Aruvant’s mission is to bring hope to patients living with rare diseases by developing life changing and potentially curative gene therapies, with a near-term focus on sickle cell disease.
Aruvant Sciences, a part of the Roivant family of companies, is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing transformative gene therapies for rare diseases. We have a talented team with extensive experience in the development, manufacturing and commercialization of gene therapy products. We have an active research program with a lead product candidate in development for individuals suffering from sickle cell disease (SCD).
The company’s lead product candidate, ARU-1801, an investigational lentiviral gene therapy, is currently in a clinical trial as a potential one-time curative treatment for SCD. Preliminary clinical data from the ongoing Phase 1/2 study demonstrated durable efficacy in reducing the negative impacts of SCD. We are preparing for the launch of our pivotal clinical trial of ARU-1801 in severe SCD. Our second product, ARU-2801, is a one-time, adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy designed to deliver potentially curative efficacy to patients with hypophosphatasia without the limitations of chronic administration. To support the development of our pipeline products and help build awareness of patient needs, we partner with patient advocacy groups.
A company of talented individuals with the experience to bring complex, potentially curative therapies successfully to patients.
We have assembled an experienced team with track records of success. Our team is well versed in development, manufacturing, commercial, operational, and corporate functions—each crucial for long-term growth and well-being of a successful pharmaceutical business. The executive team is supported by a talented board of directors.
Will Chou M.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Chou brings over 15 years of healthcare experience to Aruvant, and most recently served as vice president and global disease lead for Novartis’ Cell and Gene Therapy unit, where he led the global commercial launch of Kymriah, the first CAR-T cell therapy. Prior to that role, he led the Kymriah lymphoma clinical development program to approvals in the North America, Europe and Asia. Prior to joining Novartis, Dr. Chou worked at the Boston Consulting Group where he focused on commercial and clinical pharmaceutical strategy. Dr. Chou holds an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management, an M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and an A.B. in politics and economics from Princeton University. Dr. Chou completed his residency in internal medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital and a fellowship in geriatrics at Yale University.
E. Blair Clark-Schoeb
Senior Vice President, Communications
Ms. Clark-Schoeb is our senior vice president (SVP), communications, leading our investor relations, public relations, advocacy relations and government affairs work. She has over two decades of experience helping healthcare companies develop unique and effective communications programs. She began working with Aruvant after spending almost five years with Zyla Life Sciences as SVP of communications. Prior to Zyla, Ms. Clark-Schoeb led her own consulting business, working with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies such as Sanofi, Syndax and Horizon Therapeutics. Prior to that she was senior associate at W2O, director of investor relations at Burns McClellan, director of corporate finance at The Medicines Company and a healthcare investment banker at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette. Ms. Clark-Schoeb received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a master’s in healthcare innovation from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a founding member of the Society of Healthcare Innovation.
Executive Director of Human Resources
Ms. Kelton brings over 15 years of human resources (HR) experience to Aruvant, and most recently served as head, people and organization and HR site lead at Novartis Gene Therapies in San Diego, CA. At Novartis she ensured a seamless and effective organization assimilation post acquisition of AveXis, a private gene therapy company, led new talent and performance management programs and championed employee engagement while prioritizing a strong and inclusive culture. Before Novartis, she was HR site head at AveXis where she led the development and execution of aggressive workforce plans, hiring practices, full cycle HR programs and culture initiatives. Prior to AveXis, she was a strategic HR leader at Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) in the research and development franchise, the strategic partnership group and in workforce analytics. Before joining JNJ, she worked in various HR roles of increasing responsibility at both small and large biopharmaceutical organizations. She holds a B.S. in organizational psychology from the University of Scranton, has the Senior Professional Human Resources and Society for Human Resource Management-Senior Certified Professional certifications and is a Six Sigma green belt.
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Musial brings over twenty-five years of experience building corporate value through operational execution, financial strategy and capital fundraising. Most recently, Mr. Musial served as the CFO and chief business officer of Xenikos B.V., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative immunotherapies, and CFO of Erydel SpA, a late-stage biotechnology company with a Phase 3 product candidate for a rare disease. Prior to those companies, Mr. Musial spent nearly six years as executive vice president and CFO at Zyla Life Sciences (formerly Egalet and subsequently acquired by Assertio Therapeutics). At Zyla, Mr. Musial helped take the company public on NASDAQ and was part of a team that transformed the company from development stage to commercializing a portfolio of approved products. Prior to Zyla, Mr. Musial was the CFO or held other similar positions at other biotechnology, medical device and healthcare services companies. Mr. Musial earned an MBA from Temple University and a BS degree in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University and is a certified public accountant.
“Palani” Palaniappan Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Palaniappan joined Aruvant as chief technology officer in May of 2020 bringing 25 years of research and drug development experience including extensive work in chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC), a critical part of drug development. He most recent served as senior vice president, head of global technical operations and head of the Andover and Burlington sites at Sarepta. He was responsible for all stages of development from research through commercial for a portfolio of over 30 compounds using three modalities, antisense RNAs, gene therapy and gene editing. Prior to Sarepta, Dr. Palaniappan worked for over a decade at Takeda where he led teams based in the United States and Japan focused on CMC development and manufacturing of novel modality products including recombinant biologics, cell-based and live microbe products. Prior to joining Takeda, he worked in various development and product manufacturing roles of increasing responsibility at Millennium Pharmaceuticals which was acquired by Takeda, Biogen and Nexstar Pharmaceuticals which was acquired by Gilead. Dr. Palaniappan received his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Annamalai University of India. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.
Board of Directors
Frank Torti M.D.
Chairperson of the Board
As chairman of Roivant Sciences, Dr. Torti is responsible for the management of the businesses. He previously served as the investment chair, where he oversaw a group of companies responsible for the development of 35 investigational drugs in 11 therapeutic areas and over 50 clinical trials, including four successful Phase 3 trials. Dr. Torti joined Roivant in 2018 from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), a leading venture capital firm where he served as partner. At NEA, Dr. Torti managed early and growth-stage investments in numerous healthcare companies that were responsible for the development and commercialization of new drugs and medical devices important to clinical medicine today. Prior to joining NEA in 2007, Dr. Torti was a researcher at the Duke University Center for Clinical & Genetic Economics. Dr. Torti received his M.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and his M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School.
Eric Venker M.D. Pharm.D
Dr. Venker serves as chief operating officer of Roivant Sciences. He first joined Roivant in 2014 serving in various roles of increasing responsibility, including chief of staff to the CEO. Prior to joining Roivant, Dr. Venker was a physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, where he trained in internal medicine. While there, he served as the chair of the house staff quality Council and led operational initiatives to improve efficiencies across a large hospital system with $5 billion in annual revenue. Earlier in his career, Dr. Venker was a clinical pharmacist at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He received his Pharm.D. from St. Louis College of Pharmacy and his M.D. from Yale School of Medicine.