Peter K. Miller – Chief Executive Officer, Board of Directors
Peter became involved with OptiNose after accepting a request to join the Company’s Board in 2008. While serving in this role he became familiar with OptiNose’s unique drug delivery technology and was convinced of the significant potential of the product. In 2009 Mr. Miller, in coordination with the original founders, led a significant capital raise allowing OptiNose to move forward with clinical trials and the commercialization process. In 2010 he also accepted the role of CEO. Since then, Mr. Miller has overseen the relocation of the Company’s headquarters from Oslo, Norway, to Yardley, PA, and the expansion of the OptiNose team. He also remains a member of the Company’s Board of Directors.
Mr. Miller was previously the Co-Founder, CEO and President of Take Care Health Systems a company which revolutionized healthcare by operating medical clinics inside Walgreen’s retail pharmacies. Along with co-founder Hal Rosenbluth, Peter helped create an industry which is seen as transformational innovation that is disrupting the U.S. Healthcare system. Peter, with co-founder, conceptualized the idea, hired a world-class management team, raised over $90 million in private equity/venture and sold their company to Walgreens in less than 4 years. Mr. Miller served as a vice president in the Walgreens Health and Wellness Division and remained CEO for Take Care Health Systems for 3 years after the sale to Walgreens and grew the clinic operation to over 400 clinics nationwide.
Prior to founding Take Care Health Systems, Mr. Miller worked for health care industry leader Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Miller served in a variety of marketing and general management roles and was Worldwide President of Johnson & Johnson - Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals, a $500 million dollar consumer pharmaceutical company and President of Janssen Pharmaceutica a $4 billion dollar pharmaceutical company. During his 15 year career with Johnson & Johnson, Mr. Miller also played an integral role in building multimillion and multibillion-dollar brands such as Tylenol, Motrin, Imodium, Pepcid, Duragesic, Risperdal and Aciphex.
Mr. Miller earned an economics degree from Trinity College and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Per G. Djupesland, M.D., Ph.D. – Chief Scientific Officer, Founder
Per G Djupesland, MD, Ph.D. is the inventor of the patented, bi-directional nasal drug delivery technology and the main Founder of OptiNose. He has been Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of OptiNose since 2000 and is in charge of the research activities at OptiNose, as well as, ongoing clinical studies designed to demonstrate the broad advantage of the bi-directional delivery system, including the recently completed Phase II studies in nasal polyposis, migraine and chronic rhinosinusitus.
Per is an Otorhinolaryngologist (ORL) with a specialization in rhinology and has a Ph.D. in the field of nasal physiology and aerodynamics from the University of Oslo. He is world renowned expert, with over 25 years of clinical experience also spanning ORL, infectious diseases, epidemiology and surgery. He has been Clinical Research Fellow at the Hospital for Sick Children and Toronto General in Toronto, Canada, primarily studying the role of Nitric Oxide in the upper airways. His Ph.D. is focused on nasal physiology and aerodynamics in infants.
Per is the author of over 80 articles in international medical journals, has lectured at numerous conferences and has filed 35 patent families/patent applications. He holds a MD from University of Oslo 1982, Diplom d´Úniversite´ (Master) from Paris, France and a Ph.D. from the University of Oslo.
Ramy A. Mahmoud, M.D., MPH – Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Mahmoud joined OptiNose in 2010, assuming a leading role in starting the new U.S.-based organization. He is responsible for all the operations of the company, including setting corporate strategies, medical device development, manufacturing and supply chain, clinical research, finance, staffing and human resource system development.
Dr. Mahmoud came to OptiNose from Johnson & Johnson, where he was Chief Medical Officer, Worldwide Vice President of Evidence-based Medicine, and a member of the Global Management Board of Ethicon, a multibillion dollar multinational Johnson & Johnson company. During 14 years with Johnson & Johnson, Ramy spent 3 years in senior management in the Medical Devices & Diagnostics sector, and 11 years in the Pharmaceutical Sector. In addition to management board responsibilities at several global and U.S. operating companies, he provided direct functional leadership for a wide range of functions in both R&D and Commercial organizations, including Pre-Clinical Research, Clinical Development, Medical Affairs, Medical Information, Scientific Liaisons, Clinical Operations, Outcomes Research, and Health Economics & Reimbursement. Dr. Mahmoud also made key contributions in many other areas, including business development, strategic sales force planning, government affairs, and strategic marketing. Ramy participated in the early or late development and/or launch of dozens of pharmaceutical and medical device products spanning multiple therapeutic categories, including blockbusters such as RISPERDAL, DURAGESIC, and CONCERTA.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Mahmoud served as an officer in the United States Army, earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During this time, including 10 years on active duty and an additional 10 years in the Army Reserves, he assumed diverse military roles including battalion surgeon and flight surgeon, and was awarded a number of commendations and decorations. His government service also encompassed various academic, patient care, and research positions, culminating as head of the Department of Epidemiology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and inaugural leader of a policy research and analysis activity in support of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs). During this tenure he worked in both developing and developed countries, and collaborated with a wide range of public health officials.
In addition to his achievements in government and business, Dr. Mahmoud is also an accomplished international scientist and researcher, having published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and textbook chapters, including in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and Annals of Internal Medicine, lecturing frequently and having mentored many graduate students and other trainees. He has also served as a scientific reviewer for journals and textbooks in his diverse areas of research expertise, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, Medical Decision Making, American Journal of Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, Federal Practitioner, Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, Textbook of Military Medicine (editor: Kelley), Infectious Disease (editor: Mandell), and others.
Ramy is a highly accomplished physician and organizational leader, holding a Masters in Healthcare Management & Policy from the Harvard School of Public Health and an M.D. from the first Honors Program in Medical Education at the University of Miami. Dr. Mahmoud earned board certification in both Public Health/Preventive Medicine and in Internal Medicine. He has contributed in multiple national organizations, including the examination subcommittee of the American Board of Preventive Medicine; the National Quality Forum Measure Prioritization Advisory Committee; the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) Chief Medical Officers’ Forum; the American College of Preventive Medicine executive committee and GME and bioterrorism and disaster preparedness committees; as President of the Association of Preventive Medicine Residents; RPS member of the Association of American Medical Colleges (nominee of ATPM); the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturer's Association (PhRMA) "Working Group on Outcomes Research"; the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology working group on methodologic standards for evaluation and publication of pharmacoeconomic research; as a Senior Scholar in the Department of Health Policy at Thomas Jefferson University; and many others.
Frank A. Closurdo – Chief Marketing Officer
Frank joined OptiNose in 2010 and is accountable for leading all commercialization efforts for OptiNose’s products, driving the overall corporate and branding strategy for the company, and managing OptiNose’s communications strategy.
Prior to joining the OptiNose team, Frank served as Executive Director, Commercial Development, at Pfizer, where he led the market development strategies and drove several commercialization initiatives for the launch of the global Alzheimer’s disease franchise. Before the merger of Pfizer and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, he held the position of Executive Director, Strategy Development - Insight Partner, at Wyeth, where he led the development strategies for the Neuroscience portfolio including positioning for the potential Alzheimer’s blockbuster, bapineuzumab.
Frank spent the majority of his career at healthcare leader Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and its affiliate companies. During his 15 years with J&J, he progressed through a variety of diverse roles of increasing accountability in marketing, sales, and communications, receiving multiple internal awards and recognitions for performance excellence. He eventually rose to the position of Director, Strategic Marketing and Planning, where he led the development of a global strategic foundation and infrastructure for Marketing Excellence within the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors of Johnson & Johnson. During his tenure at J&J, Frank worked on multi-million dollar and multi-billion dollar brands including TYLENOL, MOTRIN, REMICADE, CYPHER Stent and DePuy Orthopedics.
Frank earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.
Helena Kyttari Djupesland – Vice President of Business Development, Founder
Helena served as OptiNose’s CEO from 2000-2010, when current CEO Peter Miller joined the company. Helena is in charge of business development & licensing, partnerships, strategic alliances, and strategic collaborations. In her role as CEO, Helena raised funds (total 22 million Euros) and negotiated venture capital deals from 2001 until 2005. She also led recruiting efforts and was in charge of managing clinical development for Phase II studies.
Prior to OptiNose, Helena spent five years at Kvaerner Energy, Thermal Power (acquired by GE Company) where she was Vice President Operations responsible for delivering turnkey power plants with a turnover of more than $ 500 million. In this role Helena was leading the Project Management, Engineering, Procurement and Manufacturing. She was previously contracts manager approving and negotiating commercial terms of sales deals and negotiating and settling contractual disputes with clients and partners. She also spent nine years at Storebrand International Reinsurance, the largest Norwegian insurance company, gaining extensive experience in international business, risk evaluations, and negotiating and closing deals.
Helena graduated from the Law School at the University of Athens. She also earned a Master’s Degree in Administrative Science from the University of Paris II and a Master of Business Administration from the Norwegian School of Management. She speaks fluently four languages.
Michele Janis – Vice President, Finance
Michele joined Optinose in 2011 and is responsible for managing all accounting and finance activities within the Company. Michele brings over 15 years of accounting and financial management expertise from a variety of roles in both development stage companies, as well as, publicly traded organizations with international operations. Prior to joining Optinose, Michele served as the Director of Business Analysis and Planning at Take Care Health Systems, a Walgreens Company, where she was responsible for leading financial and business analytics for strategic initiatives, including the budgeting and forecasting process for over 350 retail health clinics located within select Walgreens stores.
Prior to joining Take Care Health Systems, Michele simultaneously served as CFO/Controller to several pharmaceutical and technology-based early stage companies prior to joining The National Digital Medical Archive, which specialized in medical imaging storage and analytics technology.
Earlier in her career, Michele also served as the CFO for Creative Labs' OEM division, a worldwide leader in products for the personal computer industry, where she oversaw the accounting and financial operations of a $300 million dollar division, encompassing manufacturing, distribution and sales, as well as, Corporate Controller for Atlantic Dairy Cooperative, a $600 million dollar milk distributor and dairy products manufacturer, which subsequently merged with Land O' Lakes.
Michele earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from West Chester University and an MBA in Finance from La Salle University.
John Messina – Vice President of Clinical Development
John Messina is the Vice President of Clinical Development for OptiNose. He joined the company in 2010. John leads the clinical teams in the development and implementation of all clinical programs, as well as for regulatory submissions and interactions with regulatory agencies.
Prior to joining OptiNose, John served as Vice President of Clinical Operations and Strategic Planning at at Cephalon, Inc where he was a leader in the development, planning and execution of all company clinical programs, which included oncology, CNS, pain and respiratory therapeutic areas. While at Cephalon he also led the clinical development programs for analgesic products through NDA submissions and product launch. Additionally, John has worked at Purdue Pharma L.P., Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. and Sandoz Pharmaceutical Corp. He has conducted clinical trials in all phases of development. Throughout his career John has served as a clinical lead for multiple NDA submissions and product launches and he has published extensively within the fields of analgesia and CNS clinical research.
John earned a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He also completed an Industrial Clinical Pharmacy Fellowship at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Robert Useller – Vice President, Manufacturing and Supply Chain
Bob joined the company in 2010 and is responsible for third party supplier selection/contract development, material procurement, commercial manufacturing, logistics, inventory management and the distribution of Optinose products.
Previously, Bob served as the Vice President of Supply Chain Management at Aton Pharma, Inc., where he was responsible for the identification, selection and management of a number of contract manufacturers and third party service providers. Prior to that position, Bob spent more than 30 years at Johnson & Johnson where he held leadership positions in logistics, package development, procurement and manufacturing. During his tenure, Bob gained expertise in multi-site operations assessment, new plant start-ups, global process excellence initiatives, performance metrics development and leadership training and development.
Bob earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from LaSalle University in Philadelphia.