Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board of Directors
Greg Duncan is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Virios Therapeutics. Previously, Mr. Duncan was President and Chief Executive Officer of Celtaxsys, Inc., a privately held biotech company focused on developing anti-inflammatory medicines for rare disease where he scaled the required capital to build out the organizational capability to advance both pre- clinical and clinical development candidates. Prior to Celtaxsys, he served as an Executive Committee member at Belgium based UCB, a specialty pharma entity developing and commercializing medicines for immunologic and central nervous system disorders. Before joining UCB, Mr. Duncan, while at Pfizer he held several executive U.S. and international appointments, including President of Pfizer’s $2B Latin America Operations and SVP of Marketing. His operational teams had accountability for the launches of many pharmaceutical brands including Lipitor, Zoloft, Viagra, Celebrex, Aricept, Lyrica, Cimzia, Zithromax (ZPack), Diflucan, Sutent, Rebif and Vimpat. Mr. Duncan has served as director for Biotie Therapeutics, the American Psychiatric Foundation, Bio International Organization (BIO), Southeast BIO (SEBIO and the Georgia Bio industry association groups. Greg holds a master’s degree in business administration from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the State University of New York in Albany, NY.
Richard Burch has served as a director of Virios Therapeutics since 2020. Mr. Burch is the former President of Virios. Prior to joining Virios, Mr. Burch spent 30 years at Pfizer starting as a sales rep and working his way up to Senior Vice President overseeing numerous divisions with more than 6,500 employees. He was accountable for $11.5 billion in revenue and had responsibilities in launching or managing over 20 pharmaceutical products, including blockbuster brands such as Celebrex, Lyrica, Aricept, Zoloft, Rebif, Zithromax and Lipitor. Following his tenure at Pfizer, Mr. Burch was named Vice President and General Manager for UCB, Inc., overseeing all operations for the US CNS Business Unit including P&L management and responsibility for pipeline and in-line portfolio of CNS products. Mr. Burch currently serves on the University of Alabama Business School Board and is a member of the University of Alabama President’s Cabinet and on the Executive Committee for the DCH Health System Foundation Board. Mr. Burch received a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Alabama and certification from the Finance and Accounting Department of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.
David Keefer, a director since 2018, is currently leading a technology company focused on enhancing health education and enablement. Mr. Keefer is a 30-year industry veteran with broad-based experience in leading commercial operations. In addition, he is engaged in the nutraceutical area with a healthy energy supplements and drinks company. Mr. Keefer has been a visionary leader in the healthcare industry with a proven track record of success. He is a seven-time winner of Pharma Voice’s top 100 leaders in healthcare. Mr. Keefer has held executive roles at Biovail, Pharmacia, Pfizer, Wyeth and Publicis Health. Roles include CEO, Chief Global Development Officer, Chief Commercial Officer, and other commercial focused roles in marketing and communications. Most recently, Mr. Keefer had overall responsibility for Global Business Development for Publics Health, the world’s largest global health focused organization offering marketing, communications, and personal message delivery solutions to the life sciences market.
William L. Pridgen, M.D
William L. Pridgen, M.D. is our founder and has been a director since 2018. Dr. Pridgen is a board-certified surgeon practicing with Tuscaloosa Surgical Associates, P.C. in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Dr. Pridgen obtained his B.S. in Biology from Rhodes College, attending the medical school and completing his surgical residency at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. Dr. Pridgen is certified in general surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Pridgen has spent nearly 20 years searching for effective treatments in IBS, FM, and MECFS, and served as a physician and surgeon in the United States Navy for five years.
Abel De La Rosa
Dr. De La Rosa is the Chairman of the Board of Directors and co-founder of Antios Therapeutics. He was most recently Antios’ Chief Executive Officer and led it from an early stage idea to a clinical-stage bio pharmaceutical company. Dr. De La Rosa was a member of the board of directors of Celtaxsys, Inc. from 2012-2020. Also he was the Chief Scientific Officer of Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE) and the Emory Institute for Drug Development (EIDD) from 2012 to 2018, focused on the discovery and development of antiviral drugs for the treatment of viral diseases of unmet medical need and global concern. Prior to joining Emory University, Dr. De La Rosa was Senior Vice President of Business Development and Scientific Affairs at Pharmasset, from 2002 until its acquisition by Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD) for $11 billion in 2012, he was responsible for licensing, strategic transactions, and alliance management of collaborations and partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and universities. Prior to Pharmasset, Dr. De La Rosa held both scientific and business positions at Visible Genetics, Innogenetics, Boston Biomedica, and Digene. He is an inventor and author on several U.S. patents and publications relating to molecular diagnostic methods, techniques and therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer. Dr. De La Rosa earned a Fogarty Fellowship and an Intramural Research Training Award Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health, where he completed post-doctoral training in the Laboratory of Biochemistry and the Laboratory of Pathology of the National Cancer Institute. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology from the University of California, San Diego, and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Miami University. We believe that Dr. De La Rosa is qualified to serve on our board of directors due to his significant knowledge and experience in the pharmaceutical industry and his experience as an officer and director in the pharmaceutical industry.
John C. Thomas, Jr.
Since 2018, Mr. Thomas has served as the Chief Financial Officer and Secretary of SmartPharm Therapeutics, Inc, a genetic research and development company. In late 2017, Mr. Thomas rejoined DemeRx, Inc., a privately held company developing non-additive treatments for drug addiction, as the Chief Financial Officer after previously being the Chief Financial Officer from 2010 to 2013. Since April 2014, Mr. Thomas has served as a director of NantKwest, Inc. (Nasdaq: NK) and is chairperson of the audit committee and a member of the compensation committee. From 2001 until 2018, Mr. Thomas served as Chief Financial Officer and Secretary, and from 2001 to 2016 as a director of CorMatrix Cardiovascular, a privately held medical device company. He has also served as Chief Financial Officer, Secretary, and Director of Motion Reality, Inc., a motion capture and simulation company, since 1991. From 2012 until 2019, Mr. Thomas served as a director of Novelion Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly QLT, Inc.), a public company focused on rare diseases and was the Chairperson of their Audit and Risk Committee and Nominating and Governance Committee. During the past ten years, Mr. Thomas served as acting Chief Financial Officer for DemeRx, Inc., MRI Interventions, Inc., MiMedx Group, Inc., and DARA BioSciences and as a director of MRI Interventions, Inc. Between 1999 and 2012, Mr. Thomas served as a Trustee and subsequently the Chairman of the Finance Committee of The Walker School, a private school. Mr. Thomas is a Certified Public Accountant and graduated from the University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce. We believe that Mr. Thomas is qualified to serve on our board of directors due to his significant financial and accounting knowledge and experience serving on boards of directors of public companies.
Richard J. Whitley, M.D.
Dr. Whitley is the Distinguished Professor, Loeb Scholar Chair in Pediatrics, and Professor of Pediatrics, Microbiology, Medicine and Neurosurgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is the Co-Director, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases; Vice-Chair, Department of Pediatrics; Senior Scientist, Department of Gene Therapy; Director for Drug Discovery and Development; Senior Leader, Comprehensive Cancer Center; Associate Director for Clinical Studies, Center for AIDS Research; and Co-Founder and Co-Director, Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance. Dr. Whitley is responsible for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Collaborative Antiviral Study Group and directs a center for drug discovery in the arena of emerging infections. He is a past President of the International Society of Antiviral Research and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and currently chairs both the NIAID Recombinant DNA Advisory Council and the NIAID HIV Vaccine Data Safety and Management Board. Dr. Whitley has been a director of Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) since 2008 and served on Gilead’s Scientific Advisory Board from 2003 to 2008. He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians and an Honorary member of the Irish Academy of Science. We believe that Dr. Whitely is qualified to serve on our board of directors due to his significant knowledge and experience in the pharmaceutical industry and serving on boards of directors of public companies.