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Appili has assembled a leadership team with expertise in all facets of drug development, from bench to bedside.

Appili’s management team is comprised of experts in drug development, infectious disease and business development. Our collective experience spans large pharma to emerging biopharmaceutical firms, enabling us to rapidly identify promising anti-infective technologies, accelerate their development, and unlock value.


Don Cilla, PharmD, MBA

President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Cilla brings to Appili more than 30 years of program management experience in the drug development industry, with extensive clinical and regulatory expertise that includes direct involvement with 20 programs that became commercialized products, including Lipitor™ and Difcid™.  His career includes positions in program management, drug product team leadership, clinical pharmacology, clinical development, and administration in large pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and generic drug companies. He has worked across a broad range of development positions in companies including Shire Pharmaceuticals (Takeda), MedImmune (AstraZeneca), and Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals. He also has held multiple consulting roles, outsourcing his drug development expertise to help build and lead teams for companies in need of functional area expertise. Dr. Cilla earned his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Kenneth Howling

Acting Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Howling has over 25 years of healthcare industry experience in senior financial positions; including 11 years with Bausch Health (formerly Biovail Corporation), as Chief Financial Officer, and Senior Vice President, Finance and Corporate Affairs; five years as Chief Financial Officer of Acerus Pharmaceuticals Corporation; and five years as Chief Financial Officer with Pharma Patch PLC.  During his career, Mr. Howling has contributed to the success of multiple start-up companies, taken companies through the IPO process, and has collectively raised over US$2.5 billion in various forms of capital. Earlier in his career, Mr. Howling worked in senior financial management positions at Roberts Company Canada Limited, including roles of General Manager, Corporate Secretary and Controller, at GlaxoSmithKline (formerly Beecham Pharmaceuticals Ltd), and as an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mr. Howling is a graduate of the ICD/Rotman Director Program and formerly a Certified Public Accountant (inactive license).

Carl Gelhaus, PhD

Director, Non-Clinical Research

Dr. Gelhaus brings more than 20 years of infectious disease and animal model experience. Dr. Gelhaus, as Principal Investigator, has led multiple multimillion-dollar government contract efforts. Dr. Gelhaus has researched, developed, tested, and evaluated medical countermeasures for high-consequence pathogens including Bacillus anthracis, Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Escherichia coli, Francisella tularensis, influenza viruses, Klebsiella pneumonia, monkeypox virus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, SARS-CoV-2, Staphylococcus aureus, and Yersinia pestis. Dr. Gelhaus is a founding member of the tularemia international society (TULISOC) and has played an instrumental role in the development of tularemia vaccines. Dr. Gelhaus is adjunct faculty at several universities and has trained two graduate students. Dr. Gelhaus received a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and a B.A. in biology from the University of Cincinnati.

Arthur Baran, MBA, PMP 

Director, New Product Development

Mr. Baran brings to Appili more than 22 years of CMC/global product operations leadership experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Art’s late-stage product development and commercial launch experience in the biologics space has brought life saving therapies like ADYNOVATE/ADNYOVI® to rare disease patients. His career includes positions in operations strategy, drug product team leadership, program management, business development, manufacturing site leadership, quality assurance, and GLP laboratory testing in large pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and generic drug companies. Art earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Loyola Chicago and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. Art is PMP certified and is a co-inventor for an automated sterilization process.

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