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 Chief Executive Officer of Arrivo Management LLC.  He has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry as an executive as well as various commercial roles including brand leadership, new product planning, business development and sales management.  Prior to founding the Company, Steve was the co-founder, President and COO of Aerial BioPharma LLC (“Aerial”), 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. (“Neuronex”), a successful drug development company focused on developing treatments for patients with certain seizure disorders.  Acorda Therapeutics acquired Neuronex in December 2012.  Additionally, he was an original member of the executive team at Addrenex Pharmaceuticals (“Addrenex”), a specialty pharmaceutical development company.  Steve served as Vice President of Commercial Operations 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 manufacturing company located in Smithfield, NC, focused on developing products for the restaurant industry.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Otologic Pharmaceutics, a privately held pharmaceutical company focused on the development of products to treat and prevent hearing loss.  Steve serves on two not-for-profit boards.  He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Morehead Planetarium at UNC-Chapel Hill and Board of Directors of the Triangle Futbol Club, a not-for-profit youth soccer club.  Steve holds a BS degree in Business Administration and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at UNC-Chapel Hill.

William N. Wofford, Manager, General Counsel and Head of Corporate Development
Bill is a co-founder and General Counsel and Head of Corporate Development for Arrivo Management LLC.  Bill has been the primary corporate counsel for Aerial, Neuronex and Addrenex.  He has been the lead attorney on all in- licensing, out-licensing, M&A and financings for each of these companies.  In addition, Bill leads the biopharmaceutical and life sciences practice at Hutchison PLLC, a leading corporate law firm for start-up and growth stage businesses in the Southeast. His legal practice focuses on structuring and negotiating transactions for drug development, biotechnology, medical device, and other  companies. Bill assists growing and established companies raise capital, acquire and out-license technology, collaborate with strategic partners and engage in mergers and acquisitions.  Since 1997, he has served the Research Triangle’s entrepreneurial community. As a principal of the Company, Bill focuses on designing and executing strategic transactions intended to improve patient care and to reward our partners, investors and team.
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 Adams has a 30-year career as a finance professional working with companies across a broad range of industries with the last 15 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.
Most recently, Karen was the CFO for Aerial, Neuronex, and Addrenex.  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 ventures including Surface Logix, Inc., Compound Therapeutics, Inc., Galenea Corporation, BG Medicine, Inc., and Micell Technologies, Inc.  Karen’s contribution was concentrated on the creation of dynamic, integrated financial forecasting models as well as the implementation of core business structure.  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 at QuatroBio, LLC.  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, Executive Director, Clinical Development

Kelly is the Executive Director of Clinical Development at QuatroBio, LLC.  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.

Kenneth Freeman, PhD., Executive Director, Pharmaceutical Development

Dr. Freeman brings 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry to QuatroBio LLC.  Most recently he was the Senior Director of Chemistry and Manufacturing at Aerial BioPharma LLC.  Prior to Aerial, Dr. Freeman held a similar position at Neuronex Inc.  He has worked with products in all phases of development from discovery to Phase IV, with experience in research and development, CMC and regulatory.  Most recently he was in the Molecular Discovery Research organization of GlaxoSmithKline working with early stage drugs.  Prior to GSK, Dr. Freeman was with Pfizer as a Research Scientist leading a team working on several of the first protein development projects within the Pharmaceutical Sciences division at Pfizer Global R&D.  While at Pfizer, he also worked on small molecule formulation and analytical method development, where he authored the CMC sections of several IND submissions.  He was a major CMC contributor to the successful world-wide filing of Caduet oral tablets (Lipitor/Norvasc combination therapy), and also managed the data collection and reporting for the approved regulatory filings of Exubera (inhaled insulin) and Zmax SR (azithromycin).  In addition to his experience developing both small and large molecule pharmaceutical products, Dr. Freeman has worked on a variety of formulation types, including solid orals, topicals, transdermals, parenterals, suspensions, and metered dose inhalers.

Dr. Freeman earned his PhD in Analytical Chemistry at Duke University, where his research was focused on protein characterization and enzyme catalysis in water-in-oil microemulsions.  He earned his BS degree in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina – Wilmington.