Board of Directors
Harold E. Selick, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board
Chief Executive Officer, Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Harold E. Selick, Ph.D. served as a member of the board of directors of Old Catalyst from 2003 until the completion of the Targacept merger in August 2015, and as Chairman of the Old Catalyst board of directors from 2006 until the completion of the Targacept merger. Following the Targacept merger, Dr. Selick was appointed our Chairman of the Board and a Class III director. Dr. Selick also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Threshold Pharmaceuticals since joining in June 2002. From June 2002 to July 2007, he was a Venture Partner of Sofinnova Ventures, Inc., a venture capital firm. From January 1999 to April 2002, Dr. Selick was Chief Executive Officer of Camitro Corporation, a biotechnology company located in Menlo Park, CA, as well as founder and Chairman of Camitro UK, Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Camitro Corporation located in Cambridge, UK. Prior to Camitro, Dr. Selick was at Affymax Research Institute, most recently as Vice President of Research, where he directed activities in combinatorial chemistry-based drug discovery and technology development. Dr. Selick was a successful bench scientist and one of the earliest employees of Protein Design Labs, where he co-invented the technology underlying the creation of fully humanized antibody therapeutics and applied that technology to PDL’s first product, Zenapax, which was developed and commercialized by Roche for the prevention of kidney transplant rejection. He has been a director of PDL Biopharma, Inc. since 2009, most recently as Lead Director. He also currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc. and is a director of Amunix, both privately-held biotechnology companies. He was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund Fellow and an American Cancer Society Senior Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Selick received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Selick’s qualifications to sit on the Board include his years of leadership in the biotechnology industry, his considerable studies in the field, and his continued service leading the boards of directors of both private and public companies.
Errol B. De Souza, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Biodel, Inc.
Errol B. De Souza, Ph.D. served as a member of the board of directors of Targacept from January 2004 until the completion of the merger in August 2015. Since the completion of the merger, Dr. De Souza has served on our Board as a Class III director. From March 2010 until January 2016, Dr. De Souza served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Biodel Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company. From April 2009 to March 2010, Dr. De Souza was a pharmaceutical and biotechnology consultant. From April 2003 to March 2009, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Archemix Corporation, a privately held biopharmaceutical company. Dr. De Souza currently serves as a member of the board of directors of each of the publicly traded companies Biodel Inc. and Bionomics Ltd. Within the past five years, he served on the board of directors of each of the publicly- traded companies IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. and Palatin Technologies, Inc. Dr. De Souza brings to the Board substantial experience as an executive in the pharmaceutical industry, having served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corp. until its sale to H. Lundbeck A/S, in addition to Biodel and Archemix. Over Dr. De Souza’s career, he has also served in a number of high-ranking research and development roles, including Senior Vice President and Head of Global Lead Generation for Hoechst Marion Roussel and Senior Vice President and U.S. head of drug innovation and approval following that company’s merger with Rhône-Poulenc to form Aventis (now Sanofi-Aventis) and Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc.
We believe that these experiences, together with his service as a director for other biopharmaceutical companies, will enable Dr. De Souza to contribute valuable insight to the Board regarding pharmaceutical portfolio development and management from both large company and emerging company perspectives.
Stephen A. Hill, M.D.
Chief Executive Officer, Faraday Pharmaceuticals
Stephen A. Hill, M.D. served as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Targacept from December 2012 until the completion of the merger in August 2015. Since the merger, Dr. Hill has continued to serve on our Board as a Class I director, and in August 2015 Dr. Hill joined Faraday Pharmaceuticals as Chief Executive Officer. From May 2012 to November 2012, Dr. Hill served as President and Chief Executive Officer of QUE Oncology, a start-up biotechnology company, and, from March 2011 to December 2011, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of 21st Century Biodefense, Inc., a biodefense company. From April 2008 until its acquisition in December 2010, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company. Prior to Solvay, he served as President, Chief Executive Officer and director of ArQule, Inc., a pharmaceutical company, from April 1999 to March 2008. Dr. Hill is a member of the board of directors of the publicly traded companies Cellectar Biosciences, Inc. (formerly Novelos Therapeutics, Inc.) and Lipocine, Inc. and the private company Faraday Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Hill brings to the Board extensive experience across a range of senior management positions with both pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Prior to Solvay and ArQule, Dr. Hill held several leadership positions with F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., including Global Head of Clinical Development, and served for seven years with the National Health Service in the United Kingdom in General and Orthopedic Surgery.
Dr. Hill’s prior service as Targacept’s Chief Executive Officer, together with his breadth of experience with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, make him uniquely suited to serve on the Board.
Jeff Himawan, Ph.D.
Managing Director, Essex Woodlands Health Ventures
Jeff Himawan, Ph.D. served as a member of the board of directors of Old Catalyst from December 2008 until the completion of the Targacept merger in August 2015. Since the Targacept merger, Dr. Himawan has served as a member of the Board as a Class II director. Dr. Himawan is a Managing Director at Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, a healthcare focused venture capital firm, where he previously served as a Partner from 2001 to 2004 and as an Adjunct Partner from 1999 to 2001. He has over 20 years of experience as a scientist, entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Dr. Himawan was a co-founder and Managing Director of Seed-One Ventures, LLC, a venture capital firm that specializes in the initial formation, financing and early operational development of technology-based companies, from 1996 to 2001. From 1983 to 1996, Dr. Himawan was a scientist in academic and industrial settings. He is the named inventor in several issued patents in the fields of wireless communication, biotechnology and protein chemistry. He currently serves as a director of MediciNova and Horizon Pharma, two publicly traded companies, as well as Light Sciences Oncology. He has previously served as a director of Iomai, a publicly traded company, as well as Complete Genomics, OMT Therapeutics, Ception Therapeutics and Symphogen. Dr. Himawan received his B.S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.
We believe Dr. Himawan’s extensive experience in the biotechnology industry, considerable service on both public and private boards of directors, and background in corporate finance and raising capital will enable him to contribute important strategic insight to the Board.
Managing Director, HealthCare Ventures LLC
Augustine Lawlor served as a member of the board of directors of Old Catalyst from February 2006 until the completion of the Targacept merger in August 2015. Since the Targacept merger, Mr. Lawlor has served on our Board as a Class I director. He has been a Managing Director of HealthCare Ventures since 2000. From 1997 to 2000, he served as Chief Operating Officer of LeukoSite, Inc., a HealthCare Ventures III, IV and V company. Prior to joining LeukoSite, Mr. Lawlor was Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Corporate Development for Alpha-Beta Technology. He has held similar positions at both BioSurface Technology and Armstrong Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Lawlor was previously a management consultant with KPMG. He is currently a director of Cardiovascular Systems, GlobeImmune, Promedior, Inc., Mosaic Biosciences, Inc., Tensha Therapeutics, Inc., HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cleveland HeartLab, LLC, GITR, Inc., Anexon, Inc. and the Slater Center for Biomedical.
John P. Richard
Operating Partner, Phase4 Partners
Co-Founder and Head of Corporate Development, Mereo BioPharma Ltd.
John P. Richard served as a member of the board of directors of Targacept from November 2002 until the completion of the merger in August 2015, and he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Targacept from January 2014 until the completion of the merger. Since the merger, Mr. Richard has served as a member of the Board as a Class II director. Mr. Richard is the co-founder and head of corporate development at Mereo BioPharma Group Ltd., and has served as a non-executive director for the life science investment firm Phase4 Partners since March 2011, and has previously served as an Operating Partner and Venture Partner at Phase4 Partners. From 2005 until 2015 he was also a Managing Director of Georgia Venture Partners, a seed venture capital firm that focuses on the biotechnology industry. In addition, Mr. Richard from time to time during at least the past five years has served as a consultant to Phase4 Partners (or its predecessor) and certain of its portfolio companies, and to portfolio companies of Georgia Venture Partners. Mr. Richard has been a director of the publicly-traded company Aviragen Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly Biota Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) since August 2013. Mr. Richard brings to the Board extensive business development experience, having led that function at three separate life science companies and played a primary role in establishing numerous pharmaceutical alliances.
In addition, we believe the breadth of Mr. Richard’s current roles will enable him to view issues that the combined company faces from a variety of perspectives, including as an executive, investor, director and business development professional.
Nassim Usman, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Catalyst Biosciences, Inc.
Nassim Usman, Ph.D. served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Old Catalyst from February 2006 until the completion of the Targacept merger in August 2015. Since the Targacept merger, Dr. Usman has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and as a Class III director. Dr. Usman joined Old Catalyst from Morgenthaler Ventures, where he is currently a Venture Partner. Prior to joining Morgenthaler in 2005, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Sirna Therapeutics Inc., which was subsequently acquired by Merck, from 2004 to 2005, and held various R&D positions at both Sirna and Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, including Vice President of R&D and Chief Science Officer, from 1992 to 2004. During his industrial career, Dr. Usman has overseen the entry of several drugs into clinical development, completed multiple licensing deals with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and raised capital in both private and public financings. Prior to moving into the private sector in 1992, Dr. Usman was an NIH Fogarty and NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow and Scientist in the Departments of Biology and Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1987 to 1992. He has authored more than 70 scientific articles and is the named inventor in 130 issued patents and patent applications. Dr. Usman serves on the boards of directors of Mosaic Biosciences and Principia Biopharma, is a past director of Osprey Pharmaceuticals, Archemix Corporation and Atugen AG (now Silence Therapeutics) and served on the scientific advisory boards of RXi Pharmaceuticals and Noxxon Pharma AG. He received his B.Sc. (Honours) and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from McGill University. In his doctoral dissertation, he developed a method for the solid- phase synthesis of RNA that is widely used in science and in a marketed RNA product (Macugen™).
Dr. Usman’s role as our President and Chief Executive Officer, his prior role as Old Catalyst’s Chief Executive Officer, his prior board service, and extensive experience and innovations in the field of biotechnology, particularly with companies engaged in clinical drug development, enable him to bring a unique perspective to the Board. In addition, Dr. Usman’s academic expertise and accomplishments provide the Board with in-depth product and field knowledge.