Pratik Shah, Ph.D. – President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Shah has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer since October 2013 and as a member of our board of directors since June 2007.
Dr. Shah served as Chairman of our board of directors from September 2008 to October 2013. Dr. Shah has been a partner in the venture capital firm Thomas, McNerney & Partners since 2004. Prior to joining Thomas, McNerney & Partners, he co-founded Kalypsys, Inc., a private clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, where he served as the Chief Business Officer and was responsible for the overall strategy, business development and operations of the company. Before co- founding Kalypsys, Inc., Dr. Shah was at McKinsey & Company, a consulting firm, where he focused on biotechnology and venture capital projects. Prior to McKinsey & Company, Dr. Shah co-founded NephRx Corporation, a start-up company focused on the discovery of therapeutic proteins for renal disease, where he served as the Vice President of Operations from 1997 to 1999. In addition to serving on our board of directors, Dr. Shah currently serves on the board of directors of Ocera Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly-traded clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, and the following private company board of directors: Cebix Incorporated and SGB, Inc. He holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine and both a Ph.D. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Chicago.
John Schmid – Chief Financial Officer
John Schmid joined us as Chief Financial Officer in September 2013. Before joining us, Mr. Schmid co- founded Trius Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, where he served as the Chief Financial Officer from June 2004 until its merger with Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in September 2013.
Prior to Trius Therapeutics, Inc., Mr. Schmid served as the Chief Financial Officer at GeneFormatics, Inc., a private biotechnology company, from 1998 to 2003 and Endonetics, Inc., a private medical device company, from 1995 to 1998. Mr. Schmid also currently serves as the chairman of the board of directors of Speak, Inc., a speakers bureau, which he helped found in 1989. Mr. Schmid holds a B.A. in Economics from Wesleyan University and an M.B.A. from the University of San Diego.
David Stamler, M.D. – Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Stamler has served as our Chief Medical Officer since January 2011. Prior to joining us, Dr. Stamler served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at XenoPort, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, from 2008 to 2010 and Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Drug Development at Prestwick Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a private pharmaceutical company, from 2005 to 2008.
Prior to Prestwick Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Dr. Stamler worked at Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co. and its subsidiaries from 1997 to 2005, in various leadership roles, including Vice President, Research and Development, Medical Sciences at Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc. from 2003 to 2005 and as Vice President, Clinical Research Center at Fujisawa Research Institute of America from 2000 to 2003. Dr. Stamler began his career at Abbott Laboratories, a publicly-traded global pharmaceuticals and healthcare products company, where he served in various positions from 1993 to 1997, including Director of Clinical Research, Pharmaceutical Products for the International Division. Dr. Stamler received an M.D. from the University of Chicago—The Pritzker School of Medicine and a B.A. in Biology from the University of Chicago.
Samuel Saks, M.D. – Chief Development Officer
Dr. Saks joined us as our Chief Development Officer in November 2013 and has served as a member of our board of directors since September 2009.
Dr. Saks was a co-founder of Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc, a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, where he served as Chief Executive Officer from 2003 until his retirement in 2009. From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Saks served as Company Group Chairman of ALZA, a then publicly-traded pharmaceutical and medical systems company and served as a member of the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Group Operating Committee. From 1992 to 2001, Dr. Saks held various positions with ALZA, most recently as its Group Vice President. Prior to ALZA, Dr. Saks held clinical research and development management positions with Schering-Plough Corporation, a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company that merged with Merck in 2009, Xoma Corp., a publicly-traded biotechnology company, and Genentech, Inc., a then publicly-traded biotechnology company. Dr. Saks currently serves on the boards of directors of TONIX Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp. and Depomed, Inc., both of which are publicly-traded pharmaceutical companies, as well as Bullet Biotechnology, Inc., a private biotechnology company, and Velocity Pharmaceutical Development, LLC, a private drug development firm. Dr. Saks holds a B.S. in Biology and an M.D. from the University of Illinois. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Texas Southwestern and his fellowship in Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco. We believe that Dr. Saks’ more than 35 years of experience in managing biotechnology companies qualifies him to serve on our board of directors.
Bharatt Chowrira, Ph.D., J.D. – Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Chowrira joined us as Chief Operating Officer in October 2013. Prior to joining us, Dr. Chowrira served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Addex Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company publicly-traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange, from August 2011 to July 2013.
Prior to Addex Therapeutics, Inc., he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Nektar Therapeutics, or Nektar, a publicly-traded clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, from May 2008 to January 2011, during which time he also served as the chairman of the board of directors of Nektar India PTY Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nektar. Prior to Nektar, Dr. Chowrira served as the Vice President, Legal and Chief Patent Counsel at Sirna Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly-traded biotechnology company, from June 2003 until its acquisition by Merck & Co., Inc., or Merck, a publicly-traded global health care company, in December 2006, after which he stayed at Merck until May 2008 as Vice President, Sirna and Executive Director, Worldwide Licensing. From 1993 to 2003, Dr. Chowrira held various leadership positions at Sirna Therapeutics, Inc.’s predecessor, Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly-traded biotechnology company. Dr. Chowrira received a J.D. from the University of Denver—Sturm College of Law, a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, an M.S. in Molecular Biology from Illinois State University and a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India.
Andreas Sommer, Ph.D. – Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Sommer joined us as Chief Operating Officer in 2009 and became our Chief Scientific Officer in October 2013. Prior to joining us, Dr. Sommer served as Senior Vice President—Research and then President and Chief Executive Officer of Celtrix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, from 1995 until it was acquired by Insmed, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, in 2000.
From 2000 to 2007, Dr. Sommer served as Chief Scientific Officer of Insmed. Prior to Celtrix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., he began his career as Vice President, Research and Development at BioGrowth, Inc., a private biotechnology company, in 1989. Dr. Sommer received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of California, Davis and an M.S./B.S. in Technical Microbiology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
Arvind Sreedharan – Vice President of Marketing
Arvind Sreedharan joined us as Vice President of Marketing in January 2014. Prior to joining us, Mr. Sreedharan served as Director of Movement Disorder Marketing at Lundbeck LLC, an international pharmaceutical company.
At Lundbeck, Mr. Sreedharan played a lead role in the launch and commercialization of XENAZINE®, the first FDA approved drug to treat chorea associated with Huntington’s disease. Mr. Sreedharan is also a member of the Huntington’s disease Society of America National Board of trustees. Mr. Sreedharan has held numerous positions in marketing, sales, sales management and training in the pharmacy industry over the last 23 years. Mr. Sreedharan is a graduate of the University of North Carolina with a BA in Biology/History.
Matt Moran – Vice President of Regulatory Affairs
Matt Moran joined us as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs in January 2013. Prior to joining us, Matt served as Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs at Santarus, Inc., where he worked on the 505(b)(2) NDA submission and approval of Uceris®, which primarily led to the company’s acquisition by Salix Pharmaceuticals in 2013. Prior to Santarus, Inc., Matt held positions of increasing responsibility in regulatory affairs at Allergan, Nexbio, Therapeutics, Inc., Chugai Pharma, Agouron, Dura Pharmaceuticals and Wyeth, Inc.
He has 20 years of drug development and commercialization experience including the HIV drugs Rescriptor® and Viracept®, the ophthalmic drug Macugen®, the neurological product Botox®, the anti-rheumatologic Actemra®, the Ulcerative Colitis treatment Uceris®, and other hereditary angioedema, cardiovascular, oncology, and anti-viral drugs in clinical development. Matt holds a M.S. in Biotechnology from the University of Maryland University College and a B.S. in Chemistry from Temple University. Mr. Moran is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Pharmacy.
Michael Huang, M.D. – Vice President, Clinical Development
Michael Huang joined us in January 2014 as Vice President of Clinical Development. Prior to joining us, Dr. Huang served as Senior Medical Director at Santarus, Inc., that was recently acquired by Salix Pharmaceuticals. Before joining Santarus, Dr. Huang held positions of increasing responsibility in drug development at Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Phenomix Corporation and Spectrum Pharmaceuticals.
During his industry career, Dr. Huang has successfully developed both small molecules and biologic agents across different therapeutic areas including neurology, gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes, inflammatory disorders, and oncology. Dr. Huang completed his undergraduate studies at U.C. Berkeley, his medical training at the Chicago Medical School, and his post-graduate residency training at Long Beach Memorial Family Medicine/U.C. Irvine College of Medicine.
Joanne Peake – Vice President of Clinical Operations
Joanne Peake joined us as Vice President of Clinical Operations in January 2014. Prior to joining us, Ms. Peake served as the Senior Director of Clinical Operations from 2009 until 2014 at Santarus, Inc., a publically traded pharmaceutical company, which was recently purchased by Salix Pharmaceuticals.
She has previously worked for Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Élan, Quintiles and INC Research. Ms. Peake started her career with Burroughs Wellcome Pharmaceuticals in Montreal from 1985 until 1992. Ms. Peake has worked in clinical operations for over 25 years for both CROs and biopharmaceutical companies. She received her BFA degree from Concordia University and a Masters in Library and Information Science from McGill University, both based in Montreal, Canada.