Leadership

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Leadership

Jay P. Shepard

President and Chief Executive Officer

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Jay has more than 33 years of experience across pharmaceutical, biotechnology and drug delivery companies, most recently as an Executive Partner at Sofinnova Ventures, a healthcare-focused venture capital firm, where he leveraged his industry expertise in support of the firm’s portfolio companies and served as Executive Chairman of the Versartis Board of Directors since early 2014. Previously, he was President and CEO of NextWave Pharmaceuticals, a pediatric-focused company acquired by Pfizer; President and CEO of Ilypsa, a nephrology company acquired by Amgen; and interim President and CEO of Relypsa (Ilypsa’s spin-out company). Jay has extensive commercial experience, helping lead over 17 product launches and establishing and coordinating multiple sales and marketing operations. He previously served as Vice President of Commercial Operations at Telik, where he oversaw all commercialization and market planning activities for the company’s oncology programs. Jay was one of the early commercial executives at Alza Pharmaceuticals, where he was Vice President in the Commercial Operations group, having held leadership roles of increasing responsibility in its establishment, operations and commercial presence. Alza was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in late 2001. He began his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Johnson & Johnson and Syntex Labs. Jay is a board member of Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation and the Santa Clara University Entrepreneurial School. Jay holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Arizona.

Kevin Haas

Vice President, Finance

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Kevin has more than 20 years of experience in the high tech and biotech industries combined, 15 years of which have most recently been in the biotech industry with both large commercial and small emerging companies.  He joined Versartis as a consultant in December 2013, became the Corporate Controller in January 2014 prior to the Company’s IPO and served in that capacity until December 2017.  Kevin joined Versartis from InterMune, Inc., where he spent 8 years.  Prior to its acquisition by Roche Holdings, Inc., he served in various financial management roles, including Director of Financial Reporting and most recently as Director of Financial Planning, where he was instrumental in building out the finance infrastructure in preparation for the European launch of Esbriet®.  Prior to his tenure at Intermune, Kevin spent three years at Gilead Sciences, Inc. through the approval and launch of Viread®.  He also spent eight years at Cisco Systems, Inc. in various capacities in finance, including a central role where he lead the financial integration of in excess of thirty acquisitions during a period of rapid growth. He began his career in public accounting with Grant Thornton, LLP.  Kevin holds a B.S. in Business Administration, emphasis Accounting, from Western State Colorado University, where he graduated cum laude and was an Academic All-American in the sport of basketball his senior year.

Paul Westberg

Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer

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Paul joined Versartis from Bayhill Therapeutics, where he was the Vice President of Business Development responsible for the company’s licensing activities and was a key contributor to its private equity fundraisings, IPO preparations and operational activities. Most notably, Paul led and closed a transformational $350M+ licensing deal with Genentech/Roche for Bayhill’s novel Phase 1/2 program in type 1 diabetes. Prior to Bayhill, Paul was the Vice President of Business Development at Novacea, where he was responsible for closing multiple transactions including the in-licensing of two clinical-stage oncology products. In addition, he was a key contributor to Novacea’s successful fundraising efforts, which resulted in approximately $100M from private equity financings and IPO. Previously, Paul held managerial positions at Deltagen, Collabra Pharma and Aviron, where he was responsible for establishing transactional, business development and financial planning operations, respectively. Earlier, Paul held positions of increasing responsibility at Genentech, including Manager, Project Finance and Manager, Financial Planning and Analysis. He began his career advising clients on product and company valuation, technology assessment and commercialization issues. Paul holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley and a BA in Applied Mathematics from the University of California, San Diego.

Tracy Woody

Chief Commercial Officer

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Tracy has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. She is recognized for building effective sales and marketing teams and developing strategies for product launch and commercial success, most notably with long-acting formulations. Most recently she served as the Chief Commercial Officer of KemPharm where she was responsible for building and managing the KemPharm commercial organization to support the company’s product pipeline. Prior to that, she held the role of Vice President, Sales & Marketing for NextWave Pharmaceuticals, where she worked on the commercial preparation of the first once-daily, extended-release liquid methylphenidate drug in the U.S. to treat ADHD, now being marketed as Quillivant XR CII by Pfizer following its acquisition of NextWave. Ms. Woody founded TMW Consulting, Inc., a provider of consulting services for emerging biotech and medical device companies. As a consultant, Ms. Woody served as acting CEO for one of the firm’s clients, RetroJect, Inc., a private ophthalmic medical device company focused on the treatment of glaucoma. Ms. Woody spent eight years at Greer Laboratories as part of the executive management team. Earlier in her career, Ms. Woody was Director of Marketing for ALZA Corporation, and Marketing Manager in Pfizer’s U.S. Pharmaceuticals Group, where she helped lead the launches of Concerta and Zoloft, respectively. Ms. Woody received a B.S. in Health Promotion and Applied Physiology from East Carolina University with a Minor in Business Administration.

Eric Humphriss

Vice President, Global Clinical Operations

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Eric has over 28 years of industry experience in drug development. His focus has been on the conduct of clinical trials with senior management roles in clinical operations at both start-up and large biotech companies. He has held leadership positions in clinical operations at ChemGenex, Genentech, Matrix and SEQUUS. Eric began his career in Clinical Operations at Syntex after six years in supervisory roles of basic animal research. He was responsible for the oversight of all clinical operations activities and management of a $70M operating budget for seven molecules during his five years at Genentech, including Nutropin AQ®, Nutropin Depot®, Raptiva®, Xolair®, Pulmozyme®, TNKase® and Activase®. He held leadership roles on NDA submissions and advisory panel defense teams and has been involved with multiple drug approvals including Xolair®, IntraDose and Synribo®. Eric has extensive experience managing Phase 1 through 4 clinical studies in endocrinology and oncology and has overseen multiple global studies in North America, Europe and Australasia. He holds a BA in Biology and Psychology from the University of California, San Diego and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Vinita P. Kumar

Vice President, Quality Assurance and Quality Control

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Vinita has 25 years of industry experience in pharmaceutical development at both start-up and large companies. Her experience encompasses working from early phase development to full-scale commercial production both in an in-house and out-sourced environment. She has worked with several contract service organizations and contract laboratories where she has ensured compliance with FDA and EMA standards. Prior to joining Versartis, Vinita most recently served as Vice President of Quality at Relypsa where she built and led the quality organization from early development phase through FDA approval and commercial phase. Her career began as a pre-formulation Scientist at Syntex, followed by 23 years working at Roche, Oread, Telik, Ilypsa (Amgen) and Relypsa. Vinita has provided leadership to the quality organization primarily in small molecule and polymeric drugs. She has hosted several Regulatory Authority Inspections and has been successful in obtaining positive outcomes. She has been involved in marketed drugs such as Naprosyn®, Cellcept®, Toradol® and Veltassa®.   Vinita is responsible for the overall quality operations and quality control, including quality management of all GxP Compliance, Validation, QC GMP, QC Clinical and QC Research. She holds two MS degrees: one in Physical Organic Chemistry from Southern Illinois University and another in Organic Chemistry from Patna University.