SEATTLE, June 10, 2021 — Icosavax, Inc. today announced the appointment of Thomas J. Russo as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Russo brings more than 25 years of diverse industry experience, including in finance and operations for public biotechnology companies, as a sell-side equity research analyst covering biotechnology, and in operations and vaccine manufacturing for a large pharma company.
“Tom is a great fit for Icosavax. He has extensive expertise across biotech finance, operations, and the investment community, combined with relevant experience in vaccine manufacturing and a deep drive to advance innovative medical products to address infectious diseases,” said Adam Simpson, Chief Executive Officer of Icosavax. “He makes a great addition to our team, as we advance our vaccine candidates to address significant unmet medical needs in protecting at-risk populations from life-threatening respiratory viruses, including RSV, hPMV, and SARS-CoV-2.”
“I am thrilled to be joining Icosavax at such an exciting time for the company, as the opportunity for next generation vaccine technologies has never been clearer,” said Mr. Russo. “From my earliest career experiences, I have been motivated by the impact that vaccine innovation can have on the world’s health. I’m impressed by the company’s computationally-designed virus-like particle platform technology, because I believe it has the potential to generate best-in-class products, and I look forward to working with the highly-experienced team at Icosavax to advance it.”
Mr. Russo joins Icosavax from Assembly Biosciences, Inc., a clinical-stage, public biotechnology company, where he was Chief Financial Officer and contributed to more than $220 million of gross proceeds raised through the capital markets and non-dilutive sources of financing. Previously, he spent seven years across finance and commercial operations roles at Gilead Sciences, Inc., including serving as Vice President, Head of Commercial Finance. In that role, he supported a $20-30 billion revenue business and multibillion-dollar budget across North America, Europe, Asia, and emerging markets. Prior to Gilead, Mr. Russo was Equity Research Senior Analyst covering biotechnology for investment bank, Robert W. Baird & Co., Incorporated, where he advised institutional investors and received WSJ Best on the Street recognition. Earlier in his career he was at Merck & Co., Inc., in roles of increasing responsibility within the manufacturing division and with particular focus on vaccines. Mr. Russo received a B.S. in biological sciences from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is also a CFA charterholder.
Icosavax is a biopharmaceutical company leveraging its innovative virus-like particle (VLP) platform technology to develop vaccines against infectious diseases, with an initial focus on life-threatening respiratory diseases. Icosavax’s VLP platform technology is designed to enable multivalent, particle-based display of complex viral antigens, which it believes will induce broad, robust, and durable protection against the specific viruses targeted. Icosavax’s pipeline includes vaccine candidates targeting respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus (hMPV), and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Icosavax was formed in 2017 to advance the breakthrough VLP technology from the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington with the goal to discover, develop, and commercialize vaccines against infectious diseases. Icosavax exclusively licensed the VLP technology for use in several vaccine fields, including RSV and hMPV, and four other infectious diseases, from the University of Washington. For SARS-CoV-2, Icosavax has a non-exclusive, worldwide (excluding South Korea) license, along with an option to convert to exclusive rights in North America and Europe from the University of Washington. Icosavax is located in Seattle.