President & CEO
Lori Lyons-Williams brings to Abdera Therapeutics more than 20 years of experience spanning multinational pharmaceutical and emerging biotech companies. Most recently, Lori was president and chief operating officer of Neumora, a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering precision medicines for brain diseases, where she helped raise more than $500 million in the company’s Series A financing.
Previously, Lori served as chief commercial officer of Dermira, a biopharmaceutical company focused on immunology and medical dermatology, until its acquisition by Eli Lilly in a deal valued at $1.1 billion. Before that, she spent 15 years at Allergan in roles of increasing responsibility, where she successfully launched numerous commercial products, including multiple indications of BOTOX®. She started her career as a sales representative at Johnson & Johnson.
Lori is on the board of directors for two clinical-stage biopharmaceutical companies, RAPT Therapeutics, focused on cancer and inflammatory disease, and Pipeline Therapeutics, focused on pioneering precision neuroregeneration. Previously, she served as a director on the board of Five Prime Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company targeting immune modulators for solid tumor cancers, until its acquisition by Amgen in a deal valued at $1.9 billion.
Lori holds a B.A. from Virginia Tech and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Lori met her husband while randomly seated next to him on a flight more than 20 years ago.
Adam Judge, Ph.D.
Co-founder & Senior Vice President, Research
Adam Judge brings to Abdera Therapeutics more than 20 years of industry research experience in preclinical drug development. He is a scientific founder of Abdera Therapeutics and has served as senior vice president of research and development since its inception.
Prior to Abdera, Adam was consulting head of biology at Genevant Sciences, and research director of Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, where he led programs in oncology and infectious disease from discovery to first-in-human trials.
Adam is an inventor on more than 30 issued and pending U.S. patents and has published extensively in the fields of immunology, RNA therapeutics and lipid nanoparticle drug delivery systems.
Adam holds a Ph.D. in cellular immunology from the University of Birmingham medical school and postdoctoral training at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego.
Lana Janes, Ph.D.
Co-founder & Senior Vice President, Operations and Innovation
Lana Janes brings more than 20 years of public and private company management and operations experience that spans the full life cycle of therapeutic product development.
Lana is a co-founder of Abdera Therapeutics, having led the incubation and spin-out of the company from adMare Bioinnovations where she was a venture partner. Prior to that, Lana served as chief patent officer of QLT Inc. where, for 12 years, she was responsible for all aspects of global intellectual property and strategic life cycle management for FDA-approved products Visudyne®, Aczone® and Eligard®, as well as numerous preclinical and clinical-stage pharmaceutical products across multiple therapeutic areas. She also served as senior vice president of technology development in her later years at QLT, where she led the R&D organization and oversaw clinical development of the company’s late-stage ophthalmology assets.
Prior to that, Lana worked as a registered Canadian and U.S. patent agent in the Toronto office of Ogilvy Renault LLP (now Norton Rose Fulbright) and at F. Hoffman-La Roche in Basel, Switzerland, where her practice focused on strategic IP protection for numerous therapeutic and medical device franchises.
Lana sits on the boards of Life Sciences British Columbia and the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC) in Ontario.
Lana received her A.B. in chemistry with honors from Harvard University and her Ph.D. with honors in biological organic chemistry from McGill University, where she also conducted her postdoctoral work in the field of antiviral therapeutics.
Lana is a 10th generation proud Nova Scotian from Cape Breton Island (Ciad Mille Failte!).
Michael Abrams, Ph.D.
Co-founder & Senior Adviser
Abdera co-founder and senior adviser Mike Abrams brings to Abdera more than 35 years of drug discovery and development experience.
Prior to Abdera, he served as CEO of Inimex Pharmaceuticals, chief innovation officer of CDRD Ventures and managing director of Arbutus Biopharma. He was the founding CEO of AnorMED, which developed the FDA-approved stem cell mobilizing drug Mozobil and was acquired by Genzyme for more than $500 million.
Mike is the co-recipient of the 2009 Society of Nuclear Medicine Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award for work leading to the development of the radiopharmaceutical imaging agent Cardiolite. He is also the recipient of the Life Science BC Milton Wong Award for leadership in 2018.
Mike holds a Ph.D. In chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an A.B. in chemistry from Bowdoin College.
Mike is an expert banjo player.
Chief Technical Officer
Kawa Chiu brings to Abdera more than 26 years of global manufacturing, supply chain and CMC experience across broad modalities. Most recently, Kawa served as the vice president of CMC supply chain at Lyell Immunopharma, a cell therapy company focused on solid tumors. During her tenure, Kawa built out and oversaw CMC programs that enabled three IND approvals in two years. In addition, Kawa established the company’s autologous patient supply chain and implemented a progressive cloud based, integrated manufacturing systems.
Prior to Lyell, Kawa served in multiple senior management positions at Genentech in South San Francisco and at Roche in Basel, Switzerland including head of Oceanside drug substance manufacturing, global head of technical operation strategy, global head of biologics operational excellence and global head of supply planning. As the global head of supply planning, Kawa oversaw the company’s $46 billion biologics product supply with a complex network of 35+ internal and external manufacturing sites. Her team led the effort that reduced 20% of global inventory while eliminating chronic stockouts. As the head of Oceanside manufacturing, Kawa transformed the manufacturing operations from a chaotic startup to the most reliable supplier while introducing three new products: Avastin, Rituxan and Actemra.
Kawa started her career as a manufacturing supervisor at Merck & Co., Inc. She held several leadership positions including global quality auditor, automation engineer for a vaccine facility startup, and a program lead that transformed Merck’s distribution strategy in North America, Brazil and Europe, which resulted in $100M revenue enhancement.
Kawa holds a B.S. in operations from the Ohio State University, a M.Sc. in engineering from University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from New York University.
Kawa is an avid runner and completed 15 half-marathons and 3 full marathons including the beautiful Jungfrau Marathon running up the Swiss Alps with a 6400 feet elevation.
Chief Financial Officer
Jennifer McNealey is an accomplished financial executive, having most recently served as chief financial officer of Telesis Bio, helping raise their $123M IPO. Prior to Codex DNA, she was a member of the senior management team at Calithera Biosciences, helping guide the company through multiple equity raises (>$300M), including the IPO and secondary raises.
Jennifer is currently a director at Antibe Therapeutics, where she serves on the Audit and Governance committees. Previously, she served on the board of Enzon Pharmaceuticals.
Jennifer founded and launched Laurient, an equity research and competitive intelligence tool for the biotechnology investment community. Prior to founding Laurient, Jennifer drove fund performance in a number of investment management roles at Franklin Templeton and Morgan Stanley, specializing in investing in public biotechnology companies. At Franklin Templeton, she co-managed the $500M Franklin Biotechnology Discovery Fund. At Morgan Stanley she participated in the turnaround of the $600M Health Sciences Trust.
Jennifer earned a MHA from the Sloan Program in healthcare administration and a B.A. in psychology from Cornell University.
Jennifer is an avid hiker and recently traversed the Presidential Peaks of the Appalachian trail to raise funds and awareness for Life Science Cares.
Senior Vice President,
Kelly Parker, senior vice president, human resources brings more than 20 years of management and leadership experience within human resources. In her previous role with Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Kelly led the Human Resources and Corporate Communications functions. During her tenure with Avanir, Kelly provided leadership, strategic vision and functional expertise to her team and the company.
Prior to joining Avanir, Kelly worked at Allergan as Senior Human Resource Manager. In that role Kelly provided support and guidance across several U.S. commercial business units in which she collaborated and partnered on strategic initiatives to drive key business objectives. Kelly championed talent management programs through the introduction of performance assessments and talent acquisition strategies in support of three successful sales force expansions. She fostered a high-performance team environment, enhanced communication throughout the organization, recommended process improvements to overcome challenges and developed approaches to continuously build talent.
Prior to Allergan, Kelly served as Human Resource Site Lead at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, where she managed the recruitment process, conducted interview training, managed compensation programs, executed performance management programs and coordinated training and development programs.
Kelly earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from San Diego State University.
Kelly lives within 2 miles from the home she grew up in.
Alison Armour, M.D., FRCR, FRCP
Interim Chief Medical Officer
Alison Armour brings to Abdera a wealth of experience in all stages of oncology drug development, as well as more than 15 years of practice as a clinical oncologist and currently serves as the CEO and founder of Curadh MTR which offers strategic and regulatory consultation.
Prior to Curadh MTR, Alison was senior vice president and head of R&D at Halozyme Therapeutics. Before that, she was chief medical officer of Endocyte, responsible for the company’s clinical division, including all medical, clinical operations, regulatory, data management and pharmacovigilance activities. She played a key role in Endocyte’s successful in-licensing deal of PSMA617 (PLUVICTO) and the subsequent development process that resulted in Endocyte’s sale to Novartis.
Prior to joining Endocyte, Alison served as vice president of development and team lead for TYKERB® at GSK and then at Novartis. Earlier in her career, Dr. Armour also served as global medical science director at AstraZeneca.
Alison is known in the industry for her research and her leadership in the areas of medical and radiation oncology—she has co-authored two textbooks and more than 60 publications.
Alison earned her B.Sc. in biochemistry, her M.B., Ch.B., M.Sc. and Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Glasgow, her FRCR at the Royal College of Radiologists London, UK and her FRCP at the Royal College of Physicians in London, UK, for contributions to the field of oncology.
Alison is a portrait artist, and her work has been exhibited.