Board of Directors
Our team is led by seasoned industry veterans who are dedicated to improving the lives of patients.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Lewis T. “Rusty” Williams, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Williams founded the Company in December 2001. He has served as Executive Chairman of the Board since January 2018, as our President and Chief Executive Officer from August 2011 to December 2017, as our Executive Chairman from July 2003 to January 2012 and as Chairman of the Board since March 2016. Previously, Dr. Williams spent seven years at Chiron Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company, now Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Inc., most recently as its Chief Scientific Officer. He also served on Chiron’s board of directors from 1999 to 2001. Prior to joining Chiron, Dr. Williams was a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and served as director of the University’s Cardiovascular Research Institution and Daiichi Research Center. Dr. Williams also has served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and co-founded COR Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on cardiovascular disease. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Williams is currently on the board of Protagonist Therapeutics and was previously a member of the boards of directors of COR Therapeutics, Inc. and Beckman Coulter, Inc., each of which was a public company. Dr. Williams received a B.S. from Rice University and an M.D. and a Ph.D. from Duke University.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Knickerbocker has served as our Chief Executive Officer since January 2018 and as a member of the Board of Directors since October 2013. Prior to this, he served as Chief Operating Officer since September 2016. He previously served as the Company’s Chief Business Officer from April 2012 to September 2016, as Executive Vice President from August 2015 to September 2016, and as Senior Vice President from April 2012 to August 2015. Prior to that, he was Vice President, Business Development from September 2009 to April 2012. From 2001 to September 2009, Mr. Knickerbocker served at Genentech in positions of increasing responsibility most recently as Senior Director, Business Development from 2005 to September 2009. Prior to 2001, Mr. Knickerbocker served as Director of Commercial Development at ALZA, a pharmaceutical company acquired by Johnson & Johnson, as Senior Manager, Corporate Development at Amgen, and as a scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Mr. Knickerbocker received an A.B. in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Franklin M. Berger, CFA
Mr. Berger has served as a member of our Board since September 2010. Mr. Berger is a consultant to biotechnology industry participants, including major biopharmaceutical firms, mid-capitalization biotechnology companies, specialist asset managers and venture capital companies, providing business development, strategic advisory, financing, partnering, and royalty acquisition advice. Mr. Berger is also a biotechnology industry analyst with over 25 years of experience in capital markets and financial analysis. Mr. Berger worked at Sectoral Asset Management as a founder of the small-cap focused NEMO Fund from 2007 through June 2008. From May 1998 to March 2003, he served at J.P. Morgan Securities, most recently as Managing Director, Equity Research and Senior Biotechnology Analyst. Previously, Mr. Berger served in similar capacities at Salomon Smith Barney and Josephthal & Co. Mr. Berger also serves on the boards of directors of BELLUS Health, Inc., Immune Design Corp., ESSA Pharma Inc., and Proteostasis Therapeutics, Inc., each of which is a public biotechnology company. Mr. Berger previously served as a member of the board of directors of BioTime, Inc. and Seattle Genetics, Inc., each of which was a public company during Mr. Berger’s service as a director. Mr. Berger received a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in International Economics both from Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.
Kapil Dhingra, M.B.B.S.
Dr. Dhingra has served as a member of our Board since December 2015. Dr. Dhingra currently serves as the Managing Member of KAPital Consulting, LLC, a healthcare consulting firm that he founded in 2008. Dr. Dhingra has over 25 years of experience in oncology clinical research and drug development. From 1999 to 2008, Dr. Dhingra worked at Hoffmann-La Roche, where he served in roles of increasing responsibility, most recently as Vice President, Head of the Oncology Disease Biology Leadership Team and Head of Oncology Clinical Development. From 2000 to 2008, he held a Clinical Affiliate appointment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. From 1996 to 1999, Dr. Dhingra worked at Eli Lilly and Company where he served in roles of increasing responsibility, most recently as Senior Clinical Research Physician. Dr. Dhingra also served as a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine from 1997 to 1999. Prior to Eli Lilly, Dr. Dhingra was a member of the faculty of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center from 1989 to 1996. Dr. Dhingra currently serves on the board of directors of Median Technologies. Dr. Dhingra previously served as a member of the board of directors of Micromet, Inc., until its acquisition by Amgen Inc., and YM Biosciences Inc., until its acquisition by Gilead Sciences, Inc., each of which was a public company during Dr. Dhingra’s service as a director. Dr. Dhingra received his M.B.B.S. degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center and New York Medical College and completed his fellowship in hematology and oncology at Emory University School of Medicine.
Sheila Gujrathi, M.D.
Dr. Gujrathi has served as a member of our Board since December 2015. Dr. Gujrathi served as the Chief Medical Officer of Receptos, Inc., from June 2011 to August 2015 when Receptos was acquired by Celgene Corporation. From 2008 to 2011, Dr. Gujrathi served as Vice President of the Global Clinical Research Group in Immunology at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Prior to joining Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dr. Gujrathi worked at Genentech from 2002 to 2008, where she held roles of increasing responsibility in the Immunology, Tissue Growth and Repair clinical development group. From 1999 to 2002, Dr. Gujrathi served as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in the healthcare practice, where she provided strategic advice on a variety of projects in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Gujrathi received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and M.D. from Northwestern University in their accelerated honors program in Medical Education. She completed her internal medicine internship and residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Gujrathi received additional training at the University of California, San Francisco and Stanford University in their Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program.
Peder K. Jensen, M.D.
Dr. Jensen has served as a member of our Board since July 2011. Dr. Jensen is currently President of Bay Way Consultants, LLC, a consulting firm founded by Dr. Jensen in 2010 that advises pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Dr. Jensen has over 24 years of global drug development experience in both pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and has been responsible for more than 40 new drug approvals in the U.S., Europe and Japan during his career. Dr. Jensen’s experience includes over 20 years with Schering- Plough Corporation, a global pharmaceutical company, and then Merck & Co., Inc. after the merger of Schering- Plough with Merck in 2009. Dr. Jensen most recently served at Schering-Plough as Corporate Senior Vice President, and General Manager, R&D for Japan and Asia/Pacific from 2006 to 2010. Dr. Jensen has also served at British Biotech plc and Chiron Corporation in clinical development executive positions and earlier in hiscareer at CIBA-GEIGY Limited. Dr. Jensen is also a member of the board of directors of Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., a public biotechnology company. Dr. Jensen previously served as a member of the board of directors of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was a public pharmaceutical company during Jensen’s service as a director. Dr. Jensen received an M.D. degree from the University of Copenhagen, where he also completed his post-graduate medical training in neurology and internal medicine.
Mark D. McDade
Mr. McDade has served as a member of our Board since July 2006 and has served as our Lead Independent Director since March 2016. Mr. McDade currently serves as a founding partner at Qiming Venture Partners’ U.S.-focused healthcare fund, which he helped establish in January 2017. From April 2008 to November 2016, Mr. McDade served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, at UCB S.A., a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines. Mr. McDade previously served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of PDL BioPharma, Inc., a biotechnology company, and as Chief Executive Officer of Signature BioScience, Inc., a drug discovery company focused on developing treatments and leads for cancer and other diseases. Mr. McDade also served as an officer and a director of Corixa Corporation, a company he co-founded, which focused on developing innovative products that regulate immunity. At Corixa, he most recently served as its President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. McDade is also a member of the board of directors of Aimmune Therapeutics, Inc. and Dermira, Inc., each of which is a public biotechnology company. Mr. McDade received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Mr. Nicholson has served as a member of our Board since May 2017. Mr. Nicholson served as President and Chief Executive Officer of XTuit Pharmaceuticals, Inc., from September 2015 to October 2016. From May 2008 to March 2015, Mr. Nicholson served at Pfizer Inc. as President, Pfizer Oncology. Prior to joining Pfizer, Mr. Nicholson worked at Eli Lilly and Company where he held roles of increasing responsibility, most recently as the Global Oncology Platform Leader. Mr. Nicholson currently serves on the board of directors of Tesaro, Inc., a public pharmaceutical company. Mr. Nicholson received a B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.B.A. from the University of South Carolina.
William R. Ringo
Mr. Ringo has served as a member of our Board since October 2014. Since June 2010 until December 2016, Mr. Ringo served as a senior advisor to Barclays Healthcare Group. From April 2008 until his retirement in April 2010, Mr. Ringo was Senior Vice President of Business Development, Strategy and Innovation at Pfizer Inc., a public pharmaceutical company, and was responsible for guiding Pfizer’s overall strategic planning and business development activities. Prior to joining Pfizer, Mr. Ringo served as an executive in residence at Warburg Pincus and Sofinnova Ventures. From August 2004 to April 2006, Mr. Ringo served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Abgenix, Inc., a biotechnology company acquired by Amgen, Inc. Prior to Abgenix, Mr. Ringo served for 28 years at Eli Lilly and Company in numerous executive roles, including Product Group President for Oncology and Critical Care, President of Internal Medicine Products, President of the Infectious Diseases Business Unit and Vice President of Sales and Marketing for U.S. Pharmaceuticals. Following Mr. Ringo’s retirement from Eli Lilly in 2001, from March 2001 to December 2007, Mr. Ringo served on various boards of directors, including InterMune, Inc. where he served as the non-executive chairman of the board of directors after serving as interim Chief Executive Officer from June 2003 to September 2003. Mr. Ringo currently serves on the boards of directors of Assembly Biosciences, Inc., Dermira, Inc., and Immune Design Corp., each of which is a public biotechnology company. Mr. Ringo was previously a member of the board of directors of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was a public company during Mr. Ringo’s service as a director. Mr. Ringo received a B.S. in business administration and an M.B.A. from the University of Dayton.