Board of Directors
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Jerome Durso serves as our President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our Board of Directors. Prior to becoming CEO in January 2021, Mr. Durso served as Chief Operating Officer since joining Intercept in February 2017. Mr. Durso has over 25 years of experience in building and leading commercial and business operations at life sciences companies both in the United States and abroad. Prior to joining Intercept, Mr. Durso served as a consultant to the biopharmaceutical industry from September 2015 to February 2017. Mr. Durso spent the majority of his career at Sanofi, a global pharmaceutical company, where he most recently served as Senior Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer of the Global Diabetes Division from June 2011 to April 2015. From 2010 to 2011, Mr. Durso was Senior Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer of Sanofi’s U.S. pharmaceuticals business. Prior to that, he served in a number of commercial leadership roles of increasing responsibility in business unit and brand management, marketing and sales since he first joined Sanofi in 1993. Mr. Durso earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Notre Dame.
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 is a director, manager, and owner of XGen Partners S.r.l., and CEO, director, and investment committee member for its subsidiary XGen Venture S.G.R. S.p.A., a life science venture capital investment management company, which he co-founded in 2021. He was formerly the CEO of Genextra S.p.A., a life science investment company, from 2019 to 2022, and its CFO from 2004 to 2019. From 2000 to 2004, Mr. Fundarò was Director of Finance and Strategic Planning for the Fastweb Group. Before that, he worked for investment banks Salomon Smith Barney (now Citigroup) and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (now Credit Suisse). As an investor, Mr. Fundarò has served as director or managing director of a number of portfolio companies. Mr. Fundarò received a degree in Business Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.
Mark Pruzanski, M.D.
Mark Pruzanski, M.D. is one of our co-founders and has served as a member of our Board of Directors since inception in 2002. Dr. Pruzanski served as Intercept’s President and Chief Executive Officer until 2021. 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. Since January 2021, Dr. Pruzanski has been the Managing Member of Figurati LLC, a life sciences investment and consulting firm. 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 Jiya Acquisition Corp. (where he also serves as Chairman) since November 2020, 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 30 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 innovative therapies including Xadago, approved worldwide for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. 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. and Metis Precision Medicine. Dr. Benatti also serves as chairman of Italian Angels for Biotech, a member of the Advisory Board of the Sofinnova Telethon Fund, and as a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of Zambon S.p.A. 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 Executive Chairman of Equillium, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that Mr. Bradbury co-founded, since January 2020 and served as Chairman of Equillium, Inc. from March 2018 through December 2019. Mr. Bradbury also previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Equillium, Inc., from June 2018 through December 2019 and 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 has been a director of Castle Biosciences, Inc. since September 2012 and serves on the board of directors of a number of private companies and philanthropic organizations. In addition, Mr. Bradbury serves on the Keck Graduate Institute’s Board of Trustees and the University of California San Diego’s Rady School of Management Dean’s Advisory Council. 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 July 2020, Dr. Gottesdiener has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer and as a director of Prime Medicine, Inc., a private biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to that, from October 2011 until March 2020, Dr. Gottesdiener served as the Chief Executive Officer and a director of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that develops therapeutics in rare genetic obesity. During that time, Rhythm submitted a New Drug Application for setmelanotide in two indications, for which setmelanotide was subsequently approved. Dr. Gottesdiener joined Rhythm after 16 years at Merck Research Laboratories, where, starting in 1995, 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, led, or played a lead role in the development of most of Merck’s approved therapeutics and vaccines. 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 the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He then joined the faculty as an assistant professor at Columbia University, where he started an independent research laboratory with NIH RO-1 funding, ending his academic career as Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the time he left to join Merck in 1995.
Nancy Miller-Rich has served as a member of our Board of Directors since April 2018. Ms. Miller-Rich has 35 years of experience in the healthcare industry, with significant expertise in business development and commercial strategy. Since September 2017, Ms. Miller-Rich has served as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry. Previously, Ms. Miller-Rich served in a number of leadership roles at Merck & Co., Inc. and, prior to the merger of the two companies, at Schering-Plough Corporation, including most recently as Senior Vice President, Global Human Health Business Development & Licensing, Strategy and Commercial Support from November 2013 to September 2017 and as Group Vice President, Consumer Care Global New Ventures and Strategic Commercial Development from January 2007 to November 2013. Prior to joining Schering-Plough in 1990, Ms. Miller-Rich served in a variety of commercial and marketing roles at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals and Sterling Drug, Inc. She is currently a director of Aldeyra Therapeutics, Inc., Kadmon Holdings, Inc., and 4D Molecular Therapeutics, Inc., as well as a board member of a number of private and not-for-profit entities. She received her B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York.
Dagmar Rosa-Bjorkeson has served as a member of our Board of Directors since April 2021. Ms. Rosa-Bjorkeson has more than 25 years of global experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including executive leadership positions in corporate and product strategy, market development and operational execution. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Mesoblast Limited. Ms. Rosa-Bjorkeson has led multiple successful product launches, including Gilenya® for multiple sclerosis at Novartis where she was Vice President and Head of its multiple sclerosis business unit, Vice President, Business Development and Licensing in the United States, and Country Head and President for Novartis Sweden. Prior to joining Mesoblast, Ms. Rosa-Bjorkeson served as Executive Vice President and President, Biosimilars, at Baxalta, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. She was also Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Development Officer at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.
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 Allena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since February 2012, Horizon Therapeutics 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. Prior to joining The Medicines Company in 2000, Mr. Sblendorio served as a managing director at MPM Capital Advisors, LLC and held a variety of senior financial positions at Hoffman-La Roche, Inc. 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.
= Chairperson = Member = Chairman of the Board = Lead Independent Director