Mitchell H. Finer, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer/Chief Scientific Officer
Mitchell H. Finer, PhD founded Oncorus and currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and “Chief Coolhunter”. As CEO, he has responsibility for guiding the strategic build of Oncorus and overseeing operations across the company. As Chief Coolhunter, Dr. Finer is ever on the prowl for innovative technologies that will increase the probability of success of existing development programs as well as product opportunities that are synergistic with the existing portfolio and will overall improve the success of the business.
Mitch joined MPM Capital as Managing Director in 2015 and is a member of the board of directors of MPM portfolio company Semma Therapeutics. For three decades Mitch has focused in the areas of regenerative medicine, cancer immunotherapy and cell and gene therapy, helping to advance products from conception through phase III clinical programs. Prior to MPM, Mitch served as CSO of bluebird bio, where he was responsible for strategic build of bluebird’s gene therapy business and led the strategic development of the LentiGlobin product from preclinical research through demonstration of long-term therapeutic benefit and safety in beta-thalassemia patients. Mitch continues to serve on bluebird bio’s scientific advisory board.
Prior to bluebird, Mitch served as CEO of Intracel Corporation and Genteric Inc, and as VP Research for Cell Genesys and the Gencell division of Aventis Pharma (now Sanofi). Mitch also successfully co-founded retinal disease gene therapy company Avalanche Biotechnologies.
Mitch received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Harvard University and a BS in Biochemistry and Microbiology from the University of California at Berkeley. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT.
Cyrus D. Mozayeni, M.D.
President& CHIEF BUSINESS OFFICER
Cyrus D. Mozayeni, MD is co-founder of Oncorus and serves as President and Chief Business Officer (CBO), responsible for corporate development, finance, legal, human resources and business operations. Cyrus is focused on building a great company that will make a true difference in the world, through its people, culture, partnerships and products.
Prior to joining Oncorus, Cyrus served as Vice President and global head of business development and alliance management at bluebird bio, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLUE). During his tenure at bluebird, he helped develop the company’s corporate development strategy, and led several transactions to build the company’s technology platform and product portfolio. Ultimately his efforts led to a multi-year collaboration with Celgene Corporation, culminating in a clinical-stage CAR T-cell program. Cyrus also successfully managed the identification and development of key internal intellectual property and contributed to bluebird’s successful Initial Public Offering in 2013. In addition to his extensive business development experience, Dr. Mozayeni has held key leadership roles in preclinical and clinical development, business operations, strategic planning, intellectual property and legal functions.
Dr. Mozayeni received his B.S. in neuroscience from Brown University, his M.D. from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a licensed physician, and a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine.
Senior Director, CMC Operations
The Oncorus Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls department consisting of process development, manufacturing, analytical sciences and quality control will be led by Michael. Michael has spent the last fourteen years in biotechnology building and leading process development and manufacturing teams to support clinical programs from early development to late stage clinical trials.
Most recently, Michael was the Sr. Director of Technical Operations and head of Cellular Process Development and Manufacturing Operations at bluebird bio. Michael established and was responsible for internal and external cellular process development and analytics, cGMP manufacturing operations, CMC regulatory strategy, cellular procurement, and process characterization and validation activities. For over four years, Michael and his team successfully completed the development, scale-up, characterization, technology transfer and manufacturing of drug product for all lentiviral vector-based autologous hematopoietic stem cell and CAR T cell programs.
Prior to joining bluebird bio, Michael was the Director of Manufacturing and head of Process Development at Tolerx, Inc. where he was responsible for advancing multiple immunology and cancer biology programs from discovery to late stage clinical manufacturing including the Phase III/commercial candidate Otelixizumab.
Michael received a BS in Biology from Providence College and a MSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of New Hampshire.
Alexandra Hicks, Ph.D.
senior Director, pharmacology & Toxicology
Alexandra is the Senior Director of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Oncorus where she is leading discovery and development activities to support regulatory milestones for lead and next generation Oncolytic viruses.
Alexandra has over fifteen years’ experience in pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, leading preclinical and translational drug discovery efforts spanning multiple disease areas and therapeutic modalities. Most recently, Alexandra was the Sr. Director of Translational Sciences for Onkaido, a Moderna Venture, where she was responsible for developing and executing biomarker strategies for immunomodulatory mRNA therapeutics. Prior to Moderna, Alexandra was a Director of Research at Merck where she led research teams to advance novel therapeutics for Autoimmune Diseases and Oncology. Preceding Merck, Alexandra held positions of increasing responsibility at GlaxoSmithKline, Roche and PTC Therapeutics. Alexandra’s research experience and accomplishments encompass target validation, lead identification and optimization, and clinical proof of concept, including IND and NDA filings.
Alexandra received a BSc in Biomedical Science from the University of Sheffield and a PhD in Pharmacology from University College London in collaboration with Pfizer. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at GlaxoSmithKline in Philadelphia.
Kenneth Simon, Ph.D.
Director, Molecular Biology and Virology
Kenneth Simon Ph. D. is the Director of Molecular Biology and Virology for Oncorus. He is leading discovery and development work on Oncorus’ next generation oncolytic viruses.
Ken has over 16 years of experience in the biotechnology industry. Most recently, Ken was a Project Director at Abbvie and then served as a consultant for Editas Medicine, working on the development of viral vectors. Prior to that Ken spent 13 years at Biogen in Cambridge MA where he developed multiple therapeutic antibody candidates including one program currently in phase 2 clinical testing. Starting in 2005, Ken co-led a program on progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) addressing all aspects of treatment, early detection, and biomarker discovery, as well as research on the biology of the virus to identify targets for intervention, and was instrumental in the discovery and development of Stratify-JCV, a FDA approved clinical assay to identify patients at risk of JCV infection.
Ken received his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from SUNY Stony Brook and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and a BS in Biochemistry from the University of California at San Diego. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute For Biomedical Research in La Jolla California.
Stacy N. Gilroy
Stacy Gilroy joined Oncorus in March 2016 as Director, Operations and has the bragging right of being the second official employee of the company behind the CEO and founder, Mitchell H. Finer, Ph.D. She is leading the building of the infrastructure of the company and overseeing the day to day functions of HR, Facilities and IT. Prior to joining Oncorus, Stacy was the eighth hire at bluebird bio where she helped to form and lead the operations team from 2010 – 2016. There she successfully led the company through multiple moves and expansion projects while serving as a major contributor to the company culture and was one of the creators of the core values. Before making a career change to Massachusetts and the biotech community, Stacy worked as a project coordinator in the entertainment industry in New York City where she started out her career perfecting the art of getting coffee on the set of the American soap opera One Life to Live. Stacy holds a BA in Communications from Rowan University.