Chief Executive Officer & Director
Mr. Willard brings a wealth of experience in the management of publicly traded biotechnology companies, together with his background in law and finance. Most recently, Mr. Willard served as CEO of Cellphire Therapeutics, where he grew the company and shepherded their revolutionary human platelet platform through key clinical trials, growing the company and significantly increasing the share price. Prior to Cellphire, he served as CEO of publicly traded Flamel Technologies now known as Avadel Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Willard is currently serving a six-year term from 2018-2024 as a presidential appointee to the National Science Board.
Mr. Willard's career in financial services includes government service as Associate Director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), where he served in the United States Senior Executive Service (SES) from 1991-1994, and on the board of E*Trade Financial Services from 2000-2014. He has practiced law in New York, London, and Washington, D.C. Mr. Willard earned his undergraduate degree from Williams College and attended Yale University where he earned a JD in law.
Chief Scientist & Director
Dr. Javitt has been a founder of seven successful healthcare IT and biopharma startups with public exits. He has additionally led drug-development engagements for Merck, Allergan, Pharmacia, Novartis, and Pfizer. He was appointed to healthcare leadership roles under Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush. In the latter role he was commissioned by President Bush to Chair the Health Committee of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) and to lead the development of Executive Order 13335, establishing the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. In the aftermath of 9/11, Dr. Javitt was appointed a Senior Fellow in the National Security Health Policy Center of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies to focus on biosecurity preparedness and appointed by President Bush to the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense. He is a graduate of Princeton University, Cornell University Medical College, Harvard School of Public Health, the Wills Eye Hospital, and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. The Harvard Chan School awarded him the Alumnus of Merit award in 2016 and he continues to serve as Adjunct Professor of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Javitt has published more than 200 scientific works in the areas of health outcomes and Pharmacoeconomics that have been cited by more than 29,000 scientists. In his role as Chief Scientist of NRx Pharmaceuticals he continues to lead NRx on Scientific matters to advance and expand our pipeline of lifesaving medicines.
Chief Financial Officer
As Interim Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Narido will serve as our principal financial officer and principal accounting officer. Prior to his appointment as the Company’s Interim Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Narido served and held various roles at Lucira Health (“Lucira”) from March 2021 to April 2023, including most recently as the Chief Financial Officer until Pfizer Inc.’s acquisition of Lucira in April 2023. From July 2018 to March 2021, Mr. Narido served in various roles at Assembly Biosciences, Inc., including most recently as Executive Director, Finance, Controllership and Treasury. From June 2014 to June 2018, Mr. Narido served in various roles at Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., including as Americas Head of Finance, Global Commercial Operations. Prior to June 2018, Mr. Narido held various finance roles, including Global Head Finance Reporting and Accounting for Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics and several industry-related positions, including Business Unit Controller for McKesson Corporation. Mr. Narido started his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers’s Financial Audit and Assurance practice. Mr. Narido holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science degree from the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School.
Chief Technology Officer
Rick is currently the SVP of CMC at BridgeBio Pharma. Prior to joining BridgeBio, Rick served as VP of Pharmaceutical Development Services at WuXi STA, where he provided scientific leadership in formulation development and GMP manufacturing. From 2004 to 2015, Rick served as Global Head of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Profiling (CPP) at Novartis. His responsibilities included all small molecule therapeutics across the Novartis portfolio. He also led and developed novel drug delivery technologies for small molecules and biologics. Rick has also led R&D groups at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Symbollon Pharmaceuticals, Biogen, and Bausch & Lomb. Rick earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Toronto and did a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Chief Business Officer
Matthew Duffy has more than thirty years’ experience as both a Healthcare and Wall Street executive. He has extensive drug development-to-market experience, including in CNS, beginning at Pfizer, Inc. in Sales Management and Marketing. He subsequently led drug commercialization activities at Medimmune (Synagis) as head of Marketing and Lev Pharmaceuticals (Cinryze) as head of Commercial Operations. Matt has more than 20 years’ experience as an investment banker, buy-side and sell-side equity research analyst and Investor Relations professional. He was/is Managing Director at Roberts Mitani, LLC, at LifeSci Partners, LLC, at Laidlaw LTD (current), and co-founded Black Diamond Research, LLC, a sell-side equity research firm specializing in healthcare/biotechnology. He served on the Board of of CorMedix, Inc. (Nasdaq:CRMD) and currently serves on the boards and/or management of Algorithm Sciences, Inc, Lucius Partners, LLC, Voltron Therapeutics, Inc, PD Theranostics, Inc and AerWave Medical, Inc. Matt received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Duke University. He holds Series 7, 63 and 65 securities licenses.
Clinical & Safety Lead
Martin Brecher, MD, DMSc, MBA, has more than 30 years of experience in psychiatric drug development and clinical psychiatry. He served as an FDA medical officer where he led reviews of numerous psychiatry drugs, following which he led the development of novel psychiatry drugs for Hoechst Roussel (iloperidone), Janssen (risperidone), and AstraZenica (Seroquel). He subsequently served as Senior Medical Director for Global Product Development at PPD, a global contract research organization. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (BA), State University of New York, MD, and Wharton School of Management (MBA).
Regulatory Affairs Officer
Dan is an experienced professional in the field of global drug development, with over 35 years of pharmaceutical development. Dan began his career at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Pharmacokinetic Reviewer for the Divisions of Neuropharmacology; Pilot Review; Surgical, Dental, and Radiopharmaceuticals; and Metabolism and Endocrine Drug Products where he was recognized as an Expert Pharmacokinetic Reviewer for the lipid lowering class of drugs. In 1994, Dan transitioned to the private sector, working for Leiras Pharmaceuticals, Otsuka, Synthélabo Research, Forest Laboratories, and Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Regulatory Affairs where he was responsible for formulating and implementing regulatory strategies for the development of innovative pharmaceutical products in CNS, solid organ transplantation, autoimmune, pain, and infectious disease therapeutic areas. Before joining NRx, Dan held a leadership position at Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, where he contributed to the development of regulatory strategy in the CNS therapeutic area. Dan earned his doctoral degree from the Medical University of South Carolina.