Board of Directors
Jay Shepard - Executive Chairman of the Board
Executive Partner, Sofinnova Ventures
Jay Shepard currently serves as an Executive Partner at Sofinnova Ventures. He has over 30 years experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and drug delivery arenas. Jay was President and CEO of NextWave Pharmaceutical, a pediatric-focused therapeutics company. NextWave was acquired in late 2012 by Pfizer. From 2008-2010 he was an Executive in Residence at Sofinnova Ventures. Prior to that, Jay was President and CEO of Ilypsa, a nephrology therapeutics company acquired by Amgen. He then helped with the Ilypsa spin-out company, Relypsa, serving as interim President and CEO. Before Ilypsa, Jay served as Vice President, Commercial Operations at Telik. He was also Vice President in the Commercial Operations group at Alza Pharmaceuticals, having held leadership roles of increasing responsibility in its establishment, operation and commercial presence. Alza was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in late 2001. Jay is currently a board member of Bullet Biotechnologies, Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Durect Corporation and the Santa Clara University Entrepreneurial School. Jay holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Arizona.
Jeffrey L. Cleland, PhD
Chief Executive Officer, Versartis
Jeff Cleland has 20 years of industry experience in research and development, including more than a decade at Genentech, Inc. He held executive management positions at BaroFold, Novacea, and Targesome, and has managed directly all aspects of pharmaceutical development and late-stage research. His experience in start-ups includes major roles in obtaining more than $70M of Series A through C venture capital as well as an exit via IPO. Jeff also runs his own pharmaceutical and biotechnology consulting group for numerous start-ups and venture firms. While at Genentech, Jeff served in product development and manufacturing roles. He held important leadership roles in the successful approval of two drugs, Herceptin® and Nutropin Depot®, as well as early work on Lucentis®, Avastin®, and Omnitarg®. He holds a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Davis and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jeff has authored more than 100 articles and four books, and holds several issued patents.
Srinivas Akkaraju, MD, PhD
Srini Akkaraju has more than 16 years of investment and operational experience in the life sciences sector. He joined Sofinnova in 2013 as a General Partner and concentrates on biopharmaceuticals investments. Srini’s board memberships have included Piramed (acquired by Roche), Eyetech Pharmaceuticals (EYET), Synageva BioPharma (GEVA), Seattle Genetics (SGEN) and Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT). Most recently, Srini was a Managing Director at New Leaf Venture Partners. Previously, he was a co-founder and Managing Director at Panorama Capital. Before forming Panorama, he served as Partner of J.P. Morgan Partners. Prior to J.P. Morgan Partners, Srini held business and corporate development positions at Genentech. He received BA degrees in both Biochemistry and Computer Science from Rice University and MD and PhD degrees in Immunology from Stanford University School of Medicine.
General Partner, Sofinnova Ventures
Francesco De Rubertis, PhD, CFA
Francesco is a Partner and co-founder of the firm's life sciences practice. He joined Index in 1998 and has overseen all of the life sciences investments for the firm. Present and past Index portfolio companies include: Genmab A/S (Coph: GEN.CO), CellZome Inc. (sold to GlaxoSmithKline), Molecular Partners A/G, Aegerion Inc. (AEGR), Addex Pharmaceuticals SA (Swx: ADXN), PanGenetics B/V (sold to Abbott Pharmaceuticals), Micromet Inc. (sold to Amgen), Bioxell SpA (sold to Cosmo Pharmaceuticals) and Parallele Inc. (sold to Affymetrix). Francesco has served on most of these companies’ boards. Prior to joining Index, Francesco was involved in post-doctoral research in genetics at the Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is also the author of several publications in international scientific journals. Francesco has a BA in Genetics and Microbiology from the University of Pavia and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Geneva. He is a CFA charter holder, and is a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the University of Geneva.
Partner, Index Ventures
Mike Dybbs, PhD
Principal, New Leaf Venture Partners
Mike Dybbs joined New Leaf Venture Partners in 2009 and became a Principal in 2012. Prior to joining New Leaf, Mike was a Principal at the Boston Consulting Group where he was a core member of their Health Care practice. At BCG, Mike lead projects in the biopharmaceutical industry across a range of functions and therapeutic areas. He also worked as an independent biotechnology consultant, performing such projects as identifying assets at both universities and medical centers, as well as evaluating spin-outs of discovery stage research programs. Mike graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with an AB in Biochemical Sciences and received his PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics from UC Berkeley, where he was awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellowship. His research had been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Neuron, Science and Nature.
Ed Jennings, a biotechnology industry consultant, had a key leadership role in Genentech's commercialization of the first recombinant human growth hormone. During his 15 years at Genentech he also held a number of senior-level positions including Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Corporate Development. Most recently, Ed served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Angiogenix, Inc., directing all scientific and business activities at the cardiovascular biotechnology startup company. Previously, he was the Chief Commercialization Officer at Pain Therapeutics, where he was responsible for the company's business development, marketing and sales functions, as well as leading the development of the company's commercialization strategy. Ed began his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Bristol Myers, where he managed sales and marketing functions for more than a decade.
General Partner, Advent Ventures
Shahzad Malik joined Advent in 1999. He came with a strong grounding in science and clinical medicine. Prior to joining Advent he spent six years practising medicine, before joining the London office of management consultants McKinsey & Company. Here he served international clients in the Healthcare and Investment Banking sectors. During his time with Advent he has been actively involved with numerous investments in Europe and the United States in the biopharmaceutical and medical device arenas. Shahzad gained an MA from Oxford University, and a MD from Cambridge University. He subsequently specialised in interventional cardiology, whilst also pursuing research interests in heart muscle disorders both in the clinic and basic science laboratory.
Anthony Sun, MD
Dr. Sun joined Fund I in 2002 and currently serves as a Partner. Previously, Dr. Sun was an Adjunct Instructor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Sun received his M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine with A.O.A. honors. He received his M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University. In addition, he is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.
Partner, Aisling Capital
John Varian was appointed Chief Executive Officer of XOMA Corporation in January 2012 after serving as Interim CEO for five months. Previously he was Chief Operating Officer of ARYx Therapeutics and also served as its Chief Financial Officer. As Chief Financial Officer of Genset S.A., John was a key member of the team negotiating the company's sale to Serono S.A. Prior to Genset, he was Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration of Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., joining the company as part of its acquisition of Neurex Corporation. Prior to the acquisition, John was Neurex Corporation's Chief Financial Officer. Earlier, John was the VP Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Anergen Inc. and an Audit Principal/Senior Manager at Ernst & Young, where he focused on life sciences. He is a founding member of the Bay Area Bioscience Center and a former chairman of the Association of Bioscience Financial Officers International Conference. He has been a member of the XOMA Board of Directions since 2008. John received a BBA degree from Western Michigan University.
Chief Executive Officer, XOMA Corporation