Management Team

Arrivo BioVentures is managed by Arrivo Management, LLC, one of its members, and contracts with QuatroBio LLC for all clinical trial management and operation services. The Arrivo Management and QuatroBio teams have extensive executive level pharmaceutical management and start-up experience with a track record of successful exits.

Stephen E. Butts, Manager and Chief Executive Officer

Steve is a co-founder and the CEO of Arrivo BioVentures, LLC, a drug development company located in Morrisville, NC.  He has over 25 years of experience in the pharma/biotech industry with and a track record of successful fund raising, product licensing and M&A with start-up companies.  Most recently, Steve was CEO of Velo Bio, a start-up company with a drug in development for severe preeclampsia.  Velo was sold to AMAG Pharmaceuticals in 2018.  Prior to Velo, he was co-founder, President and COO of Aerial BioPharma LLC, a drug development company that sold its lead drug for narcolepsy to Jazz Pharmaceuticals in 2014.  Prior to Aerial, Steve was co-founder and Executive Vice President of Neuronex Inc, acquired by Acorda Therapeutics in December 2012.  Additionally, he was an original member of the executive team at Addrenex Pharmaceuticals and played a key role in the company’s sale to Shionogi Pharma in 2009.  He has also served as Vice President of Sales & Marketing at BioBehavioral Diagnostics Company, as well as assignments at Eli Lilly and Company and Braintree Laboratories. 

Steve is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of EnviCor Enterprises LLC, a plastics manufacturing company located in Smithfield, NC.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of Knopp Biosciences, a privately held pharmaceutical company.  He serves on two not-for-profit boards.  Steve is the Chair of the Board of Advisors of the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Additionally, he is on the Board and the Board Executive Committee of the North Carolina Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED).

Steve holds a BS degree in Business Administration and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at UNC-Chapel Hill.  

Michael F. Ackermann, PhD, MBA, Manager and Chief Business Officer

Michael is a co-founder and the Chief Business Officer for Arrivo Management LLC.  Michael is also the founder of Magnatas, LLC, which supports healthcare companies and venture firms in strategy development, organizational effectiveness and process improvement. His clients have included Elan and Baxter.  In addition, he is the co-founder and president of AB Collaborative Investments, an Angel Investment firm, which focuses on local and regional healthcare and IT start-ups.

Previously, Michael served as Senior Vice President for Global Commercial Solutions at Quintiles leading the integration of clinical and commercial activities around pharmaceutical product development, including leading the Medical Communications Division through an organizational, operational and skill upgrade to significantly improve profitability and efficiency.  Michael also spent more than 18 years at Eli Lilly and Company where he served as the leader of the US Neuroscience Business Unit where he was responsible for all aspects of the neuroscience business (the largest business unit at Lilly). He grew revenue to over $4B and led the unit’s performance improvement, including the turnaround in Zyprexa sales, while overseeing two successful product launches. During his tenure at Lilly he built and led sales organizations in both primary care and neuroscience.  In addition, Michael held leadership positions in market research, global and US pricing and global health outcomes to support Lilly’s strategic initiatives

Michael holds a BS degree in biology from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, a PhD in immunology from the Drexel University College of Medicine, and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition, he served as the Fogarty International Post-doctoral Fellow at the National Institutes of Health/NIEHS where his research focus was in immunotoxicology and tumor immunology.  He is a guest lecturer at the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina and the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University

Karen Adams, Chief Financial Officer

Karen is the CFO of Arrivo BioVentures LLC.  She has over 35 years in a career as a finance professional working with companies across a broad range of industries with the last 20 years focused on life sciences and technology. After starting her career as an Internal Auditor with International Paper Company, Inc., Karen has held financial leadership positions with companies in the retail, software, professional services, manufacturing and biotechnology industries.


Prior to Arrivo BioVentures, Karen was the CFO for Aerial (asset acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals in 2014), Neuronex (acquired by Accorda Therapeutics in 2012), and Addrenex (acquired by Shionogi Pharma in 2009). While Karen’s life sciences experience has been primarily focused on early-stage, privately funded companies she was brought on as Assistant Controller at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. during its merger with COR Therapeutics – among the largest such mergers in the history of the biotech industry at that time. After Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Karen went on to work with several early stage biotechnology and medical device ventures including  Micell Technologies, Bioptigen, Contego Medical, VeloBio, Midnight Pharm, Emergo Therapeutics and Target PharmaSolutions (now Target RWE)  Karen’s contributions were concentrated on the creation of dynamic, integrated financial forecasting models used for fund raising efforts and operational budgets as well as the implementation of core business structure and oversight of risk management activities. Karen graduated from Boston College earning a BS in Management, majoring in Finance.

Greg Rigdon, PhD, Vice President, Scientific Affairs

Dr. Greg Rigdon is Vice President of Scientific Affairs. Greg’s clinical experience includes discovery through phase 3 clinical trials and his regulatory experience includes IND and NDA filings. Prior to Quatro, Greg served as Director of Clinical Research at Salix Inc., where he designed clinical trials and worked with regulatory authorities for multiple gastrointestinal indications as well as hereditary angioedema.

Greg was previously Director, New Product Development for Icagen, Inc, a small pharmaceutical company in Research Triangle Park, NC where he built and developed teams performing drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, in vivo pharmacology, clinical research and toxicology.  Greg began his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Burroughs Wellcome (then Glaxo Wellcome) as a Wellcome Fellow, then Head of the Neuropharmacology Laboratory. He was project leader for antidepressant, central muscle relaxant and antipsychotic programs that resulted in IND filings.  Greg transitioned to clinical research and became International Product Development Team Leader for a new antiepileptic drug managing a large international group of scientists from various disciplines including clinical pharmacology, toxicology, pharmaceutics and drug metabolism.

Greg has authored/co-authored of over 30 journal articles in pharmacology, neuroscience and clinical research. He is also an inventor on 4 patents and has guest lectured at the University of North Carolina and Campbell University.  Greg earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 1985.

Kelly Abernathy, Vice President of Clinical Development

Kelly is the Vice President of Clinical Development.  Kelly has 20 years of experience managing Phase I – IV clinical development programs in both adult and adolescent populations, with the majority of those programs involving products for the treatment of CNS diseases and disorders.  Prior to joining QuatroBio, Kelly was the Director of Clinical Affairs at Aerial BioPharma, a successful drug development company that out-licensed its lead product for excessive daytime sleepiness in narcolepsy to Jazz Pharmaceuticals in 2014.  Kelly was previously the Manager of Clinical Affairs at Neuronex Pharmaceuticals, a specialty drug development company focused on developing treatments for patients with certain seizure disorders, acquired by Acorda Therapeutics in 2012.   In addition,  Kelly was an original member of the management team at Addrenex Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical development company, sold to Shionogi Pharma in 2009.  While at Addrenex, Kelly managed the clinical program and NDA submission of the company’s lead product for ADHD.  Kelly was previously Section Head of Clinical Operations at Lineberry Research Associates, a contract research organization, where she managed clinical trials for a variety of pharmaceutical companies, from small start-up to large pharma, and provided line leadership to a department of clinical trial project managers and research associates.  Kelly graduated magna cum laude with a BS in biology, minoring in chemistry from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC.

Yuki Prescott, Director of Clinical Operations

Yuki is the Director of Clinical Operations.  She has 19 years of experience managing and monitoring Phase I – III clinical development programs in adult populations, with the majority of those programs involving products for the treatment of CNS diseases and disorders.  

Prior to Arrivo, Yuki was the Assistant Director of Clinical Affairs at Aerial BioPharma, a successful drug development company, where she oversaw the clinical development of multiple products, including the company’s lead product for narcolepsy, acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals in 2014.  Prior to that, Yuki was a member of the study management team for three large Phase III studies involving a product for the prevention of gastric ulcers while working as an independent consultant at Pozen. Yuki was also an original member of the clinical team at Addrenex Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical development company, sold to Shionogi Pharma in 2009.  While at Addrenex, Yuki managed the clinical program of the company’s product for hypertension.  Yuki was previously a Project Manager at Lineberry Research Associates, a contract research organization, where she managed and monitored clinical trials for a variety of pharmaceutical companies.  Yuki earned a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, and a BA in Biology from Binghamton University in Binghamton, NY.

Dawn Talley, Director of Operations

Dawn is the Director of Operations.  She has over 30 years of experience supporting the start-up and management of clinical trials in the areas of CNS, Dermatology, Pain, Addiction and Cardiovascular.  She has negotiated well over 500 investigator and vendor contracts, assisted with site start-up and management, vendor management, FDA compliance and data integrity.   Dawn also has extensive experience with multiple start-up ventures, developing policies and procedures to ensure sustained growth of the company. Dawn’s previous responsibilities have included human resources management, facilities management, employee training and supervision.

Gema Gomez, Clinical Trial Manager

Gema is a Clinical Trial Manager, working on both the antibody programs for Arrivo.  Gema has over 25 years of experience managing Phase I-IV clinical development programs in CNS, GI and infectious diseases.  Prior to Arrivo, Gema managed the Clinical Innovation group at UCB and was responsible for finding and implementing new technology to both make clinical trials easier for patients and shorten the time from clinic to study results. Gema was previously the Clinical Development Manager at GSK responsible for leading the early clinical development programs of new epilepsy compounds. Gema’s other job responsibilities have included training, process improvement and SOP development.  Gema earned her BA degree in Chemistry from Duke University.