Wendell Wierenga, Ph.D

Former Executive Vice President, Research and Development, Santarus, Inc.

Wendell Wierenga, Ph.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since March 2014.  From June 2011 to February 2014, Dr. Wierenga worked as Executive Vice President, Research and Development of Santarus, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. in January 2014.  From 2007 to May 2011, Dr. Wierenga served as Executive Vice President, Research and Development of Ambit Biosciences Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of small-molecule kinase inhibitors.  From 2003 to 2007, he served as Executive Vice President, Research and Development of Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutics for neuropsychiatric, neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases.  From 2000 to 2003, Dr. Wierenga served as the Chief Executive Officer of Syrrx, Inc., biotechnology company focused on small-molecule drug compounds.  Prior to joining Syrrx, from 1990 to 2000, he was senior vice president of worldwide pharmaceutical sciences, technologies and development at Parke-Davis, a division of Warner Lambert Co., a pharmaceutical company that was acquired by Pfizer Inc. in 2000.  Prior to Parke-Davis, Dr. Wierenga worked at Upjohn Co., later Pharmacia & Upjohn, Inc., a pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, for 16 years in various positions, most recently as executive director of discovery research.  Pfizer acquired Pharmacia & Upjohn, then named Pharmacia Corp., in 2002.  Dr. Wierenga received a B.S. from Hope College and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University.  Dr. Wierenga is a member of the boards of directors of Cytokinetics, Incorporated and Ocera Therapeutics, Inc., which are publicly traded biopharmaceutical companies.  During the last five years, Dr. Wierenga also served as a member of the boards of directors of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by Amgen in 2013, Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by Pfzier in 2016 and XenoPort, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by Arbor Pharmaceuticals, LLC in 2016.  We believe that Dr. Wierenga’s extensive experience in biopharmaceutical research and development and his service on the boards of directors of several public biopharmaceutical companies allows him to be a key contributor to our board of directors.