Christopher J. Schaber, PhD
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Christopher J. Schaber has over 29 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Dr. Schaber has been our President and Chief Executive Officer and a director since August 2006. He was appointed Chairman of the Board on October 8, 2009. He also serves on the board of directors of the Biotechnology Council of New Jersey (“BioNJ”) since January 2009 and the Alliance for Biosecurity since October 2014, and has been a member of the corporate councils of both the National Organization for Rare Diseases (“NORD”) and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (“ASBMT”) since October 2009 and July 2009, respectively. Prior to joining Soligenix, Dr. Schaber served from 1998 to 2006 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Discovery Laboratories, Inc., where he was responsible for overall pipeline development and key areas of commercial operations, including regulatory affairs, quality control and assurance, manufacturing and distribution, pre-clinical and clinical research, and medical affairs, as well as coordination of commercial launch preparation activities. From 1996 to 1998, Dr. Schaber was a co-founder of Acute Therapeutics, Inc., and served as its Vice President of Regulatory Compliance and Drug Development. From 1994 to 1996, Dr. Schaber was employed by Ohmeda PPD, Inc., as Worldwide Director of Regulatory Affairs and Operations. From 1989 to 1994, Dr. Schaber held a variety of regulatory, development and operations positions with The Liposome Company, Inc., and Elkins-Sinn Inc., a division of Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories. Dr. Schaber received his BA degree from Western Maryland College, his MS degree in Pharmaceutics from Temple University School of Pharmacy and his PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Union Graduate School.
R. Christopher Cavalli, PhD
Vice President, Biopharmaceutical Development
R. Christopher Cavalli has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, in the areas of pharmaceutical development, manufacturing and analytical testing. Prior to joining Soligenix, Dr. Cavalli worked as a manager/director at Pharmalytic (a subsidiary of ColorCon), Discovery Laboratories, Cytogen, and most recently, Hemispherx Biopharma where he was responsible for the day to day operation of their active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing facility. In these positions he was responsible for Quality Control, Quality Assurance, Process Development, Manufacturing and Regulatory. Dr. Cavalli received his PhD in the Department of Chemistry at Temple University and did postdoctoral studies in the Biochemistry Department at Temple University School of Medicine.
Oreola Donini, PhD
Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer
Oreola Donini has more than 20 years of experience in drug discovery and preclinical development with start-up biotechnology companies and has been instrumental in leading early stage development of several novel therapies into the clinic. Dr. Donini has worked previously with ESSA Pharma Inc., Inimex Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Kinetek Pharmaceuticals Inc., developing novel therapies for infectious disease, cancer and cancer supportive care. Dr. Donini is a co-inventor and leader of the SGX94 innate defense regulator technology, developed by Inimex Pharmaceuticals and subsequently acquired by Soligenix. She was responsible for overseeing the manufacturing and preclinical testing of SGX94, which demonstrated efficacy in combating bacterial infections and mitigating the effects of tissue damage due to trauma, infection, radiation and/or chemotherapy treatment. These preclinical studies culminated in a successful Phase 1 clinical study and clearance of Phase 2 protocols for oral mucositis in head and neck cancer and acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections. While with ESSA Pharma as the Vice President of Research and Development, Dr. Donini led the preclinical testing of a novel N-terminal domain inhibitor of the androgen receptor for the treatment of prostate cancer. Prior to joining Inimex, she worked with Kinetek Pharmaceuticals in the discovery of novel kinase and phosphatase inhibitors for the treatment of cancer. Dr. Donini received her PhD from Queen’s University in Kinston, Ontario, Canada and completed her post-doctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research has spanned drug discovery, preclinical development, manufacturing and clinical development in infectious disease, cancer and cancer supportive care.
Jonathan Guarino, CPA
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Jonathan Guarino has over 20 years of diverse experience in the financial and strategic management of emerging growth and commercial companies, including in the life sciences industry. Most recently, he served as Corporate Controller for Hepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (formerly ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), a New Jersey-based public biotechnology company, where he contributed to the establishment of the financial infrastructure, as well as assisted with capital fund-raising and debt financings. Previously, he worked as Controller and senior manager of technical accounting for Suite K Value Added Services LLC and Covance, Inc. Prior to these positions, he held accounting and finance positions of increasing importance with several companies, including PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, BlackRock, Inc. and Barnes & Noble, Inc. Mr. Guarino is a CPA (certified public accountant) and CGMA (chartered global management accountant), who received his BS in Business from Montclair State University.
Adam T. Rumage
Vice President, Project Management & Regulatory Affairs
Adam T. Rumage has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Mr. Rumage has been with Soligenix since 2007 in the areas of Clinical Operations, Project Management and Regulatory Affairs. Prior to joining Soligenix, Mr. Rumage was with Discovery Laboratories, Inc., from 1998 to 2007 in various operational roles of increasing importance, including serving as Director of Project Management and Regulatory Affairs, where his primary responsibility was coordination of development activities and interactions with regulatory heath authorities such as the US Food & Drug Administration. From 1995 to 1998, Mr. Rumage was employed by Ohmeda PPD, Inc., in the area of Quality Assurance, with responsibility for coordinating the company’s commercial complaints system. Mr. Rumage received his BSc degree in Biology from Seton Hall University.
Richard C. Straube, MD, MSc
Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
Richard C. Straube has over 35 years of experience in both academia and industry, he is a board-certified pediatrician with clinical research experience in host-response modulation, most notably with Centocor, Ohmeda Pharmaceuticals, INO Therapeutics, and Stealth Peptides, Inc. While with Centocor, Dr. Straube was responsible for the initial anti-cytokine and anti-endotoxin programs targeted at ameliorating inappropriate host responses to infectious and immunologic challenges. Programs that he has managed include assessments of immunomodulation using monoclonal removal of inciting molecular triggers, removal of internal immune-messengers, augmentation of normal host defenses, and maintenance of normal sub-cellular function in the face of injury. He was also the founding Chief Medical Officer for INO Therapeutics and was responsible for the clinical trials and subsequent approval of inhaled nitric oxide for the treatment of persistent pulmonary hypertension in the newborn. Dr. Straube received his medical degree and residency training at the University of Chicago, completed a joint adult and pediatrician infectious diseases fellowship at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and as a Milbank Scholar completed training in clinical trial design at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. While on the faculty at the UCSD Medical Center, his research focused on interventional studies for serious viral infections.