We are a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing a pipeline of novel, proprietary therapeutics that have the potential to transform radiotherapy in cancer. We leverage our expertise in superoxide dismutase mimetics to design drugs to reduce normal tissue toxicity from radiotherapy and to increase the anti-cancer efficacy of radiotherapy.

Our lead product candidate is avasopasem manganese (avasopasem, or GC4419), a selective small molecule dismutase mimetic in late-stage development to reduce the incidence and severity of radiotherapy-induced severe oral mucositis (SOM) in patients with head and neck cancer. Avasopasem is also in development for radiotherapy-induced esophagitis in patients with lung cancer. Avasopasem has been granted FDA Fast Track and Breakthrough Therapy designations for the reduction of SOM induced by radiotherapy, with or without systemic therapy.

Galera’s second dismutase mimetic product candidate, Rucosopasem, is in clinical-stage development to augment the anti-cancer efficacy of stereotactic body radiation therapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer and locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

J. Mel Sorensen, MD

President and Chief Executive Officer

J Mel Sorensen

Dr. Sorensen has served as Director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Galera since November 2012.

Dr. Sorensen serves on the board of directors of several private companies, including Esanik Therapeutics, Medsyn Biopharma and PlanetVerify Ltd. He is an advisor to the Biomarkers Consortium of the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Sorensen holds an M.B., B.Ch. and B.A.O. from University College, Dublin. Dr. Sorensen’s postgraduate education and work has been in the United States, including an internal medicine residency in St. Louis and medical oncology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, seven years at the National Cancer Institute as Senior Investigator in the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program and four years each with Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Sorensen served as Director, Chief Executive Officer and President of Ascenta Therapeutics from 2004 until he joined Galera.


Mark J. Bachleda, PharmD, MBA

Chief Commercial Officer

Mark Bachleda

Dr. Bachleda has served as our Chief Commercial Officer since October 2021.

Dr. Bachleda has over 20 years of enterprise leadership in U.S. and international markets. Prior to Galera, Dr. Bachleda served as Vice President & US Business Unit Head of the CAR T Cell Therapy Franchise at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) from November 2019 to September 2021, launching Breyanzi® (liso-cel), a CD19 CAR T in large B cell lymphoma, and Abecma® (ide-cel), the first BCMA CAR T in relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. He held the same role at Celgene Corporation from August 2018 to November 2019 before its acquisition by BMS for $74 billion in 2019. He served as Vice President, Sales & Account Management at Juno Therapeutics from November 2017 to August 2018 before its $9 billion sale to Celgene in 2018. Previously, Dr. Bachleda worked at Amgen for 15 years in commercial operations roles of increasing responsibility up to Country President & General Manager of Amgen Czech Republic where he led an enterprise of 11 commercialized therapies including launches of Kyprolis®, Blincyto®, and Repatha®.

Dr. Bachleda is a registered pharmacist and received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree (Pharm.D.) from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Health Policy & Economics at Thomas Jefferson University and holds Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees from both Columbia University and University of California at Berkeley.


Robert A. Beardsley, PhD

Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Beardsley, a co-founder of the Company, has served as our Chief Operating Officer since 2015, and previously served as our Executive Chair from 2012 to 2017.

Prior to this, Dr. Beardsley was the Chief Executive Officer at Galera Therapeutics, LLC from 2010 to 2012, at Metabolic Solutions Development Corporation from 2009 until 2010, and at Kereos from 2003 until 2009, and the acting Chief Executive Officer at Metaphore Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2002. He has also served in various management roles at Confluence Life Sciences, bioStrategies Group, Vector Securities International, Enzyme Organics and Mobil Oil. Dr. Beardsley serves on the board of Euclises, a private company, and has served on a number of boards of directors of public and private companies including Epigenetx, KemPharm, Kereos, CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals, Bioseek, and Metaphore Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Beardsley received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, a Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from the University of Iowa and an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Chicago.


Andie Collier

Chief Regulatory and Quality Officer

Andie Collier

Ms. Collier has served as our Chief Regulatory and Quality Officer since March 2023. She joined Galera as Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs in August 2021.

Ms. Collier has over twenty-five years of regulatory affairs and quality experience with drugs, biologics, medical devices, and drug/device combination, encompassing a broad understanding of phase I-IV clinical trials development and management ranging from feasibility to commercial marketing. She has worked on over 80 successful INDs and 60 NDAs with the FDA, in oncology, dermatology and cardiology divisions. She has also shepherded several regulatory approvals in Europe, Australia, Latin America, Japan, and other Asian regulatory agencies. Ms. Collier was most recently the Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, US, Europe and Global New Molecular Entities at Glenmark Pharmaceuticals and held positions of increasing executive experience in several biopharma companies, including Gilead, BTG, Johnson & Johnson and Merck.

Ms. Collier is a pharmacist and holds a MSc in Regulatory Affairs from the University of Southern California.


Chris Degnan

Chief Financial Officer

Chris Degnan

Mr. Degnan has served as our Chief Financial Officer since October 2019.

Prior to Galera, Mr. Degnan served as Chief Financial Officer of Verrica Pharmaceuticals Inc. In his role at Verrica, Mr. Degnan successfully completed an initial public offering raising gross proceeds of $86 million, and has extensive experience in financial strategy, investor relations, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reporting, accounting and compliance. Previously, Mr. Degnan held senior positions at Endo International plc, a generics and specialty branded pharmaceutical company, most recently as Vice President of Finance, Corporate FP&A and International Pharmaceuticals Segment Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining Endo, Mr. Degnan spent more than 10 years at AstraZeneca plc, a global biopharmaceutical company, in roles of increasing responsibility which culminated in the position of Senior Finance Director, U.S. Commercial Finance.

Mr. Degnan is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Pennsylvania (voluntary inactive status) and holds a B.B.A. degree in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame.


Eugene P. Kennedy, MD, FACS

Chief Medical Officer

Eugene P. Kennedy

Dr. Kennedy has served as our Chief Medical Officer since September 2022.

Dr. Kennedy is a renowned Johns Hopkins-trained surgical oncologist and former Chief of Pancreatic and Hepatobiliary Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University with over 15 years’ experience in clinical development and biopharma leadership. Before joining Galera, Dr. Kennedy served as Chief Medical Officer at Innovative Cellular Therapeutics, where he was an integral part of developing the Phase 1 clinical protocol and filing a first-in-human IND for a solid tumor CAR T-cell therapy. From March 2020 until March 2021, he served as Chief Medical Officer at Lumos Pharma, where he was responsible for clinical development strategy and execution, as well as investor and patient outreach. Prior to joining Lumos, Dr. Kennedy served as Chief Medical Officer at NewLink Genetics, where he oversaw clinical trials across multiple product candidates and indications, having held positions of increasing responsibility since 2013. From 2006 until joining NewLink Genetics, Dr. Kennedy served as Associate Professor of Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University and held leadership positions as Chief of the Section of Pancreatic and Hepatobiliary Surgery and Co-Director of the Jefferson Pancreas, Biliary, and Related Cancers Center. Prior to joining Jefferson, Dr. Kennedy practiced, taught, and held leadership roles at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Louisiana State University.  He has authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Kennedy received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and an M.D. from the Medical College of Virginia.


Dennis P. Riley, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer, Emeritus

Dr. Riley co-founded Galera Therapeutics and has been Galera’s CSO since the founding, becoming Chief Scientific Officer, Emeritus in January 2022.

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 Ph.D. at The 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 The Ohio State University Devon W. Meek Industrial Lectureship, is the recipient of the 2003 Herman 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 U.S. Patents granted and has published over 100 primary scientific articles.


Judy Schnyder

Senior Vice President, Clinical Operations and Data Management

Judy Schnyder

Ms. Schnyder has served as our Sr. Vice President, Clinical Operations and Data Management since January 2022. She joined Galera as Vice President, Clinical Operations in October 2020.

Ms. Schnyder has over 20 years of Clinical Operations experience in oncology, dermatology, and immunology. Prior to joining Galera, Ms. Schnyder served as Executive Director of Clinical Operations at Aclaris Therapeutics where she built out a Clinical Operations and Data Management team responsible for the development of novel dermatology and immune-inflammatory assets. Ms. Schnyder has held Clinical Operations and Development positions at Lycera, Tetralogic, Gemin X Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Cephalon), GSK, PharmaNet, and Cephalon. She began her career in Clinical Operations at U.S. Bioscience (MedImmune).

Ms. Schnyder holds a Bachelors degree in Biology from Lafayette College and a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Health Care Administration from Widener University.


Jennifer Evans Stacey, Esq

Chief Legal and Compliance Officer

Jennifer Evans Stacey

Ms. Stacey has served as our Chief Legal and Compliance Officer since October 2021.

Prior to Galera, Ms. Stacey served as Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary and Government Relations at The Wistar Institute, an international biomedical research institute focused on cancer, vaccines and infectious disease. Previously, she served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Human Resources and Secretary at Antares Pharma, Inc. Prior to that, Ms. Stacey served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Human Resources, and Secretary at Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, General Counsel and Secretary at Aventis Behring, LLC (now CSL Behring). She began her career in life sciences at Rhône-Poulenc Rorer (now Sanofi) including two years in their Paris office. Ms. Stacey currently serves on the board of directors of Context Therapeutics.

Ms. Stacey graduated with an A.B. from Princeton University and earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.


Board of Directors