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.
Melissa Rhodes, Ph.D., D.A.B.T
Chief Operating Officer
Melissa Rhodes, Ph.D., D.A.B.T is a business operations leader with extensive operational and clinical development expertise in a variety of indications, including respiratory medicines. Dr. Rhodes most recently led metabolic and neurology product development efforts at Kriya Therapeutics. Earlier in her career, she held the position of chief development officer at Aerami Therapeutics and Altavant Sciences, both of which were focused on the delivery of inhaled medicines. Previously Dr. Rhodes managed nonclinical development programs during tenures at Roivant, GlaxoSmithKline and Erimos Pharmaceuticals, where she became adept at evaluating early stage compounds being considered for clinical development. She holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from Duke University Medical Center and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology.
Howard M. Lazarus, M.D., FCCP
Chief Medical Officer
Howard M. Lazarus, MD, FCCP joined Avalyn Pharma as chief medical officer in 2023, prior to which he was chief medical officer of Altavant Sciences (acquired by Enzyvant). In this role, he was responsible for developing and implementing the clinical development plans for candidates addressing pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), and bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. Earlier, he was a key member of the clinical development and medical affairs team at Boehringer Ingelheim where he worked on the nintedanib idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) program and at Gilead Sciences where he worked on their IPF and PAH portfolios. Prior to his work at Gilead, Dr. Lazarus practiced as a pulmonary and critical care physician at several health facilities, including Oregon Pulmonary Associates in Portland, OR. In that role, he diagnosed and treated patients with complex pulmonary vascular and interstitial diseases such as IPF and PAH.
Dr. Lazarus earned both a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and a Doctor of Medicine from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. His residency in internal medicine was at Boston University Medical Center, and he completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of California, San Diego. He is a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians and a member of the American Thoracic and European Respiratory Societies.
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.
Senior Vice President, Business Operations
Jim Bishop joined Avalyn as senior vice president, business operations in 2023, prior to which he was senior vice president, business operations of Enzyvant Therapeutics. Mr. Bishop previously held the role of senior vice president, business operations at Altavant Sciences where he led the integration and restructuring of the combination of Enzyvant and Altavant Sciences.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Bishop served in business development, operations and project management roles at multiple biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies including Roivant Sciences, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Cabernet Pharmaceuticals and Oxygen Biotherapeutics. He began his career as a scientist at GlaxoSmithKline. Mr. Bishop earned an MBA from Meredith College and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Pennsylvania State University.
Craig Conoscenti, M.D., FCCP, ATSF
Senior Vice President, Clinical Development
Craig Conoscenti, M.D., FCCP, ATSF joined Avalyn Pharma as senior vice president, clinical development in 2023, prior to which he was executive director and therapeutic area head, interstitial lung disease clinical development and medical affairs of Boehringer Ingelheim. Dr. Conoscenti held roles of increasing responsibility within ILD clinical research during his time at Boehringer Ingelheim and was a key contributor to the development and launch of oral nintedanib for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), scleroderma associated ILD (SSc-ILD), and the other progressive fibrosing ILDs (PFILD). Prior to joining Boehringer Ingelheim, Dr. Conoscenti held various titles and senior pulmonary critical care consultant over 17 years at Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, CT.
Dr. Conoscenti earned a Doctor of Medicine from St George’s University and a Bachelor of Science in Physiology from Fordham University. He completed his residency at Hackensack University Medical Center, where he additionally served one year as Chief Medical Resident. Following this, he completed his Pulmonary Critical Care Fellowship at Norwalk Hospital/Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Conoscenti is a Fellow of the American Thoracic Society, the American College of Chest Physicians and the European Respiratory Society. He received the Norman S Brady Fellowship where he served sabbatical time at the Brompton Chest Hospital in London.
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.
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.