Board of Directors
Chair, Board of Directors
Connie Matsui has served as a member, and Chair, of our Board of Directors since June 2019 and brings several decades of general management experience in the biotechnology industry. From 2004 to 2009, Ms. Matsui served in various leadership positions at Biogen Idec, Inc., including as Executive Vice President, Knowledge and Innovation Networks and Executive Committee member. Prior to that, Ms. Matsui served in various leadership positions at IDEC Pharmaceuticals, a predecessor of Biogen Idec, including Senior Vice President; Collaboration Chair for the late stage development and commercialization of rituximab (tradenames: Rituxan® and MabThera®) in partnership with Roche and Genentech; and Project Leader for Zevalin®, the first radioimmunotherapy approved by the U.S. FDA. Prior to entering the biotechnology industry, Ms. Matsui worked for Wells Fargo Bank in general management, marketing and human resources. Ms. Matsui currently serves on the boards of directors of Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. and Artelo Biosciences, Inc., and has served on not-for-profit boards at the local, national and global level. Ms. Matsui received a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Stanford University. We believe that Ms. Matsui is qualified to serve on our Board of Directors because of her strong biotechnology managerial and commercial experience, including her expertise with biopharmaceutical product development, sales and marketing and strategy and operations.
Michael Dybbs, Ph.D.
Partner, Samsara BioCapital
Michael Dybbs, Ph.D., has served as a member of our Board of Directors since July 2018. Dr. Dybbs is currently a partner at Samsara BioCapital, where he has worked since March 2017. Prior to joining Samsara, Dr. Dybbs was a partner at New Leaf Venture Partners, where he worked from May 2009 until September 2016. Before joining New Leaf Venture Partners, L.L.C., Dr. Dybbs was a principal at the Boston Consulting Group. Dr. Dybbs currently serves on the boards of directors of Nkarta and several private companies. Dr. Dybbs previously served on the boards of directors of Versartis, Inc. and Dimension Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Dybbs received an A.B. in biochemical sciences from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from University of California, Berkeley, where he was awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellowship. We believe that Dr. Dybbs is qualified to serve on our Board of Directors due to his experience in the life sciences industry and the venture capital industry, and his leadership and management experience.
John G. Freund, M.D.
Managing Director, Skyline Ventures
John G. Freund, M.D., has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 2014. Dr. Freund founded Skyline Ventures, a venture capital firm, in September 1997, where he served as a Managing Director. Prior to founding Skyline, Dr. Freund served as Managing Director at Chancellor Capital Management, co-founded Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ – ISRG), served in various positions at Acuson Corporation, most recently Executive Vice President, was a general partner at Morgan Stanley Venture Partners and co-founded the Healthcare Group in the Corporate Finance Department of Morgan Stanley. In addition, in 2016 Dr. Freund co-founded and was CEO of Arixa Pharmaceuticals, Inc. an antibiotic company, which was acquired by Pfizer in 2020. Dr. Freund currently serves on the boards of directors of Collegium Pharmaceutical, Inc., SI Bone, Inc. and a number of U.S. registered investment funds managed by affiliates of Capital Group, Inc. Dr. Freund is a founding member of the Advisory Board for the Harvard Business School Healthcare Initiative. Dr. Freund previously served on the boards of directors of several publicly traded companies, including Proteon Therapeutics, Inc., XenoPort, Inc., where he was Chairman, Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals, Inc., MAP Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and MAKO Surgical Corp. Dr. Freund received an A.B. in History from Harvard College, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. We believe that Dr. Freund is qualified to serve on our Board of Directors because of his training as a physician and his extensive investment, business and board experience with public healthcare and biopharmaceutical companies.
President, Cardinal Health
Heidi Hunter has over 25 years of experience in biotech across the pharmaceutical value chain, from clinical and commercial development through to launch execution. She is formerly President at Cardinal Health, where she leads the Specialty Solutions Business. Prior to Cardinal Health, Ms. Hunter was Senior Vice President of the Global Immunology Business Unit at UCB in Brussels. She has also held leadership positions at Boehringer Ingelheim as Senior Vice President and General Manager in its Global Biosimilars Business, and at IQVIA as Vice President of Global Business Partnerships Commercial Solutions. Ms. Hunter also held senior leadership positions in commercial and strategic marketing for biologics and oncology at Centocor, a J&J company. She also led oncology business at Wyeth (today part of Pfizer) in the U.S. and Novo Nordisk in Denmark. Early in Ms. Hunter’s career, she led sales and marketing at Wyeth and led Neurology at Ciba-Geigy in Switzerland (today part of Novartis). She is currently on the board of Vicore Pharma and an advisor for MiGenTra. Ms. Hunter earned B.A. from The University of Michigan and her M.B.A. from The University of Chicago.
Joseph M. Lobacki
CEO/COO, Crestovo LLC
Joseph M. Lobacki has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 2017. Mr. Lobacki is currently President and CEO of Artax a private biopharmaceutical company developing treatments for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases focused on modulating the T-Cell Receptor response to antigen stimulation. Previously, Mr. Lobacki served as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for Verastem, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapies for the treatment of hematologic malignancies. From November 2016 to December 2017, Mr. Lobacki served as Chief Operating Officer for Crestovo, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on microbiome therapies. From 2014 to 2016, Mr. Lobacki served as Chief Commercial Officer at Medivation, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on development of novel therapies for the treatment of serious diseases. From 2012 to 2014, Mr. Lobacki also served as General Manager of Oncology and an independent biotechnology consultant at Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on therapies for cancer and rare diseases. Previously, Mr. Lobacki served as Senior Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer at Micromet, Inc., Senior Vice-President and General Manager of US Transplant and Oncology at Genzyme Corporation and in various other positions at SangStat Medical Corporation, Cell Pathways, Inc., Rhone-Poulenc Rorer and Lederle Laboratories. Mr. Lobacki previously served on the board of directors of Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc. Mr. Lobacki received a B.S. in Biology from Boston College and a B.S. in Pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. We believe that Mr. Lobacki is qualified to serve on our Board of Directors because of his strong biopharmaceutical managerial and commercial experience, including his expertise with biopharmaceutical research and development, sales and marketing and strategy and operations.
William J. Newell
CEO, Sutro Biopharma
William J. Newell has served as our Chief Executive Officer and a member of our Board of Directors since January 2009. Previously, he served as the President of Aerovance, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on respiratory diseases, from 2006 to 2007. Mr. Newell has also served as the Chief Business Officer and Senior Vice President at QLT Inc., in several senior management positions at Axys Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and has experience as a corporate lawyer. He currently serves on the boards of directors of Social Capital Suvretta Holdings Corp IV (NASDAQ: DNAD), Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s (BIO) Health Section, Emerging Company Section and is a member of BIO’s executive committee. He also serves on the board of directors of California Life Sciences (CLS) and is member of CLS’s executive committee. Mr. Newell received an A.B. in Government from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. We believe that Mr. Newell is qualified to serve on our Board of Directors because of his experience with various biotechnology companies, including working with and serving in various executive positions in life sciences companies.
James Panek has served as a member of our Board of Directors since January 2020. Since 2011, Mr. Panek has served as an Independent Consultant for various biopharmaceutical companies, and currently serves as Acting COO and Director for CHO Plus, a privately owned biotechnology company. From 2010 to 2011, Mr. Panek served as interim President, Chief Executive Officer and Principal Financial Officer at DiaDexus, Inc. From 2007 to 2010, Mr. Panek served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Principal Financial Officer for VaxGen, Inc., now a subsidiary of DiaDexus, Inc. From 2002 to 2006, Mr. Panek served as Senior and Executive Vice President of VaxGen, Inc., and Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board for Celltrion Inc., then a VaxGen manufacturing joint venture in Inchon, Korea. In his role with Celltrion, Mr. Panek was responsible for the development and FDA licensure of the first large scale biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Asia. From 1982 to 2001, Mr. Panek served in various capacities with Genentech, Inc., including Senior Vice President, Product Operations, and Vice President, Manufacturing, Engineering and Facilities, where he led the development of the world’s largest biotechnology manufacturing facility and was responsible for all operations involved in supplying products for preclinical, clinical, and commercial use. Prior to joining Genentech, Mr. Panek spent six years with Eli Lilly in a variety of engineering and development positions. Mr. Panek previously served on the boards of directors of DiaDexus, Inc., VaxGen, Inc. and Celltrion Inc. Mr. Panek received a B.S. and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. We believe that Mr. Panek is qualified to serve on our board of directors due to his extensive experience in operations, engineering, manufacturing and product development.
Daniel H. Petree
Founder & Member, Four Oaks Partners Consulting, LLC
Daniel H. Petree, has served as a member of our Board of Directors since August 2009. In April 2012, Mr. Petree co-founded Four Oaks Partners Consulting, LLC, which provides transaction advisory services to small and medium-sized life science companies and in 2000, Mr. Petree co-founded P2 Partners, LLC, Four Oaks’ predecessor in the same business. Before co-founding P2 Partners, Mr. Petree served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Axys Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Arris Pharmaceuticals, Incorporated and Vice President of Business Development at TSI Corporation and was a corporate and securities lawyer. Mr. Petree previously served on the boards of directors of Lpath, Inc., Biocept, Inc. and Cypress Bioscience, Inc. along with a number of privately held biotechnology companies. Mr. Petree received an A.B. in History and Political Science from Stanford University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. We believe that Mr. Petree is qualified to serve on our Board of Directors because of his experience in the biotechnology industry, including structuring and negotiating pharmaceutical partnering arrangements and strategic transactions.
Shalini Sharp, has served as a member of our Board of Directors since November 2018. In addition, Ms. Sharp currently serves on the Board of Directors of Organon & Co., Neurocrine Biosciences and Mirati Therapeutics. Ms. Sharp previously served as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical, a company focused on rare genetic diseases, from May 2012 to October 2020. Prior to Ultragenyx, Ms. Sharp served as Chief Financial Officer of Agenus Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company focused on cancer immunotherapies, from 2006 to 2012, and from 2003 to 2006 held increasing roles of responsibility at Agenus spanning strategy, finance and business development. Prior to Agenus, Ms. Sharp held similar roles at Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Ms. Sharp also previously served as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company as well as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, specializing in pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Ms. Sharp previously served on the boards of directors of Precision Biosciences, Array Biopharma Inc,. Agenus, and Panacea Acquisition Corp. Ms. Sharp received a B.A. from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. We believe that Ms. Sharp is qualified to serve on our Board of Directors because of her financial expertise and extensive experience in the biotechnology industry and extensive service as a director or officer of other life sciences companies.
Jon Wigginton, M.D.
President, Research and Development, Bright Peak Therapeutics
Dr. Wigginton is a physician and scientist with expertise in cancer immunotherapy drug development. He has over 25 years of experience in clinical oncology, with leadership experience in both academia and industry. Dr. Wigginton currently serves as President, Research and Development at Bright Peak Therapeutics. Most recently, he was Senior Advisor and Chairman of the SAB at Cullinan Oncology, Inc., having served previously as the Chief Medical Officer. Prior, he was Chief Medical Officer at MacroGenics, where he led the company’s clinical development programs. Dr. Wigginton also held leadership positions at Bristol Myers Squibb as Therapeutic Area Head in Immuno-Oncology for Early Clinical Research and as Executive Medical Director and Group Medical Director of Discovery Medicine-Clinical Oncology, and prior to that, Director of Clinical Oncology at Merck & Co. Dr. Wigginton has also served in several positions for the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC), including President, Chair of Executive Council, Board of Directors, and leadership roles on various operating committees. Early in his career, Dr. Wigginton worked at the National Cancer Institute for over 14 years and served as Head of the Investigational Biologics Section in the Center for Cancer Research (intramural program). Dr. Wigginton earned his M.D. from the University of Michigan.