Dr. Varnum has served as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors of Armata Pharmaceuticals since August 2021. Dr. Varnum joined C3J Therapeutics in 2012 as Vice President of Product Development, stepping into the role of Chief Development Officer in 2014, and then President in May 2019, both roles he continued to serve at Armata Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Varnum is a biotech veteran with more than 25 years of experience. He began his career with Amgen and spent more than 18 years at the biotech pioneer as that company grew from a start-up to a large and successful biotechnology company. Dr. Varnum started in discovery research where his team purified novel growth factors and advanced antibodies and small molecules into clinical studies. Dr. Varnum also worked in development, assisting with clinical development of proteins, antibodies and small molecules. In this capacity, he contributed to key regulatory filings, market research and product launch, giving him experience in drug discovery and development from the lab bench to product launch and marketing. After retiring from Amgen in 2007, Dr. Varnum turned his focus to the start-up landscape, working in several capacities, including assisting investors, entrepreneurs and start-ups in the assessment of technologies for funding or in-licensing. In these capacities, he established research strategies and plans, and served as CSO for several companies, securing funding, and executing research contracts with large and mid-sized pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Varnum obtained his Ph.D. from UCLA studying oncogenes, and his drug development research experience includes hematopoietic growth factor discovery, oncology, auto-immune/inflammatory disorders, personalized medicine in IBD and infectious diseases.
Mr. Morris leads the production, quality, facilities, and clinical operations areas for Armata Pharmaceuticals, a role he also held at C3J Therapeutics since joining the company in 2012. Previously, Mr. Morris was the Chief Operating Officer at Response Biomedical in Vancouver, Canada. While at Response Biomedical, Mr. Morris directed the expansion of manufacturing facilities and scale-up of in-vitro diagnostic products. Prior to his tenure at Response, Mr. Morris was responsible for all manufacturing and quality control activities for ID Biomedical Corporation until its acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Mr. Morris was then responsible for all North American Operations which included influenza vaccine production for GSK. Mr. Morris started his career at Syntex Corporation in Palo Alto, where he spent 21 years in increasingly responsible positions, ultimately becoming the Director of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing. Mr. Morris earned his BA in Management from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California.
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).
Ms. Butler leads the finance, accounting, and IT functions for Armata Pharmaceuticals and has over 20 years of finance and accounting experience. Prior to her appointment as Vice President of Finance and Administration, Ms. Butler served as the Armata’s Sr. Director, Corporate Controller since September 2017. Ms. Butler has held previous accounting and finance leadership roles of increasing responsibility with Inovio, Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing DNA medicines for protection from infectious diseases and treatment of various cancers and HPV-associated diseases, Apricus Biosciences, Inc., a publicly traded pharmaceutical company focused on novel therapeutics, and as an auditor for Deloitte and Touche, LLP, a public accounting firm. Ms. Butler holds a B.S. degree from San Diego State University.