Acer Therapeutics Management

Chris Schelling

CEO & Founder
Chris Schelling has 17 years of biotech and pharma strategic and orphan drug expertise. Prior to founding Acer, he was Executive Director of Strategic Marketing at BioMarin Pharmaceutical (BMRN), where he was instrumental in the development and commercialization of the company’s phenylketonuria (PKU) franchise. Previously, he held roles at Abgenix, Cell Therapeutics, Stanford Research Institute Consulting, and Organon.

Robert Steiner, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer
Robert (Bob) D. Steiner has more than 20 years of experience collaborating with industry in orphan and rare disease drug development. After 17 years at Oregon Health & Science University, most recently he served as Executive Director of the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation (MCRF), Chief Scientific Officer for Marshfield Clinic, and Executive Associate Director of the University of Wisconsin Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR). He is currently Clinical Professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH) where he continues a small practice and academic work. Bob has authored or coauthored more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals, the great majority focused on orphan and rare diseases. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine committee that published recommendations on Accelerating Rare Diseases Research and Orphan Product Development. Bob received his MD from the UWSMPH and completed residency at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, followed by fellowship at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital and Medical Center.

Harry Palmin

Acting Chief Financial Officer
Harry Palmin has more than 20 years of corporate experience. He spent 15 years at Novelos Therapeutics (NVLT), where he served as President and CEO and Board Director, and built the company from concept to a $500M peak market cap; raised $98 million in funding; and oversaw ten clinical studies in oncology (including pivotal Phase 3 studies) and infectious diseases. Previously, he held roles at Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley.

Erik Emerson

Acting Chief Operating Officer
Erik Emerson is a 15-year veteran of the pharmaceutical industry with an expansive background in all areas of pharmaceutical operations. Most recently, Erik worked as President and CEO of Symplmed Pharmaceuticals and Technologies from its founding in 2013, including the approval and launch of its lead asset, Prestalia for the treatment of hypertension.  Prior to Symplmed, Erik served as Head of Commercial Development for XOMA (US) LLC.  Erik was also at Gilead Sciences. Erik is passionate about supporting patients and healthcare professionals by leveraging advances in technology to improve access to treatment for all.

Jeff Davis

Acting Chief Business Officer
Jeff Davis has more than 25 years of business and corporate development expertise as well as orphan drug expertise; and has led or supported over thirty transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $1 billion across all major therapeutic platforms. He is a Partner at Extera Partners; and previously held roles at Genzyme, Archemix, ImmunoGen, GenVec and Eli Lilly.

Ben Dewees

Vice President, Regulatory
Ben Dewees has 20 years of orphan drug regulatory and CMC expertise, having previously held roles at BioMarin and Biogen Idec. He has developed two Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facilities for clinical and commercial production. Additionally, he was the CMC Regulatory lead on BioMarin’s first biologics license application (BLA), for Aldurazyme; was the regulatory lead on BioMarin’s first European Union (EU) MAA Marketing Authorisation Application (MAA), for Naglazyme; and was regulatory lead on the development and approval of Kuvan in the US.

Darren Allender

Director, Program Management
Darren Allender has 13 years of experience in the biotech industry. His prior roles include serving as Project Manager at Bend Research; various CMC and project management positions at Seattle Genetics, where he served as Program & Alliance Manager, Associate CMC Project Manager, Senior Research Associate and Quality Control Analyst. He also held positions at Alidex.