Deborah L. Birx, M.D., was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Armata on July 10, 2023. Prior to joining Armata, Dr. Birx served as a member of Innoviva’s Board of Directors from March 2021 until July 2023.
Dr. Birx is a world-renowned medical expert and leader who most recently served as the response coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Previously, she served as Ambassador-at-Large, when she assumed the role of the Coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. Dr. Birx also served as the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator where she oversaw the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) at the CDC and as the Director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (USMHRP) at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.
From 1980 until 2008, Dr. Birx served in the United States Army, retiring with the rank of colonel. Dr. Birx has published over 230 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, authored nearly a dozen chapters in scientific publications, as well as developed and patented vaccines. She received her medical degree from the Hershey School of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, and beginning in 1980, she trained in internal medicine and basic and clinical immunology at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Birx is board certified in internal medicine, allergy and immunology, and diagnostic and clinical laboratory immunology.
Dr. Pastagia is a translational medicine physician with 15 years of clinical and research experience across academia, biotech and large Pharma. Most of her career has been spent on the development of new anti-infective therapies, including phage-based therapeutics, to treat increasingly drug-resistant organisms.
Dr. Pastagia is well versed in the design and execution of Phase I-III clinical trials for both antibacterial and antiviral agents, and she oversees Armata’s clinical development efforts with the goal of advancing its natural and synthetic phage product candidates through randomized controlled trials, supporting a path to registration.
Prior to joining Armata, Dr. Pastagia served as Senior Medical Director, Infectious Diseases and Vaccines, at Janssen Biopharma, a member of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Since 2017 she led the design and execution of clinical trials for Janssen’s antiviral, antibacterial and immunology assets, and served as clinical leader for Respiratory Syncytial Virus, hepatitis B, and pathogen-specific bacteriophage therapy for certain indications. Prior to Janssen, she served as Translational Medicine Leader in Infectious Diseases, Immunology and Inflammation at Hoffmann-La Roche. During that time, Dr. Pastagia served as antibiotic therapeutic head and leader of disease area strategy, as well as team lead for the development of baloxavir for influenza. Her prior experience also includes serving as Medial Director at Clinilabs, a global, full-service contract research organization, and as Associate Director of Clinical Development at ContraFect Corporation, where she was responsible for the development of biologic anti-infectives, including a bacteriophage lysin targeting Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia. Prior to ContraFect, Dr. Pastagia served as an Instructor of Clinical Investigation in Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology at The Rockefeller University. Dr. Pastagia previously held adjunct appointments in the Division of Microbiology at The Rockefeller University and in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Dr. Pastagia is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease, and also is a registered pharmacist in the State of New York. She received her medical degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, completed her internship and residency in internal medicine at Boston University, and completed her fellowship in infectious diseases at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Most recently, she earned her Master’s degree in Clinical and Translational Science from The Rockefeller University, with her thesis entitled, “Use of a Novel Bacteriophage-Derived Lysin to Treat MRSA in Psoriasis.” Dr. Pastagia is a Member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS), and the Network on Antimicrobial Resistance in S. aureus (NARSA).
Mr. Kadotani leads Armata’s program management and operations teams. Mr. Kadotani has accumulated over 17 years of experience in biotech, diagnostic, and pharmaceutical commercialization with companies like Allergan, Amgen, and Atara. Most recently, Mr. Kadotani served as a Senior Program Manager at Amgen, leading diagnostic and drug product teams in both early and late phase settings responsible for strategic and operational planning, risk management, alliance management, team leadership, and coordination of decision-making. Prior to this, Mr. Kadotani initiated and established the clinical development project management function with Atara Biotherapeutics, a leading off-the-shelf, allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy company. Mr. Kadotani holds a B.S. degree in Biology from the University of California at Los Angeles with a Specialization in Computing. He also holds an M.S. degree in Project Management from Boston University.
Dr. Kyme is devoted to Armata’s business and corporate development activities, a role that started at C3J Therapeutics in 2015. Previously, Dr. Kyme served as Director of Product Development at C3J Therapeutics from 2012, leading a team that set strategy and delivered key data essential for advancing a lead antimicrobial molecule through Phase 2 human clinical trials. He also contributed to the company’s pipeline programs, providing medical and commercial rationale to justify pipeline expansion. Prior to this, Dr. Kyme spent 5 years maturing his drug development career at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center leading project teams from concept through preclinical research in infectious disease and immunology. In this capacity, he worked closely with the Technology Transfer Office, and was the recipient of the Malaniak Award for Excellence in Research. Prior to this, in partnership with Qiagen Pty. Ltd., Dr. Kyme worked at Sydney’s Millennium Institute, as part of a priority national grant for urgent research into avian influenza. Dr. Kyme has also served as Scientific Advisor for the Australia Desk and Life Sciences & Healthcare Practice at Cappello Global, a boutique investment bank, and as consultant analyst to a global specialist life sciences investment firm, evaluating multiple therapeutic areas. His work contributed to a $60 million capital raising for a private U.S. oncology biotech, which in 2012 initiated the world’s largest Phase 3 human clinical trial for a melanoma vaccine. Dr. Kyme earned his Ph.D. in Medicine from the University of Sydney, Australia, the bulk of which was accomplished as an invited scholar at the University of Tübingen, Germany. He completed his postdoctoral training at the Michael Smith Laboratories in Vancouver, Canada, under an $8M grant from the Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative, developing Innate Defense Regulators in partnership with Inimex Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Soligenix).
Richard has over 25 years of experience in Controller roles at public and private companies in life sciences, alternative fuels, clean tech, aerospace, and industrial manufacturing. He has effectively partnered with cross functional teams leading to IPOs for Greenlight Biosciences, Ceres Inc, Internet Brands and implemented ERP systems several times. He has consulted for early stage to mature companies in diverse industries such as biotechnology, advertising, food processing, and telecommunications, bringing successful outcomes to client needs. He has been involved with M&A transactions in life science and media companies on behalf of private equity clients. Richard’s experience includes 4 years of public accounting practice, and he holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Windsor and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.