Charles McDermott

President & CEO, Director

Charles (Charlie) McDermott has more than 25 years of experience in the life sciences industry and has held roles of increasing responsibility in drug discovery, regulatory affairs, corporate development, commercial planning, and executive management. Most recently Mr. McDermott was President, Chief Business Officer, and a member of the board of directors of Impact Biomedicines, Inc. While at Impact, Mr. McDermott raised more than $110 million in private equity and royalty financing to fully fund the development and commercialization of fedratinib for the treatment of serious hematological malignancies. Impact was acquired by Celgene in 2018 for $1.1 billion upfront and up to $7 billion overall, if all contingent payments are realized. Prior to joining Impact, Mr. McDermott was President and Chief Business Officer of Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Mr. McDermott helped lead the transformation of Kala from a private pre-clinical stage company to a pre-commercial stage public company. To this end, Mr. McDermott helped raise ~$190 million via private equity, debt, and an initial public offering. In August of 2018, Kala received NDA approval for Inveltys™, an internally developed drug for ocular indications. Before Joining Kala, Mr. McDermott worked at Allergan as Vice President, Global Business Development for the Eye Care and Drug Delivery business units. At Allergan, Mr. McDermott led efforts to license and acquire a variety of technologies and therapeutics including Lastacaft™, Acuvail™, Restasis® MultiDose™, Latisse™, and Abicipar. Before Joining Allergan, Mr. McDermott was Associate Director of Business Development at deCODE genetics (and before that he worked at Pfizer/Agouron in drug discovery and regulatory affairs. Mr. McDermott currently serves on the Board of Directors for Equillium Bio and is Chairman of the Board of Directors for Anavo Therapeutics.  Mr. McDermott has a B.A. in biochemistry and molecular biology from UC Santa Cruz, a M.A. in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology from UC Santa Barbara, and an MBA from the University of San Diego.

James Appleman, Ph.D.

SVP, R&D and CSO
Cofounder, Director

James (Jim) Appleman, Ph.D., is Chief Scientific Officer, Senior Vice President of R&D, and a cofounder of Primmune Therapeutics. He has more than 30 years of experience in building successful drug discovery organizations and has been an advisor to biotech, hi-tech, and diagnostic firms. Dr. Appleman is the principal scientific innovator behind Primmune’s lead asset, PRTX007, and other immunostimulatory agents in the company’s portfolio. In addition to traditional discovery and nonclinical development, he is responsible for translational sciences essential for PRTX007’s continued progress in clinical development.Dr. Appleman’s entire career has been devoted to the creation of new medicines for the treatment of patients with cancer and serious viral diseases. During the last two decades, much of this effort has been spent in finding ways to engage the innate immune system for therapeutic benefit. As part of this journey, he discovered an unexpectedly complex set of features – almost all counter-intuitive – that must be incorporated into small-molecule agonists of toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) if they are to be used for chronic therapy, particularly in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors for the treatment of cancer. These understandings have been rendered into practice, culminating in the discovery and development of PRTX007.Before founding Primmune, Dr. Appleman was a cofounder of eFFECTOR Therapeutics, where he established both the technology base and bioinformatics infrastructure to support eFFECTOR’s unique programs targeting dysregulated mRNA translation. He previously served as Senior Vice President, Research and Chief Scientific Officer at Anadys Pharmaceuticals, where he played a pivotal role in the business process culminating in the acquisition of Anadys by Roche Pharma and in the invention, characterization, and clinical development of the company's internally discovered drug candidates, setrobuvir and ANA773. ANA773 is a novel TLR7 agonist originally intended for the treatment of cancer and hepatic viral diseases.Prior to joining Anadys, Dr. Appleman held positions at Gensia and its subsidiary Metabasis Therapeutics and was a faculty member at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Oklahoma State University and completed his postdoctoral training at Dartmouth Medical School. He has authored more than 70 scientific publications, reviews and book chapters. He is an inventor of proprietary technology and a holder of numerous patents.

Curtis Scribner, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Curtis Scribner, M.D., is a board-certified internal medicine specialist with extensive experience in drug development as a clinical investigator, regulatory reviewer, and strategic product life cycle consultant. Dr. Scribner spent 10 years at the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), reviewing all phases of clinical development in a wide breadth of areas (blood, plasma, recombinant proteins, cells, tissues, vaccines, etc.). He worked for six years in a small venture-based drug, biologic, and combination development company (BioMedicines/Intarcia) as the Chief Regulatory Officer. He has more than 25 years of experience as a consultant to drugs and biologics companies working on everything from discovery and preclinical models through clinical trials, especially early-stage clinical trials, Data and Safety Monitoring Committees, and strategic and operational regulatory interactions in the U.S. (FDA) and E.U. (EMA and Member States). He has extensive experience in oncology, hepatology, infectious disease, rheumatology, immunology, very rare and orphan diseases, and gene therapy.

Richard Daniels

Chief Operating Officer

Richard Daniels is the Chief Operating Officer of Primmune and brings more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry covering all stages of product development and commercialization in multiple therapeutic areas. Prior to joining Primmune Therapeutics, Mr. Daniels was Senior Vice President of R&D Planning at Intercept Pharmaceuticals, leading teams in Clinical Operations, Program Management, and Quality Assurance for the execution of multiple development and in-market programs in liver disease. Prior to Intercept, Mr. Daniels spent 15 years at Amgen in increasing roles of responsibility, including the last five years as Executive Director, Oncology Therapeutic Area Lead and a member of the Franchise Strategy Committee responsible for developing Amgen’s oncology strategy and managing the development, registration, and life-cycle activities for a portfolio of 20+ pipeline and marketed assets. Earlier in Mr. Daniels’ career, he held various scientific positions in discovery, preclinical, and clinical research in both oncology and infectious diseases at Agouron Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer). Mr. Daniels earned a B.S. in microbiology from the UC San Diego.

Paulo Rangel

Chief Business Officer and Cofounder

Paulo Rangel is the Chief Business Officer and cofounder of Primmune and brings 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and related industries in both small and large companies. Before Primmune, Mr. Rangel was President, CEO, and cofounder of Evince Biosciences, a precursor to Primmune Therapeutics. Before Evince, Mr. Rangel was a partner at ProPharma Partners International, an international consulting group. He concentrated on working with biopharmaceutical and medical device companies on worldwide in- and out-licensing, valuations, business plans, and market research. Before ProPharma, Mr. Rangel was Head of Global Business Development at Besins Healthcare, a global pharmaceutical company with products targeted for women’s and men’s health. Mr. Rangel was a founder of, and key executive in, two medical device start-ups, Lasercure Sciences and 5i Sciences (now Sommetrics). In those positions, he completed the financing, clinical studies, and collaborations and was responsible for all intellectual property. Mr. Rangel has filled key roles in a number of other biotechnology companies and worked at Amgen and Hybritech/Lilly early in his career. Mr. Rangel received a B.A. in chemistry and biochemistry from UC San Diego and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Scott Zook

Senior Vice President, Global Manufacturing

Scott Zook is the Senior Vice President, Global Manufacturing and brings more than 28 years of drug development experience in the pharmaceutical industry consisting of establishing and directing CMC strategy and activities, developing global supply chains, and managing a wide range of drug candidates across all regulatory phases. Prior to joining Primmune Therapeutics, Mr. Zook was Vice President of CMC at Neurocrine Biosciences, where he was responsible for managing the development and manufacturing efforts for drug development programs, which included two NDA approvals and covered a wide range of therapeutic areas, including neurology, gene therapy, endocrinology, pediatric and adult epilepsy, and neuro-psychiatric conditions. Prior to joining Neurocrine Biosciences, Mr. Zook was a scientist at Agouron Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer), where he led the API efforts on VEGF oncology and VEGF ophthalmology products. Mr. Zook earned his M.Sc. in synthetic organic chemistry and B.Sc. in organic chemistry from the University of Saskatchewan.

Stephen Webber, Ph.D.

Vice President, Medicinal Chemistry, and Cofounder

Stephen E. Webber, Ph.D., is Vice President of Medicinal Chemistry and cofounder of Primmune Therapeutics. Dr. Webber was previously Executive Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Polaris Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for the discovery and synthesis of small molecule cancer therapeutics utilizing structure-based drug design techniques. Prior to joining Polaris, Dr. Webber was a cofounder and Director of Medicinal Chemistry at eFFECTOR Therapeutics, a company devoted to the discovery and development of translation regulators for cancer. At eFFECTOR, Dr. Webber’s responsibilities included building and managing a medicinal chemistry group, laboratories, and chemistry outsourcing, and performing structure-based drug design. Before this position, Dr. Webber led the discovery chemistry efforts at Anadys Pharmaceuticals, where he served in various senior level positions until the company was acquired by Roche. At Anadys, Dr. Webber discovered and co-invented several therapeutically important antiviral and anticancer small molecules, including clinical candidate setrobuvir, and TLR7 agonists ANA-975 and ANA-773. Dr. Webber also discovered rucaparib, which was licensed to Clovis Oncology by Pfizer and was approved by the FDA to treat ovarian cancer (marketed as Rubraca®). It is currently the subject of several Phase 2 and 3 clinical studies in other cancers in patients with the BRCA or BRCA-like mutations. Dr. Webber’s industrial career extends back to 1987, when he joined Agouron Pharmaceuticals at its inception. Dr. Webber received his B.S. from Philadelphia University (now part of Thomas Jefferson University) and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.