Charles J. Fisher, Jr., M.D.
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Dr. Fisher, founder & CEO of Margaux Biologics, Inc., is a physician scientist with a distinguished career in both academia and industry spanning over 30 years. Prior to joining industry, Dr. Fisher served as Professor and Head of Critical Care Medicine at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and has held professor, division chief and director positions at the University of California at Davis Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University and The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. His research in sepsis, host defense and endothelial dysfunction led to his assisting in the founding of Incyte, and his later recruitment to Eli Lilly & Co, where he led the Xigris (activated Protein C) Global Product Team and successfully registered the first drug approved for the treatment of sepsis. He was recruited to Abbott Laboratories as Vice President for Global Pharmaceutical Development and, among other accomplishments, led the registration of Humira (first fully humanized anti-TNF mab). Other medical firsts include his contributions to the development of, and later approval of, sTNF:fc (Enbrel, 1st soluble anti-TNF tx) and IL-1ra (Kinneret, 1st anti-IL-1 tx). Dr. Fisher has numerous patents and publications to his credit. Prior to founding Margaux Biologics, he was Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Cardiome Pharma Corp. where he led the team that invented, developed, registered and sold to Merck vernakalant, a novel, first in class, multi-ion channel drug for atrial fibrillation (Brinavess).
Additionally, Dr. Fisher is a decorated, multi tour combat veteran, with extensive military experience in special operations. He is a Life Member of the Special Operations Medical Association (SOMA), has served as a member of the Defense Science Research Council and on DARPA panels, including one focused on universal host defense. His unique background of direct patient care, basic and clinical research, on the ground combat experience, and leadership at all levels, has led to an exemplary track record of building teams, delivering results, medical firsts and saving lives.
Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer
Mr. Cipriani has served on Aethlon's Board of Directors since June 2018. Prior to joining Aethlon as an executive, he served as the Chief Business Officer at Microbion Corporation, a company focused on the development of a new class of antibiotic therapies for difficult to treat and resistant infections. His business and corporate development responsibilities at Microbion included securing partnerships and raising dilutive and non-dilutive capital for the company's promising clinical-stage pipeline. Prior to Microbion, he served as VP of Business Development at Cascadian Therapeutics where he was responsible for licensing-in several promising pipeline candidates and generating external interest in the company's clinical-stage pipeline to set the stage for future strategic transactions. Prior to that role, Mr. Cipriani served as VP of Business Development at Cardiome Pharma Corp. where he led the negotiation of a global development and co-commercialization licensing deal with Merck & Company in 2009 around the company's lead Phase 3 cardiovascular program. Prior to Cardiome, Mr. Cipriani served as Sr. Director of Business Development for TransForm Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where his efforts helped facilitate the company's acquisition by Johnson and Johnson for $230 million in 2005. Mr. Cipriani began his pharmaceutical industry career at Eli Lilly & Company as a member of their Corporate Business Development team where he completed multiple in-licensing and out-licensing transactions for commercial, clinical and preclinical state assets. Mr. Cipriani holds a B.S.E.E., High Honors from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Lee D. Arnold, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Lee is a creative scientific leader with 36 years of accomplishments in molecularly-targeted drug discovery. After an initial 8 publications in biophysics and biochemistry as an undergraduate at University of Waterloo, he earned a PhD in Organic Chemistry from University of Alberta. Lee began his career in pharma research at Syntex (Canada), and then joined Pfizer, where he was the inventor of Tarceva® (erlotinib) for NSCLC. During his tenure at BASF/Abbott Bioresearch Center, he established medicinal & combinatorial chemistry operations, and initiated and led two multinational multidisciplinary projects in angiogenesis leading to linifanib (ABT-869). As Vice President of Research at OSI Pharmaceuticals, Lee and his teams efficiently discovered four oncology development candidates, including the “first-in-class” agents linsitinib (IGF-1R), and ASP7486 (TORC1/2).
His acquired proficiency in synthetic & medicinal chemistry and structure-based drug design (SBDD), coupled with his broad research experience in target validation, assay development, HTS, and drug metabolism, facilitated his leadership of multidisciplinary discovery efforts as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) in a number of innovative start-up biotechs. These included Kinagen, Coferon (self-assembling drug molecules), and Assembly Biosciences (co-invention of vebicorvir and ABI-H2158 for hepatitis B). As Senior VP of Research at Kinnate Biopharma, he was a coinventor of KIN-2787 (RAF), KIN-3248 (FGFR2/3), which are currently in clinical trials. Just prior to joining Aethlon Medical, Lee was the CSO and cofounder of Pardes Biosciences, which was founded at the start of the COVID pandemic as a virtual company that discovered and advanced the oral protease inhibitor, pomotrelvir, into clinical trials for SARS-CoV2 in only 17 months. Overall, Lee’s inventive and leadership contributions in drug discovery and development to date have resulted in an approved drug, and 16 additional development candidates, currently fueling 8 clinical trials in oncology, immunology and virology. These achievements are documented in over 94 published patents and applications, and more than 39 peer-reviewed publications.
Steven LaRosa, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Prior to joining Aethlon, Dr. LaRosa served as the Vice President of Clinical Development of Entasis Therapeutics, a spin-out of AstraZeneca focused on pathogen-targeted small molecules to treat serious multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infections. In this role, he acted as medical lead and was responsible for the clinical development of multiple programs, two of which were in Phase III clinical trials. Prior to joining Entasis, Dr. LaRosa was an Attending Physician and Antimicrobial Stewardship Director in the Division of Infectious Disease at Beverly Hospital, a member of Beth Israel Lahey Health (BILH) in Massachusetts. Prior to BILH, he was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brown Medical School and Attending Physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Rhode Island Hospital. He was also the Director and a Co-founder of the Ocean State Clinical Coordinating Center (OSCCC), an academic CRO that partnered with industry sponsors on clinical trials in Infectious Disease and Sepsis. Prior to that, Dr. LaRosa was a Staff Physician in the Department of Infectious Disease at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and a Principle Investigator on numerous sepsis clinical trials. He also served as a Clinical Research Physician for Eli Lilly and Company where he led the Phase III clinical trial of recombinant human activated Protein C (Xigris); the only agent ever FDA approved for sepsis. Dr. LaRosa received his M.D. from Boston University School of Medicine (Alpha Omega Alpha). He completed an Internal Medicine residency and was Chief Resident at the Cleveland Clinic. This was followed by a clinical and research fellowship in Infectious Disease at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He holds active Board Certifications in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease.
James B. Frakes
Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President – Finance
Mr. Frakes joined Aethlon Medical in January 2008. He has 27 years of CFO level financial responsibility for publicly traded companies, as well as, specific knowledge and experience in equity (IPO, follow-on public offerings and private placements) and debt transactions, acquisitions, public reporting and Sarbanes-Oxley section 404 internal control requirements.
Mr. Frakes received an MBA from the University of Southern California, and completed his BA with Honors at Stanford University.
Thomas L. Taccini
Vice President, Manufacturing and Product Development
Mr. Taccini joined Aethlon Medical in May 2020. For the past 35 years he has built and led teams in engineering, project management, manufacturing, quality systems and regulatory affairs for several classes of medical devices. Mr. Taccini has developed medical products for organ preservation, transplantation, diagnostics, IVDs, anesthesia, respiratory and asthma treatment. His expertise incorporates product design in the medical, industrial, military, and commercial arenas.
Mr. Taccini holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering with honors from Northeastern University.