Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Paolo Fundarò has served as our Chairman since October 2015 and as a member of our Board of Directors since 2006. Mr. Fundarò has been Chief Financial Officer of Genextra S.p.A., an investment firm focused on the life sciences industry, since its inception in 2004. Mr. Fundarò also has served as Managing Director of certain of Genextra’s portfolio companies, including Congenia S.r.l. since 2004, Dac S.r.l. from 2004 until December 2016 and Tethis S.p.A. from 2004 until July 2016. Before joining Genextra, Mr. Fundarò was Director of Finance and Strategic Planning for the Fastweb Group from 2000 to 2004. Earlier in his career, Mr. Fundarò worked for investment banks Salomon Smith Barney (now Citigroup) and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (now Credit Suisse). Mr. Fundarò serves on the board of directors of a number of private companies. Mr. Fundarò received a degree in Business Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.
Mark Pruzanski, M.D.
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Mark Pruzanski, M.D. is one of our co-founders and has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer, and as a member of our Board of Directors, since our inception in 2002. Dr. Pruzanski has over 20 years of experience in life sciences company management, venture capital and strategic consulting. Prior to co-founding Intercept, Dr. Pruzanski was a venture partner at Apple Tree Partners, an early stage life sciences venture capital firm that he co-founded, and an entrepreneur-in-residence at Oak Investment Partners, a venture capital firm. Dr. Pruzanski is a co-author of a number of scientific publications and is named as an inventor on several of our patents. Dr. Pruzanski has been a director of Equillium, Inc. since September 2018. Dr. Pruzanski also currently serves on the boards of the Emerging Companies Section of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), a biotechnology-focused trade association, and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a non-profit policy institute focusing on foreign policy and national security. Dr. Pruzanski received his M.D. from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, a M.A. degree in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy and Washington, D.C., and a bachelor’s degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Srinivas Akkaraju, M.D., Ph.D.
Srinivas Akkaraju, M.D., Ph.D. has served as a member of our Board of Directors since October 2012. Since March 2017, Dr. Akkaraju has been the Managing General Partner of Samsara BioCapital, a venture capital firm that he founded. From April 2013 to March 2017, Dr. Akkaraju was a General Partner and then a Senior Advisor of Sofinnova Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on the life sciences industry. From January 2009 until April 2013, Dr. Akkaraju was a Managing Director of New Leaf Venture Partners, an investment firm focused on the healthcare technology sector. From 2006 to 2008, Dr. Akkaraju served as a Managing Director of Panorama Capital, a venture capital firm that he co-founded along with other members of the former venture capital investment team of J.P. Morgan Partners, a private equity division of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Prior to co-founding Panorama Capital, Dr. Akkaraju was with J.P. Morgan Partners, which he joined in 2001 and of which he became a partner in 2005. From 1998 to 2001, Dr. Akkaraju worked in business and corporate development at Genentech, Inc. (now a member of the Roche Group), a biotechnology company. Dr. Akkaraju has been a director of Seattle Genetics, Inc. since 2003, Aravive, Inc. (formerly Versartis, Inc.) since July 2013 and Syros Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since June 2017. Dr. Akkaraju also serves on the board of directors of a number of private companies. Dr. Akkaraju received his M.D. and a Ph.D. in Immunology from Stanford University. He received his undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Computer Science from Rice University.
Luca Benatti, Ph.D.
Luca Benatti, Ph.D. has served as a member of our Board of Directors since July 2014. Dr. Benatti has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Since June 2012, Dr. Benatti has served as the Chief Executive Officer and a director of EryDel S.p.A., a private biotechnology company focused on rare diseases. From 1998 until May 2012, Dr. Benatti was Chief Executive Officer of Newron Pharmaceuticals S.p.A., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company that Dr. Benatti co-founded. Under Dr. Benatti’s leadership, Newron developed a pipeline of potential therapies, with its most advanced compound, Xadago, approved for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease in various jurisdictions, and undertook significant business development activities. From 1985 to 1998, Dr. Benatti held various research and development positions at Pharmacia & Upjohn and its predecessor companies. Dr. Benatti has authored several scientific publications and holds a number of patents. Dr. Benatti currently serves as a director of Newron Pharmaceuticals S.p.A. Dr. Benatti also serves as chairman of Italian Angels for Biotech, a member of the Advisory Board of the Sofinnova Telethon Fund, a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of Zambon, a member of the Board of Assobiotec, the Italian Biotech Association, and a member of the jury of Open Accelerator and of the European Biotechnica Award. Dr. Benatti graduated from and performed his post-doctoral training at the Milano Genetics Institute.
Daniel Bradbury has served as a member of our Board of Directors since July 2016. Mr. Bradbury has over 35 years of experience leading global, fast-growing life sciences companies. Mr. Bradbury has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Equillium, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that Mr. Bradbury co-founded, since March 2017 and June 2018, respectively. Mr. Bradbury also previously served as President of Equillium, Inc. from March 2017 until June 2018. In addition, Mr. Bradbury has been Managing Member of BioBrit, LLC, a life sciences consulting and investment firm, since 2012. Previously, Mr. Bradbury held several senior positions at Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on diabetes and metabolic disorders, including President and Chief Executive Officer from March 2007 until its acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in August 2012, President and Chief Operating Officer from 2006 to 2007, Chief Operating Officer from 2003 to 2006, Executive Vice President from 2000 to 2003 and Senior Vice President, Corporate Development from 1998 to 2000. Mr. Bradbury also served as a director of Amylin from June 2006 to August 2012. Prior to joining Amylin in 1994, Mr. Bradbury worked at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals and its predecessor companies for ten years in various sales and marketing positions. Mr. Bradbury serves on the board of directors of a number of private companies. In addition, Mr. Bradbury serves on the Keck Graduate Institute’s Board of Trustees, the University of California San Diego’s Rady School of Management Dean’s Advisory Council and the BioMed Ventures Advisory Committee. Mr. Bradbury received a Bachelor of Pharmacy from Nottingham University and a Diploma in Management Studies from Harrow and Ealing Colleges of Higher Education in the United Kingdom.
Keith Gottesdiener, M.D.
Keith Gottesdiener, M.D. has served as a member of our Board of Directors since July 2016. Since October 2011, Dr. Gottesdiener has been the Chief Executive Officer and a director of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. Dr. Gottesdiener joined Rhythm after 16 years at Merck Research Laboratories, where he held positions of increasing responsibility, including serving as a leader of Merck’s late clinical development organization from 2006 to 2011 and leading Merck’s early clinical development across all therapeutic areas from 2001 through early 2006. In such roles, Dr. Gottesdiener oversaw the development of Merck’s infectious diseases and vaccine products through pivotal trials, registration, and life cycle management, including GardasilTM (HPV Vaccine), RotateqTM (rotavirus vaccine), ZostavaxTM (zoster vaccine) and IsentressTM (HIV integrase inhibitor), among others. In 2008, Dr. Gottesdiener was appointed Late Stage Therapeutic Group Leader, and in that role led Merck’s late-stage clinical development efforts (from Phase 2 through patent expiry) across all therapeutic areas. After Merck’s merger with Schering-Plough Corporation in 2009, he continued as Co-Head of Late Development. Dr. Gottesdiener received his B.A. from Harvard College and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his residency and fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital-Beth Israel Medical Center-Dana Farber Cancer Institute Children’s Hospital programs. After his fellowship, Dr. Gottesdiener did postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Jack Strominger at Dana Farber Cancer Institute working on the molecular immunology of the T-cell receptor. In 1986, he joined the faculty as an assistant professor at Columbia University, started an independent research laboratory with NIH RO-1 funding, focusing on gene transcription, and was Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the time he left to join Merck in 1995.
Lead Independent Director
Gino Santini has served as our Lead Independent Director since February 2018 and as a member of our Board of Directors since November 2015. From 1983 to 2010, Mr. Santini held a variety of commercial, operational and leadership roles of increasing responsibility at Eli Lilly and Company, including Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development from 2007 to 2010, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Policy from 2004 to 2007, President of U.S. Operations from 1999 to 2004 and President of the Women’s Health Franchise from 1997 to 1999. Mr. Santini has been a director of AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since February 2012, Allena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since February 2012, Horizon Pharma plc since March 2012 and Collegium Pharmaceutical, Inc. since July 2012. Mr. Santini also serves on the board of directors of a number of private companies. Mr. Santini holds an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Bologna and an M.B.A. from the Simon School of Business, University of Rochester.
Glenn Sblendorio has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 2014. Mr. Sblendorio has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Mr. Sblendorio has been Chief Executive Officer, President and a director of IVERIC bio, Inc. (formerly Ophthotech Corporation) since July 2017, January 2017 and May 2017, respectively. Mr. Sblendorio also previously served at IVERIC bio, Inc. as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from April 2016 to January 2017, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer from April 2016 until April 2017 and a director from July 2013 through March 2016. Prior to joining IVERIC bio, Inc., Mr. Sblendorio served as the President and Chief Financial Officer of The Medicines Company from March 2006 until December 2015. Mr. Sblendorio served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from February 2002 until it was acquired by OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in November 2005. From July 2000 to February 2002, Mr. Sblendorio served as Senior Vice President of Business Development at The Medicines Company. Mr. Sblendorio has been a director of Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. since June 2006. Mr. Sblendorio received a B.B.A. from Pace University and an M.B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Daniel Welch has served as a member of our Board of Directors since November 2015. From January 2015 to February 2018, Mr. Welch served as an Executive Partner of Sofinnova Ventures, a venture capital firm. From September 2003 until its acquisition by Roche Holdings in September 2014, Mr. Welch served as Chief Executive Officer and President of InterMune, Inc., a biotechnology company. Mr. Welch also served as Chairman of InterMune from May 2008 to September 2014. From 2002 to 2003, Mr. Welch served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Triangle Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company that was acquired by Gilead Sciences. From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Welch served as President of Biopharmaceuticals at Elan Corporation. From 1987 to 2000, Mr. Welch served in various senior management roles at Sanofi-Synthelabo, now Sanofi, including Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. business. From 1980 to 1987, Mr. Welch was with American Critical Care, a division of American Hospital Supply. Mr. Welch has been a director of Seattle Genetics, Inc. since June 2007 and Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. since April 2015. Mr. Welch also serves on the board of directors of a number of private companies. Mr. Welch holds a B.S. from the University of Miami and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina.