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ApiJect Announces New Leadership Advisory Board

STAMFORD, Conn., Jan. 28, 2021 — ApiJect Systems, Corp, a public benefit corporation based in Stamford, CT., announced today the creation of its new Leadership Advisory Board, along with the appointment of the Board’s initial six outside members. They will join ApiJect’s co-founder and Chairman, Jay Walker, and company CEO, Franco Negron, on this new Board. Mr. Walker and Mr. Negron will serve as ex-officio board members.

ApiJect Systems, Corp., is a global injectable technology company. The company is building the world’s largest pharmaceutical fill and finish manufacturing facilities in Durham, North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. The ApiJect campus is projected to produce up to 3 billion doses annually of injectable medicines. ApiJect has also built, using a $138 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services, an emergency manufacturing capacity in Columbia, South Carolina to produce monthly up to 45 million single-dose prefilled syringes.

ApiJect’s new Leadership Advisory Board members are:

  • Professor Heidi J. Larson, Ph.D., Director of The Vaccine Confidence Project, Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Clinical Professor, Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, USA. Professor Larson previously headed Global Immunization Communication at UNICEF, chaired the Gavi Alliance’s Advocacy Task Force, and served on the WHO SAGE Working Group on vaccine hesitancy.
  • Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, M.D., MBA, served as the 18th Surgeon General of the United States from 2009-2013. She was also chair of the National Prevention Council, composed of 17 cabinet-level heads of federal agencies that released the first-ever National Prevention Strategy, whose goal was to change our healthcare system from one based on sickness and disease to one of wellness and prevention. Dr. Benjamin serves on several corporate boards, including two publicly traded healthcare companies. As a family physician founder of Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic, Dr. Benjamin is one of the nation’s leading voices on population and preventive health issues.
  • Dr. Edward Kelley, Chief Global Health Officer for ApiJect Research Foundation. Dr. Kelley most recently served as Director of Integrated Health Services with the World Health Organization, leading WHOs work on primary health care and patient safety. Prior to his joining WHO, Dr. Kelley served for nearly a decade as Director of the U.S. National Healthcare Reports for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Dr. Michael J. Free, OBE, devoted 32 years serving as the Vice President for Technology at PATH. He led PATH’s team of more than 100 scientists, engineers, product designers, public health and commercialization experts to a track record of success in bringing new technologies and products to resource-challenged populations. In 2011, Dr. Free was honored as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for services to global health.
  • Rueben M. Stokes, former Vice President of Global Diversity & Inclusion for Thermo Fisher Scientific, and former corporate senior executive in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI). Mr. Stokes’ DEI experience addresses talent acquisition, multicultural marketing, supplier diversity and community involvement. He is a former member of the 100 Black Men of America and a former member of the Board of Advisors at the Boston Museum of Science.
  • Dr. Marietta Vázquez, M.D., Professor, Yale University School of Medicine, attending, Yale Pediatric Primary Care Center. Dr. Vázquez is the first Latina to serve as a voting member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; she was appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Vázquez studies the clinical epidemiology of infectious diseases, with a focus on assessing the efficacy of vaccines.

ApiJect CEO, Franco Negron commented: “ApiJect is indeed privileged to welcome its first members of our Leadership Advisory Board. We see this Board as an essential part of our company’s mission to be world leaders in the technological advancement of injectable devices. These are individuals who dream big and seek aggressive change in global and U.S. public health.”

Mr. Negron continued: “In Rueben Stokes, we have a Fortune 500 veteran who knows global sales and how to navigate access to new markets. Rueben’s work on behalf of diversity, equity and inclusion also gives ApiJect a powerful voice supporting a value system and culture that will help us attract and retain a workforce with pride in our company and its mission. Dr. Marietta Vazquez brings to us a deep and wide-ranging perspective on public health. Her unique combination of expertise in clinical epidemiology of infectious diseases and a decade long public health collaboration with the Dominican Republic adds to ApiJect’s understanding of working in regions and communities with limited resources and underdeveloped health networks and infrastructure.”

ApiJect Chairman, Jay Walker commented: “Companies always benefit when they look beyond their day-to-day management team for additional leadership and strategic guidance and advice. Our Leadership Advisory Board has been created in recognition that identifying and associating with independent advisors with wide-ranging expertise and experience will be a significant asset for our company.”

Mr. Walker continued: “In Professor Heidi Larsen our Board has one of the world’s most recognized experts on vaccine hesitancy. Her work with the WHO, the European Union, FDA, and other global health agencies in the design and support of vaccination campaigns will inform ApiJect as we seek to establish our role in global health. Dr. Regina Benjamin is an American original. Her passion for improving access to quality health care for all Americans has taken her from service at the highest levels of our federal government, as our nation’s 18th Surgeon General, to her work supporting community health needs. Dr Ed Kelley and Dr Michael Free are two of the world’s leading experts on global health. Ed created the WHOs first public-private collaboration working directly with the pharmaceutical and the medical device industries to improve health services and patient safety. Michael helped pioneer the operating model of nonprofits in public and global health working cooperatively with private enterprise.”


ApiJect Systems, Corp. is a public-benefit medical technology company working to bring prefilled, singledose injections to more people in every market. The ApiJect Platform enables pharmaceutical and biotech companies to design scalable prefilled injectors and efficiently fill-finish them with their injectable drug products. This can be done either on one of their own ApiJect-licensed Blow-Fill-Seal packaging lines or at one of our world-class manufacturing partners. Learn more at or contact Steve Hofman at

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