRIVE molecules to combat other deadly viruses.