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Management Team

Stephen Willard

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.

Seth Van Voorhees, Ph.D.

Chief Financial Officer

Dr. Seth Van Voorhees most recently served as CFO of PDS Biotechnology (Nasdaq: PDSB) during which he completed several financing transactions in 2021. Prior to joining PDS Biotechnology, he spent 10 years as the CFO for Research Frontiers (Nasdaq: REFR) and for American Pacific (Nasdaq: APFC). Earlier in his career, Dr. Van Voorhees worked in investment banking supporting chemical/pharmaceutical clients at Merrill Lynch, UBS Warburg, and Wasserstein Perella. He received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia University.

Jonathan C. Javitt, M.D., M.P.H.

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.

Rick Panicucci, Ph.D.

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.

Matthew Duffy

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.

Robert Besthof, M.I.M.

Chief Commercial Officer

Mr. Besthof is a global biopharmaceutical executive with a 25+ year career covering global pipeline & country operational marketing & sales roles. He has managed numerous specialty diseases areas, including small as well as billion-dollar brands in Ophthalmology, Neuroscience, Pain, and Pulmonary Vascular Disease. His teams have played key roles in translating new science into investable commercial paths, reshaping markets, launching breakthrough products, and closing numerous licensing deals. Mr. Besthof has worked for Eli Lilly, Wyeth, and most recently Pfizer, as Vice President Commercial Development Neuroscience & Pain. Earlier in his career he worked for Deutsche Band and for various consulting firms. He holds a B.A. from Case Western Reserve University and a master’s in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Michael Kunz

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Mr. Kunz joined the legal department of NRx in October 2020. Prior to joining NRx, he was responsible for managing the gas-to-power and LNG-to-power programs at Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractors (BWSC) in Denmark. He previously served as General Counsel for BWSC, and as General Counsel for Rolls-Royce Power Ventures Ltd. in London. Mr. Kunz began his legal career with Dewey Ballantine, where he represented clients on a variety of corporate and commercial transactions. Mr. Kunz holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University.

Martin Brecher, MD, DMSc, MBA

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).

Corporate Presentation

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