Manuel Litchman, M.D.
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Dr. Litchman has served as President and Chief Executive Officer and has been a member of Mustang’s Board of Directors since April 2017. Dr. Litchman joined Mustang from Arvinas, LLC, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer. While at Arvinas, Dr. Litchman oversaw the advancement of the company’s pipeline of protein-degradation therapeutics for the treatment of cancers and other diseases toward Investigational New Drug applications, as well as the execution of multi-target discovery collaborations with Merck and Genentech. Prior to Arvinas, Dr. Litchman spent more than 18 years with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, where he held positions of increasing responsibility related to the development of Novartis’ oncology pipeline. Most recently, Dr. Litchman served as Senior Vice President and Executive Global Program Head, CTL019, Cell & Gene Therapies Unit, where he led a collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania investigating chimeric antigen receptor modified T cells (CAR Ts) directed against CD19 on B cell malignancies. Prior to the CTL019 collaboration, Dr. Litchman served as Novartis’ Vice President and Head, Oncology Business Development & Licensing. Earlier in his career, Dr. Litchman was a senior equity analyst at Ursus Capital and directed oncology / immunology clinical research at Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. Dr. Litchman received his M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine, and his B.A. from Princeton University. He completed his internal medicine residency and hematology-oncology fellowship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Brian Achenbach, M.B.A.
Senior Vice President of Finance & Corporate Controller
Mr. Achenbach has served as Senior Vice President of Finance & Corporate Controller since March 2019 after joining Mustang Bio in October 2017 as Vice President of Finance & Corporate Controller. Prior to Mustang, Mr. Achenbach served as Vice President & Corporate Controller at Amerigen Pharmaceuticals, where he oversaw finance and accounting functions as the company established itself as a commercial organization in the U.S. and China. Prior to Amerigen, Mr. Achenbach served as Vice President of Finance for the Americas and Vice President of Global Financial Planning & Analysis at ConvaTec, a global medical products and technologies company, where he led finance and accounting operations in the U.S., Canada and South America. Earlier in his career, Mr. Achenbach held roles of increasing responsibility in finance and accounting at Mylan, Andrx (acquired by Watson Pharmaceuticals) and IVAX (acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals). Mr. Achenbach holds an M.B.A. in finance from Roosevelt University in Chicago and a B.A. in economics from the University of Florida in Gainesville.
Knut Niss, Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Niss has served as Chief Technology Officer since March 2018. Dr. Niss joined Mustang in March 2017 as Vice President of Operations, where he initiated and oversees the establishment of Mustang’s cell therapy manufacturing facility. Prior to Mustang, Dr. Niss was Cell Therapy Asset Leader at Biogen, where he oversaw CMC-related activities for gene-edited hematopoietic stem cell and lentiviral gene therapy programs for sickle cell disease and hemophilia, respectively. Earlier in his career, Dr. Niss was Senior Technical Project Leader at Novartis’ cell therapy manufacturing facility in Morris Plains, New Jersey, where he directed the transfer and implementation of the CTL019 process from Penn to Novartis. He also served as Senior R&D Program Manager at EMD Millipore, where he established processes for the large-scale expansion of adult and pluripotent stem cells. Dr. Niss began his career in senior research positions in Pfizer’s Regenerative Medicine and Immunology groups. He holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Humboldt University of Berlin, and an M.S. in microbiology from the University of Göttingen in Germany. Dr. Niss completed his postdoctoral research at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Martina Sersch, M.D., Ph.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Sersch joined Mustang as Chief Medical Officer in October 2018. Dr. Sersch is an experienced drug developer and physician with specialty training in oncology, infectious and tropical diseases. She has more than 17 years of experience in early- and late-stage clinical development in academia and industry. Prior to joining Mustang, Dr. Sersch served as executive director at Amgen, where she successfully led supplemental Biologics License Application filings in the area of hematology, as well as indication strategies for early- and late-stage compounds in hematology. Prior to Amgen, Dr. Sersch held positions of increasing responsibility on regional and global levels in oncology drug development, including novel immuno-oncology drugs at IRAD Oncology, Genentech, Roche and Pfizer. At Roche, Dr. Sersch was instrumental in the biologics strategy, where she led initiatives globally and regionally with a specific focus in Asia Pacific and China, including supporting the development of regional guidelines for drug development. Dr. Sersch obtained her medical and graduate degrees from Heidelberg University in Germany and subsequently trained in England, South Africa and the United States.