Robert E. Hoffman
Chairman of the Board
Robert E. Hoffman has served as a director since April 11, 2018 and as our Chairman since June 2, 2018. He has served as a member of Kura Oncology, Inc.’s Board of Directors since March 2015 and as a member of Aslan Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s Board of Directors since October 2018. Mr. Hoffman served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Heron Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly-held pharmaceutical company from April 2017 to October 2020. Prior to joining Heron Therapeutics, Inc., Mr. Hoffman served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Innovus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly-held pharmaceutical company, from September 2016 to April 2017. From July 2015 to September 2016, Mr. Hoffman served as Chief Financial Officer of AnaptysBio, Inc., a publicly-held biotechnology company. From June 2012 to July 2015, Mr. Hoffman served as the Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or Arena, a publicly-held biopharmaceutical company. From August 2011 to June 2012 and previously from December 2005 to March 2011, he served as Arena’s Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer and in a number of various roles of increasing responsibility from 1997 to December 2005. From March 2011 to August 2011, Mr. Hoffman served as Chief Financial Officer for Polaris Group, a biopharmaceutical drug company. Mr. Hoffman formerly served as a member of the Board of Directors of CombiMatrix Corporation, a molecular diagnostics company, and MabVax Therapeutics Holdings, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Hoffman serves as a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Small Business Advisory Committee and the steering committee of the Association of Bioscience Financial Officers. Mr. Hoffman formerly served as a director and President, of the San Diego Chapter of Financial Executives International. Mr. Hoffman holds a B.B.A. from St. Bonaventure University, and is licensed as a C.P.A. (inactive) in the State of California.
Laura Johnson has served as a director since June 26, 2020. Ms. Johnson currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Next Generation Clinical Research, a contract research organization that Ms. Johnson founded in 1999. Additionally, Ms. Johnson is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Eufaeria Biosciences, Inc., a development biotechnology company that she founded in 2016. Ms. Johnson is also a founder and former member of the board of directors of SB Bancorp, Inc., a financial holding company, and Settlers Bank, Inc., a Wisconsin chartered business bank. In addition, Ms. Johnson has served as a member of the board of directors of La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (Nasdaq: LJPC), a biopharmaceutical company, since 2013, Odonate Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ODT), a biopharmaceutical company, since 2018, Harmony Hill Farm Sanctuary since 2019 and Agrace HospiceCare from 2013 to 2016. In 2008 and 2010, she was honored as a biotechnology entrepreneur by the national organization, Women in Bio, and in 2008 received the Rising Star Award by the Wisconsin Biotech and Medical Device Association. Most recently, she was the recipient of the Wisconsin Biohealth Business Award at the BioForward Annual Biohealth Summit in October 2019. Ms. Johnson holds a nursing degree from The University of the State of New York-Albany.
Senior Vice President, Business Development, Director
John Liatos has been our Senior Vice President, Business Development and a Director since August 14, 2020. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and director of Adgero. Mr. Liatos has over 20 years of financial and operational experience in the private equity and venture capital industries. Since 2008, Mr. Liatos has served as Co-Founding Partner at Aceras BioMedical, LLC, an investment vehicle focused on forming and managing new companies to acquire and develop pre-commercial stage biomedical assets. While at Aceras BioMedical, LLC, Mr. Liatos was involved in the overall formation and business strategy of the Aceras BioMedical, LLC portfolio companies, including functioning as interim Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer through the first twelve to eighteen months of operations for such portfolio companies. From 2005 to 2008, Mr. Liatos served as Chief Financial Officer to Paramount Biosciences, LLC, a drug development and biotechnology investment firm. From 1997 to 2005, Mr. Liatos worked as a Senior Associate for Gefinor USA, Inc., a private equity firm. From 1995 to 1997, Mr. Liatos worked as a Senior Associate at RJR Nabisco, Inc. in Financial Reporting and Consolidations. From 1992 to 1995, Mr. Liatos served as an auditor for Richard A. Eisner & Company, LLP. Mr. Liatos earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the Citadel.
Keith Murphy has served as a director since August 14, 2020. He previously was a director of Adgero. Mr. Murphy is Chairman, CEO and a founder of Viscient Bio, Inc., a biotech therapeutics company at the forefront of 3D human tissue disease modeling. Since July 2020, Mr. Murphy has served as a director of Organovo Holdings, Inc. Mr. Murphy previously was a founder and Chairman Emeritus of and served as the President, Chief Executive Officer of Organovo Holdings, Inc. from July 2007 through April 2017 and served as the Chairman of the Board from July 2007 through August 2017. Mr. Murphy previously served at Alkermes, Inc., a biotechnology company, from July 1993 to July 1997, where he played a role on the development team for their first approved product, Nutropin (hGH) Depot. He moved to Amgen, Inc. from August 1997 through July 2007. At Amgen, he held roles of increasing responsibility including Global Operations Leader for the osteoporosis/bone cancer drug Prolia/Xgeva (denosumab), the development of which involved several indications across multiple global Phase 3 studies. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is an alumnus of the UCLA Anderson School of Management. He sits on the Board of the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA).
Robert J. Toth, Jr., M.B.A.
Robert J. Toth, Jr., MBA has served as a director since August 20, 2013. Since 2005, Mr. Toth has primarily been managing his personal investment portfolio. From 2004-2005, Mr. Toth served as a consulting analyst to Narragansett Asset Management, a New York-based healthcare-focused hedge fund, where he advised the firm on biotechnology investments. From 2001-2003, he was the Senior Portfolio Manager for San Francisco-based EGM Capital’s Medical Technology hedge fund, where he was responsible for managing and maintaining a dedicated medical technology portfolio. Mr. Toth began his Wall Street career in 1996 as an Equity Research Associate for Vector Securities International, a healthcare-focused brokerage firm. From 1997-1999 he served as Senior Biotechnology Analyst. He joined Prudential Securities as Senior Vice President and Biotechnology Analyst where he served from 1999-2001 following Prudential’s acquisition of Vector. His responsibilities included the analysis of commercial, clinical and scientific fundamentals of oncology and genomics-based biotechnology companies on behalf of institutional investors. Mr. Toth was named to the Wall Street Journal’s Allstar List for stock picking in 1999. Mr. Toth received an MBA from the University of Washington and Bachelor of Science degrees in Biological Sciences and Biochemistry from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Director
Saiid Zarrabian has served as our director since July 7, 2017, Chief Executive Officer since November 3, 2017, and President since January 1, 2018. Since October 2016, Mr. Zarrabian has served as an advisor to Redline Capital Partners, S.A., a Luxembourg based investment firm. From 2012 to 2014 he served as Chairman and member of the Board of La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company during which time the company transitioned from an OTC listed company to a NASDAQ listed company. From 2012 to 2013 he served as President of the Protein Production Division of Intrexon Corporation, a synthetic biology company. He has also previously served as CEO and member of the Board of Cyntellect, Inc., a stem cell processing and visualization Instrumentation company until its sale in 2012, as President and COO of Senomyx, Inc., a company focused on discovery and commercialization of new flavor ingredients, and as COO of Pharmacopeia, Inc., a former publicly-traded provider of combinatorial chemistry discovery services and compounds, where he also served as President & COO of its MSI Division. In addition, Mr. Zarrabian has served on numerous private and public company boards, including at Immune Therapeutics, Inc., Exemplar Pharma, LLC, Ambit Biosciences Corporation, eMolecules, Inc., and Penwest Pharmaceuticals CO. His other experience includes COO at Molecular Simulations, COO of Symbolics, Inc., and as R&D Director at Computervision, Inc.