Eckard Weber, M.D. is a co-founder of Ocera and has served as a member of its board of directors since our inception in December 2004, and as the chairman of our board of directors since March 2005. Dr. Weber has served as a partner with Domain Associates, LLC, a private venture capital management firm focused on life sciences, since 2001. Dr. Weber has over 20 years of drug discovery and development experience. Dr. Weber also served as interim Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Sonexa Therapeutics, a seed-stage biopharmaceutical company from 2007 until June 2014. Dr. Weber also serves as chairman of the board at Orexigen Therapeutics and Tragara Pharmaceuticals, and is a member of the board of directors of Adynxx, Domain Elite Holdings and Tobira Therapeutics. He has been the founding Chief Executive Officer of multiple Domain Associates portfolio companies including Acea Pharmaceuticals, Ascenta Therapeutics, Calixa Therapeutics, Cytovia and Novacardia. Dr. Weber also served as chairman or member of the board of directors of a number of companies until their sale including Peninsula Pharmaceuticals (sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2005), Cerexa (sold to Forest Laboratories in 2007) and Calixa Therapeutics (sold to Cubist Therapeutics, Inc. in 2009). He also served as a member of the board of directors of Conforma Therapeutics (sold to Biogen-IDEC in 2006) and Cabrellis Pharmaceuticals (sold to Pharmion in 2006). Until 1995, he was a tenured Professor of Pharmacology at the University of California, Irvine. He is the inventor or co-inventor of numerous patents and patent applications, and he has published more than 130 papers in scientific periodicals. Dr. Weber received his German undergraduate degree from Kolping Kolleg in Germany and an M.D. from the University of Ulm Medical School in Germany. He received his postdoctoral training in neuroscience at Stanford University Medical School.
Jean-Paul Castaigne, M.D. has served as a director of Ocera (formerly Tranzyme) since June 2004. Dr. Castaigne is President and CEO of Angiochem Inc., or Angiochem, a position he has held since September 2006. Angiochem leverages its EPiC platform technology to create drugs that cross the blood brain barrier to treat brain diseases. In this capacity, he has advanced multiple clinical and preclinical drug candidates and leads the company's financing and partnering activities. Prior to joining Angiochem, he was COO and CSO of Conjuchem Inc. (TSX: CJB), or Conjuchem, a Montreal-based drug delivery company. Prior to joining Conjuchem in 2000, he was Vice President, World Wide Head of Global R&D at Groupe Fournier SA in France. Before that, he was with Novartis for over 10 years in a variety of international positions, including President and Managing Director for Sandoz Philippines and Director of Medical and R&D for Sandoz in France and as Corporate Vice-President, R&D, Medical and Regulatory in Canada, where he oversaw significant growth in the R & D operation. Earlier in his career, Dr. Castaigne worked for Cilag France (Johnson & Johnson) and Sanofi-Aventis in clinical and regulatory management. He received his M.D. from Paris University in 1975, held the position of Associate Professor of Oncology, Pneumology there in 1978, and received his advanced diploma in Management and Business Administration in 1987 from HEC Paris.
Lars G. Ekman, M.D., Ph.D., has served as a director of Ocera since January 2009. Dr. Ekman has been employed at Sofinnova Ventures for five years and currently serves as an Executive Partner. With more than 28-years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Ekman served as Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cebix Inc., from 2008 to 2010 and prior to that he was Executive Vice President and President of Global Research and Development of Elan Corporation plc from January 2001 to December 2007. Prior to joining Elan, he was Executive Vice President, Research and Development at Schwarz Pharma AG from February 1997 to December 2000, and was previously employed in a variety of senior scientific and clinical functions at Pharmacia, now Pfizer. Dr. Ekman serves as the Lead Independent Director of the board of InterMune and of Amarin Corporation, the Executive Chairman of Sophiris Bio Inc. (formerly Protox Therapeutics) and the Chairman of Prothena Biosciences, each of which entities is publicly traded. Additionally, he is a member of the board of Cebix Inc. Dr. Ekman is a board certified surgeon with a Ph.D. in experimental biology and has held several clinical and academic positions in the United States and Europe. He obtained his Ph.D. and M.D. from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Dr. Grais has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. since January 2008 and as President and Chief Executive Officer of Ocera Therapeutics, Inc. since June 2012. Prior to her employment by Ocera, Dr. Grais served as a Managing Member at InterWest Partners, a venture capital firm from May 2005 until February 2011. From July 1998 to July 2003, Dr. Grais was a founder and executive vice president of SGX Pharmaceuticals Inc., a drug discovery company focusing on new treatments for cancer. Prior to that, she was a corporate attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where she practiced in such areas as venture financings, public offerings and strategic partnerships. Before practicing law, Dr. Grais worked as an assistant clinical professor of Internal Medicine and Critical Care at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Grais received a B.A. from Yale University, magna cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa, an M.D. from Yale Medical School and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Arca Biopharma, Inc.
Nina Kjellson has served on Ocera’s board of directors since June 2011. Ms. Kjellson is a managing director at InterWest Partners, a venture capital firm, where she has been employed since 2002. From June 2000 to June 2002, she served as an investment manager at Bay City Capital, a life sciences merchant bank, and from October 1999 to June 2000, as a research associate at Oracle Partners, a healthcare-focused hedge fund. From August 1997 to September 1999, Ms. Kjellson conducted health policy and survey research with the Kaiser Family Foundation, a private foundation focusing on healthcare issues. She holds a B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University. Ms. Kjellson currently serves on the board of directors of Trius Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly held company.
Michael Powell, Ph.D., has served on Ocera’s board of directors since June 2006. Dr. Powell has been a managing general partner of Sofinnova Ventures, a venture capital firm, since 1997. From 1990 to 1997, Dr. Powell served as group leader of drug delivery at Genentech, Inc. From 1987 to 1990, he was the director of product development for Cytel Corporation, a biotechnology firm. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Kansas. Dr. Powell is currently the board president of AVAC (AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition) and a past strategic advisor to OneWorld Health and to the IAVI (International AIDS Vaccine Initiative) Innovation Fund. Within the past five years, Dr. Powell served on the board of directors of each of Trius Therapeutics, Inc. and Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., each of which is a publicly held company, and currently serves on the board of directors of several private companies, including Ascenta Therapeutics, Labrys Biologics, and Mirna Therapeutics. Dr. Powell holds a B.S. in chemistry and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Toronto, and completed his post-doctorate work in bio-organic chemistry at the University of California.
Franck S. Rousseau, M.D., has served as a director of the board and the Chief Medical and Development Officer of Ocera since July 2013. He joined Ocera (formerly Tranzyme) as Chief Medical Officer in October 2011. From 2003 to 2010, he worked at Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) where he had most recently served as Therapeutic Area Head, Hepatic Diseases, and initially as Vice President, Clinical Development. During this time, when he also was head of Gilead’s Durham, North Carolina facility, Dr. Rousseau oversaw the clinical development for several drugs which ultimately received global marketing approval. From 1997 to 2002, Dr. Rousseau was Chief Medical Officer of Triangle Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Gilead in 2003. He began his pharmaceutical industry career in 1993 at Wellcome Lab, followed by two years with Glaxo Wellcome (NYSE: GSK) from 1995-1997 serving as Medical Advisor. Dr. Rousseau holds a Doctorate of Medicine and a Degree of Epidemiology and Nosocomial Infections from the University of Paris 7, Paris, France. He also holds a Degree of Statistics from the University of Paris 6, Paris, France.
Anne M. VanLent has served as a director of Ocera (formerly Tranzyme) since March 2011. Ms. VanLent is currently the President of AMV Advisors, an advisory firm which she founded in 2008 to provide corporate strategy and financial consulting services to emerging growth life sciences companies. From May 2002 through April 2008, Ms. VanLent was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Barrier Therapeutics, Inc., a company that developed and marketed prescription dermatology products that was publicly-traded before being acquired by Stiefel Laboratories in August 2008. From July 1997 to October 2001, she was the Executive Vice President - Portfolio Management for Sarnoff Corporation, a multidisciplinary research and development firm. From 1985 to 1993, she served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Liposome Company, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company. In April and May 2013, respectively, Ms. VanLent was appointed to serve as a director of and chair of the audit committee of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Biota Pharmaceuticals, Inc., both NASDAQ listed companies. She served as a director of Integra Life Sciences Holding Corporation (NasdaqGS: IART) from 1997 to May 2013 and chaired its audit committee from 2006 until 2012. She also served as a director and chair of the audit committee of Penwest Pharmaceuticals, a NASDAQ-listed company from 1998 through its sale to Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in the fall of 2010. Ms. VanLent received a B.A. degree in Physics from Mount Holyoke College.
Dr. Wierenga has served on the boards of directors of five biotech companies including Onyx Pharmaceuticals, and currently, Cytokinetics and XenoPort, and has been a member of the scientific advisory board of seven biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Most recently, Dr. Wierenga was executive vice president, research and development at Santarus, Inc. Previously Dr. Wierenga held leadership positions at Ambit Biosciences Corporation, Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., and Syrrx, Inc. as well as with Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert (now Pfizer) where he held positions including senior vice president, worldwide pharmaceutical sciences, technologies and development. Dr. Wierenga has led or participated in the research and development of more than 70 INDs, over 15 NDAs and 16 marketed products, including Lipitor, Neurontin, Lyrica, and Uceris. Dr. Wierenga earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University.