Our leadership team has a strong track record in developing and commercializing drugs for the treatment of renal and metabolic disorders.
President and Chief Executive Officer
John P. Butler joined Akebia as a director in July 2013 and was appointed as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Akebia in August 2013. Prior to joining Akebia, from 2011 until 2013, Mr. Butler served as the Chief Executive Officer of Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, Inc (“Inspiration”), a company focused on developing products for patients with hemophilia. Mr. Butler led the transactions that resulted in the sale of Inspiration’s hemophilia assets to Cangene Corporation and Baxter International in early 2013, for a total aggregate consideration that could exceed $1 billion. From 1997 to 2011, Mr. Butler held various positions at Genzyme Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company, most recently serving as President of the company’s rare genetic diseases business. From 2002 until 2010, Mr. Butler led Genzyme’s renal division. Prior to his work at Genzyme, Mr. Butler held sales and marketing positions at Amgen and Hoffmann-La Roche. Mr. Butler currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Kidney Fund. Mr. Butler received a BA in Chemistry from Manhattan College and an MBA from Baruch College, City University of New York.
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Jason A. Amello joined Akebia as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer in 2013. Prior to joining Akebia, Mr. Amello served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer of ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from 2012 to 2013. From 2000 to 2011, Mr. Amello held various positions at Genzyme Corporation, most recently as Senior Vice President, Corporate Controller, and Chief Accounting Officer, and led the Strategic Financial Services group through which he served as a key advisor on all of Genzyme’s M&A and strategic transactions. Earlier in his career, Mr. Amello spent 10 years in the business advisory and assurance practice of Deloitte, serving in various roles of increasing responsibility through senior manager. Mr. Amello currently serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Baptist Hospital where he is the Chair of the Quality of Care Committee and a member of the Finance and Investment Committee; and serves on the Board of Directors of Acer Therapeutics Inc. where he is a member of the Audit Committee. Mr. Amello holds a BA from Boston College and is a Certified Public Accountant in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Nicole Hadas joined Akebia in 2013 and is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. From 2011 to 2013, Ms. Hadas served as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., where she managed the successful sale of its hemophilia assets to Cangene Corporation and Baxter International in early 2013. From 2001 to 2011, Ms. Hadas worked at Genzyme Corporation, most recently as Senior Corporate Counsel. Prior to Genzyme, she was an associate at Foley Hoag, representing biopharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers in a wide variety of matters. Ms. Hadas received a BA from the University of Michigan and a JD from Boston College Law School.
Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer
Michel Dahan joined Akebia in 2013 and is Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer. Prior to joining Akebia, from 2010 to 2013, Mr. Dahan held various positions at Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a company that filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in October 2012 prior to the successful sale of its hemophilia assets to Cangene Corporation and Baxter International in early 2013, most recently as Vice President, Commercial Development and Strategic Planning, and led the global marketing and commercial development in preparation for two global launches. Prior to that, from 2003 to 2010, Mr. Dahan served in various roles for Ipsen, most recently as International Product Director, working on global marketing and strategic planning for their hemophilia franchise, and Strategic Planning Director. Previously, he was in Global Business Development and Licensing for Ipsen. He began his career at BNP Paribas for the investment banking division in 2002. He earned his graduate degree in business administration at HEC Paris (France), his maitrise in mathematics from University Paris VI (France) and his executive education program (PLD) at Harvard Business School.
Rita Jain, M.D.
Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer
Rita Jain, M.D. joined Akebia Therapeutics as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer in May 2017. She brings more than 20 years of drug development experience spanning academia and industry. She has worked across a range of therapeutic areas and led activities for multiple global programs across all stages of development. Most recently, Dr. Jain led the successful completion of the Elagolix Phase 3 endometriosis and Phase 2 uterine fibroid programs.
Prior to joining Akebia, Dr. Jain was the Vice President of Men’s and Women’s Health and Metabolic Development at AbbVie. From 2003-2016 she held positions of increasing responsibility, with over 10 years as either a Divisional Vice President or Vice President in Pharmaceutical Development at Abbott, and after the split at AbbVie. In addition to her work in Men’s and Women’s Health, and Metabolic Development, she also led activities in Pain, Respiratory and Cystic Fibrosis Development. Before AbbVie, she held management positions in the Arthritis, Inflammation and Pain Group at Searle (acquired by Pharmacia and subsequently Pfizer).
Prior to joining Searle, Dr. Jain was a faculty member at North Shore University Hospital in NY, with an academic appointment as Assistant Professor of Medicine, NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Jain received her M.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook School of Medicine, and completed her training in Internal Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital followed by a Fellowship in Rheumatology at North Shore University Hospital and a Clinical Research Fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.
Senior Vice President of Human Resources
Tamara Dillon joined Akebia as Vice President of Human Resources in August 2014. Ms. Dillon joins Akebia from Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, where she served as Head of Human Resources, Global Discovery Chemistry, responsible for all aspects of human resources across five sites and four countries. Previously, she held several key roles at Genzyme, a Sanofi Company, including Senior Director Human Resources, Global Research and Development. In this global leadership role, Ms. Dillon worked closely with the senior management team to ensure that overall business strategies were translated into impactful and effective human resources programs.
Karen Tubridy, PharmD
Senior Vice President, Chief Development Officer
Karen Tubridy, PharmD joined Akebia as Senior Vice President, Chief Development Officer in November 2016. Prior to joining Akebia, Ms. Tubridy served as Chief Development Officer at Eleven Biotherapeutics. Prior to joining Eleven Biotherapeutics, Ms. Tubridy served as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs of Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a company that sold its hemophilia assets to Cangene Corporation and Baxter International in early 2013.
Prior to joining Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, Ms. Tubridy served as Executive Director, Clinical Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Translational Medicine of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, when Taligen Therapeutics was acquired by Alexion Pharmaceuticals, and previously as Vice President of Clinical Operations and Regulatory Affairs of Taligen Therapeutics. Prior to that, Ms. Tubridy served as Vice President of Clinical Operations, Hemophilia at Biogen Idec, Inc. Ms. Tubridy received a B.S. and a Pharm.D. from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences (MCPHS). Ms. Tubridy is a member of the Board of Trustees at MCPHS University.