Steven J. Mento, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
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.
David T. Hagerty, M.D.
Executive Vice President, Clinical Development
David T. Hagerty, M.D., has served as our Executive Vice President, Clinical Development, since October 2014. Dr. Hagerty has over 19 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Dr. Hagerty has been an independent consultant in clinical development since April 2013. He served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Ardea Biosciences from 2011 to 2013. He previously served as a Vice President of Immunology and Rheumatology Clinical Research at Biogen Idec Inc. from 2006 to 2011, where he led the clinical development of rituximab for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus with joint development partner Genentech. Previously, Dr. Hagerty advanced through several management roles at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute from 1997 through 2006, most recently as Executive Director of Immunology Global Clinical Research and medical lead for the abatacept clinical development program. His earlier career included faculty and laboratory research duties at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Hagerty served for five years in the Medical Corps of the United States Navy, and was recalled to Active Duty in Operation Desert Storm. Dr. Hagerty received an M.D. degree from St. Louis University of Medicine and a B.S. degree from the University of Notre Dame. He is Board Certified in internal medicine and nephrology, and has been United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) certified as a transplant physician.
Alfred P. Spada, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Research and Development, and Chief Scientific Officer
Alfred P. Spada, Ph.D., is one of our co-founders and has served as our Executive Vice President, Research and Development since February 2015, as our Senior Vice President, Research and Development since July 2005, and as our Chief Scientific Officer since April 2012. Dr. Spada has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He has co-authored more than 50 scientific publications and is an inventor on more than 70 patents. From 2000 to 2005, Dr. Spada was Vice President of Pharmaceutical and Preclinical Development at Idun Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for managing internal research and development activities, and Idun's external partnerships, including the collaboration with Abbott Laboratories. Prior to joining Idun, Dr. Spada was a Department Director at Aventis Pharmaceuticals (formerly Rhone-Poulenc Rorer), where he was responsible for medicinal and analytical chemistry. From 1990 to 2000, his teams worked on a wide variety of enzyme-based and G-protein coupled receptors (GCPR) targets, resulting in the identification of clinical candidates for treatment of acute myocardial infarction, thrombotic disorders, coronary restenosis, lipid lowering, diabetes and cancer. His team discovered otamixaban, a direct acting factor Xa inhibitor which reached Phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of acute coronary syndrome. Dr. Spada holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Edward F. Smith III, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance
Edward F. Smith III, Ph.D., has served as our Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance, since April 2016. Dr. Smith was Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Drug Safety at Zogenix, Inc., since October 2008, which he joined as Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs in April 2007. Before joining Zogenix, he served as Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs at Connetics Corp. from 2006 to 2007; Director, Regulatory Affairs at Nektar Therapeutics from 2004 to 2006; Director, Corporate Regulatory Affairs at Valeant Pharmaceuticals from 2001 to 2004; and Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Research & Development at Radiance Medical Systems, Inc., from 1999 to 2001. He previously held research and development positions at Mallinckrodt Inc. from 1992 to 1999, at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals from 1986 to 1992, and at Ciba-Geigy from 1984 to 1985. Dr. Smith held postdoctoral fellowships at the Institute of Pharmacology at the University of Koln in Germany, and the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Smith received a B.S. in biology from Montana State University, a Ph.D. in physiology from Thomas Jefferson University, and an M.B.A. from Washington University. He also holds a Regulatory Affairs Certification.
Daniel L. Ripley, M.B.A.
Senior Vice President, Business Development, Program and Alliance Management
Daniel L. Ripley has served as our Senior Vice President, Business Development, Program and Alliance Management since February 2017. He previously served as our Vice President, Business Development and Program Management, since October 2014, and joined us as Senior Director, Head of Corporate Development in July 2012. Mr. Ripley has 20 years of integrated business development experience in the initiation and execution of strategic business transactions in emerging growth life science companies. He has led licensing, commercial analysis, partnering initiatives, and intellectual property enforcement to drive business development of early-to-late stage products in a wide variety of therapeutic areas and technologies. Mr. Ripley served as Senior Director of Business Development at Apricus Biosciences from 2011 through 2012, and prior to that was a senior business development consultant to biotechnology companies in the San Diego area from 2010 through 2011, Vice President of Business Development at BioBlocks, Inc. from 2009 through 2010, Senior Director, Head of Business Development at Kalypsys, Inc. from 2006 through 2008, Director of Business Development at Isis Pharmaceuticals from 2000 through 2006, and Director of Business Development at The Immune Response Corporation, Inc., from 1997 to 2000. During this timeframe, he executed multiple licensing and drug discovery collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that included Pfizer, Oncogenex, Alnylam, Amgen, GSK, Sanofi, and Alcon. Mr. Ripley holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in Finance and a B.S. in Microbiology, both from San Diego State University.
Michelle L. Vandertie
Vice President, Finance
Michelle L. Vandertie has served as our Vice President, Finance since March 2016. Ms. Vandertie served as our Corporate Controller from October 2007 through March 2016 and accounting consultant from January 2007 through October 2007. Ms. Vandertie has over 20 years of experience in the biotechnology industry. She served in senior financial consulting roles at several companies from 2002 to 2008. From 1998 to 2004, Ms. Vandertie held various positions, including Chief Financial Officer, at Althea Technologies Inc., which was acquired by Ajinomoto Co. in 2013. She held the position of Corporate Controller at Vical Incorporated, a publicly traded biotechnology company, from 1993 to 1997. From 1990 to 1993, Ms. Vandertie held the position of Corporate Controller at California Structures, a real estate development company. She served as an auditor with Ernst & Young from 1987 to 1990. Ms. Vandertie received her B.S. degree from the University of Northern Colorado.