Wendell Wierenga, Ph.D.


Wendell Wierenga, Ph.D. joined our board of directors as Chair in October 2015. Dr. Wierenga brings to our board over four decades of experience in research, drug discovery and drug development, including clinical research, regulatory affairs, manufacturing, safety, and medical affairs. He has an extensive background serving as a public company executive and board member in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He most recently served as Executive Vice President, Research and Development, at Santarus, Inc., a specialty biopharmaceutical company, from June 2011 until its acquisition by Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2014. Prior to Santarus, he was Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Ambit Biosciences Corporation from 2007 until 2011 and Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. from 2003 until 2006. Additionally, Dr. Wierenga served as Chief Executive Officer of Syrrx, Inc. (now part of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company), Senior Vice President of Worldwide Pharmaceutical Sciences, Technologies and Development at Parke-Davis/Warner Lambert Company LLC (now Pfizer, Inc.), and he spent 16 years at Upjohn Pharmaceuticals in research and drug discovery roles.

Dr. Wierenga serves as a member of the board of directors and compensation committee of Dermata Therapeutics, Inc. and Cytokinetics Incorporated, as well as the Chair of the science and technology committee of Cytokentics, Incorporated, both publicly traded biopharmaceutical companies. He was previously on the board of directors of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by Amgen), Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc. (acquired by Pfizer), XenoPort, Inc. (acquired by Arbor Pharmaceuticals), Ocera Therapeutics Inc. (acquired by Mallinckrodt), Apricus Biosciences, Inc. (acquired by Seelos), Patara Pharma LLC (acquired by Respivant), and Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stanford University and a B.A. in Chemistry from Hope College. Dr. Wierenga’s scientific background and ability to contribute to the Board’s understanding of technical matters relating to our business, as well as Dr. Wierenga’s broader business development and corporate experience on the boards of directors of several biopharmaceutical companies, contributed to our board’s conclusion that he should serve as a director of our company.