Who We Are
Charting a new path forward to make a difference for patients

Who We Are - Allena Pharmaceuticals Employees

We are dedicated to pioneering ways to leverage the power of oral enzymes with our novel biologic platform to treat metabolic disorders and beyond.

As a mission-driven organization, we are committed to developing novel treatments for people who have—until now—endured without any therapeutic options. As an agile and solutions-oriented organization, every decision we make is driven by data and consensus. Improving the lives of patients is the motivation for what we do; passion for innovation drives how we do it.

The faces behind our progress

We are comprised of people who are driven to help patients overcome the daily burden of their disease through our extensive oral enzyme expertise. As an assembly of passionate and caring individuals, it’s no wonder we are a certified Most Loved Workplace®.

Louis Brenner
Louis Brenner, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Hugh Wight
Hugh Wight
Senior Vice President, Technical Operations
Alicja Januszewicz, PhD
Alicja Januszewicz, PhD
Vice President, People & Culture
Geoffrey Swire
Geoffrey Swire
Acting Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President, Corporate Development
David J. Clark, MD
David J. Clark, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Richard Katz
Richard Katz, MD
Chief Financial Officer
Kevin Brennan
Kevin Brennan
Vice President, Finance
Stephen Yu
Stephen Yu
Senior Vice President, Corporate Quality
Jerome Gangitano
Jerome Gangitano
Vice President of Manufacturing and Process Development

Board of Directors

Alexey Margolin, PhD, is Allena’s co-founder and has served as a director since September 2011. He previously served as chief executive officer president from September 2011 to January 2019, and as president from September 2011 to February 2017.

Alexey also served as chief executive officer of Alcresta Therapeutics, Inc., or Alcresta, which he also co-founded and where he currently serves on the board of directors. Prior to Alcresta, Alexey co-founded Alnara Pharmaceuticals, Inc, in 2008, where he was president and chief executive officer and oversaw their acquisition by Eli Lilly. Previously, Alexey served as chief scientific officer of Altus, where he initiated and led several therapeutics programs based on protein crystallization technology. Alexey was elected fellow of the American Institute of Medicine and Biological Engineering.

Alexey is the author of more than 60 publications and is an inventor on several patents. He holds both an MS in chemistry and a PhD in bio-organic chemistry from Moscow University.

Lou Brenner, MD, has served as chief executive officer of Allena since February 2019 and as president since February 2017. He previously served as chief operating officer from April 2015 to January 2019.

Lou has more than a decade of industry leadership experience, including pharmaceutical development strategy, regulatory affairs, business development, and commercialization. Prior to joining Allena, Lou served as chief medical officer at Idera Pharmaceuticals, chief medical officer at Radius Health, and senior vice president at AMAG Pharmaceuticals. He began his industry career at Genzyme Corporation, where he led successful product development programs for medicines that are currently marketed in the renal and metabolic areas.

He holds an MD from Duke University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BS from Yale University, He completed his residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and his fellowship in nephrology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Lou holds a clinical appointment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Robert Alexander, Ph.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since June 2016.

Previously, Robert served as the chief executive officer of Allakos Inc. and as the chief executive officer of ZS Pharma. He also served on the Board of Directors when it was acquired by AstraZeneca PLC, including as chairman of the Board of Directors. Robert previously served as a director at Alta Partners, a venture capital firm in life sciences. In addition, he acted as executive chairman and interim chief executive officer of SARcode Biosciences Inc. a biopharmaceutical company later acquired by Shire.

Robert completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University in the pathology department. He also holds a Ph.D. in immunology from the University of North Carolina and a B.A. in zoology from Miami University of Ohio.

Allene Diaz held the position of Senior Vice President, R&D Portfolio Management at GlaxoSmithKline until June 2020. Prior, she served as Senior Vice President of Global Commercial Development and Program Strategy and as a member of the Executive Leadership Team at TESARO Inc. (formerly Nasdaq: TSRO). Allene has also held a variety of roles in the EMD Serono and Merck Serono divisions of Merck KGaA, including Senior Vice President, Managed Markets, Senior Vice President, Head of U.S. Oncology Commercial, Vice President, Oncology Marketing, Head of Global Strategic Planning, and Head of the Global Oncology Business. Earlier in her career, Allene held management, operating, sales, and medical affairs roles at various biopharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, Biogen, and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, among others. From 2016 to 2019, Ms. Diaz served on the board of Erytech Pharma SA.

Allene holds a B.S. from Florida State University.

Gino Santini has served as a member of our board of directors since February 2012.

Gino is the Chairman of the board of directors of AMAG Pharmaceuticals and a member of the board of directors of Horizon Pharma Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Collegium Pharmaceuticals, Intarcia Therapeutics, and Artax Biopharma. He previously served on the boards of SORIN SpA and Vitae Pharmaceuticals until their acquisitions. Gino has been an advisor of European and US venture capital, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies since 2011, when he retired after a 27-year career at Eli Lilly. Gino’s last role at Eli Lilly was Senior Vice President of corporate strategy and business development.

He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bologna and an M.B.A. from the Simon School of Business, University of Rochester.

Dr. Ann Miller has served as a member of our board of directors since October 2020.

Dr. Ann Miller has launched and grown multiple blockbuster products and built leading franchises over the course of her career. Most recently, she spent six years at Sanofi, ultimately serving as Vice President, Marketing, where she was selected to lead a corporate-wide initiative on Marketing Excellence. Prior to Sanofi, Ann spent two years as Senior Vice President at Eisai, where she led the Pharmaceutical Services and Primary Care and Specialty Business units, including the blockbuster franchises Aricept® and Aciphex®. Earlier in her career, Ann worked at Amgen, where she contributed to building the Global Marketing function, including serving as Executive Director, North American Commercial Operations and Executive Director, Global Marketing, and provided commercialization and life cycle management oversight for key products, including Neulasta® and Vectibix®. Before that, she spent 16 years at Merck & Co., where she held a series of roles of increasing responsibility, including brand leadership for Fosamax®, Mevacor®, and Zocor®. Dr. Miller currently serves on the board of Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Puma Biotechnology.

She holds both her B.A., with honors, and her M.D. from Duke University.

Mark Fitzpatrick has served as a member of our board since April 2021 and brought over 30 years of operational and financial management experience to Allena.

Most recently, he spent six years at Chiasma, Inc., where he served initially as Chief Financial Officer and subsequently President and Chief Executive Officer, and played an integral role in securing U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of MYCAPSSA® for the treatment of acromegaly. Prior to Chiasma, he served as Chief Financial Officer for several biopharmaceutical companies. In these roles, Mark raised over $1.5 billion in both public and private equity and debt financings and helped negotiate strategic collaborations with both large pharmaceutical companies and commercial contract manufacturers. Mark began his career at Arthur Andersen LLP.

He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Boston College.

Scientific Advisors

Gary Curhan is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a member of the Channing Laboratory and the Renal Division at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His active research interests include the epidemiology of nephrolithiasis, risk factors for renal function decline, hearing loss, cardiovascular disease, health effects of analgesic use, novel risk factors for hypertension, and epidemiology of gout. Gary spends most of his time on these research activities and the remainder of his time on mentoring, teaching and co-directing parts of the PASTEUR program at HMS. He is the Editor-in-Chief for the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). He serves on national committees including the Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at NIH.

Gary received his MD from Harvard Medical School and his ScD from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Brian Eisner is the Co-Director of the Kidney Stone Program at the MGH, where he is actively involved in research involving kidney stone prevention, risk factors for kidney stone disease, and surgical treatment of kidney stones. His clinical practice also focuses on kidney stone prevention and minimally invasive and surgical treatments for kidney stones. He is an Assistant Editor of the Journal of Urology and an Editor of the Journal of Endourology Case Reports.

Brian attended Harvard College and the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed urology residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellowship in endourology and urinary stone disease at the University of California, San Francisco.

David S. Goldfarb, MD, FACP, FASN, FNKF, brings over thirty years of expertise in nephrology to Allena as a scientific advisor. David is currently a professor of Medicine and Physiology at NYU School of Medicine, Clinical Chief of Nephrology at NYU, Chief of Nephrology at the NY VAMC and co-director of the Kidney Stone Prevention Program at NYU Langone Medical center. David serves as the principal investigator of the cystinuria component of the Rare Kidney Stone Consortium, and as a member of the board of directors of the International Cystinuria Foundation, the medical advisory board of the National Kidney Foundation of Greater New York, and of the Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation. David is the former President of the New York Society of Nephrology and of the ROCK Society (Research on Calculus Kinetics). He sits on the editorial boards of renowned journals including Kidney International, Urolithiasis, and Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension, among others. In 2014 David received the “Stone Crusher of the Year” award in 2014 from the Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation, and in 2016 he was named “Nephrologist of the Year” by the American Kidney Fund. On a personal note, he has had three calcium oxalate stones, an experience which gives him an acute understanding of the patients with whom he works everyday.

David graduated from Yale College and Yale School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in internal medicine and his nephrology training at NYU/New York VA.

Felix Knauf is a Professor of Nephrology at the Charité University Hospital Berlin, Germany, and an Assistant Professor Adjunct at Yale University. His research focuses on epithelial oxalate handling and the role of oxalate in chronic kidney disease. Felix studied medicine at the University Freiburg and Berlin.

Felix completed his doctoral thesis in the Department of Physiology and Internal Medicine at Yale University. He completed his medical training in Internal Medicine and Nephrology at Yale, and joined the faculty in 2011.

Craig B. Langman is the Isaac A. Abt, MD, Professor of Kidney Diseases, and Tenured Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Head of Kidney Diseases at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and director of the two Davita Children’s Dialysis Centers in Chicago. His funded research focuses on the basic and clinical expression of inherited or acquired disorders of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and FGF23 metabolism, mechansims of cardiovascular diseases in children with obesity or chronic kidney disease, the proteomics of inherited stone disease, inherited genetic diseases (cystinosis, oxalosis, kidney stones, atypical HUS, hypophosphatasia), and the rehabilitation of patients around the world with chronic kidney disease.

Craig received his MD from Hahnemann University. He has published more than 275 articles, reviews and chapters in his discipline.

Orson W. Moe, MD, received his medical degree from the University of Toronto and is currently Professor of Internal Medicine and Physiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He is the Director of the Charles and Jane Pak Center of Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research and Chief of the Nephrology Division at Southwestern. Orson is the holder of the Charles and Jane Pak Distinguished Chair in Mineral Metabolism Research and the Donald Seldin Professorship in Clinical Investigation. Orson conducts both basic science and patient-oriented research on renal physiology and metabolism as well as epithelial biology, striving to cross from the level of the whole patient to animal and cell culture models, and down to single molecules. He has edited Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension, and the textbook, Seldin and Giebiesch’s The Kidney: Physiology and Pathophysiology. He also serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Physiology, Journal of American Society of Nephrology, Clinical and Experimental Nephrology, and Journal of Nephrology. He is currently a member of the American Society of Clinical Research, American Association of Physicians, American Society of Nephrology, and American Physiologic Society.

Orson received his MD from the University of Toronto.

David Bruce Mount, MD brings a deep knowledge of nephrology and investigative research to the Allena team as scientific advisor. David is currently Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Chief of the Renal Division at Brigham Women’s Hospital. David has a longstanding interest in the molecular physiology of anion transporters, with significant publications in Nature Genetics, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and other major journals. He currently has an NIH-funded research effort on the functional genomics of urate transport, working on the roles of insulin, IGF-1, angiotensin-II, and urate-associated genes in the regulation of GLUT9 and other urate transporters. Clinically, he has been repeatedly named a “Top Doc” in Nephrology by Boston Magazine, with expertise in glomerular disorders, fluid and electrolyte disorders, and acute kidney injury. He also has highly specific expertise in the treatment of gout in chronic kidney disease. He is a much sought-after clinical educator in Nephrology, with multiple chapters in UpToDate, Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, and other major textbooks.

David is an MD graduate at the University of Toronto. He completed his Medical Residency at Toronto General Hospital, followed by a Renal Fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he trained in Steve Herbert’s laboratory.

Gregory Tasian is an Assistant Professor of Urology and Epidemiology and a Senior Scholar in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Gregory is also an attending urologist and core faculty member of the Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). As Co-Director of the CHOP Kidney Stone Center, Gregory’s clinical practice focuses on the medical and surgical treatment of children with kidney stones. He has published and lectured extensively, and he is a nationally recognized expert on the determinants of nephrolithiasis in children and interventions to decrease the risk of stone recurrence among adolescents.

A graduate of Baylor College of Medicine, Oxford University, and the University of Pennsylvania, Gregory completed a Urology residency at the University of California, San Francisco and a pediatric urology fellowship at CHOP.

Hyperuricemia and Gout Advisors

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Partner With Us

We are a late-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing first-in-class oral enzyme therapeutics. Please get in touch with business development inquiries.

Corporate and social responsibility

At Allena Pharmaceuticals, we innovate with the utmost care for our patients, our partners, and our platform. We are committed to improving the lives of patients through our extensive oral enzyme expertise: it is our mission and our purpose. We uphold ethics and transparency through collaboration. Allena Pharmaceuticals promotes positive change in our communities through social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

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We support programs and activities that share in our mission to help drive awareness of metabolic diseases and develop new therapeutic options within the space. We encourage you to contact us to request guidelines concerning our submission process.
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Jerome Gangitano

Vice President of Manufacturing and Process Development

Jerome Gangitano is the Vice President of Manufacturing and Process Development at Allena Pharmaceuticals. He is an experienced operations executive with more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and device industries. He has developed, commercialized, and supplied numerous products.

Prior to joining Allena, Jerome was a Site Head at Sanofi where he led a site including Safety and Environmental, Quality, Manufacturing, Process Development – MSAT; Facilities-Engineering, Supply Chain, Materials Purchasing, and Operational Excellence. Prior to his time at Sanofi, Jerome held various leadership positions in Operations, Manufacturing, and Quality at Genzyme, Focal, Johnson & Johnson, and Multiple Peptide Systems. Jerome received his BS in Chemistry from San Diego State University.

Kevin Brennan

Vice President, Finance

Kevin Brennan is the Vice President Finance at Allena Pharmaceuticals. Kevin joined the Allena team in 2011 as the Associate Director, Finance and has played an integral role in financial strategy, planning and operations, and the development and monitoring of systems designed to manage the organization’s finance and reporting. Kevin brings over twenty years of experience in the life science industry. Prior to joining Allena, Kevin held various positions at Alnara Pharmaceuticals, Altus Pharmaceuticals, and Genzyme, where he worked cross-functionally to drive strategic initiatives and optimize planning and reporting processes.

Kevin holds a B.S. in Accounting from Boston College.

Stephen Yu

Senior Vice President, Corporate Quality

Stephen Yu is Senior Vice President of Corporate Quality at Allena Pharmaceuticals. Stephen provides leadership for the internal Quality Assurance and Quality Control functions and oversight across internal and external GxP activities for Allena’s programs and facilities.

Stephen brings over 40 years of drug development and commercialization experience in technical and quality compliance roles. Over the past year, he has worked as Senior Vice President of Quality at Lyndra Therapeutics, a private company based in Watertown. In addition to serving previously as Vice President of Quality Assurance at Allena, Stephen has led his self-directed consultancy, Sky Pharma Consulting, and held prior roles as Vice President of Corporate Quality at Immunogen, as well as roles in Quality and Manufacturing at Genzyme, Merck & Co and Schering-Plough Research Institute.

Stephen earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from M.I.T. and an M.B.A. from Rutgers University.

Richard Katz, M.D.

Chief Financial Officer

Richard Katz, M.D. has served as chief financial officer since January 2021. Richard brings to Allena more than 20 years of experience in healthcare finance and corporate development.

Prior to joining Allena, Richard served as the chief financial officer of several biopharmaceutical companies, including Liquidia Technologies, Argos Therapeutics, Viamet Pharmaceuticals and Icagen, Inc. At Icagen, he played an instrumental role in the company’s initial public offering and subsequent financings, the formation of several strategic collaborations and the company’s sale to Pfizer. Richard began his career as a vice president in the healthcare investment banking group at Goldman, Sachs & Company, where he executed a broad range of transactions, including equity and debt financings, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate restructurings.

He holds a B.A. in applied mathematics from Harvard University, an M.D. from the Stanford University School of Medicine and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Alicja Januszewicz, PhD.

Vice President, People & Culture

Alicja Januszewicz, Ph.D., has served as the Head of People & Culture since 2019. Before joining Allena, she consulted with small organizations in Cambridge within talent management: employee development, organizational development, succession management, high potentials, and workforce planning. Previously, she had served as the Head of Talent Management at Baxalta Innovation Center, where she supported global R&D teams until the Shire acquisition.

Prior to joining Baxalta, Alicja served as Head of Talent Management at Epizyme and Boston Scientific HQ. She also supported the organizational development of Genzyme’s global HR manufacturing group.

Alicja holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the Polish Academy of Science. She is a graduate of the Talent Management Institute, University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School.

David J. Clark, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer

David J. Clark, M.D. has served as Chief Medical Officer since November 2020. He has over 20 years of global industry experience in biopharmaceutical companies based in the United States and Europe.

Before joining Allena, David served as the Chief Medical Officer of Aldeyra Therapeutics, a publicly-traded biotechnology company developing medicines for immune-mediated ocular and systemic diseases. He also served as Chief Medical Officer of Wilson Therapeutics, a privately-held biotechnology company developing novel pharmaceuticals to treat Wilson Disease, a rare autosomal recessive disorder of copper metabolism. David further served as Chief Medical Officer at NormOxys Inc. and TransTech Pharma, LLC. He has held leadership positions at a range of pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and SmithKline Beecham.

David received his medical degree from the University of Edinburgh, trained in internal medicine, and conducted respiratory medicine academic research.

Geoffrey Swire

Acting Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President, Corporate Development

Geoffrey Swire joined Allena in 2018 and currently serves as Acting Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President, Corporate Development. Geoffrey has 20 years of leadership experience in business, product, and commercial development for life sciences companies.
 
Geoff previously worked at Radius Health, where he served as head of business development and alliance management, and earlier as program leader for the global Phase 3 osteoporosis development program. Prior to that, Geoff spent seven years at Genzyme, where he held various leadership positions in the Transplant and  Oncology business units, including as head of program and portfolio management, as well as vice president of global commercial operations. Geoff played a central role in the acquisition, development, regulatory approvals, and global commercial launch of Mozobil for patients undergoing stem cell transplants. He started his career in strategy and product development consulting at Integral, Inc., and Accenture’s Health & Life Sciences practice.

Geoff holds a B.A. in French and History from Dartmouth College and a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University

Hugh Wight

Senior Vice President, Technical Operations

Hugh Wight is senior vice president of technical operations at Allena Pharmaceuticals. He is an experienced manufacturing executive with more than 20 years in pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical development, manufacturing, validation and quality assurance.

Prior to joining Allena, Hugh was vice president, technical operations for Alnara Pharmaceuticals, where he led manufacturing, project management, quality assurance and control, and fostered strategic partnerships with manufacturing organizations. Prior to his time at Alnara, Hugh held various quality assurance and validation leadership positions at Altus Pharmaceuticals, Alkermes, Aquila Biopharmaceuticals, AutoImmune and InSite Vision.

Hugh holds a B.S. in microbiology from the University of Maine-Orono.

Louis Brenner, MD

President and Chief Executive Officer

Lou Brenner, MD, has served as chief executive officer of Allena since February 2019 and as president since February 2017. He previously served as chief operating officer from April 2015 to January 2019.

Lou has more than a decade of industry leadership experience, including pharmaceutical development strategy, regulatory affairs, business development, and commercialization. Prior to joining Allena, Lou served as chief medical officer at Idera Pharmaceuticals, chief medical officer at Radius Health, and senior vice president at AMAG Pharmaceuticals. He began his industry career at Genzyme Corporation, where he led successful product development programs for medicines that are currently marketed in the renal and metabolic areas.

He holds an MD from Duke University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BS from Yale University, He completed his residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and his fellowship in nephrology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Lou holds a clinical appointment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.