Steven Harris co-founded Circassia in 2006 and has led the Company as Chief Executive Officer since then. He has extensive experience of leading specialty pharmaceutical companies. Prior to co-founding Circassia, he was a founding member of the management team that grew Zeneus Pharma Limited into a successful specialty pharmaceutical company and managed its acquisition by Cephalon Inc. (now part of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited). Prior to this he served for seven years as Chief Financial Officer of PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc and was a key member of the management team which grew the organisation from a private biotechnology company to the world’s fifth largest vaccines business, before it was acquired by Chiron Corporation in 2003. He holds a BSc from Southampton University and is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW).
Julien Cotta has significant financial management experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining Circassia, he was Chief Financial Officer of the Finnish medical technology company, Inion Oy, and before this Group Financial Controller at Whatman plc (now part of GE Healthcare). Previously, he served as Vice President of Financial Accounting at Chiron Corporation and Group Financial Controller at PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc (prior to its acquisition by Chiron in 2003). Before this he held senior financial management roles at Scotia Pharmaceuticals Limited, and Sanofi S.A., having begun his pharmaceutical career as a sales representative at Merck Sharpe & Dohme Corporation. He completed his accountancy training at Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP). Julien holds a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology from University College London and is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the ICAEW.
Dr Rod Hafner has many years of experience at a senior level in the life sciences industry and is a named inventor on numerous granted patents and patent applications. Before joining Circassia, he led the UK operating company of the Scandinavian drug delivery business, OptiNose AS (now OptiNose US Inc.) and prior to that was Director of Programme Management and Vice President of Research & Development Portfolio Management at PowderJect. Other roles have included Head of Project Management at Cortecs International Limited and positions at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now Pfizer) and The Procter & Gamble Company. Rod has led Circassia’s research and development function since joining in 2007. He has a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from Edinburgh University and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge.
David Acheson brings to the company over 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Circassia, he was Vice President of Sales and Managed Markets at BioDelivery Sciences where he launched the company’s first specialty product and technology. While there, he led the establishment of the company’s entire commercial structure, including the sales force, distribution, managed markets and trade strategies.
Previously, he was US National Sales Director for a number of specialty pharmaceutical sales teams, including at CSL Behring, Pacira Pharmaceuticals and Meda, where he led the Respiratory Team. He also held a variety of sales and commercial management roles of increasing seniority at Roche and American Cyanamid. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agri-Business from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
Darren Mercer brings to the company extensive sales & marketing and international commercial experience, gained in a number of senior roles. Prior to joining Circassia, he was Head of Commercial Operations, Asia Pacific at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, having previously headed up the commercial launch readiness team that was responsible for supporting over 200 launches across 35 emerging markets. Prior to taking this role in Singapore, he was Divisional Sales Director and National Business Director at Takeda in the UK. Previously, he was Commercial Director at Nycomed, and was also Business Manager at the company’s respiratory business unit.
He began his career in the pharmaceutical industry at GlaxoSmithKline, where he held a variety of sales and commercial management roles. He holds a Master’s Degree in Management Studies from the University of St Andrews, Scotland.
Nina Kataria joined Circassia in June 2014 to lead the company’s HR function. She brings to Circassia over 25 years’ experience of Human Resources, and has significant experience of the life sciences industry.
Most recently, she was Human Resources Director at Lonza Biologics PLC, where she had strategic and operational responsibilities in the UK and internationally. Previously, she was the UK Human Resources Manager at Innovex (part of Quintiles), following roles of increasing responsibility at companies that are now part of Toyota and Unilever.
She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and holds a post-graduate diploma from the Institute. She graduated from Thames Valley University in Business and Finance.
Matthew Frankel joined Circassia in July 2014 as General Counsel. He brings to the company 20 years of legal experience, with much of it gained in senior roles in the pharmaceutical industry. In his most recent role as Legal Director at Ranbaxy Europe, he was responsible for legal activities across Europe and Africa.
Prior to this, he was Senior Counsel at BTG PLC, where he provided legal expertise in a number of areas, including intellectual property. Previously, he was a Senior Associate at Baker & McKenzie in London, following a period as an Associate at the law firm Bristows.
Matthew is a qualified solicitor, and holds an MA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a Diploma in Intellectual Property Law from Bristol University.