Shankar Musunuri, PhD, MBA – Founder, Chairman, and CEO
Dr. Musunuri is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Ocugen, Inc. Dr. Musunuri is a seasoned biotech veteran with over 24 years of results-driven experience that includes advancing and commercializing a diverse portfolio of products for numerous companies ranging from “Big Pharma” to novel start-up biotechs. As a serial entrepreneur, Dr. Musunuri has raised upwards of $180 million in capital. Dr. Musunuri was the former President, Chief Executive Officer and board member of ioGenetics, Inc. Prior to ioGenetics, Dr. Musunuri was a Founder, President, Chief Executive Officer, and a board member of Nuron Biotech, Inc. Previously, Dr. Musunuri spent nearly fifteen years at Pfizer where he had held various positions of increasing leadership and responsibility. At Pfizer, his extensive experience in product launches and product life-cycle management included the most successful launch in vaccine history, Prevnar 13®, where he was played a key role as the Global Operations Team Leader. Prior to Pfizer, Dr. Musunuri worked for Amylin Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Musunuri has won numerous company, society and organizational awards.
Dr. Musunuri obtained his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Connecticut’s School of Pharmacy. He serves on the Advisory Board of Fuqua’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Charlie Kang, MBA – President and Interim CFO
Mr. Kang is President of Ocugen, Inc. Prior to Ocugen, Mr. Kang was with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) where he led business development for the DePuy Synthes Biologics Business Unit, which was responsible for acquiring new technologies through M&A and partnerships. Prior to J&J, Mr. Kang held senior strategy, business development, and corporate development roles at Synthes, Aspen Biopharma, and Life Technologies. Mr. Kang started his biotech career in R&D at Somatogen Inc. a company focused on developing recombinant hemoglobin-based blood substitutes. Mr. Kang obtained his MBA and his Bachelors in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado.
Daniel Jorgensen, MD, MPH, MBA – Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Jorgensen is an accomplished physician executive with approximately 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, in small and large companies, including 10 years at Pfizer. He has comprehensive research, development, and commercialization experience for small molecules, biologics/vaccines, and devices, across multiple therapeutic areas, particularly infectious diseases and immunology/inflammation. Dr. Jorgensen began his industry career at Pasteur Merieux Connaught, developing vaccines for hepatitis A and rabies. While at Pfizer, he led antibiotic development teams for azithromycin and dalbavancin and was named Pfizer’s first Vaccine Development Team Leader. In his career, Dr. Jorgensen has developed novel antibiotics with immunomodulatory properties, such as azalides and defensin mimetics, both of which have ocular applications, and most recently, microbiome-related therapies that correct dysbiosis and reinforce barrier immunity. Dr. Jorgensen has successfully ushered products from early clinical development through full regulatory approval, both in the U.S. and abroad, playing a key role in New Drug Applications (NDAs), Biologics License Applications (BLAs) and FDA Advisory Committee Meetings. Prior to joining the Industry, Dr. Jorgensen was an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Jorgensen received his undergraduate degree from Yale, his MD from the University of Wisconsin, his MPH from the University of Washington, and his MBA from Yale. He is board-certified in pediatrics, infectious diseases, and preventive medicine.
Uday Kompella, PhD – Founder and Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Kompella is an Ocugen Founder and a member of the board. He is a Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ophthalmology, and Bioengineering at University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus, with research interests in the areas of drug discovery, drug delivery, and nanotechnology for treating a variety of degenerative, neovascular, and inflammatory disorders including retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and cancers. Dr. Kompella is a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and serves as the Editor-in-Chief for the journal Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery. Also, he is an editor for the journals, Pharmaceutical Research and the Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Dr. Kompella is a recipient of the Distinguished Scientist Award (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Distinguished Teacher Award (University of Nebraska Medical Center), and Dean’s Mentoring Award (University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus). He is also a recipient of the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research/Pfizer Ophthalmics/Carl Camras Translational Research Award in Ophthalmology. Dr. Kompella obtained his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Southern California.
Rasappa Arumugham, PhD – Vice President, Research and Development
Dr. Arumugham serves as the Vice President of Research and Development at Ocugen, Inc. He has over 30 years of diverse experience in leading biopharmaceutical research and development in the areas of discovery and pre-clinical research, formulation, analytical development, quality control, technology transfer and manufacturing. He has a proven track record in drug development, scale-up, and technology transfer supporting commercialization of vaccines and biologics including Prevnar®, Prevnar®13, TetramuneTM, Meningitec® and Trumenba®.
Dr. Arumugham was the Vice President of Biopharmaceutical Development at Soligenix, Inc where he led the pharmaceutical development and manufacturing of biologics, peptides and small molecules in support of injectable and topical formulations. He also served as the Principal Investigator for the development of a heat-stable ricin vaccine program funded by the US government (NIAID). Previously, he served as the Head of Microbial Analytics at Merck’s Manufacturing Division. Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Arumugham spent 25 years in various biologics/vaccines research and development positions of increasing responsibilities at Pfizer and Wyeth. Dr. Arumugham earned his PhD and MSc in Biochemistry and BSC in Chemistry from the University of Madras, India.
Don Durham, PhD – Vice President, Manufacturing
Dr. Durham, -is Vice President of Development and Manufacturing at Ocugen, Inc. He worked as a CMC consultant for manufacturing and process development for biodefense, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies, as well as contract manufacturing organizations. Dr. Durham served as Assistant Vice President at Wyeth Vaccines (now Pfizer) in Sanford, NC, where he led a group responsible for late stage development, cGMP manufacture and commercialization of conjugate and protein antigen vaccines. He led a team responsible for process development, scale-up manufacturing and tech transfer of intermediates for the conjugate, pneumococcal vaccine that was licensed as Prevenar13®. In addition, his group developed processes for late-stage meningococcal B vaccines development, staphylococcus aureus vaccines and other conjugate vaccines. Through his efforts, the meningococcal B vaccine, Trumenba® received approval in 2014. Prior to joining Wyeth, Dr. Durham was Vice President of Technology at Lonza, (previously, Cambrex Bioscience), where he was responsible for establishing a Process Development Group to increase corporate capabilities and revenues. In addition to managing the development group, he assisted with formulating corporate sales strategies, technology marketing and establishing a client portfolio for the company. Prior to joining the Lonza, Dr. Durham served in various research and development positions at W. R. Grace & Company and Genex Corp. Dr. Durham received his Ph.D. in Microbiology/Biochemistry from North Carolina State University and B.S. and M.S. degrees in Microbiology/Biology from Auburn University. He held postdoctoral positions at Yale University and The Medical College of Virginia.