Board of Directors
David L. Greenwood , Chairman
Mr. Greenwood is the former President, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Geron Corporation. He was previously Chairman of Geron’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Geron Bio-Med Limited, Chairman of Geron’s majority-owned subsidiary, TA Therapeutics, Ltd., and a Director of ViaGen, Inc., Clone International and Parnell Pharmaceuticals Holdings Ltd. He also served on the Board of Regents for Pacific Lutheran University. From 1979 until joining Geron, Mr. Greenwood held various positions with J.P. Morgan & Co. Incorporated, an international banking firm. Mr. Greenwood holds a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University and a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Eric H. Bjerkholt
A senior executive with more than two decades of experience in the healthcare and life science sectors, Mr. Bjerkholt is Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing oncology therapeutics, having joined Sunesis in 2004 as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. From 2002 to 2004, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was a biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by Ardea Biosciences, Inc. in December 2006. Mr. Bjerkholt was a co-founder of LifeSpring Nutrition, Inc., a nutraceutical company, and from 1999 to 2002 served at various times as its Chief Executive Officer, President, and Chief Financial Officer. He also served as a vice president in the healthcare banking group at J.P. Morgan & Co. Incorporated from 1990 to 1997. He holds a Cand. Oecon degree in Economics from the University of Oslo and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Bhaskar Chaudhuri, Ph.D.
With over 20 years of industry management experience, Dr. Chaudhuri brings extensive product development and commercialization knowledge to Corium. Dr. Chaudhuri served as President of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International from 2009 to 2010. Prior to Valeant Dr. Chaudhuri served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences, Inc. for seven years. Before joining Dow, he served as Vice President of R&D at Penederm, Inc., as General Manager of the Dermatology Division of Mylan Laboratories, and as Executive Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Bertek Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Mylan, where he was responsible for research and development activities as well as certain of the company’s manufacturing operations.
As Chief Executive Officer of Dow, Dr. Chaudhuri led the company through a transition from a contract development focus to developing an attractive internal product pipeline and the company’s eventual merger with Valeant. Dr. Chaudhuri holds a Doctorate in Physical Pharmacy, an M.S. in Industrial Pharmacy and a B.S. in Pharmacy.
Mr. Eastman has over 30 years of experience in building healthcare businesses. He began his career at American Cyanamid Company which was acquired by American Home Products (now Pfizer). At Cyanamid, Mr. Eastman spent 15 years managing various pharmaceutical products, divisions and subsidiaries in the U.S. and overseas. Since then he has helped build three healthcare companies – Geron Corporation, HCORP, and Rinat Neuroscience Corp. Under his leadership, Geron became a cutting edge biotech company that grew from a venture-backed startup to a publicly traded pioneer in the fields of regenerative medicine and cancer. HCORP quickly established itself as the technology and market leader in the emerging field of hospital-based, interactive patient services and was sold to a diversified competitor. Most recently, at Rinat, a biotech company spun out of Genentech in late 2001, Mr. Eastman led the effort to recruit an experienced management team and move Rinat’s first product for the treatment of pain into clinical trials. Rinat was acquired by Pfizer in April, 2006.
Mr. Eastman joined Essex Woodlands in October 2006. He serves as Chairman of the board of directors at Elusys Therapeutics and on the board of directors at Revance Therapeutics, OMT and IntegenX. He has served on the Board at The Buck Institute, the largest non-profit research institute in the U.S. studying diseases of aging. Mr. Eastman earned a B.A. from Williams College and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.
Phyllis Gardner, M.D.
Dr. Gardner has spent over 25 years in academia, medicine and industry. She began her academic medical career in 1984 at Stanford University, where she has held several positions including Senior Associate Dean for Education and Student Affairs and remains today as Professor of Medicine. From 1994 to 1998, she took a leave of absence to work at ALZA Corporation, a major drug delivery company, as a Principal Scientist, Vice President of Research and as Head of ALZA Technology Institute. She has received numerous national awards and honors and serves on the board of directors of Revance Therapeutics, Inc. as well as the Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows. Dr. Gardner previously served on the board of directors of Parnell Pharmaceuticals Holdings Ltd.
Dr. Gardner also worked with Essex Woodlands from 1999 until 2014. Her expertise in pharmacology and drug delivery was invaluable to the firm in evaluating technology in this growing segment of the pharmaceutical sector. Dr. Gardner holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, and a Doctor of Medicine from Harvard Medical School, where she graduated Alpha Omega Alpha. She trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by a Chief Residency at Stanford University Medical Center. She completed research fellowships at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and University College, London, U.K.
Ivan Gergel, M.D.
Dr. Gergel is currently Senior Vice President, Drug Development & Chief Medical Officer of Nektar Therapeutics, where he oversees clinical strategy and activities, including direct supervision of clinical research, medical affairs, regulatory affairs and drug safety and surveillance. Dr. Gergel has more than 25 years of pharmaceutical leadership and drug development experience with deep expertise in all aspects of the clinical and regulatory process. Prior to Nektar, Dr. Gergel served as Executive Vice President, Research & Development of Endo Health Solutions, Inc. and Chief Scientific Officer, where he oversaw clinical, research, regulatory, project management and medical affairs. At Endo, Dr. Gergel was responsible for late-stage development programs and product approvals, including BEMA® Buprenorphine, Abuse-Deterrent Opana® ER for chronic pain, and Fortesta® and Aveed™ for hypogonadism. Prior, Dr. Gergel served as Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs and President of the Forest Research Institute of Forest Laboratories, Inc., among other positions at the Forest Research Institute and Forest Laboratories, Inc., where he led successful development programs resulting in the approval of numerous NCEs for a range of CNS disorders and other medical conditions, including Celexa® for depression, Aerospan™ for asthma, Lexapro® for depression and generalized anxiety disorder and Namenda® for Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Gergel also oversaw the R&D team responsible for the successful in-licensing or acquisition of several new therapeutic agents. Prior, Dr. Gergel was a senior leader at SmithKline Beecham, where he led the U.S. clinical team responsible for the development and commercial support of Paxil®, which is approved to treat depression, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and other conditions.
Dr. Gergel received his M.D. from The Royal Free Medical School of The University of London and an MBA from the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.
Paul Goddard, Ph.D.
Dr. Goddard has guided companies at all stages of development over his more than 30 years in the life science industry. Dr. Goddard has held senior executive positions at several major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Neurex Corporation, Elan Pharmaceuticals and SmithKline Beecham Corporation. Following the acquisition of Neurex by Elan Corporation, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Elan Pharmaceuticals, the largest operating division of Elan, with operations in ten countries, focusing on acute care, pain management, and neurological disease. Dr. Goddard also served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ARYx Therapeutics.
Dr. Goddard served as lead director on the board of Onyx Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Amgen) and on the boards of several other companies including Adolor Corporation, A.P. Pharma, Molecular Devices and Xenoport. Dr. Goddard completed his Ph.D. in the area of Etiology and Pathophysiology of colon cancer at St. Mary's Hospital, University of London.
Peter D. Staple , President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Staple has more than 25 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer and a Director of BioSeek, Inc., a pioneer in applying predictive human biology to drug discovery, and as a member of the senior executive team at ALZA Corporation, the leader in applying drug delivery technologies to develop new therapeutics. At ALZA, as Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel, he played a central role in partnering transactions, financings and acquisitions, as well as ALZA’s merger with Johnson & Johnson.
Prior to joining ALZA, Mr. Staple served in senior positions at Cetus and Chiron Corporations, where his responsibilities covered corporate partnering, licensing, mergers and acquisitions, and financings, including transactions involving commercialization of polymerase chain reaction, hepatitis C and HIV screening technologies. Prior to entering the biotechnology industry, Mr. Staple practiced corporate and securities law with Heller Ehrman LLP. Mr. Staple serves as Chairman of the board of directors of Depomed, Inc., and has served multiple terms on the board of visitors at Stanford Law School. He holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from Stanford University.
Mr. Thomas currently serves as a member of the board of directors for eight companies in the life sciences field, as well as serving on the Boards of several non-profit organizations. From 1998 until 2006, he served as the President, CEO and member of the Board of Fox Hollow Technologies. Mr. Thomas led Fox Hollow from a start-up company with 12 employees through a successful public offering with over a $1 billion market capitalization. Fox Hollow developed a device to treat Peripheral Arterial Disease which contributed approximately $200 million in annualized revenue to the company and generated a collaboration agreement for developmental technologies with Merck. Prior to serving as President and CEO, Mr. Thomas was Vice President of Operations for Fox Hollow. From 1997 through 1998, Mr. Thomas was Vice President of Operations for the women’s health company, Conceptus, and prior to that was the founder of TMP, Inc., a medical device company that was ultimately sold to GE Healthcare. Mr. Thomas also was a founder of Access Devices, where he worked from 1984 to 1990, which was acquired by Baxter Healthcare. He has banking experience with specific knowledge in specialized and structured lending. Mr. Thomas received a B.A. in Economics from Ursinus College.