President and Chief Executive Officer
Anna joined Mersana in March 2015, bringing a substantial track record of executive leadership and business experience in the biotech industry. Prior to Mersana, Anna was President of Millennium, where she led Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.’s $1.3 billion oncology business. Anna also served as the Executive Vice President of Global Business Development for Takeda Pharmaceuticals where she oversaw global acquisitions, partnering, licensing, and venture investing. In this role, she led Takeda’s $12 billion acquisition of Nycomed, a critical step in the company’s globalization. Anna was a member of Takeda’s executive committee and was elected a corporate officer in 2011.
Earlier in her career, Anna served as an executive officer at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and served in various senior leadership positions, playing an integral role in the company’s transformation from a genomics start-up to a fully integrated oncology leader. She was instrumental in the sale of Millennium to Takeda for $8.8 billion. Anna also served on the board of directors of Ariad Pharmaceuticals from May 2015 to February 2017, when it was sold to Takeda for $5.2 billion, and served on the board of Bioverativ from January 2017 to January 2018, when it was sold to Sanofi for $11.6 billion. She currently serves on the board of directors of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals.
Anna earned her B.S. in Science and Engineering from Princeton University, M.S. in Chemical Engineering practice from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Brian C. DeSchuytner
Senior Vice President of Finance and Product Strategy
Brian joined Mersana in 2019, bringing significant biopharmaceutical business strategy, operational, finance, product development, and commercialization experience from leading oncology companies. Prior to Mersana, he served as Vice President at TESARO, where he was responsible for the commercialization of ZEJULA® (niraparib), a PARP inhibitor developed to treat ovarian cancer. From 2009 to 2017 Brian held several positions of increasing responsibility at Takeda Oncology (previously known as Millennium Pharmaceuticals), where he served as Vice President, responsible for the global launch of NINLARO® (ixazomib), a drug developed to treat multiple myeloma. At Takeda Oncology and earlier in his career at Novartis, Brian held corporate development and strategy roles, and was a leader in the life sciences practice of L.E.K. Consulting.
Brian holds an M.B.A from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Biophysical Chemistry from Dartmouth College.
In his free time, Brian enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and Star Wars. Many people even say that Brian reminds them of Han Solo.
Dirk Huebner, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Dirk joined Mersana in 2018, bringing 25 years of drug development experience within the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, including significant experience in the development and approval of ADCs. Prior to joining Mersana, Dirk served as Vice President, Head of Development, for Boston Biomedical, where he built a robust clinical development team and oversaw the clinical development of several early stage compounds, including the Phase 3 program of napabucasin, a cancer stem cell inhibitor. Prior to that, Dirk spent six years at Takeda Oncology (previously known as Millennium Pharmaceuticals) as Executive Medical Director. During his tenure at Takeda Oncology, Dirk served as the global clinical lead for ADCETRIS® (brentuximab vedotin), an ADC indicated for the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma and certain CD30 positive T-cell lymphomas. In that role, he led the regulatory approval of ADCETRIS in Europe, and the design and implementation of the subsequent registration-enabling studies for the compound. Prior to Takeda, Dirk held roles of increasing leadership and responsibility in global clinical drug development at Genzyme, Roche, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Dr. Huebner received his Medical Doctor degree from the Free University in Berlin, Germany and pursued a medical residency in the Department of Urology, at University Hospital Eppendorf, in Hamburg.
If time allows between work and other family commitments, Dirk likes to go out for a run or a bicycle ride. This keeps his body and mind in sync!
Michael Kaufman, PhD
Chief Manufacturing Officer
Michael joined Mersana in February 2016, bringing more than two decades of experience in process development, scale-up, formulation, and supply chain management across multiple therapeutic modalities, including immunoconjugates. Prior to Mersana, Michael served as Biogen’s Vice President, Technical Development, where he provided technical leadership for all products from preclinical to commercial stage. Michael also spent 10 years at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, most recently as Vice President, Pharmaceutical Sciences, leading all aspects of chemistry, manufacturing and controls. He began his pharmaceutical career at Merck and Co., Inc., spending 15 years in various roles of increasing responsibility.
Michael holds a Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in Chemistry from State University of New York, Stony Brook. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Louisiana State University and an instructor at the University of California.
In his personal life, Michael is an avid rock guitarist with a complete home recording studio, which he uses to make professional recordings of music performed by himself and his friends.
Timothy B. Lowinger, PhD
Chief Science and Technology Officer
Since joining Mersana, when it was a nascent start-up, Tim has served as Chief Scientific Officer, and in 2019 was named Chief Science and Technology Officer. Since the beginning, he has led all of Mersana’s discovery efforts and is a co-inventor of all of our innovative ADC platforms and pipelines.
Prior to joining Mersana, Tim had nearly 15 years of international scientific leadership and drug discovery experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Over the course of his career at Bayer Pharmaceuticals in the US, Japan, and Germany, he contributed to the discovery of more than 15 preclinical and clinical drug candidates in the areas of oncology, asthma, inflammation, virology, obesity, and diabetes. Most notably, Tim is a co-inventor and was the discovery project leader of the pioneering anti-angiogenic kinase inhibitor Nexavar (sorafenib), approved for the treatment of renal and hepatocellular cancer. He was also involved in the discovery of Stivarga (regorafenib), approved for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. While Head of Chemistry for Bayer in Japan, he initiated and oversaw the discovery and optimization of PI3K inhibitors which resulted in the approved drug Aliqopa (copanlisib), a treatment for relapsed follicular lymphoma, and while Department Head, Medicinal Chemistry in Germany, he oversaw the optimization of the HCMV anti-viral program, which resulted in the approved anti-viral drug PREVYMISTM (letermovir), licensed to Merck US. His role at Bayer prior to joining Mersana was as VP of Chemistry Research US, where he led a department of 150 scientists in the areas of medicinal, computational, process development, and analytical chemistry focused on oncology drug discovery.
Tim has published and presented widely in the fields of synthetic and medicinal chemistry, polymer-drug conjugates and ADCs, and is a co-inventor on more than 50 patents. He holds a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of British Columbia, and was a Merck Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ohio State University in the labs of Professor Leo A. Paquette.
In his personal life, it’s a poorly kept secret that Tim is a fan of all things Japanese, from scaling Mt. Fuji to see the sunrise on his birthday, to finding the best places to eat okonomiyaki, or even to naming his beloved labradoodle Yoshi (Japanese for lucky).
Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs
Chuck joined Mersana in August 2020, bringing over 25 years of regulatory affairs, program leadership, and product development experience. Prior to Mersana, he served as Vice President of Regulatory Strategy and Labeling at TESARO, Inc before its acquisition by GSK. While at TESARO he was part of the research and development leadership team that provided strategic direction and management of development teams across the entire portfolio. He was instrumental in the approval of ZEJULA® (niraparib) in multiple indications and geographies. Previously, he worked as Executive Director of Regulatory Affairs at Cubist, before its acquisition by Merck. He has also worked in regulatory strategy and affairs at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Idenix Pharmaceuticals and Acambis Inc.
Chuck holds a B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Boston University.