Leadership Team

Leadership team

Achelios Therapeutics in Chapel Hill, NC has assembled a world-class pharmaceutical team with expertise in strategic management, business development, drug discovery, and clinical development. The team has extensive experience in pharmaceutical research, business, and corporate experience and is complemented by scientific and clinical advisors with broad expertise in medical research and clinical practice.  

Crist J. Frangakis, Ph,D-  President and Chief Executive Officer

Crist Frangakis is a founder and the CEO of Achelios Therapeutics.  He has over 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical research and development, licensing, and business development.   He led the discovery and development of several cardiovascular and metabolic drugs, serving as scientist and section head of research at Burroughs Wellcome and Glaxo.   In addition, Crist had responsibility for pharmaceutical licensing and corporate development for 13 years at Johnson & Johnson and Bayer and closed on several successful major partnering deals.  He received his Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Arizona and a B.S. in chemistry from the University of South Carolina.  Crist is an author on over 70 publications published in several scientific journals.


 John Fort, MD− Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Clinical Operations 

John  joined Achelios in January 2016  as Chief Medical Officer and VP of Clinical Operations.   John was the former head of clinical development at Pozen, the pharmaceutical company that developed the migraine therapy TreximetTM.  At Pozen, John was a member of executive leadership team and  managed all clinical activities through phase 3 and worked with regulatory agencies in the US and EU. Prior to Pozen, John was Vice-President of Clinical Affairs at Adalor working in the gastrointestinal area.  He started his clinical development career at Searle, directing the development of the COX 2 inhibitor Celebrex.  John has a M.D. from the University of Valencia, Spain and was a fellow at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.  He also has an M.B.A. from Temple University.  

James L. Yeager, RPh, PhD − Vice President Formulation Development

Jim is a pharmaceutical scientist who has actively developed new drug delivery technologies and new drug products for 30 years. He is an author, inventor, and expert in the field of topical drug delivery. Most recently, his research led to the development of new, innovative topical products for wound healing and the treatment of male and female sexual dysfunction, fungal and viral infections, and peripheral pain.  Jim has an undergraduate degree in Pharmacy and a Ph.D. in industrial and Physical Pharmacy from Purdue University.

Mike S Fox, Chief Business and Commercial Officer

Mike Fox brings over 30 years of commercial experience in the pharmaceutical industry to Achelios.  He has broad experience in sales, marketing and business development in both domestic and international markets.  He was the Director of Marketing at two Ophthalmic Pharmaceutical companies and responsible for the launch of Pharmacia’s flagship brand Xalatan.  Most recently he was the Global New Business Development leader for Janssen Pharmaceutical’s Cardiovascular and Metabolic Franchise which recently launched Invokana, a novel product for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.  Mike has a M.Ed. from the University of Delaware and a B.S. in Marine Science from Stockton University.