Mike Dybbs, Ph.D. has over 15 years of investment and consulting experience in the life science sector. Dr. Dybbs is currently a Partner at Samsara BioCapital. Prior to joining Samsara, Dr. Dybbs was a Partner at New Leaf Venture Partners, which he joined in 2009. Before New Leaf, Dr. Dybbs was a Principal at The Boston Consulting Group, where he was a core member of their Health Care practice. Dr. Dybbs currently serves as a director of Levo Therapeutics and IONpath. Previously, he served on the boards of Versartis, Dimension Therapeutics, Principia and Advanced Cell Diagnostics. He earned a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Genetics from University of California, Berkeley, where he was awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellowship; and received an A.B. in Biomedical Sciences from Harvard University. His research had been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Science, Nature and Neuron.
Michael Dybbs, Ph.D.
Partner, Samsara BioCapital
John G. Freund, M.D.
Managing Director, Skyline Ventures
John began his career at Morgan Stanley in New York in 1982, where he co-founded the Healthcare Group in the Corporate Finance Department and was later the original healthcare partner at Morgan Stanley Ventures. He then spent six years at Acuson Corporation (an NYSE-traded company that is now part of Siemens), where he was Executive Vice President, ran Marketing and led the cross-functional management of the company’s product introductions. In 1995, he licensed the technology that served as the core of Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG), co-founded Intuitive and raised its initial venture capital. He then spent two years as the West Coast partner in the Private Equity group of Chancellor Capital Management (now INVESCO), before founding Skyline Ventures in 1997. He has experience with most of the major sectors of the healthcare investment market including small molecule and protein therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics and biotech tools, at stages from start-up to public company investing. He received a BA from Harvard College, an MD from Harvard Medical School, and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar and won the Loeb Fellowship in Finance. He is on the Board of Directors of Mako Surgical (MAKO), XenoPort (XNPT), SI Bone (SIBN), and Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals (TTPH). He is also on the board of several of our private companies, which include Advion BioSciences, Inc., Crescendo Bioscience, DiscoveRx Corporation, and SI Bone, Inc. He is a director of three mutual funds managed by Capital Research and Management: Fundamental Investors, the Growth Fund of America and the SMALLCAP World Fund. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Harvard Business School Healthcare Initiative, and is a member of the Therapeutics Advisory Council of Harvard Medical School. He was the co-author of The Official MBA Handbook, which spent 16 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list in 1982. He loves golf, tennis, and the New York Yankees.
Joseph M. Lobacki
CEO/COO, Crestovo LLC
Mr. Lobacki most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer of Finch Therapeutics Group and previously as the Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Council Member of Medivation, where he was responsible for the strategy and execution of commercial operations including Xtandi, a treatment for advanced prostate cancer. During Mr. Lobacki’s leadership as Chief Commercial Officer, Medivation saw year-over-year revenue growth for Xtandi. Previously, Mr. Lobacki was Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Micromet Inc., where he oversaw commercial activities including medical affairs and strategic marketing. Prior to joining Micromet, Mr. Lobacki was Senior Vice President and General Manager at Genzyme Corporation, where he managed the launch of Mozobil and Clolar/Evoltra in the US and EU. Mr. Lobacki holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Boston College and a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston.
Chair, Board of Directors
Connie brings over 16 years of general management experience in the biotechnology industry to her role as Board Chair. Connie’s career encompasses three different industries during periods of rapid growth and evolution: commercial banking, biotechnology and social innovation. While Connie was on the executive team at IDEC Pharmaceuticals, the company grew from a 100-person development stage enterprise to a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company with 1,000 employees. IDEC developed RituxanÒ, the first monoclonal antibody to receive FDA approval to treat cancer as well as ZevalinÒ, the first radioimmunotherapy for cancer approved by the FDA. Partnered with Genentech and Roche, worldwide sales of Rituxan are now over $7B annually. After a merger-of-equals with Biogen in 2004, Connie retired from Biogen Idec five years later. Prior to entering the biotech industry, Connie held various general management, marketing and human resources roles at Wells Fargo Bank. Connie has been a lifelong volunteer and nonprofit board member at the local, national and international level. She has been an agent for strategic change and a champion for catalytic philanthropy and impact investing in her roles on foundation and regional grant maker boards. Connie earned B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from Stanford University. She also serves on the Boards of Halozyme Therapeutics and Artelo Biosciences.
William J. Newell
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Newell has over 20 years of senior management experience in the biotechnology industry. He joined Sutro Biopharma as CEO in January 2009. Previously, he served as the President of Aerovance, Inc., a venture-backed company developing clinical assets for respiratory diseases. Mr. Newell also was Chief Business Officer and Senior Vice President at publicly-traded QLT, Inc. and served in several senior management positions at public-traded Axys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. For the 16 years prior to joining Axys, Mr. Newell practiced corporate law in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is presently a member of the Board at SutroVax Inc. Mr. Newell is also a Board member on BIO’s Emerging Companies Section and President of the Board and a member of the Executive Committee of the California Life Sciences Association.
James Panek has more than 40 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. He joined VaxGen in 2002 as Senior Vice President of Technical Operations, and was appointed its chief executive officer in 2007. During his tenure at VaxGen, Panek served as Co-CEO and Chairman of its highly successful international joint venture, Celltrion, Inc., the first large scale, commercial contract manufacturing and development company in Asia. As VaxGen CEO and Principal Financial Officer, Panek restructured the company, defined strategic alternatives, and working with the board, lead M & A activities ultimately culminating in the merger with diaDexus in July 2010. Prior to joining VaxGen, Panek was Senior Vice President of Product Operations at Genentech and a member of its Executive Committee. In this position, Panek was responsible for all process development, manufacturing and quality functions. He also led the development of one of world’s largest manufacturing facilities enabling FDA approval and launch of multiple recombinant products including Rituxan® and Herceptin®. Prior to joining Genentech, Panek spent six years with Eli Lilly in a variety of engineering and development positions. Panek holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and has served on several Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards including VaxGen, Inc., DiaDexus, Inc., Celltrion, Inc. and Geneworks.
Daniel H. Petree
Founder/Member, Four Oaks Consulting, LLC
Mr. Petree is a founder and member of Four Oaks Partners Consulting, LLC of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, a boutique investment bank specializing in life sciences companies. Mr. Petree is the former President and Chief Operating Officer of Axys Pharmaceuticals, a structure-based drug design company based in South San Francisco. He also held successive positions at Axys (and its predecessor, Arris Pharmaceuticals) as Executive Vice President of Business Development and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to Axys, Mr. Petree was Vice President of Business Development at TSI Corporation, a clinical research organization in Worcester, MA, with an M&A-roll up driven strategy. Mr. Petree’s operating management experience was preceded by five years in investment banking at Montgomery Securities. Mr. Petree’s career began in the practice of law. He was a corporate and securities lawyer with Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe in Palo Alto, CA.
Ms. Sharp joined Ultragenyx in May 2012 as Chief Financial Officer. She is responsible for leading the corporate finance, strategy, and information technology functions and is a member of the company’s executive leadership team. Ms. Sharp has over twenty years of experience in the life sciences industry.
Ms. Sharp is a member of the Board of Directors of Array Biopharma, a publicly traded biotechnology firm focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of targeted small molecule drugs to treat patients afflicted with cancer. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the TB Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and distribution of treatments for tuberculosis in the developing world.
Prior to Ultragenyx, Ms. Sharp was Chief Financial Officer of Agenus Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company focused on cancer immunotherapies from 2006 to 2012 and served on the Board of Agenus from 2012 to 2018. She joined Agenus in 2003 and held increasing roles of responsibility spanning strategic planning, corporate development, investor relations, corporate finance and business development. Prior to Agenus, Ms. Sharp held similar roles at Elan Pharmaceuticals from 1998 to 2003, including serving as chief of staff to the Chairman of the Board of Directors during that company’s restructuring. Ms. Sharp was also a management consultant at McKinsey & Company as well as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, specializing in pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
Ms. Sharp holds both a B.A., magna cum laude, and M.B.A., from Harvard University.