Brian Varnum


Brian Varnum, Ph.D.

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.