Mel Sorensen, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Sorensen is President and Chief Executive Officer and Board Director of Galera Therapeutics. Dr. Sorensen is a Medical Oncologist who has spent 7-8 years each in patient care (including his oncology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic), in academia (at the National Institutes of Health), in leadership positions in clinical development in the pharmaceutical industry (GlaxoSmithKline and Bayer), and as President & CEO of private venture-funded biotechs, including Ascenta Therapeutics and Galera Therapeutics. He also serves as Chairman of other biotech companies, including OncoFusion Therapeutics. At Ascenta, Dr. Sorensen raised approximately $100 million in private financing and venture debt and secured global and regional deals for its three programs. Operationally, in about five years, Ascenta advanced two unrelated preclinical programs into broad clinical testing, managed multiple clinical trials, and developed an R&D presence in China. Dr. Sorensen is an advisor to the Biomarkers Consortium of the National Institutes of Health.
Robert A. Beardsley, PhD
Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Beardsley is a founder, Chief Operating Officer, and Board Director of Galera Therapeutics. Prior to Galera, he served as CEO at Metabolic Solutions Development Corporation and Kereos, as acting CEO at Metaphore Pharmaceuticals, and in a variety of roles at Confluence Life Sciences, SImile Investors, bioStrategies Group, and Vector Securities International. In addition, Dr. Beardsley served on the boards of a number of other public and private life science firms, including Collagenex Pharmaceuticals, BioSeek, and KemPharm. He has an MBA in finance from the University of Chicago and a PhD in biochemical engineering from the University of Iowa.
Dennis P. Riley, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Riley co-founded Galera Therapeutics and has been Galera’s CSO since the founding. Prior to Galera Therapeutics, Dr. Riley was Senior Vice President at Kereos and prior to that was VP of Research at Metaphore Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Riley spent much of his career at Monsanto, rising to a Senior Science Fellow and Manager of Metal-Mediated Chemistry. Dr. Riley is an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Washington University. After graduating cum laude from Heidelberg College with majors in chemistry and mathematics, he earned his PhD at Ohio State University followed by post-doctoral training at the University of Chicago. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1996, elected Chairperson and organizer of the 1998 Gordon Research Conference on Inorganic Chemistry, was the recipient of the ACS St. Louis Section’s “Chemist of the Year” Award for 1999, was the recipient of the 2002 Ohio State University Devon Meek Memorial Lectureship, is the recipient of the 2003 Herman S. Bloch memorial lectureship at the University of Chicago, and was lecturer at the 31st Peter A. Leermakers symposium at Wesleyan University in May 2003. He has over 30 US Patents granted, and has published over 100 primary scientific articles.
Jon T. Holmlund, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Holmlund is a medical oncologist who has served Galera as Chief Medical Officer since October 2012. He has over 25 years’ experience in oncology drug development, in senior positions in industry (CMO of Ascenta Therapeutics, VP of Development at Isis [now Ionis] Pharmaceuticals), as a consultant to large and small biopharmaceutical companies, and as a senior investigator in the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program and Biological Response Modifiers Program. He received his MD from SUNY Buffalo and completed postgraduate training in internal medicine and medical oncology at George Washington University Medical Center (Washington, DC).
Arthur Fratamico, RPh
Chief Business Officer
Mr. Fratamico is a registered pharmacist with over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has been our Chief Business Officer since January 2017. Prior to joining Galera, Mr. Fratamico served as Chief Business Officer of Vitae Pharmaceuticals until its sale to Allergan. Prior to Vitae Pharmaceuticals, he has held similar executive roles with a number of biotechnology companies leading their business development efforts, including facilitating the sales of Gemin X Pharmaceuticals and MGI Pharma. In addition to being responsible for numerous licensing transactions and acquisitions, he also directed corporate strategy and managed external corporate communications. He also served in several senior marketing, product planning and new product development positions. Mr. Fratamico earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and an M.B.A. from Drexel University.
Joel Sussman, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Sussman is a financial management consultant who serves as Chief Financial Officer for early-stage companies. His present and former clients include numerous venture capital-backed life sciences companies. Before beginning his consulting practice in 1995, he had 15 years’ experience as Chief Financial Officer and/or Treasurer of public and private technology and healthcare companies. In 1997, he joined a client as CFO and took it public, resuming his consulting practice in 2001 after its sale. He has an undergraduate degree from Yale, an MBA degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and is a licensed certified public accountant.
Chief Commercial Officer
Mr. Ross is a 25-year veteran on the global sales, marketing, and commercial strategy side of the healthcare industry. Before joining Galera Therapeutics, he served for eight years as Chief Commercial Officer of Ikaria, Inc., a leading critical care drug manufacturer. Ikaria was acquired by Mallinckrodt for $2.3 billion in 2015. Mr. Ross also held many commercial roles over a 15-year period with GlaxoSmithKline, including Sr. Vice President of the UK subsidiary’s $2 billion specialty products division, General Manager of GSK’s Irish subsidiary, and marketing leadership of GSK’s billion dollar US oncology portfolio. Over the course of his career, Mr. Ross has developed a deep understanding of hospital specialty products, particularly cancer therapeutics and supportive care products. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Brigham Young University, and an MBA in marketing and finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.