Chairman of the Board
David F. Hale has served as a member of our board of directors since October 2006 and chairman of the board since December 2012. Since May 2006, Mr. Hale has served as Chairman and CEO of Hale BioPharma Ventures, a private company focused on the formation and development of biotechnology, specialty pharma, device and diagnostic companies. He was previously President and CEO of CancerVax Corporation which merged with Micromet, Inc., a cancer therapeutic company, from October 2000 through May 2006, when he became Chairman of the combined companies until the sale of the company to Amgen Inc. Mr. Hale is a serial entrepreneur who has been involved in the founding and/or development of a number of biotechnology and specialty pharmaceutical companies. After joining Hybritech, Inc., in 1982, the first monoclonal antibody company, he was President and Chief Operating Officer and became CEO in 1986, when Hybritech was acquired by Eli Lilly and Co. From 1987 to 1997 he was Chairman, President and CEO of Gensia, Inc., which merged with SICOR to become Gensia Sicor, Inc., which was acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals. He was a co-founder and Chairman of Viagene, Inc., from 1987 to 1995, when Viagene was acquired by Chiron, Inc. He was President and CEO of Women First HealthCare, Inc. from late 1997 to June 2000. Prior to joining Hybritech, Mr. Hale was Vice President and General Manager of BBL Microbiology Systems, a division of Becton, Dickinson & Co. and from 1971 to 1980, held various marketing and sales management positions with Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation, a division of Johnson & Johnson, Inc. Mr. Hale also serves as Chairman of Biocept, Inc. He previously served as Chairman of Santarus, Inc., until its acquisition by Salix, Inc. in January 2014, as Chairman of Somaxon, Inc., until its acquisition by Pernix, Inc. in 2013 and as Chairman of SkinMedica, Inc., until its acquisition by Allergan in 2012. He also serves as Chairman of a number of privately held companies, including Colorescience, Inc., Neurelis, Inc., MDRejuvena Inc., Recros Medica, Inc., Skylit Medical, Agility Clinical, Inc. and Adigica Health, Inc. Mr. Hale also is a co-founder and serves on the Board of Directors of BIOCOM, is a former member of the Board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, or BIO, and the Biotechnology Institute. Mr. Hale also serves on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Economic Development Corporation, and as a Board Trustee of Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego and as Chairman of the Board of Rady Children’s Institute of Pediatric Genomics. He is a co-founder of the CONNECT Program in Technology and Entrepreneurship. Mr. Hale holds a B.A. in Biology and Chemistry from Jacksonville State University. Mr. Hale's extensive knowledge of our business and history, experience as a board member of multiple publicly-traded and privately-held companies, and expertise in developing, financing and providing strong executive leadership to numerous biopharmaceutical companies contributed to our board of directors' conclusion that he should serve as a director of our company.
Daniel L. Kisner, M.D.
Member of the Board
Daniel L. Kisner, M.D., has served as a member of our board of directors since February 2014. He currently serves as an independent consultant in the life science industry. He was a partner at Aberdare Ventures from 2003 to 2011. Dr. Kisner served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Caliper Life Sciences from 2002 to 2008, and as President and CEO of its predecessor company, Caliper Technologies, from 1999 to 2002. He held positions of increasing responsibility at Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., from 1991 to 1999, most recently as President and COO. Dr. Kisner previously served in pharmaceutical research and development executive positions at Abbott Laboratories from 1988 to 1991 and at SmithKline Beckman Laboratories from 1985 to 1988. He held a tenured faculty position in the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Texas, San Antonio School of Medicine until 1985 after a five-year advancement through the Cancer Treatment Evaluation Program of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Kisner is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. Dr. Kisner holds a B.A. from Rutgers University and an M.D. from Georgetown University. Dr. Kisner currently serves as a director at Lpath Pharmaceuticals, Zynerba Pharmaceuticals and Dynavax Technologies Corporation and has extensive prior private and public company board experience, including serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Tekmira Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Kisner's extensive leadership experience in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries and as a venture capital investor contributed to our board of directors' conclusion that he should serve as a director of our company.
Preston S. Klassen, M.D., M.H.S.
Member of the Board
Preston S. Klassen, M.D., M.H.S., has served as a member of our board of directors since February 2014. Dr. Klassen was appointed as Chief Medical Officer of Laboratoris Sanifit S.L. and President of the U.S. subsidiary, Sanifit, Inc., in June 2016. Sanifit is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on treatments for calcification disorders. He previously served as Executive Vice President and Head of Global Development at Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., from 2009 to 2016. He advanced from 2002 to 2009 through several medical director positions at Amgen, Inc., most recently as Therapeutic Area Head for Nephrology and Executive Medical Director. His experience at Amgen included global regulatory filings, design and conduct of large clinical trials, clinical commercialization of multiple products, and active leadership in regulatory agency interactions. Dr. Klassen was a faculty member in the Division of Nephrology at Duke University Medical Center from 1997 to 2002. He received his M.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and completed his residency in Internal Medicine, fellowship in Nephrology, and M.H.S. degree at Duke University. Dr. Klassen's broad operational expertise in relevant therapeutic areas and leadership experience in the biotechnology industry contributed to our board of directors' conclusion that he should serve as a director of our company.
William R. LaRue
Member of the Board
William R. LaRue has served as a member of our board of directors since February 2017. Mr. LaRue joined Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in June 2006, and expanded his role to serve as Assistant Secretary at Cadence in April 2007, serving in both capacities until the company’s acquisition by Mallinckrodt plc in March 2014. At Cadence, Mr. LaRue was a member of the Executive Committee with direct responsibility for the company’s financial leadership including corporate financing, investor relations, financial planning and reporting, SEC reporting, accounting, treasury, risk management, tax and information technology. During his tenure, Cadence raised over $375 million in public and private equity and senior debt, including an IPO in October 2006 as the company transitioned from a development stage to a commercial stage company. Prior to joining Cadence, Mr. LaRue served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of CancerVax Corporation, a biotechnology company, from 2001 until its merger with Micromet, Inc. in May 2006. He served from 2000 to 2001 as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of eHelp Corporation, a provider of user assistance software; from 1997 to 2000 as the Vice President and Treasurer of Safeskin Corporation, a medical device company; and from 1993 to 1997 as the Treasurer of GDE Systems, Inc., a high technology electronic systems company. Mr. LaRue currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Audit Committee of Tracon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company, and as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of Audit Committee of Applied Proteomics, Inc., a private, venture-backed, molecular diagnostics company. He previously served on the boards of directors of Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Neurelis, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company. Mr. LaRue received a B.S. in business administration and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. Mr. LaRue's public and private company board memberships and his extensive strategic, financial and operational corporate leadership experience in the biotechnology and technology industries contributed to our board of directors' conclusion that he should serve as a director of our company.
Steven J. Mento, Ph.D.
Member of the Board
Steven J. Mento, Ph.D., is one of our co-founders and has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our board of directors since July 2005. From July 2005 until December 2012, Dr. Mento also served as chairman of our board of directors. Dr. Mento has over 30 years of combined experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. From 1997 to 2005, Dr. Mento was President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Idun Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Mento guided Idun during its transition from a discovery focused organization to a drug development company with multiple products in or near human clinical testing. In April 2005, Idun was sold to Pfizer Inc. Previously, Dr. Mento served as President of Chiron Viagene, Inc. (subsequently Chiron Technologies, Center for Gene Therapy), and Vice President of Chiron Corporation from 1995 to 1997. Dr. Mento was Vice President of R&D at Viagene from 1992 to 1995. Prior to Viagene, Dr. Mento held various positions at American Cyanamid Company from 1982 to 1992. His last position was Director of Viral Vaccine Research and Development at Lederle-Praxis Biologicals, a business unit of American Cyanamid. Dr. Mento currently serves on the boards of directors of BIOCOM, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), BIO Emerging Company Section Governing Body, BIO Health Section Governing Body, Sangamo Biosciences, Inc., and various academic and charitable organizations. Dr. Mento holds a B.A. in Microbiology from Rutgers College, and an M.S. and Ph.D. both in Microbiology from Rutgers University. Dr. Mento's extensive knowledge of our business, as well as his over 30 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, including executive leadership in several pharmaceutical companies, contributed to our board of directors' conclusion that he should serve as a director of our company.
Jim Scopa, J.D., M.B.A.
Member of the Board
James Scopa, J.D., M.B.A., has served as a member of our board of directors since March 2011. Mr. Scopa is a Managing Director in MPM Capital's San Francisco office, having joined the firm in 2005. Previously, Mr. Scopa spent 18 years advising growth companies in biopharmaceuticals and medical devices at Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown and Thomas Weisel Partners. At Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown he served as Managing Director and Global Co-Head of Healthcare Investment Banking. At Thomas Weisel Partners he served on the Investment Committee for TWP's Health Care venture fund as well as Co-Director of Healthcare Investment Banking. He holds an A.B. from Harvard College (Phi Beta Kappa), an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Mr. Scopa currently serves on the boards of directors of Astute Medical, Inc., Blade Therapeutics, Inc., Semma Therapeutics, Solasia Pharma K.K. and True North Therapeutics, Inc., and has previously served on the boards of Peplin, Inc. (sold to LEO Pharmaceuticals), iPierian, Inc. (sold to Bristol Myers Squibb), TriVascular, Inc. (sold to Endologix) and Nevro Corp. Mr. Scopa's extensive experience as a venture capital investor in the biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals industries, prior experience as an investment banker in those industries, and his service as a director for numerous companies, contributed to our board of directors' conclusion that he should serve as a director of our company.
Harold Van Wart, Ph.D.
Member of the Board
Harold Van Wart, Ph.D., has served as a member of our board of directors since March 2007. Dr. Van Wart has served as Chief Executive Officer of CymaBay Therapeutics Inc. (formerly Metabolex, Inc.) since 2003, a member of its board of directors since January 2003, and President since April 2001. He served as Chief Operating Officer from December 2002 to January 2003 and Senior Vice President, Research and Development from October 2000 to December 2002. From 1999 to 2000, Dr. Van Wart was vice president and therapy head for arthritis and fibrotic diseases at Roche Biosciences, a division of Syntex (U.S.A.) Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. From 1992 to 1999, he was vice president and director of the institute of biochemistry and cell biology at Syntex (U.S.A.) Inc., a biopharmaceutical company acquired by an affiliate of Roche Holding Ltd. in 1994. From 1978 to 1992, Dr. Van Wart served on the faculty of Florida State University. Dr. Van Wart holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University and a B.A. from SUNY Binghamton. He currently serves on the Emerging Companies and Health Section Governing Boards of BIO, as well as on its board of directors. Dr. Van Wart's extensive leadership experience in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries contributed to our board of directors' conclusion that he should serve as a director of our company.