René Russo, PharmD, BCPS
President and Chief Executive Officer
René Russo, PharmD, BCPS, has spent more than 15 years in anti-infective R&D and has leadership experience across all phases of drug development, including global commercial launches for five novel antibacterial agents and clinical development and registration of several antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal therapeutics. Her work has spanned the earliest phases of in vitro and animal work to clinical pharmacology, clinical development, and post-marketing clinical outcomes research.
Prior to Arsanis, Dr. Russo served in various roles over an 11-year period at Cubist Pharmaceuticals (Cubist). As Vice President of an 80+ person global team, Dr. Russo oversaw the clinical microbiology program (including extensive in vitro and animal work to support dose selection and PK/PD analyses), contributed to the design of multiple Phase 1 to Phase 3 clinical studies, and directly managed the oversight of several global burden of disease programs, including urosepsis and nosocomial pneumonia, to understand the outcomes and unmet medical needs in these infectious diseases. In her role at Cubist, she was also responsible for the oversight of more than 140 studies designed to further understand Gram-positive and Gram-negative infections, including epidemiology, resistance patterns, and the study of various treatments (including combination therapies) across nonclinical and clinical studies. Dr. Russo directly oversaw investigator-initiated research for a broad portfolio of anti-infectives, including daptomycin, fidaxomicin, ceftolozane/tazobactam, and tedizolid. Prior to her time at Cubist, Dr. Russo held roles of increasing responsibility at Bristol-Myers Squibb where she started her industry career as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Industrial Pharmacy Infectious Diseases. She also held clinical positions at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Princeton Hospital before joining the biotechnology industry.
Dr. Russo received her PharmD and Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Rutgers University and holds a Board of Pharmacy Specialties Pharmacotherapy Certification (BCPS).
Eszter Nagy, MD, PhD
Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Officer, and Managing Director of Arsanis Biosciences GmbH
Eszter Nagy, MD, PhD, has spent 18 years in biotechnology and has been involved in the discovery and development of numerous biologics for infectious diseases. Her research and development experience includes bacterial pathogenesis, immune response to infections, protein-based vaccines for bacterial pathogens, vaccine adjuvants and anti-infective monoclonal antibodies.
Dr. Nagy founded Arsanis in 2010 and built a multi-disciplinary research and pre-clinical team in Vienna that created the current pipeline of the company, including Phase 2 readiness of the leading program ASN100.
Prior to Arsanis, Dr. Nagy served in various roles during her 12 years at Intercell AG (now Valneva SE), a biotechnology company focused on the development of prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines against infectious diseases. As Senior Vice President and Global Head of Research for Intercell, she directed research in antigen discovery using genomic, proteomic, and serological methods, pre-clinical development (toxicology and in vitro immune assays), as well as in vivo modeling of a wide range of experimental vaccines and monoclonal antibody therapies targeting bacterial and fungal pathogens.
Dr. Nagy co-founded EveliQure Biotechnologies (Vienna) in 2012, and was on the Board of Directors of WittyCell, S.A.S (now part of Abivax, SE), both vaccine development companies. Dr. Nagy is inventor on over 35 published patent families.
Prior to joining the biotechnology industry, Dr. Nagy spent 10 years in academic research. She is habil. professor at the University of Vienna, graduate student trainer, and author of over 65 scientific publications.
She was Associate Professor at the University Medical School of Pécs and a Visiting Scientist in the Department of Cancer Genetics at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Dr. Nagy received her MD and PhD from the University Medical School of Pécs, Hungary, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Dartmouth Medical School.
Michael Gray, MBA, CPA
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer
Michael Gray, MBA, CPA, has nearly 20 years of industry business development and financial leadership experience, including financial strategy, planning, and operations.
Prior to Arsanis, Mr. Gray spent 15 years in leadership positions at Curis, Inc., a publicly-held oncology drug development company, including Chief Financial Officer, Chief Business Officer, and Chief Operating Officer. He was instrumental in financial and business development transactions that raised over $350 million for the company, including partnering, equity, and debt transactions. Previously, Mr. Gray held positions including Controller and de facto Chief Financial Officer of Reprogenesis, a biotechnology company focused on the development of cell therapy drug candidates. Mr. Gray has also served as an audit professional for the accounting and consulting firm of Ernst & Young, LLP.
Mr. Gray holds an active Certified Public Accountant license (Rhode Island). He earned his MBA in corporate finance and entrepreneurial management from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Bryant College.
Chris Stevens, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Chris Stevens, MD, has more than 17 years of biopharmaceutical drug development experience, including strategy, execution, and operations management for US and European clinical trials and regulatory filings, through senior management positions as a medical lead and as a leading industry consultant.
Prior to joining Arsanis, Dr. Stevens spent more than a decade consulting for nearly 30 companies assisting with all stages of drug development in the US and Europe. While working with Cubist Pharmaceuticals, he guided the development strategy for surotomycin for the treatment of C. difficile infection from IND filing to the completion of its successful Phase 2 trial. As a strategic consultant for Dyax, he supported the development of peptide and monoclonal antibody therapies for hereditary angioedema. He also served on the Millenium/Takeda team that led to the approval of vedolizumab for both the Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis treatment indications in the US and Europe. He served as Senior Vice President of Clinical Development at Alnara Pharmaceuticals and also previously held medical director roles at Circe Biomedical and Altus Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Stevens spent 10 years as a clinical and research gastroenterologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and as an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, during which he authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned his Medical Degree from the University of Miami.
David Mantus, PhD
Chief Development Officer
David Mantus, PhD, has more than 24 years of drug development experience, including clinical, regulatory, and manufacturing successes for programs in endocrinology, central nervous disorders, and infectious diseases. His work in infectious disease product development has included small molecules, microbiome-based therapeutics, immune globulins, monoclonal antibodies, and vaccines. Dr. Mantus has led teams responsible for all aspects of product development, from pre-IND through global commercialization and partnering. Prior to Arsanis, he held leadership roles in development at Seres Health, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Shire Biologics, PAREXEL, and Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals. Previously, Dr. Mantus was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Washington and Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at MCPHS University. He is co-author of a book on regulatory affairs entitled, FDA Regulatory Affairs: A Guide for Prescription Drugs, Medical Devices, and Biologics, that is currently in its third edition.
Dr. Mantus received his Master of Science and PhD in Chemistry from Cornell University.