Management Team

Charles Magness, Ph.D.
President & Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Magness co-founded Kineta in 2007 and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer. He is responsible for strategy and execution of all corporate initiatives, development opportunities and acquisition of capital. Under his leadership, Kineta has moved rapidly to acquire and finance its lead autoimmune program and advance its discovery stage antiviral research. Dr. Magness secured several significant investment partnerships. As a founder, he also developed and successfully implemented Kineta's business model which is designed to reduce investor risk and provide faster returns on investment.

Dr. Magness, along with Kineta co-founder, Dr. Shawn Iadonato, founded Illumigen Biosciences, Inc. in 2000. Serving initially as CIO and then President and COO from 2002-2007, Dr. Magness led that company from inception to acquisition by Cubist Pharmaceuticals. During his tenure, Illumigen raised over $23M through financing and business development activities, contract revenue, and grants. At Illumigen, he also was responsible for investor relations, intellectual property licensing and legal affairs.

Prior to founding Illumigen, he managed sequence data analysis for the University of Washington Genome Center and co-developed SEGMAP, a widely used tool essential for mapping the human genome. Dr. Magness has more than 25 years experience developing and managing statistical solutions for large scientific projects. He received a Research Career Award from the National Institutes of Health for his transition into human genomics from his formal training in mechanical and aerospace engineering. After earning his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from Lehigh University, he was a Research Scientist at McDonnell Douglas Research Labs. He is co-inventor on multiple issued US and international patents and was awarded an official commendation when employed by the US Army.

Shawn Iadonato, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Iadonato co-founded Kineta in 2007. He serves as both Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. In his role as Chief Scientific Officer his principal responsibility is for setting Kineta's research and development priorities. Dr. Iadonato also heads up both the scientific advisory team and the evaluation team responsible for identifying and appraising in-licensing and developmental opportunities. He is principle investigator of Kineta's NIH-funded vaccine adjuvant, antiviral and autoimmune drug development programs.

Dr. Iadonato previously co-founded and served as CSO of Illumigen Biosciences, Inc. There, he pioneered Illumigen's patented drug discovery platform which relied upon recruitment and screening of healthy populations and elucidation of their shared "wellness" genes. Dr. Iadonato also led the successful discovery and preclinical development of Illumigen's anti-hepatitis C drug, which ultimately led to the sale of the company in December, 2007.

Prior to founding Illumigen, Dr. Iadonato managed the Human Genome Project data collection effort at the University of Washington Genome Center. He has also been central in several other large scientific collaborations and has served on a number of National Institutes of Health scientific review panels. He is co-inventor on more than 35 U.S. patents or patent applications.

Dr. Iadonato received a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Washington and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.


Craig W. Philips, MBA
Executive Vice President, Commercial Operations

Mr. Philips oversees commercialization of Kineta’s drug programs including both internal initiatives as well as collaborative commercial alliances. He has over 25 years of pharmaceutical experience in the US and overseas with large, intermediate and start-up companies. His extensive career includes experience with development and commercialization of both small molecules and biologic agents in a variety of sectors including: oncology, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disorders, viral diseases, dermatology and others. He spent the early part of his career with Bristol Myers and held senior positions at both Schering Plough (now Merck), and Bayer Schering Pharmaceuticals. He was President at Cell Therapeutics, a company focused on new cancer therapies. In 2012 he accepted an invitation to serve as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Washington. He works with staff and faculty to advance the spinout and licensing of life science and emerging technology platforms. Mr. Philips has broad industry experience and an extensive record in lifecycle management, commercialization of new drugs, and business development and partnership management. He received a BSBA and MBA from Ohio State University. He has been actively involved in pharmaceutical industry organizations in the US and overseas and served as a board member to the leading industry organizations in Canada, Thailand and Australia. Currently, Mr. Philips sits on the Board of the Hope Heart Institute in Seattle, a non-profit organization focused on the research and education of cardiac health issues.

Blake Ilstrup, JD
General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development

Mr. Ilstrup manages all legal and corporate development matters at Kineta, and is a key member of Kineta's business development and financing teams. Prior to joining Kineta, Mr. Ilstrup practiced law with Cooley LLP, where he worked with a wide variety of technology and life science companies, venture capital firms and investment banks as outside counsel. He has also served as Vice President and General Counsel of Qpass, a Seattle-based software company, ushering Qpass through its sale to Amdocs (NYSE: DOX) for $300+ million. Before his legal career, Mr. Ilstrup served in the United States Navy as a decorated Surface Warfare Officer aboard the guided missile cruiser USS ARKANSAS (CGN 41). Mr. Ilstrup has been recognized as a "Rising Star" among Washington State lawyers nine times in the annual survey by Washington Law & Politics magazine. He is also listed in the Best Lawyers in America publication for Venture Capital law. Mr. Ilstrup earned his J.D. from the University of California - Hastings College of the Law, where he was Senior Articles Editor for the Hastings Law Journal and won the American Jurisprudence Award in Negotiation. He received his A.B. in International Relations from Stanford University. Mr. Ilstrup is admitted to practice in Washington and California and is a member of the American Bar Association, the Washington State Bar Association, the State Bar of California, and the King County Bar Association. He is also a member of Leadership Tomorrow, a Seattle organization dedicated to developing effective community leaders, and is Board President of The Attic Learning Community.

Rob Hedequist
Senior Vice President, Capital Acquisition

Mr. Hedequist brings over 20 years of product launch and pharmaceutical/ biotechnology industry experience to Kineta. In his role at Kineta, he is responsible for devising and executing strategies to meet the company’s capital objectives. He has held numerous leadership roles within the commercial sales and marketing organizations of Fortune 100 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Most recently, he was responsible for managed care and Medicaid account management at Amgen. Prior to Amgen he was a National Director for Schering-Plough and responsible for developing and implementing strategy across 16 national regions. Mr. Hedequist started his pharmaceutical career at Pfizer where he had increasing levels of responsibility culminating in Managed Market Manager where he coordinated product sales over $300 million per year. Over his career he has successfully launched over 10 new pharmaceutical products and 2 biological products. Prior to his career in the pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Hedequist had a stellar career in the United States Marine Corps rising from platoon commander to Major and Commanding Officer Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Company Pacific and is a Desert Shield veteran. A former collegiate athlete, he was a member of the 1979 PAC10 Championship football team and graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Affairs.

Dan Eramian, BA, MPA
Senior Vice President Corporate Communications & Investor Relations

Mr. Eramian is responsible for providing outstanding communications to Kineta’s investors and external constituencies. He has over 20 years of experience in developing communication and investor programs in the biotechnology industry. Mr. Eramian was the first Vice President of Communications for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in Washington DC helping to make it one of the most persuasive industry voices on Capitol Hill as well as promoting understanding and growth of the industry to the public and financial communities. More recently Mr. Eramian was Executive Vice President of Communications for Seattle-based Cell Therapeutics, an oncology company with U.S. and E.U. investor audiences. Mr. Eramian has served as Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Justice and the spokesman for the Attorney General of the United States. He was also Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs at the U.S. Small Business Administration which included its technology development programs. In addition Mr. Eramian was as a Chief of Staff in the Massachusetts State Senate and was previously Executive Editor of Suburban World Newspapers also in Massachusetts, He holds a BA in English Literature UMass-Amherst and MPA from Suffolk University.

P. Campion Fellin, MSE
Senior Vice President, Operations

Mr. Fellin brings over 20 years of commercial operations and program management experience to Kineta and manages all of Kineta’s administrative and facilities operations. He was instrumental in the seamless startup of Kineta and also oversees Kineta’s bioinformatics programs. Prior to Kineta, Mr. Fellin was responsible for overseeing all Bioinformatics development and Information Technology systems at Illumigen Biosciences. In earlier successes, he was responsible for multiple commercial software programs with total revenues over 30 million in program management positions at 360 Powered Corporation, WRQ, and Attachmate corporation. His products have earned multiple user interface awards from national computing magazines. At The Boeing Company, he represented the company in briefings to US Air Force General Staff and was responsible for research and development aspects of the $100 billion B-1B avionics program. He earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan and Masters of Software Engineering from Seattle University.


Additional Team Members

Kenneth North
Vice President, Capital Acquisition

Mr. North is a key principal on Kineta’s capital acquisition team, bringing over 30 years of financing expertise to Kineta from his work in commercial banking, entrepreneurial business, and charitable organizations. In 1999, he launched Seattle Savings Bank as CEO and helped grow the company to 700 employees and assets of over $700 million. In 2007 Seattle Savings Bank was recognized nationally for being the most profitable bank in its class in the nation. He retired as CEO in 2007 shortly after the bank sold its Reverse Mortgage division to Bank of America. Prior to that, over seven years, he held increasing levels of senior management positions with Metropolitan Federal Savings, a $750 million financial institution. Mr. North has held licensure in Life and Health Insurance, as well as Series 6 and 63 securities licenses. He has been the Past President of the Kiwanis Club of Seattle, the Seattle Chapter of the Institute of Financial Education, and the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce President’s Club and is the 2009 Commandant of the Seattle Seafair Commodores and on the Board of First Place, serving as the Chair of the board’s Fund Development Committee.

Meg O'Conor Bannecker
Executive Director, Capital Acquisition

Ms. O'Conor is an Executive Director and key player on Kineta’s capital acquisition team where she has been central in securing new large private equity and mission investors. Previously at Kineta, she directed communications where she was responsible for outreach to public figures and not-for-profit partners. She was also successful in developing multiple media outlets to publicize Kineta’s development programs, including a feature story in National Geographic magazine in 2013. Prior to joining Kineta, Ms. O'Conor directed communications services for Bannecker & Associates Public Affairs, where she designed and executed media and community relations for an array of business sectors. Previously, Ms. O'Conor spent more than a decade working as a broadcast news reporter, producer and news anchor in a number of television markets including Seattle where she was on the air at The Ten O'clock News (CBS, UPN) and KING 5 News (NBC). Ms. O'Conor has interviewed a broad array of national and international news figures. She has an AB from Smith College.

Scientific Team

Shawn Iadonato, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Iadonato co-founded Kineta in 2007. He serves as both Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. In his role as Chief Scientific Officer his principal responsibility is for setting Kineta's research and development priorities. Dr. Iadonato also heads up both the scientific advisory team and the evaluation team responsible for identifying and appraising in-licensing and developmental opportunities. He is principle investigator of Kineta's NIH-funded vaccine adjuvant, antiviral and autoimmune drug development programs.

Dr. Iadonato previously co-founded and served as CSO of Illumigen Biosciences, Inc. There, he pioneered Illumigen's patented drug discovery platform which relied upon recruitment and screening of healthy populations and elucidation of their shared "wellness" genes. Dr. Iadonato also led the successful discovery and preclinical development of Illumigen's anti-hepatitis C drug, which ultimately led to the sale of the company in December, 2007.

Prior to founding Illumigen, Dr. Iadonato managed the Human Genome Project data collection effort at the University of Washington Genome Center. He has also been central in several other large scientific collaborations and has served on a number of National Institutes of Health scientific review panels. He is co-inventor on more than 35 U.S. patents or patent applications.

Dr. Iadonato received a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Washington and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

Eric Tarcha, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Translational Development

Dr. Tarcha manages Kineta’s translational development programs, including non-clinical and clinical activities. He was a founding team member at Kineta, and has been directly responsible for day-to-day progress in pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamics studies, toxicology, assay development, and clinical operations. Prior to Kineta, Dr. Tarcha worked on the novel HCV therapeutic IB657 program in assay development, in vivo drug characterization and process development. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Medical Technology and Clinical Laboratory Sciences at Michigan State University where he also conducted research on medically important fungal pathogens in the laboratory of Dr. Leonel Mendoza. From there he continued his education and research training in medical microbiology and immunology under the guidance of Dr. Garry Cole at the Medical University of Toledo. Eric’s dissertation research centered on vaccine development and patho-biology of the dimorphic fungal pathogen Coccidioides posadasii. He graduated with honors with a Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology and Immunology.

Kristin Bedard, Ph.D.
Director and Head of Virology

Dr. Kristen Bedard leads Kineta’s virology research program, including both antiviral drug discovery and vaccine programs. She is a skilled molecular virologist with extensive training in both DNA and RNA viruses as well as cancer biology. Under her direction, Kineta’s programs have progressed from drug screening to an optimized lead for pre-clinical development in less than four years; resulting in the identification of five novel antiviral or vaccine adjuvant drug classes. Dr. Bedard received her undergraduate degrees in Microbiology and Biochemistry at Pennsylvania State University and earned a PhD degree in Molecular Virology from University of California, Irvine where she studied the host cell- virus interactions of RNA viruses. She completed a post-doctorate fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Bedard’s work led to three highly regarded NIH research grants for the virology program, resulting in approximately $17 million of research funding. She is the co-inventor on ten filed U.S. patent applications for novel classes of antiviral drugs and corresponding methods of identification.

Ernesto Muñoz, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Translational Immunology and Preclinical Development

Dr. Ernesto J. Muñoz is an Associate Director at Kineta Inc. where he is responsible for leading the company's Conopeptide-based neuropathic pain and inflammation treatment program. Dr. Muñoz also leads the in vivo drug efficacy studies and translational cellular immunology work for Kineta One’s autoimmune drug program. Dr. Muñoz has over fifteen years of research experience in the fields of immunology and infectious diseases with a focus on cellular and in vivo models of inflammation/autoimmunity and pathogenesis. Dr. Muñoz has published in several high impact journals and is a co-inventor on multiple patent applications. He received his Ph.D. in Immunology and Infectious Diseases from the Rockefeller University where studied the interplay between bacterial factors and the host's immune system.