Our executive team has over 60 years of combined industry experience, and a proven track record of leadership, global registration, and lifecycle management for over 20 products.
Dr. Friedland joined Achaogen in 2014 as Chief Medical Officer. Prior to joining Achaogen, Dr. Friedland served as Vice President, Clinical Development at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded, global biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, development, and commercialization of pharmaceutical products addressing significant unmet medical needs in the acute care environment. At Cubist, he led the development of the anti-infectives, pain, and gastroenterology therapeutic areas while also managing the biostatistics, medical writing, clinical pharmacology and pharmacovigilence programs. Specific anti-infective experience included leading the development of ceftolozane/tazobactam, surotomycin and late stage daptomycin studies. Before Cubist, Dr. Friedland was the Chief Medical Officer at Calixa Therapeutics, a San Diego-based private company focused on the development of a novel cephalosporin to address the expanding problem of multi-drug resistant organisms, which was acquired by Cubist in December of 2009. Prior to Calixa, Dr. Friedland held senior managerial positions at Merck & Co where he served as Director, Clinical Research, Anti-Infectives and Johnson & Johnson as Senior Director, Clinical Research.
Mr. Wise joined Achaogen in 2015 after 13 years at Genentech, a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. He most recently established and led the Cross BioOncology franchise as Vice President, Cross BioOncology. In this role, Mr. Wise spearheaded cross-portfolio oncology initiatives, including key account management, marketing, managed markets, companion diagnostics, pipeline commercialization, and long-term oncology strategy. During his time at Genentech, Mr. Wise also held several other leadership positions of increasing responsibility, including Senior Director, Franchise Head and Life Cycle Leader of the Lytics franchise, with overall commercial responsibility for Genentech’s hospital-based Lytics business. He previously served as a Sales Director in BioOncology, Marketing Director in Cystic Fibrosis and Immunology, and Interactive Marketing Director where he built Genentech’s digital marketing capabilities. Prior to joining Genentech in 2002, Mr. Wise worked in consumer marketing, e-commerce and online marketing outside of the healthcare industry in leadership positions at Gap, Inc. and Webvan. Mr. Wise received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Economics from University of California, Santa Barbara, and his Masters of Business Administration degree from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
Ms. Sarpangal joined Achaogen in 2009 and is our Vice President of Human Resources and Corporate Affairs. She has also previously served as Achaogen’s Sr. Director of Finance & Operations and Director of Strategic Marketing. Ms. Sarpangal has prior experience as the Vice President of Finance & Operations at Identified (an HR data analytics company), an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company (a global management consulting firm), and a healthcare investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs & Co (an investment banking and securities firm). She received her Bachelors of Arts in Economics and Molecular & Cell Biology from University of California, Berkeley, and her Masters of Business Administration from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
Lee Swem was appointed Vice President, Head of Research at Achaogen in 2015. Prior to this position, Lee spent 1.5 years as the Director of the Therapeutic Antibody Program, where he developed a state-of-the-art antibody discovery platform to rapidly identify rare functional antibodies to treat serious human infectious diseases. Before joining Achaogen, Lee spent 4.5 years as a Scientist in the Department of Infectious Disease at Genentech. During his tenure at Genentech, he developed the anti-influenza A program, the anti-influenza B program, and began a small molecule anti-bacterial program. Under his leadership, the anti-influenza team established an innovative human B cell enrichment and cloning technique to discover rare functional antibodies. This work led to the discovery of a broadly neutralizing anti-influenza A antibody, which was transitioned into development as a first and best in class treatment for severe influenza A infections. Lee served as the research lead on the anti-influenza A development team, which successfully moved this molecule through Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials. Showing the robustness of the B cell enrichment technique, Lee then led the identification and development of a broadly neutralizing influenza B antibody. This molecule was transitioned to development as a treatment for severe influenza B infections. The combination of these two human antibodies could constitute a therapy to treat all influenza infections. In addition, Lee expanded his research focus at Genentech to include the identification of novel drug targets in Gram-negative bacteria. This work identified a novel antibacterial target within a well-validated pathway. He has also served as the due diligence leader for multiple business development opportunities, resulting in the successful in licensing of a small molecule antibacterial program and several ongoing research collaborations. Lee also played a key role in developing a productive interaction with BARDA to help prepare for pandemic influenza A scenarios. Prior to working at Genentech, Lee worked with Dr. Bonnie Bassler at Princeton University, where he successfully carried out multiple high-throughput screens to identify small molecule inhibitors of bacterial virulence cascades. In total, Lee has authored an IND, 5 patents, and 15 publications.