Dr. Jacob Lalezari
Appointed to CEO in January 2024, Dr. Lalezari brings over 34 years of industry experience to the Company, including nearly 20 years of experience with leronlimab, also known as PRO 140. He previously served as interim CEO of CytoDyn from November 2023 to January 2024, Chief Medical Officer during 2020, and has been a member of the Company’s scientific advisory board for the past several years. Dr. Lalezari has been the CEO and Medical Director of Quest Clinical Research since 1996, and served as the Chief Medical Officer of Virion Therapeutics in 2018. Dr. Lalezari has served as Principal Investigator for Phase I, II, and III clinical studies of new therapies for such viral diseases as HIV/AIDS, CMV, HPV, HSV, Hepatitis B and C, influenza, RSV, and COVID-19, including clinical trials conducted by the Company. His work has been published extensively and he is a well-regarded international speaker and patient advocate. Dr. Lalezari received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, his M.A. from the University of Virginia, and his B.A. from the University of Rochester. He also holds a board certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine.
As of February 1, 2024, Mr. Cohen is serving as interim CFO of the Company. Mr. Cohen has more than 30 years of financial, operations and general business experience as a senior financial and operations executive at various public and private companies and has extensive expertise in all SEC and public company matters. Mr. Cohen also has experience in public accounting with an emphasis on financial audits of hedge funds and mergers and acquisitions engagements. Prior to joining CytoDyn, Mr. Cohen served as interim Chief Financial Officer for several NASDAQ-listed companies, including Blue Apron Holdings, Inc., Redbox Entertainment, Inc., and Cerence Inc. Before that, he was a consulting Chief Financial Officer for various companies, and served as CFO of Athenian Venture Partners, a venture capital firm specializing in early-stage investments in information technology, healthcare, and digital health. Prior roles also include interim senior Chief Financial Officer at CIFC LLC; C-level roles at S2BN Entertainment, Inc.; and, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of Asta Funding, Inc. Mr. Cohen graduated from Queens College with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics.
Cyrus Arman, PhD, MBA
SVP, Business Operations
Dr. Arman joined CytoDyn in July 2022 having previously held positions with a number of biotechnology companies, and most recently serving as Chief Business Officer of Nimble Therapeutics, Inc., a company focused on engineering peptides. Prior to Nimble he was Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy of NEUVOGEN, Inc., an immuno-oncology company developing therapeutic whole cell cancer vaccines, from 2019 until 2021. Beginning in 2017, he served as co-founder and managing partner of BioVega Capital, LLC, a life sciences hedge fund. From 2014-2019 he served in a variety of strategy roles at Amgen, a leading independent biotechnology company, including as Director of Corporate Strategy and Global Director and Head of Competitive Intelligence and Strategy. Prior to Amgen he was a Principal at Deallus Consulting, a global lifesciences competitive strategy consulting firm. He received an M.S. degree in biomedical engineering and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Southern California and an M.B.A from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Scott Hansen, PhD
Head of Research & Basic Science
Dr. Hansen has 25 years of experience in the field of virology and immunology, 17 of which were focused on the development and utilization of the non-human primate (NHP) model for the study of host vs. pathogen interactions, disease state modeling, and vaccine development. He is currently an Associate Professor at OHSU, where he has earned recognition for his strong publication record. The majority of this published work focused on the development of a novel vaccine platform based on Cytomegalovirus. To support the translation of this vector platform to clinical development and to provide sample intake functions for clinical trial endpoint analysis, Dr. Hansen developed a Human Samples Laboratory that operates in accordance with Good Clinical Laboratory Practices (GCLP), as well as a Quality System to provide appropriate regulation for documents, data, and inventory. He will draw upon this experience and expertise in his role at CytoDyn, where he will provide research support for method of action and assay support for clinical trials. Dr. Hansen’s research laboratory has been studying leronlimab since the Spring of 2021. In this time he has developed numerous flow cytometry biomarker assays to investigate how leronlimab/CCR5 modulates various immune cell phenotypes. Additionally, he developed an exploratory CCR5 receptor occupancy assay to evaluate leronlimab binding/loading after dosing. Dr. Hansen’s work has led to two research publications (one pending publication) that has already furthered CytoDyn’s understanding on the mechanism of action and potential applications of leronlimab in NASH and oncology.
Bernie Cunningham, PhD, MRPharmS, PMP
Vice President of Operations
Dr. Cunningham, a certified Project Management Professional with extensive experience in development of investigational medicinal products (IMP) including solid oral dosage forms, cell therapies, radiopharmaceuticals and monoclonal antibodies, joined CytoDyn as Executive Director of Supply Chain and Project Management in June 2020 and was promoted to Vice President of Supply Chain and Project Management in 2021. Prior to joining the Company, she held positions of increasing responsibilities at OSI Pharmaceuticals, Mesoblast and Actinium Pharmaceuticals. She possesses extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical product development and has expertise in establishing systems and processes in growing companies. Dr. Cunningham received her B.Sc. degree in Pharmacy and Ph.D in Medicinal Chemistry from Aston University and is a Member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.
Executive Director, Clinical Operations
Mr. Meidling joined CytoDyn in March of 2021 as Senior Director of Portfolio and Project Management and in May of 2022 was appointed Senior Director of Clinical Operations. Prior to joining CytoDyn, Mr. Meidling spent nearly 22 years at Merck where he held various positions of increasing responsibilities in Drug Development. He was a director in Clinical Pharmacology and Translational Medicine and led the Pharmacogenomics and Biorepository group before moving on to become the site lead for Merck’s Kenilworth facility and was responsible for Merck’s Early-Stage Development portfolio and resource planning. Mr. Meidling has a BS in Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and an MBA from Montclair State University.
Executive Vice President of Legal Affairs
Mr. Blok has served as the Company’s legal counsel since July 25, 2022, and was appointed by the Board as Executive Vice President, Legal Affairs, effective August 15, 2023. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Blok was an attorney at Buckley Law P.C., from 2021 to 2022, working in the firm’s business and transactional practice group, representing corporate clients in the mergers and acquisitions process, and advising business clients in relation to corporate governance matters. From 2013 to 2021, Mr. Blok worked at Markun Zusman Freniere & Compton LLP, later transitioning to TTE Law Group LLP, where he represented various corporate clients in largescale arbitration matters, complex commercial disputes, securities litigation, and a wide variety of regulatory examination and enforcement matters.