Chief Executive Officer and 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 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.
Senior Director, Global Communications
Molly Cogan brings more than 20 years’ experience in international communications and digital strategy, media relations public and government affairs and has served in both the public and private sectors. She helped to lead the Wireless Life Sciences Alliance as its Executive Director to foster a movement toward digital health technology discovery and adoption in the health and consumer sectors. She has advised C-level leaders and corporate management teams in healthcare including digital and population health, technology, marine, aviation, and real estate development. In federal and state government, Molly has served in appointed roles and advised elected officials at the highest levels in communications, media relations, and external and political affairs.
Founder & Chief Scientist
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.
Head of Operations & Chief Commercial Officer
Mr. Besthof is a global biopharmaceutical executive with a 25+ year career leading global pipeline & country operational marketing & sales roles. He has managed numerous specialty disease areas, from small to 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 of Commercial Development for Neuroscience & Pain. Earlier in his career Mr. Besthof worked for Deutsche Bank and for various consulting firms. He holds a B.A. from Case Western Reserve University and a Master’s Degree in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
General Counsel & 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.
Dr. Lavin is a highly respected biostatistician with more than 30 years experience supporting the design and analysis of clinical trials. Previously, he was a member of the biostatistics faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a member of the Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School where he was affiliated for more than 25 years. He co-founded Boston Biostatistics in 1983, a company known as Aptiv Solutions. During his career, Dr. Lavin has served as lead biostatistician for 50 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals, including 38 PMAs, more to date than any other biostatistician. He has also served as a Special Government Employee for 30 years advising the FDA on complex statistical and policy issues.
Chief Strategy Officer & Senior Scientist
Dr. McBride has led numerous national and international initiatives in neuroscience and its interface with information technology, national security, and medical technology/drug development within the federal government, three of which are now multi-billion dollar enterprises. Dr. McBride began his career as a medical scientist in Naval Aviation and ergonomics and served in eight nationally prominent laboratories, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Naval Aerospace Medical Research Lab, Naval Research Lab, the Office of Naval Research, and the Naval Medical Research Institute. Upon retiring as a highly decorated senior officer (O-6), he assumed leadership of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, where he continues to serve as President Emeritus. Following his ten-year term, he was recruited back to the National Defense University to lead the Center for Technology and National Security Policy, culminating his government career as a Senior Executive-4 (Civilian equivalent to Rear Admiral/Vice Admiral). Dr. McBride has served as an adviser to Cabinet Secretaries, US Congressional Committees, and to corporate C-Suite executives. His educational background includes formal enrollment at the University of Georgia, Naval Aerospace Medical Institute (flight surgeon school), the University of Southern California, the London School of Economics, and Harvard Business School, earning a Ph.D. in experimental psychology, four master’s degrees, and an additional postdoctoral education in aviation medicine, systems engineering science, and strategic disruption. He has published widely and was elected by faculty in 1999 to full professor. Dr. McBride has served at multiple universities in colleges of Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Public Policy, and Medicine. For the past 12 years, Dr. McBride has served as an adjunct Professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine and co-Director of Georgetown’s Regulatory Science Program.
Chief Business Officer
Randy brings more than 30 years of investment banking experience dedicated to advising biopharmaceutical companies worldwide. He has advised on numerous corporate M&A, partnering transactions and public and private financings. Most recently, Randy was a Managing Director at Young & Partners, a boutique investment banking firm serving the life sciences and chemical industries. Prior to Young & Partners, Randy was Head of Health Care Investment Banking for the Americas at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and worked for more than 15 years at Lehman Brothers as Managing Director in the Healthcare Group, Managing Director in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group and as Co-Head of Healthcare Mergers & Acquisitions. Randy received an AB degree in Economics at Harvard College and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.