Board of Directors
Steven A. Elms
Managing Partner, Aisling Capital
Mr. Elms joined Aisling in July of 2000 and currently serves as one of the Managing Partners. Previously, he was a Principal in the Life Sciences Investment Banking Group of H&Q. During his five years at H&Q, Mr. Elms was involved in over 60 financing and M&A transactions, helping clients raise in excess of $3.3 billion in capital. Prior to H&Q, Mr. Elms traded mortgage-backed securities at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. His previous healthcare sector experience includes over two years as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Marion Laboratories and two years as a consultant for The Wilkerson Group.
Mr. Elms currently serves as a director of ADMA Biologics (ADMA), Loxo Oncology (LOXO) and EarLens. While at Aisling, he has served as a director of numerous public and private life sciences companies.
Mr. Elms received his M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and his B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University.
Linda Grais, MD, JD
Director, Zosano Pharma
Linda Grais, MD, JD has served as a member of our board of directors since January 2019. Dr. Grais was previously President, Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Ocera Therapeutics (OCRX), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel treatments for gastrointestinal and liver diseases, from 2012 until its acquisition by Mallinckrodt in December, 2017. Dr. Grais has extensive experience in the healthcare field as a physician, biotechnology entrepreneur and investor. Previously, she was a Managing Member at InterWest Partners, a venture capital firm investing in drug development and medical device companies. Dr. Grais was a founder and executive vice president of SGX Pharmaceuticals (SGXP), which pioneered the integration of genomics with high-throughput protein structure determination to accelerate drug discovery. SGXP went public on NASDAQ and was acquired by Eli Lilly in 2006. Prior to founding SGX, Dr. Grais worked in the corporate practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where she represented healthcare companies in venture financings, public offerings and strategic partnerships. Dr. Grais trained in Internal Medicine and Critical Care Medicine at Yale and the University of California, San Francisco, and was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine and Critical Care at UCSF.
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.
Kenneth R. Greathouse
Director, Zosano Pharma
Kenneth R. Greathouse has served as a member of our Board of Directors since September 2017. Mr. Greathouse is a seasoned pharmaceutical executive with over 40 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development and commercial operations. He is the co-founder of several successful drug development companies, including Manchester Pharmaceuticals which was sold to Retrophin Inc. in 2014. He began his career with Lederle Laboratories where for over 18 years he held a number of sales and marketing positions of increasing responsibility. He joined Athena Neurosciences in 1993 and continued with Elan Pharmaceuticals after the acquisition of Athena. After a two-year tenure at Boron LePore and Associates as Vice President and General Manager of Contract Sales, he joined Questcor as Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations. Since leaving Questcor, Mr. Greathouse has co-founded and served as CEO of Argent Development Group LLC, Melbourne Laboratories LLC, Valcrest Pharmaceuticals LLC, and Hesperian BioPharma LLC, in addition to Manchester Pharmaceuticals LLC.
Joseph P. Hagan
President and Chief Executive Officer, Regulus Therapeutics Inc.
Joseph “Jay” P. Hagan has served as a member of our Board of Directors since May 2015. Mr. Hagan joined Regulus in January 2016 as Chief Operating Officer, Principal Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer and was appointed to President and Chief Executive Officer in May 2017. From June 2011 to December 2015, Mr. Hagan served as Orexigen’s Chief Business & Financial Officer. From May 2009 to June 2011, Mr. Hagan served as Orexigen’s Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Strategy and Communications. Prior to Orexigen, Mr. Hagan worked at Amgen, from September 1998 to April 2008, where he served in various senior business development roles, including founder and Managing Director of Amgen Ventures. Prior to starting the Amgen Ventures fund, Mr. Hagan was Head of Corporate Development at Amgen, leading such notable transactions as the acquisition of Immunex and Tularik and the spinouts of Novatrone and Relypsa, as well as numerous other business development efforts totaling over $15 billion in value. Before joining Amgen, Mr. Hagan spent five years in the bioengineering labs at Genzyme and Advance Tissue Sciences. He received an M.B.A. from Northwestern University and a B.S. in Physiology and Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego.
John P. Walker
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Zosano Pharma and Executive Chairman, Vizuri Health Sciences
John P. Walker has served as a member of our board of directors since May 2016 and assumed the Chief Executive Officer title in August 2017. Mr. Walker currently serves on the Board of Directors at The Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University and is a Trustee at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. His past positions included Chairman and Chief Executive Officer roles at Novacea, Kai Pharmaceuticals, Renovis, Axys Pharmaceuticals, Microcide, Signal Pharmaceuticals and other life sciences companies. Mr. Walker is a graduate of the Advanced Executive Program at The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and holds a B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Troy Wilson, PhD, JD
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kura Oncology, Inc.
Dr. Wilson has served as a member of our board of directors since June 2014. Dr. Wilson has been the President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Kura Oncology, Inc., a public reporting clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing personalized therapeutics for the treatment of solid tumors and blood cancers, since August 2014. He has also been President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of managers of Avidity NanoMedicines LLC, a private biopharmaceutical company, since November 2012 and the President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of managers of Wellspring Biosciences LLC, a private biopharmaceutical company, since July 2012 and May 2012, respectively. He has been a Director of Puma Biotechnology, Inc., a public company, since October 2013. He has also been a member of the board of managers of Araxes Pharma LLC, a private biopharmaceutical company, since May 2012. Previously, Dr. Wilson served as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Intellikine, Inc., a private biopharmaceutical company, from April 2007 to January 2012 and from August 2007 to January 2012, respectively. He holds a J.D. from New York University and graduated with a Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry and a B.A. in biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer, IRRAS AB
Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D. is a serial entrepreneur whose passion is building healthcare companies focused on innovation. Dr. Xanthopoulos has over two decades of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical research industries as an executive, company founder, chief executive officer, investor and board member. Dr. Xanthopoulos has founded three companies, introduced two life science companies to NASDAQ and financed and brokered numerous creative strategic alliance and partnership deals with large pharmaceutical partners.
Dr. Xanthopoulos is currently President & CEO of IRRAS AB, and Managing General Partner at Cerus DMCC, which focuses on investing and building innovative biotechnology companies. Dr. Xanthopoulos served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Regulus Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: RGLS) from the time of its formation in 2007 until June of 2015. Prior to that, he was a Managing Director of Enterprise Partners Venture Capital. Dr. Xanthopoulos co-founded and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANDS) from its inception in 2000 to 2006, and remained a Director until its acquisition by Roche in 2011. He was Vice President at Aurora Biosciences (acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) from 1997 to 2000. Dr. Xanthopoulos participated in The Human Genome Project as a Section Head of the National Human Genome Research Institute from 1995 to 1997. Prior to this, he was an Associate Professor at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden after completing a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at The Rockefeller University, New York. An Onassis Foundation scholar, he was named the E&Y Entrepreneur of the year in 2006 in San Diego and the San Diego Business Journal’s Most Admired mid-size company CEO in 2013. Dr. Xanthopoulos received his B.Sc. in Biology with honors from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and received both his M.Sc. in Microbiology and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Stockholm, Sweden.
In addition to his role at IRRAS AB, Dr. Xanthopoulos is chairman of the board of directors of Apricus Biosciences (NASDAQ: APRI), a director of Zosano Pharma, Inc., (NASDAQ: ZSAN), a director of LDO sp.a. (Milan, Italy), and is the co-founder and a member of the board of directors of privately held Sente Inc. and Aspius Inc.