Executive Team Leaders
Hugo Stephenson is a medical doctor, biotech services entrepreneur and founder of businesses that include MediGuard, the largest online medication monitoring service serving almost 3M patients, Health Research Solutions, an Australian CRO focused on late phase research (acquired by Quintiles in 2002) and MedSeed, a 1990s pioneer of hospital and GP decision support software in the Asia/Pacific region.
Hugo served as Senior Vice President at Quintiles from 2002 to 2011, establishing Quintiles’ global late phase operations, in-house CRA capability through global project coordination centers, and distributed drug safety operation across Asia, Europe and the United States. Hugo is passionate about organizations that think out of the box to improve life, and has a wide range of interests that include early biotech, consumer health, high power rocketry, metal sculpture and riding motorcycles. Hugo was named in the PharmaVoice 100 in 2010.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Ibraheem (Ibs) Mahmood
Ibraheem Mahmood defined the DrugDev vision: to provide technologies and services to clinical trial doctors that allow the pharma industry to conduct trials faster, smarter and cheaper. His strategy to deliver this vision has been to build a world-class team backed by an outstanding investor base. Since joining in 2011, Ibraheem oversaw the growth of the company from just a handful of people to an estimated 200+ by the end of 2014; he and his team also raised an initial $50m investment from Invesco Perpetual.
Ibraheem is an obsessive traveler, at one point spending three years on a career break photographing in 113 countries, including every country in Asia (apart from North Korea and Iraq). This global outlook is just as well as it pervades DrugDev from its multilingual core operations team in London, UK (who can connect with clinical trial doctors in most countries on Earth in their own language) to the global nature of virtually all DrugDev clients and their clinical trials. Ibs was named in the PharmaVoice 100 in 2014.
Chief Commercial Officer
As DrugDev’s CCO, Brett Kleger is responsible for leading DrugDev’s commercial strategy and development. He spearheads the DrugDev initiative to bring new capabilities to market, and “puts his money where his mouth is” to take responsibility for the success of new DrugDev solutions or businesses, including a seamless customer experience.
Brett enjoys challenging the status quo and creating solutions that improve critical business processes. Prior to DrugDev, he created global solutions for IMS Health, a market leading healthcare analytics provider, where he founded a division focused on clinical trials. Previously he was a leader at Acurian, growing the company from its infancy, startup stage to a market leader in patient recruitment.
Brett holds a business degree from the University of Maryland, and a juris doctorate from Villanova School of Law. His type-A personality brings structure to everything in life, while his humor allows him to never take life too seriously. He is a proud father of two boys, caring husband to one wife, devoted dog owner, and an avid sports enthusiast. When not working you can find Brett on the sports fields or courts as a coach, participant, or fan.
Chief Technology Officer
As Chief Technology Officer, Graeme Benson is responsible for shaping DrugDev’s overall strategy while simultaneously ensuring that all daily operations are tracking to the company’s long-term vision and goals. His duties include specifying software and infrastructure functional requirements and managing their implementation and support.
A hardcore programmer, Graeme spent the early part of his career making use of his Computer Science BSc and PhD by designing and developing software solutions for the financial services sector and government. Before joining DrugDev, he was busy creating information strategies and data standards for the UK Government, NHS (within Microsoft) and a major London hospital.
With his two kids now grown, Graeme can often be heard shouting at sport on the television—usually when Leeds United or Ulster Rugby are losing. His competitive cricket days are over, but he lives in hope of getting more time on the golf course. Graeme enjoys cooking and reading as well as acting villainous characters and writing comedy screenplays. He can be serious… sometimes.
Chief Financial Officer
Seb Jantet joined DrugDev in August 2013 as CFO after a 22-year stint working in “the City.” Seb brings to DrugDev a wealth of financial experience, a strong commercial mind and pragmatic “can do” attitude. A long-time member of the Securities Institute, he has been instrumental in putting into place robust financial reporting systems throughout the group and introducing an element of financial rigor.
Seb started his career at KPMG, spending eight years in a variety of roles in both audit and corporate finance. He then moved to Granville Baird as an equity analyst covering the technology sector. Prior to joining DrugDev, Seb spent 11 years at Investec where he was consistently ranked as a top three UK Healthcare analyst. He was involved in multiple equity raises and IPOs, helping to raise $1bn for clients.
A fluent French speaker, Seb is based in London and when not at work can be found ferrying his four children between parties, sport clubs and the myriad of other actives demanded of today’s youth. He is a passionate skier and, for his sins, a supporter of Fulham Football Club.
Chief Business Officer
Nick is an accomplished international HR and talent expert with a reputation for excellence in managing operations and driving organizational change. For over 15 years Nick has used his knowledge and experience to help organizations accelerate growth, acquire and integrate businesses, and establish and optimize operations. He has worked with companies of varying sizes including prominent ASX, NYSE and FTSE-50 companies in multiple industries across the U.S., Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia to create positive outcomes from major strategic efforts such as CEO successions, cultural transformations, restructurings, post-merger integrations and operational start-ups.
Previous clients have included Westpac, Transurban, Aurizon, nib, SA Power Networks, Denham Capital, EDF Energy, Cobham, Aviva, Unilever, Lloyds TSB, Linklaters, UBS, BT, CEMEX, Resolution Life, Blue Cross Blue Shield and NASA. Prior to joining DrugDev, Nick was a senior leadership consultant for Heidrick & Struggles.
Nick’s responsibilities include overseeing HR and administration and day-to-day HR operations. He leads strategic initiatives such as organization and culture due diligence to assist the Executive Management Team and the Board in assessing ways to further enhance DrugDev’s operational performance and enable it to continue providing world-class support to customers as it achieves its ambitious strategic goals.
Chief Legal Officer
After working for Gibraltar’s largest law firm for ten years dealing with financial services and corporate transactions in the main he left to set up his own practice in 2011.
Steve lives in Gibraltar, having moved there from the UK in 1997. He loves the fine weather and Mediterranean food but like any good Englishman is taking his time getting fluent in Spanish. One of Steve’s passions is scuba diving, and he has travelled the world to experience its incredible underwater life, including a couple of close-up encounters with Great White sharks. Steve is extremely good at karaoke but doesn’t like to boast.
Business Unit Leaders
President, DrugDev SiteStart
Melissa (Liss) Easy
Founder and President of Site Services, Melissa Easy is responsible for leading DrugDev’s site start-up activities. Over the years, Melissa has worked as a consultant for CROs both large and small and more pharmaceutical companies than she dares count. The insight she accumulated in these roles, and the inefficiencies and resulting frustrations she witnessed, laid the concept for DrugDev.
From its humble birth in 2009, Melissa is very proud of how her ‘first child’ has blossomed and DrugDev’s success to date in carrying out its mission of helping sponsors and CROs identify, pay and engage investigators. She continues to be surprised that the inefficiencies and frustrations she witnessed matching investigators to protocols (which gave her the idea for DrugDev), are still so pervasive in the clinical trials industry, regardless of company size or location.
Originally from Sydney Australia, Melissa currently lives in London UK and, visas permitting will soon be moving to the USA. She loves traveling, drinking wine and is a big “foodie.” (You are correct to note that exercise is not mentioned on the list of loves!). Melissa is always trying out new recipes and restaurants with the other two “M’s” in her family: her husband Mark, and young son Max.
President, DrugDev Payments
Stuart Thiede is responsible for leading the highly skilled and experienced professionals who deliver investigator grant payment services to clinical trial sponsors and CROs. Stuart brings nearly 30 years of experience to DrugDev from companies that provide technology solutions to their clients, with ten years of this experience specific to companies providing software and professional service solutions to the pharmaceutical industry.
Stuart’s diverse background includes significant executive roles in finance, operations, service delivery, and account management in enterprises ranging from a Fortune 500 technology company to a high-growth software and professional service mid-market company, to two small start-up enterprises. He also has significant international experience, including an expatriate assignment in Europe and a finance director role for a Latin American division of Unisys Corporation. Stuart has a B.S. in Accounting and an M.B.A. from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.
President, DrugDev TrialNetworks
Eric passionately believes that technology can and must radically enhance clinical trial operations to ensure a steady stream of innovations addressing major health challenges. His work on over 30 trials and his background in technology and online collaboration fueled the vision behind TrialNetworks.
Prior to TrialNetworks-DrugDev Eric was founder and Chairman of Idiom Technologies (acquired by SDL). Idiom’s technology, used by Fortune 500 companies including five of the top 10 web companies, enables global teams to efficiently collaborate on multilingual translation.
Eric, who holds a BA in Computer Science from Harvard, is one of the original winners of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology TR100 award which recognizes top innovators under 35. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts with his wife Frances and their two children.
President, DrugDev Data Solutions
Elisa Cascade is responsible for bringing the Investigator Databank vision to reality. On a day to day basis, she oversees back office operations and works closely with our Databank partners to ensure DrugDev provides a reliable and disruptive service for our clients.
Elisa brings to DrugDev almost 20 years in strategic healthcare consulting, and is a nationally recognized expert in the analysis of health data. Elisa has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and industry leading experience in the capture and integration of complex healthcare data. Prior to joining DrugDev, Elisa worked for 15 years as a Vice President at Quintiles where she had responsibilities in consulting and patient centric research.
Directors and Advisors
Advisory Board Chairman
Jeffrey Kasher, Ph.D.
Dr. Kasher is passionate about improving outcomes, bringing patient and research sites into the development process, and dramatically decreasing the time to market for promising drug candidates. He is known as a pharmaceutical development change catalyst who brings to the role 28 years of leadership experience at Eli Lilly, where most recently he managed a portfolio of innovative clinical development approaches to achieve 50% cost and time reductions to be realized over a five-year period beginning in 2017.
His expert perspective includes direct experience with novel product development from bench through market launch, research and clinical trial leadership, innovation center startup, and new industry paradigm creation. In addition to his role at DrugDev, Dr. Kasher is President of Patients Can’t Wait, was a founding member of the TransCelerate Biopharma Operations Committee and the Avoca Quality Consortium, sits on the DPharm Europe steering committee and faculty, and is a member of Linking Leaders. In 2013 CenterWatch named Dr. Kasher one of the “20 Innovators Changing the Face of the Clinical Trials Industry.”
Dr. Kasher received a B.S. in Chemistry from Franklin & Marshall College, a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the State University of New York, and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Physiology at Yale University School of Medicine.
Jorge Guerra, MD
During his successful research and business career spanning three decades in leadership roles at global biopharmaceutical companies (and current TrialNetworks customers) Merck & Co. and Biogen Idec, Dr. Guerra has established an unequaled reputation as an expert on the entire spectrum of clinical operation functions. Dr. Guerra plays an instrumental role in identifying additional opportunities where the DrugDev TrialNetworks platform can add real value within a clinical program by reducing timelines, improving quality and enabling collaboration between sponsors, sites, CROs and vendors.
Mike spent 19 years at UBS and seven years at Investec in investment banking. Mike has an MA in Modern Languages from Oxford University, and now holds various non-executive and freelance advisory positions.
Following his BA in Economics from Cambridge University, Adam built the Credit Suisse Global Commodity Alliance in three years, generating a $200 million per annum profit. Adam was previously Goldman Sachs Head of Base and Precious Metals.
Les has had over 30 years past executive experience at Quintiles, including leadership of Quintiles’ operations in Australia/New Zealand, China, South East Asia and Eastern Europe.