Management Team

Roger J. Lias, Ph.D.
President

Dr. Lias most recently served as executive director, head of global biologics business development for Allergan plc., where he was responsible for developing and executing strategies designed to support the company’s business development activities related to innovative biologics, biosimilars and complex injectable products. In this role, he was instrumental in identifying, structuring and negotiating a biosimilars co-development collaboration with Amgen for four oncology biosimilar monoclonal antibody products. Prior to Allergan, Dr. Lias was president and group commercial director for Eden Biodesign, an established biopharmaceutical contract manufacturer and consultancy and wholly-owned subsidiary of Eden Biopharma Group. During his time with Eden Biodesign, he successfully transitioned the company’s CDMO client base from early-stage biotechnology companies to established biotechnology and multinational pharmaceutical companies, while also playing a key role in the eventual sale of Eden Biopharma Group to Watson Pharmaceuticals (now Allergan). Throughout his career, Dr. Lias has held senior management positions at several leading CDMOs including Cytovance Biologics, KBI BioPharma, Diosynth RTP (formerly Covance Biotechnology Services) and Lonza Biologics. At each of these companies, he was primarily charged with overseeing commercial operations, including growing and diversifying their respective client bases. During this time, Dr. Lias’ achievements ranged from building start-up Cytovance’s contract process development and biopharmaceutical cGMP production business, to significantly increasing revenues and transitioning the Diosynth organization from clinical to commercial supplier over a four-year period. Additionally, he has built a reputation as a highly regarded CDMO industry advocate who has contributed to the acceptance and growth of the biologics contract manufacturing market. Dr. Lias earned his Ph.D. from Clare College at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

 

Paul J. Lytle, CPA
Chief Financial Officer

Paul J. Lytle has served as Chief Financial Officer since August 2002 and has over 17 years of finance and accounting experience. Mr. Lytle oversees various functions, including finance and accounting, financial reporting, Corporate Governance, investor relations, human resources and information technology. Mr. Lytle started with Peregrine in March 1997 as Corporate Controller and has held positions of increasing responsibility at the Company. Mr. Lytle was promoted to Vice President of Finance and Accounting and was elected as the Company’s Corporate Secretary in 2000. Prior to joining Peregrine, Mr. Lytle worked for Deloitte & Touche LLP. Mr. Lytle holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the California State University, Long Beach and is a certified public accountant in the State of California and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Connie Chang
Vice President, Quality

Connie Chang was appointed Vice President of Quality in October 2015. Ms. Chang joined the company in 2002 and has held a number of positions during her tenure. She was instrumental in leading the Process Sciences group that developed a number of processes which were successfully transferred into cGMP manufacturing and assays to characterize monoclonal antibodies and other proteins. In addition, she led the CMC team efforts for multiple internal Peregrine projects, including the preparation of the CMC section for IND and other regulatory filings. In her new role, Ms. Chang is responsible for leading both Peregrine’s and its wholly-owned subsidiary Avid Bioservices’ Quality groups to ensure that the companies’ multiple manufacturing facilities operate in full compliance with US and Global quality requirements. Prior to joining Avid, Ms. Chang worked for a company where she was responsible for the development and validation of saliva based assays for drugs which resulted in the issuance of two patents. Ms. Chang received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the California State University at Fullerton.

Pete Gagnon
Head of Process Sciences

Pete Gagnon, one of the industry’s leading experts and innovators in purification of biologics, including recombinant proteins, viruses and DNA plasmids, has served as Head of Process Sciences since April 2016. Prior to joining Avid, he spent 25 years as the founder and president of Validated Biosystems, an international consultancy specializing in hands-on development of biological manufacturing processes. During that time, he worked collaboratively with biotechnology companies around the world to develop and optimize state-of-the-art manufacturing systems built on the latest technologies and capabilities. His work on continuously innovating processes for purifying biologics led to publication of his highly-regarded book, “Purification Tools for Monoclonal Antibodies.” Mr. Gagnon is additionally credited with more than 100 scientific journal articles and presentations at major scientific conferences, as well as more than a dozen patents, with an additional 30 applications pending. He also serves on the editorial boards for BioProcess International and Genetic Engineering News and is a frequent guest editor and reviewer for several top industry journals. Mr. Gagnon recently completed a five-year residence in Asia, during which he worked with the Singaporean Agency for Science and Technology to help establish Singapore as a worldwide center of excellence in downstream processing.

Robert Garnick, Ph.D.
Head of Regulatory Affairs

Dr. Garnick has over 30 years of experience in drug and biologic pharmaceutical development. He was formerly the Senior Vice President of Regulatory, Quality and Compliance at Genentech, Inc. Dr. Garnick spent 24 years at Genentech helping to found the biotechnology industry. While at Genentech Dr. Garnick was responsible for the approval of over 17 drugs, biologics and medical devices. He has extensive experience in analytical methodology, process validation, the regulatory review process both in the US and Europe and in Risk assessments. He has authored numerous scientific papers and has given numerous keynote presentations to the pharmaceutical Industry.

Steven Chamow, Ph.D.
Head of Technical Services

Steven Chamow, Ph.D. has over 20 years of experience in biopharmaceutical product development. Previously, he served as senior vice president of CMC at Intradigm Corporation, a private biopharmaceutical company focused on developing RNAi therapeutics. Prior to Intradigm, Steve was vice president of process sciences at Genitope Corporation and at Abgenix, Inc., where he established the company’s process sciences department and helped lead design and construction of its award- winning production facility in Fremont, CA. He also served as director of biopharmaceutical development at Scios, Inc. and as a scientist and senior scientist in Genentech’s process development department. During his career, Steve contributed to the development of three commercial biotherapeutics: Avastin®, Natrecor®, and Vectibix®. He is author or co-author of more than 45 scientific publications and patents, the co-editor of a 1999 book “Antibody Fusion Proteins,” and co- author of the book “Therapeutic Fc Fusion Proteins,” published in 2014. Steve earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was awarded his doctorate degree in biochemistry by the University of California, Davis, and completed postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health.

Gene Yoshioka
Senior Director, Manufacturing

Gene Yoshioka heads operations at Avid Bioservices and oversees its cGMP manufacturing. Gene originally joined the organization in 1995 (under Techniclone Corporation) and has almost 20 years in the industry, with experience at Amgen in Thousand Oaks, Biogen Idec in San Diego, and Peregrine Pharmaceuticals in Tustin. Gene brings broad experience, including quality control, manufacturing, supply management, and process development; working with an extensive list of different molecules. When Avid was founded in 2002, Gene managed the production team, helping to establish Avid as a successful commercially licensed contract manufacturing organization. Gene earned his bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of California, Irvine.

Ray Marzouk
Director, Quality Assurance (Commercial Products)

Ray Marzouk leads the quality assurance operations for commercial products at Avid Bioservices. He also heads the environmental monitoring program and microbiological testing functions. Ray has over 20 years in the biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical industry serving in managerial, technical, and quality engineering capacities in a cGMP environment. Prior to joining Avid in 2007, Ray was with B. Braun Medical Inc. for twelve years in various quality control roles. Ray earned his bachelor’s degree in microbiology and molecular genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles. He obtained certification as a specialist microbiologist with the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists (NRCM).

Teresa Berry
Director, Engineering and Facilities

Teresa Berry heads the engineering and facilities departments at Avid Bioservices. With over 22 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, she oversees the day-to-day facilities’ operations—from preventative maintenance and calibrations to construction projects. Teresa established robust cGMP programs for equipment and utility systems when she joined the organization in 2001, working for Avid’s parent company, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In 2002, Teresa played an integral role in launching and establishing Avid Bioservices as a successful contract manufacturing organization. Teresa holds a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from the University of California, Long Beach and is a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, as a journeyman inside wireman. In addition, she is a long-standing member of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE). Teresa got her start in biotechnology with XOMA and Agensys, Inc. She also has more than 12 years’ experience in the construction industry, which enables her to serve Avid’s needs.

Board of Directors

Carlton M. Johnson
Chairman

Carlton Johnson has served as chairman since October 2010 and as a director since November 1999. Mr. Johnson is in-house legal counsel for Roswell Capital Partners, LLC, a position he has held since June 1996. Mr. Johnson has been admitted to the practice of law in Alabama since 1986, Florida since 1982, and Georgia since 1997. He has been a shareholder in the Pensacola, Florida AV-rated law firm of Smith, Sauer, DeMaria, Johnson and was president-elect of the 500-member Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association. He also served on the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division board of governors. Mr. Johnson earned a degree in history/political science at Auburn University and his Juris Doctor from Samford University – Cumberland School of Law. Mr. Johnson also serves on the board of the following publicly traded companies: Patriot Scientific Corporation, CryoPort, Inc., and Ecotality, Inc. That extensive public company finance experience led the board of directors’ to decide that Mr. Johnson should serve as board chairman.

Steven W. King
President & CEO, Director

Steven King has been president and chief executive officer of Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since March 2003. Mr. King started with Peregrine in 1997 as the director of research and development before being promoted to senior director of research and development and then to vice president of technology and product development. In 2000, Mr. King was responsible for bringing the company’s biologics manufacturing facility into full cGMP compliance and subsequently launching its wholly owned contract manufacturing subsidiary, Avid Bioservices. Mr. King served as president and CEO of Avid Bioservices from 2001-2017. Prior to joining Peregrine, Mr. King was employed at a company that was developing vascular targeting agents (VTA), which was acquired by Peregrine in 1997. Mr. King previously worked with Dr. Philip Thorpe, inventor of VTA technology, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Mr. King is a co-inventor on over 25 U.S. and foreign patents and patent applications in the VTA area. Mr. King holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Texas Tech University.

David H. Pohl
Director

David Pohl has served as a director since October 2004. He is currently chairman of the board of Wellness.com, Inc., a privately held Internet enterprise, and two of its affiliates. He is also counsel with the law firm of Herold & Sager in Encinitas, California. Mr. Pohl was in private law practice, counseling business clients from 1997 to 2005, and served as special counsel to the Ohio attorney general for entrepreneurial investments by state employee pension funds from 1995 to 1996. Previously, he was a senior attorney with Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, a large U.S. law firm, and held positions as a senior officer and general counsel in large financial services corporations with over $1 billion in assets under management. In addition, Mr. Pohl is a member of the Corporate Directors Forum of San Diego and the intellectual property law and business law sections of the State Bar of California. He has served as a member of the board of governors of the corporate counsel section of the Ohio State Bar Association, and is an emeritus member of the board of directors of the American Financial Services Association, Washington, D.C. Mr. Pohl earned his Juris Doctor from the Ohio State University College of Law, and also holds a bachelor’s degree in administrative sciences from Ohio State University. The board of directors concluded that Mr. Pohl should serve as a director in light of his extensive corporate governance experience gained through serving on the boards of Patriot Scientific Corporation and Wellness.com.

Eric S. Swartz
Director

Eric Swartz has served as director since 1999, bringing the board the benefits of his 27 years of experience in investment securities. Mr. Swartz is the president of Roswell Capital Partners, LLC, which he founded in 2004. Prior to that, he founded and was the president of Equiplace Securities, LLC and Swartz Investments, LLC. From 1988 to 1993, Mr. Swartz was a vice president at Bear Stearns & Company, where he specialized in foreign institutional equity investments in U.S. securities. Previously, Mr. Swartz was a vice president with Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., where he was involved in overseas placements of equity and debt for institutions in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Australia, and New Zealand. The board of directors determined that his 27 years in corporate finance, including equity and debt placements, made Mr. Swartz an excellent choice for board membership.