Chief Executive Officer
Lyn Baranowski is the chief executive officer of Avalyn Pharma, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing targeted medicines for patients with rare lung diseases in need of better therapeutic options. Avalyn currently has two programs in clinical development: inhaled versions of IPF & ILD medicines pirfenidone and nintedanib. With inhaled delivery, Avalyn’s platform promises to fundamentally improve the product profile of the molecules in two ways: by increasing lung exposure at smaller doses than the oral forms, potentially improving efficacy, while decreasing systemic exposure, resulting in improved tolerability / AE profiles.
Lyn has more than two decades of experience leading a vast array of functions in biotech, big pharma, and venture capital firms with a focus in the respiratory therapeutic area. Prior to joining Avalyn, Ms. Baranowski served as chief operating officer at Altavant Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company that successfully built and developed a portfolio of therapies for rare respiratory diseases prior to its 2019 acquisition by Sumitomo Dainippon. Earlier in her career, she served in senior-level corporate development and commercial roles, including vice president of commercial development at Pearl Therapeutics, which successfully developed a portfolio of asthma & COPD medicines prior to its sale to AstraZeneca for $1.15 Billion in 2013; and vice president in a healthcare-focused venture capital firm based in New York. She had previously held roles in business development, marketing and public affairs with Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Switzerland and the U.S.
She earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from American University. In addition to her role at Avalyn, Ms. Baranowski serves on the board of directors of Rani Therapeutics, a company developing technology for the oral delivery of biologic drugs, and on the planning committee for the American Thoracic Society’s Respiratory Innovation Summit, an annual meeting that unites the innovators, investors, and clinicians who are leading the fight to create powerful new treatments for deadly and crippling diseases of the lungs and airways.
Mark Surber, Ph.D.
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer
Mark W. Surber, Ph.D. is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Avalyn Pharma. At Avalyn, Dr. Surber serves as chief scientific officer and is the inventor of AP01 and pipeline patent estates. Dr. Surber has over 25 years of pharmaceutical, device and diagnostic development experience, most of which starting, financing and growing biopharmaceutical companies.
Prior to Avalyn, Dr. Surber served as a consultant providing multi-disciplinary drug development services to pharmaceutical companies, including Elevation Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Sunovion in 2012) developing the now marketed inhaled Lonhala® Magnair® combination product for COPD. Prior to consulting, Dr. Surber was the first employee at Aires Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Mast Therapeutics in 2014) where he was project lead and an inventor of Aironite™, an inhaled medicine for treatment of pulmonary hypertension and heart failure. Dr. Surber was also and first employee at Mpex Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Aptalis Pharma in 2011) where he held multiple positions of responsibility including project lead and inventor of Quinsair®, an inhaled medicine marketed for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.
Dr. Surber is well-published and holds multiple patents in formulation, drug delivery, pharmacology and pulmonary medicine. He has a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Illinois, and a M.S. and B.Sc. from California State University, Long Beach.
Chief Financial Officer
Marc Schneebaum joined Avalyn as CFO in September 2021. Mr. Schneebaum has over 25 years of experience in the biotechnology and healthcare sector.
Prior to Avalyn, Mr. Schneebaum served as SVP and chief financial officer of Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company developing drugs for liver and cardiovascular diseases, including NASH. He also was SVP and chief financial officer of Synta Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company developing oncology drugs and president, chief executive officer and a director of Predictive BioSciences, Inc., a commercial stage oncology diagnostics company. Mr. Schneebaum has also served as president, chief executive officer, and a director of Sensors for Medicine and Science, Inc., an emerging medical technology company; SVP of finance, business development and administration, and chief financial officer of Genetic Therapy, Inc., a biotechnology company (acquired by Sandoz/Novartis).
Mr. Schneebaum was a VP at Alex. Brown & Sons Incorporated, a leading investment banking firm, where he participated in a variety of finance and strategic assignments, and he began his career in the accounting and auditing group at KPMG LLP, advancing to senior manager in the management consulting group. Mr. Schneebaum served as a director of GenVec, Inc., a publicly held biopharmaceutical company acquired by Intrexon Corporation, from 2007 to 2017, and as a director of several privately held life science companies. Mr. Schneebaum earned his degree in business administration from the University of Maryland.
Senior Vice President, Administration & Finance
Nancy McKinley has more than 30 years financial and business management experience. Ms. McKinley has broad industry experience in companies ranging from start-up to large public organizations. As part of the Avalyn management team, she is responsible for finance and human resources. Before Avalyn, Ms. McKinley served as VP of finance for Cardeas Pharma. Prior to Cardeas, she served as Controller at Medicis Technologies, a division on Medicis Pharmaceuticals. Prior Medicis, Nancy served as interim CFO at EndoGastic Solutions, a medical device company, executive director corporate controller/treasurer at Corus Pharma, and held various financial positions with Borden, Inc.
Ms. McKinley began her career at Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) where she earned her CPA. Ms. McKinley received a B.A. in accounting from Capital University.
Senior Vice President, Program Management
Michelle Patterson, MBA, PMP is the SVP of program management at Avalyn. Ms. Patterson brings over 25 years of industry experience, spanning multiple therapeutic areas, product classes, and markets. Most recently, she served as VP of Program Management and NASH program team leader at Intercept Pharmaceuticals where she led the resubmission of the NASH NDA. Prior to Intercept, Ms. Patterson served in senior project leadership roles at both large and small biotech companies including Novan, Roivant Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline, and Eli Lilly.
She has led six new drug applications over the last decade and has contributed to three product approvals: Taltz®, Gemtesa®, and Rapivab®. In parallel with these major milestones, she has developed fit-for-purpose portfolio and program management processes and tools to improve the quality and reliability of delivery of drug development programs. She is widely recognized in the industry for her drug development expertise and team leadership. Ms. Patterson expertly manages the delivery of key product portfolio milestones by integrating work across multiple functions including regulatory, pre-clinical, clinical, manufacturing and product development.
Ms. Patterson earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. She is also a certified Project Management Professional.
Stephen Pham, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Product Development
Stephen Pham, Ph.D. is the SVP of product development of Avalyn Pharma. Dr. Pham has 25 years of industry experience in inhalation and ophthalmic products, ranging from product concept through approval and launch.
Prior to joining Avalyn, Dr. Pham served as a full-time consultant for Sunovion Pharmaceuticals where from Phase 2 through NDA submission and review, Dr. Pham was responsible for Lonhala® Magnair® (glycopyrrolate inhalation solution for use with eFlow® Closed System nebulizer) product development for the treatment of COPD. Prior to Sunovion, he was senior director of product development at Elevation Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for Lonhala Magnair CMC until the Sunovion acquisition in 2012. Previously and while at Dey Laboratories (now Mylan), Dr. Pham was an inventor of Perforomist® (formoterol fumarate inhalation solution) for the treatment of COPD and it’s lead scientist through approval and product launch. Dr. Pham was also an inventor of Bromsite® (brofenac ophthalmic solution) for post-operative ocular inflammation and pain.
Dr. Pham is well-published and holds over 20 published patents in formulation and drug delivery. Dr. Pham has a Ph.D. in pharmaceutics, an M.S. in theoretical chemistry, and a B.S. in chemistry, all from the University of Minnesota.
Felix Woodhead, M.D., Ph.D.
Senior Medical Director
Felix Woodhead MD PhD is a pulmonologist specializing in the management of interstitial lung diseases (ILD). He was appointed senior medical director at Avalyn in February 2022.
Felix studied medicine at Cambridge University and did postgraduate medical training at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, as well as in the East of England, including Papworth Hospital in Cambridge. He was awarded a Ph.D. from Imperial College London where he studied the association of autoantibodies in ILD under the supervision of Professor Athol Wells.
Felix was appointed as a consultant respiratory physician (equivalent to a US attending pulmonologist) in 2010, moving to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester in 2014. This period encompassed the emergence of the use of antifibrotic medication for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and he was involved in the development of specific ILD services in the English Midlands. He served for three years as the chair of the British Thoracic Society ILD specialty advisory group. He also developed an interest in clinical trials being local investigator for a number of commercial trials, as well as being UK chief investigator of the TRAIL1 randomized controlled trial of oral pirfenidone for ILD associated with rheumatoid arthritis. He continues to hold an honorary contract at Glenfield and to do ILD clinics there, and is passionate about using his clinical and research expertise to develop safer and more effective treatments for ILD and other respiratory diseases currently lacking in good treatments.