Board of Directors
Dennis G. Podlesak
Dennis G. Podlesak has served as chairman of our board of directors since December 2008. Since November 2007, Mr. Podlesak has served as a partner at Domain Associates, LLC, a life science focused venture capital firm. While at Domain, Mr. Podlesak has been the founder and the Chief Executive Officer of a number of companies, including Calixa Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company which was acquired by Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in December 2009. Mr. Podlesak was also the Executive Chairman of Corthera, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company, which was acquired by Novartis AG in January 2010. Prior to joining Domain, from 2005 to 2007, Mr. Podlesak served as the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cerexa, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Forest Laboratories, Inc. after being acquired by Forest in January 2007. From 2004 to 2005, Mr. Podlesak served as the Chief Executive Officer of Peninsula Pharmaceuticals Inc., a privately held pharmaceutical company, and in June 2005, he led the sale of Peninsula to Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Prior to joining Peninsula, Mr. Podlesak held various senior executive positions at Novartis AG, a publicly traded healthcare company, Allergan plc, a publicly traded healthcare company, and SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline plc, a publicly traded pharmaceutical company). Mr. Podlesak currently serves on the board of Tobira Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company, as well as on a number of private company boards. Until January 2015, Mr. Podlesak served on the board of Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company, until it was acquired by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Mr. Podlesak received a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University, and has completed postgraduate studies at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Briggs W. Morrison, M.D.
Briggs W. Morrison, M.D. has served as our Chief Executive Officer since June 2015 and as a member of our board of directors since July 2015. Dr. Morrison currently serves as a managing director of MPM Capital, a healthcare-focused venture capital firm, since June 2015. Prior to joining us, he served as Executive Vice President, Global Medicines Development and Chief Medical Officer at AstraZeneca plc, a publicly traded company, from January 2012 to June 2015, leading the company’s global, late-stage development organization and serving as a member of the AstraZeneca senior executive team. He previously held a number of positions at Pfizer Inc., a publicly traded company, from 2007 to January 2012 that culminated in his appointment as Head, Medical Affairs, Safety and Regulatory Affairs for Pfizer’s human health business, and also served in roles of increasing responsibility at Merck Research Laboratories, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., from 1995 to 2007, ascending to the role of Vice President, Clinical Sciences, Oncology, responsible for clinical development of all novel anti-cancer drugs. Dr. Morrison was chairman of the board of TransCelerate BioPharma Inc., an industry-funded company charged with improving aspects of clinical trials, from 2014 to 2015, a member of the executive committee of the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI) sponsored by FDA, and is on the board of ACRES (Alliance for Clinical Research Excellence and Safety). Dr. Morrison received a B.S. in biology from Georgetown University and an M.D. from the University of Connecticut.
Henry Chen has served as a member of our board of directors since June 2015. Mr. Chen is the Managing Partner of Delos Capital Fund LP, a healthcare-focused venture capital fund. Prior to establishing Delos in 2014, Mr. Chen was a Partner and Co-Head of Asia at Permira Advisers LLP, a European private equity firm. Prior to joining Permira in 2008, Mr. Chen spent nine years in Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs & Co., where he was a Managing Director and co-headed the General Industrials Group, Asia (excluding Japan), which covered the consumer retail, healthcare, industrials and transportation sectors. Prior to that, Mr. Chen was a corporate finance lawyer with Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in New York and Hong Kong. Mr. Chen received a B.A. and an M.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Fabrice Egros, Ph.D.
Fabrice Egros, Ph.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since September 2013. Since October 2015, Dr. Egros has served as President, Asia Pacific and Japan of Lupin Limited, an Indian publicly traded pharmaceutical company. From November 2012 to September 2015, Dr. Egros served as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer/Chief Operating Officer of NovaMedica LLC, a privately held pharmaceutical company, and was its Chief Operating Officer and a member of its board of directors from July 2012 to September 2015. From February 2011 to July 2012, Dr. Egros served as the Chief Operating Officer of Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held pharmaceutical company. From September 2009 to February 2011, he served as the Senior Vice President, Corporate Business Development and Strategy of UCB, S.A., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company. From August 2006 to August 2009, Dr. Egros served as the President of UCB, Inc., a subsidiary of UCB, S.A., and from September 2003 to August 2006, he served as the President of UCB Japan Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of UCB, S.A. Prior to joining UCB, Dr. Egros held various management and executive positions at Parke-Davis, Warner Lambert Company, a privately held pharmaceutical company, and Sanofi, formerly known as Sanofi-Aventis, a publicly traded pharmaceutical company. Dr. Egros received a B.S. in Pharmacokinetics and Metabolism from Schiller International University and a Pharm.D. and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Chatenay Malabry University, and has participated in the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University.
Luke Evnin, Ph.D.
Luke Evnin, Ph.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since May 2012. Dr. Evnin has served as a managing director at MPM Capital, a healthcare-focused venture capital firm, since he co-founded MPM’s asset management business in 1997. Prior to joining MPM, Dr. Evnin spent seven years at Accel Partners, a venture capital firm, including four years as general partner. Dr. Evnin currently serves on a number of private company boards, and has served as director of several public companies, including Enteromedics Inc, Epix Medical, Inc., Intercell AG, Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc. (acquired by Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), Oscient Pharmaceuticals Corp., Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Restore Medical, Inc. (acquired by Medtronic, Inc.), Sonic Innovations, Inc. and Signal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by Celgene Corporation). Dr. Evnin received an A.B. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco.
Keith A. Katkin
Keith A. Katkin has served as a member of our board of directors since March 2017. Mr. Katkin was president and Chief Executive Officer of Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company, from March 2007 through January 2016 leading the execution of the company’s sale to Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. in 2015. Mr. Katkin joined Avanir in July 2005 as the senior vice president of Sales and Marketing and a member of Avanir’s executive management team. Mr. Katkin was responsible for creating and executing the plan that led to the approval of Nuedexta and the company’s growth to commercial success. Prior to joining Avanir, Mr. Katkin served as the vice president, Commercial Development for Peninsula Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company, playing a key role in the concurrent initial public offering and ultimate sale of the company to Johnson and Johnson. Additionally, Mr. Katkin’s employment experience includes leadership roles at InterMune, Amgen and Abbott Laboratories. Mr. Katkin also serves on the board of Avanir Pharmaceuticals, CoverMyMeds LLC, MC10, Inc., Otic Pharma Ltd. (Chairman), Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and the Brain Injury Association of America. Mr. Katkin previously served on the board of CoverMyMeds LLC (acquired by McKesson Corporation) and Carbylan Therapeutics, Inc. (currently known as KalVista Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), a publicly traded pharmaceutical company, from December 2014 to November 2016. Mr. Katkin has an M.B.A. from the Anderson School at UCLA and earned a B.S. in Business and Accounting from Indiana University. Mr. Katkin is also a certified public accountant.
Pierre Legault has served as a member of our board of directors since January 2017. Mr. Legault also serves on the board of Poxel Pharmaceuticals (Chairman), Iroko Pharmaceuticals and NephroGenex. Previously, he served on the board of Tobira Therapeutics, NPS Pharmaceuticals, Forest Laboratories, Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Eckerd Pharmacy, Regado Biosciences and several others. Mr. Legault served as Chairman of NephroGenex from 2012 through 2013 and Chief Executive Officer from 2014 through 2016, as Chief Executive Officer of Prosidion from 2010 through 2012, and Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer of OSI Pharmaceuticals from 2009 through 2010. His prior senior executive experience also includes serving as President of Eckerd Pharmacy and as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Rite Aid Corporation. He also held several senior positions with Sanofi-Aventis and predecessor companies, including President of Worldwide Dermatology Operations. Mr. Legault studied at McGill University, HEC Montreal and Harvard Business School. He holds an MBA, BAA, CA, CPA and Six Sigma Green Belt diplomas.