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Dr. Russell Ellison is an Executive Director at Torreya. He has four decades of leadership experience in biotech and large pharmaceutical companies, including experience in clinical development, safety, approval, regulatory interactions in major markets, and the launch and growth of products in many therapeutic areas.
Before joining Torreya in 2015, Russell was Chairman and CEO of Ventrus Biosciences, a NASDAQ-listed company focused on late-phase development of products for lower GI disorders. Following the merger between Ventrus and Assembly Pharma, he became Chairman and CEO of Assembly Biosciences (NASDAQ: ASMB). As CEO of these companies he successfully closed the IPO for Ventrus in late 2010 and subsequently raised over $120 million in capital from public markets.
Russell’s earlier experience includes serving as Executive Vice President at Paramount Biosciences, where he established, financed, and incubated several clinical stage bio-pharmaceutical companies, and as Vice President of Clinical Development at Fibrogen, (NASDAQ: FGEN).
He also was Chief Medical Officer and VP Medical Affairs for the US at both Sanofi-Synthelabo and Hoffman La Roche. In these positions, he was involved with the clinical programs, registration, and launch of products in oncology, cardiovascular, CNS, dermatology, osteoporosis, infectious disease, and obesity. While at Roche US he successfully managed numerous safety issues involving: dermatology, cardiovascular, and CNS products; developed and championed the concept of Risk Management Programs with FDA senior management and industry leaders; and negotiated the safety section of PDUFA III on behalf of Pharma.
Russell has an M.Sc. degree in public health from Community Health Ross Institute London University, UK and is a physician with a medical degree from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
He has served as Chairman of the Board of Cormedix and Ventrus Biosciences and as a Director of Cougar Biotechnology, Assembly Biosciences. From 2008 until 2014 he was also a Director of the non-profit Buck Institute of Aging Research.