John Kozarich, Ph.D.
John W. Kozarich, Ph.D., has served as a member of our board since March 2003. Since November 2019, Dr. Kozarich has served as interim Chief Executive Officer of Curza Global, LLC, a biopharmaceutical company, where he has served as a member of the board of directors since February 2019. Dr. Kozarich also serves as Distinguished Scientist Emeritus of ActivX Biosciences, Inc., and previously served as ActivX’s Chairman and President from 2004 through March 2017. From 1992 to 2001, Dr. Kozarich was vice president at Merck Research Laboratories and previously held professorships at the University of Maryland and Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Kozarich is also an adjunct professor of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Texas, Austin and serves on the board of Intec Pharma Ltd., a publicly-traded biotechnology company. Previously, Dr. Kozarich served as a director of ActivX Biosciences Inc., Corium Intl, Novelion Therapeutics and Retrophin, Inc. He is also a recipient of the Distinguished Scientist Award from the San Diego Section of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Kozarich earned his B.S. in chemistry, summa cum laude, from Boston College, his Ph.D. in biological chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard.
Jason M. Aryeh has served as a member of our board of directors since September 2006. Mr. Aryeh has more than twenty years of equity investment experience focused on the life sciences industry. He is the Founder and Managing General Partner of JALAA Equities, LP, a private investment fund focused on the biotechnology and medical device sectors. He has served in such capacity since 1997. Mr. Aryeh currently serves on the board of directors of Anebulo Pharmaceuticals, a publicly-traded biotechnology company as well as on the boards of directors of Orchestra BioMed, and Cytovia Therapeutics, privately-held life sciences companies. Since 2006, Mr. Aryeh has served as chairman of the board, on the board of directors or as a consultant to many other public and private life sciences companies and charitable foundations, including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Therapeutics board. Mr. Aryeh also serves as chairman of the board of directors of Rio Grande Solar and Rio Grande Renewables, LLC, a renewable energy company he co-founded in 2009 which serves the Americas. Mr. Aryeh earned a B.A. in economics, with honors, from Colgate University, and is a member of the Omnicron Delta Epsilon Honor Society in economics.
Sarah Boyce has served as a member of our board of director since October 2019. Since October 2019, Ms. Boyce has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Avidity Biosciences, Inc., a publicly-traded biotechnology company. Prior to joining Avidity, she served as a Director and President of Akcea Therapeutics, a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company focused on serious and rare diseases, from April 2018 through September 2019. Ms. Boyce served as Chief Business Officer at Ionis Pharmaceuticals from January 2015 to April 2018, where she was responsible for business development, alliance management, patient advocacy and investor relations. Prior to Ionis, she served as Vice President, Head of International Business Strategy and Operations at Forest Laboratories, Inc. Ms. Boyce held various positions with Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., Novartis Group AG, Bayer AG and F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG. Ms. Boyce also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Berkeley Lights Inc., a publicly-held biopharmaceutical company. Ms. Boyce received a B.S. degree in microbiology from the University of Manchester, England.
Jennifer Cochran, Ph.D.
Dr. Cochran is the Shriram Chair of the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University, where she also is a professor of bioengineering and (by courtesy) of chemical engineering and a member of the cancer biology, biophysics and immunology programs.
Dr. Cochran has been with Stanford since 2005, with a leave of absence from 2015 to 2017 to focus on entrepreneurial pursuits. From 2015 to 2020 she served as Chief Scientist of Lagunita Biosciences, a healthcare investment company and incubator, and was co-founder and Director of xCella Biosciences, where she also served as President from 2015 to 2017. In 2020 she co-founded Red Tree Venture Capital, a life sciences investment fund where she serves as Chief Scientific Advisor.
Dr. Cochran has published nearly 100 research papers in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals and is named inventor on more than 50 issued and pending patents. A number of molecules invented by Dr. Cochran and her collaborative teams have been licensed for development, including AVB-500, which is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials for ovarian cancer, and an engineered growth factor being developed for wound healing and cosmetic applications. Her team at xCella developed xPloration, a high-throughput screening platform that enables massively parallel, quantitative biochemical measurements to be performed on millions of B cell-producing antibodies, which was acquired by Ligand in December 2020. Dr. Cochran has founded multiple companies in the fields of oncology and regenerative medicine and has held various roles in these and other organizations, including serving on the board of six companies.
Dr. Cochran received a Ph.D. in biological chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of biological engineering. She holds a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Delaware. She has been recognized with numerous awards including the NIH/National Cancer Institute Howard Temin Award and was inducted as a fellow to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).
Todd C. Davis has served as a member of our board of director since March 2007. He is the Founder and Managing Partner of RoyaltyRx Capital, a special opportunities investment firm founded in 2018. From 2006 until 2018, Mr. Davis was a Founder & Managing Partner of Cowen/HealthCare Royalty Partners, a global healthcare investment firm. He has almost thirty years of experience in both operations and investing in the biopharmaceutical and life science industries. Mr. Davis has been involved in over $3 billion in healthcare financings including growth equity, public equity turnarounds, structured debt and royalty acquisitions. He has also led, structured and closed over 40 additional intellectual property licenses, as well as hybrid royalty-debt deals. Previously, Mr. Davis was a partner at Paul Capital Partners, where he co-managed that firm’s royalty investments as a member of the Royalty Management Committee. He also served as a partner responsible for biopharmaceutical growth equity investments at Apax Partners. Mr. Davis began his business career in sales at Abbott Laboratories where he held several commercial roles of increasing responsibility. He subsequently held general management, business development, and licensing roles at Elan Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Davis is a navy veteran and holds a B.S. from the U.S. Naval Academy and an M.B.A. from Harvard University. He currently serves on the board of Palvella Therapeutics Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company, BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc., a publicly-traded specialty pharmaceutical company, and Vaxart, Inc., a publicly-traded specialty pharmaceutical company. He is also a board member of the Harvard Business School Healthcare Alumni Association.
Nancy Gray, Ph.D.
Nancy R. Gray, Ph.D., has served as a member of our board of directors since of August 2017. Dr. Gray has acted as the President and CEO of Gordon Research Conferences (GRC), a non-profit organization focused on organizing international scientific conferences, since 2003. In her capacity as CEO of the GRC, she is dedicated to social equality initiatives such as managing a diversity initiative that supports the attendance of over 250 U.S. underrepresented minority scientists at GRC each year and working with HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) to recruit minority undergraduate students for summer internships at GRC. From December 1997 until August 2003 she served as the Director of Membership for the American Chemical Society. Prior to that, Dr. Gray worked as a Senior Research Scientist at Exxon/Mobil Research and Engineering, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation focused on researching oil and gas. Dr. Gray is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Chemical Society. She was a Research Fellow at the Foundation on Matter Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics in Amsterdam, and completed the Harvard Executive Education Finance for Senior Executives program. She also has authored or co-authored numerous scientific articles. Dr. Gray received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame in 1981 and her Ph.D. in Fuel Science from The Pennsylvania State University in 1985.
Chief Executive Officer
John L. Higgins is our Chief Executive Officer, a position he has held since January 2007 and he has been a member of our board of directors since March 2007. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Higgins served as Chief Financial Officer at Connetics Corporation, a specialty pharmaceutical company, since 1997, and also served as Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration and Corporate Development at Connetics until its acquisition by Stiefel Laboratories, Inc. in December 2006. Before joining Connetics, he was a member of the executive management team at BioCryst Pharmaceuticals. Prior to BioCryst, Mr. Higgins was a member of the healthcare banking team of Dillon, Read & Co. Inc., an investment banking firm. Mr. Higgins serves on the board, audit committee and nominations & governance committee of Bio-Techne Corporation, a publicly-traded life sciences services. Mr. Higgins has served as a director on numerous public and private companies. He also serves as the chairperson of the board of trustees of Academy of Whole Learning, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational and therapy services to children of underrepresented communities. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Colgate University with an A.B. in economics.
John LaMattina, Ph.D.
John L. LaMattina, Ph.D., has served as a member of our board since February 2011. He spent 30 years at Pfizer Inc. with his last position starting in 2004 as President, Pfizer Global R&D. Dr. LaMattina began his career at Pfizer as a medicinal chemist in 1977. During his career, he was appointed to various positions of increasing responsibility for Pfizer Central Research, including Vice President of U.S. Discovery Operations in 1993, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Discovery Operations in 1998, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Development in 1999. Dr. LaMattina graduated with cum laude honors from Boston College with a B.S. in Chemistry. He received a Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire in Organic Chemistry and subsequently was at Princeton University in the National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship program. Dr. LaMattina is currently a senior advisor and board member at PureTech Health and serves on the boards of directors of Immunome, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, and several privately-held biopharmaceutical companies. From 2013 until May 2020, Dr. LaMattina served on the board of directors of Zafgen, Inc., a publicly-traded biotechnology company, until its acquisition by Chondrial Therapeutics, Inc. and subsequent name change to Larimar Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. LaMattina also serves on the scientific advisory board of Frequency Therapeutics, a publicly-trade biotechnology company. Dr. LaMattina is a contributing writer to Forbes magazine.
Sunil Patel has served as a member of our board of directors since October 2010. He has more than 20 years of senior management and R&D experience in the biotechnology industry. Mr. Patel has worked as an independent consultant to biotechnology companies advising on strategy and corporate development initiatives since March 2018. From 2009 to March 2018, Mr. Patel served in executive roles of increasing responsibility at OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, a publicly-traded biotechnology company, most recently as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Patel has held senior management positions in corporate development, marketing, and strategy with BiPar Sciences, Allos Therapeutics, Connetics, Abgenix and Gilead Sciences. Mr. Patel also worked at McKinsey & Company serving biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients and has held scientific research positions at ZymoGenetics and ProCyte. Mr. Patel received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, and master’s degree in Molecular Bioengineering/Biotechnology at the University of Washington.
Stephen Sabba, MD
Stephen L. Sabba, M.D., has served as a member of our board of directors since August 2008. Dr. Sabba has been a leading Bio/Pharma Analyst and Fund Manager for Knott Partners, L.P., an investment fund company, since November 2006. Previously he was a Partner and Director of Research with Kilkenny Capital Management, a Chicago-based Health Care hedge fund. Prior to that, Dr. Sabba was Director of Research at Sturza’s Medical Research, and previously was a gastroenterologist and internist in private practice at Phelps Hospital in North Tarrytown, New York. He received his M.D. from the New York University School of Medicine, and completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in gastroenterology at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in New York City. He earned a B.S. with honors at Cornell University. Dr. Sabba served as a member of the board of the directors for Novelion Therapeutics Inc., a leading Canadian biotech company from June 2012 to January 2020.