Management Team

Roger J. Lias, Ph.D.
President, CEO, and Director

Dr. Lias has been president of Avid Bioservices since September 2017. He 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 was highly involved in the formation of Avid in 2002. Mr. Lytle has over 25 years of finance and accounting experience and oversees various corporate functions, including finance and accounting, SEC reporting, Corporate Governance, investor relations, and information technology. Mr. Lytle started with Peregrine in March 1997 as Corporate Controller and has held positions of increasing responsibility at the Company. 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 (inactive).

Mark Ziebell
Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Mark Ziebell has served as Vice President and General Counsel since June 2012. Prior to joining the organization, Mr. Ziebell was a Partner at Snell & Wilmer LLP, a law firm based in Orange County, California where his practice specialized in securities law, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and general corporate law representing companies in a broad range of industries including the biopharmaceutical and technology sectors. Prior to Snell & Wilmer he was a Partner at the law firm of Falk, Shaff & Ziebell where he was part of the Corporate and Securities practice area. Prior to that Mr. Ziebell has held positions of increasing responsibility within the accounting and legal sectors. Mr. Ziebell holds a JD degree from the University of San Francisco, School of Law and a BA in Accounting from the University of San Francisco.

Tracy L. Kinjerski
Vice President, Business Operations

Tracy Kinjerski has more than 17 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and joined Avid as the Vice President of Business Operations in November 2017. She most recently served as senior director of global business development at CMC Biologics, a global CDMO. In that role, her efforts spearheading business development and client relationship management generated significant new business growth in less than one year of joining the company. Prior to CMC Biologics, Ms. Kinjerski spent nearly five years with Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, the global CDMO division for Fujifilm. During her tenure, she served as director of commercial development focused on the East Coast of the US, helping to grow the company’s clinical and commercial business through new client engagements spanning global pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies of all sizes and government projects. Ms. Kinjerski, who holds a master’s degree in biomedical sciences, has also served in business and commercial development leadership positions at Althea Technologies and Avecia Biologics Billingham (since acquired by Fujifilm Diosynth), two fully-integrated CDMOs serving the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Nick Ferguson
Executive Director, Information Technology

Nick Ferguson leads the information technology, computer systems validation, data governance, IT compliance, and laboratory informatics groups at Avid Bioservices. Nick joined the organization in 1999 (under Techniclone Corporation) and has nearly 19 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Nick is responsible for all corporate and GxP systems. Nick is a goal-driven leader, known for his proven expertise in managing IT operations, inspirational leadership style, and delivering enterprise solutions to meet the needs of the business. In his free time, he is involved with multiple NGOs to build infrastructure in third world countries.

Ray Marzouk
Senior Director, Quality

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).

Lorna Larson
Senior Director, Human Resources

Lorna Larson leads the human resources group at Avid Bioservices and oversees organizational development, training and development, talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, and employee relations. In her past roles, she has developed and executed global, regional HR strategies across industries including pharmaceutical, medical device, financial services, and internet commerce. Her track record of building HR credibility and business specific solutions includes experience in the US, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. Her undergraduate degree is from the Business School at California State University at Long Beach, with an emphasis on Human Resources. She annually serves as a Corporate Mentor for CSULB. She holds a Master’s degree in Business from Pepperdine University. She has earned SPHR and CCP designations. In her free time, she is involved with the Sisterhood program for Human Options and a variety of other philanthropic activities.

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.

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.