Board of Directors
W. Denman Van Ness
Lead Independent Director
Chairman, Hidden Hill Advisors
W. Denman Van Ness has been a director since October of 1981 and was appointed Lead Independent Director in January of 2008 and Chairman of the Board in August of 2011. He is Chairman of Hidden Hill Advisors, a venture capital consulting firm. From April of 1996 through October of 1999, he was a Managing Director of CIBC Capital Partners, an international merchant banking organization. From 1986 to 1996, Mr. Van Ness was a General Partner of Olympic Venture Partners II and Rainier Venture Partners, venture capital funds, and from 1977 until 1985, he was a General Partner of the venture capital group at Hambrecht & Quist, the manager of several venture capital funds. Mr. Van Ness earned his B.A. in American History and Literature from Williams College and holds an MBA degree from Harvard University. Mr. Van Ness brings to the Board an extensive understanding of corporate development and a background in assessing a wide range of corporate funding sources and partnering opportunities. His leadership skills, including past service on the boards of other companies, contribute to his role as Chairman of the Board.
Heather L. Franklin
CEO Blaze Biosciences
Heather L. Franklin has over 20 years of broad biotechnology expertise. She founded Blaze Bioscience in 2011 and has led the company from its infancy to become a clinical-stage company. Prior to establishing Blaze, Ms. Franklin spent 10 years at ZymoGenetics in positions of increasing responsibility, ultimately serving as senior vice president, business development, where she was a member of the executive management team and was responsible for business development, alliance management, strategic planning, portfolio management, and pipeline marketing. Ms. Franklin was the architect of the $1.1 billion deal with Bristol Myers Squibb for interferon lambda, which at the time was the largest single-molecule Phase 1 deal ever consummated and ultimately led to the subsequent acquisition by BMS. Earlier in her career, she held roles in program management at Amgen and Targeted Genetics. Ms. Franklin has her Masters in Business and Administration from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, her Masters of Science from the University of Washington, and her bachelors of science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Chief Business Officer at Seagen, Inc.
Natasha Hernday has over 20 years of experience in corporate development and corporate strategy work and an extensive record of asset licensing, partnerships, and acquisition transactions.
Ms. Hernday joined Seattle Genetics in 2011 and is responsible for leading the Company’s in-licensing, collaboration, acquisition transactions and Alliance Management teams and serves as a member of the Executive Committee. Notably, her team led the 2018 acquisition of Cascadian Therapeutics, which included TUKYSA™ (tucatinib), which received marketing approval in the U.S. and Switzerland in 2020. Prior to joining Seagen, she spent 16 years at Amgen, initially in research, then transitioning into project management and ultimately corporate development. Ms. Hernday serves on the board of Alpine Immune Sciences and is a member of the External Advisory Board for the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, at the University of Oregon. Ms. Hernday received her Masters in Business and Administration from Pepperdine University and her Bachelors degree in Microbiology with an emphasis on Medical Microbiology from University of California Santa Barbara.
Executive Chairman, XOMA
Owen Hughes is XOMA’s Executive Chairman and is the Chief Executive Officer of Sail Bio, Inc., a privately held company founded in 2022. His operational experience includes prior roles as Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder, and member of the Board of Directors of Cullinan Oncology and as Chief Business Officer and Head of Corporate Development at Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc. Mr. Hughes also brings 15 years in healthcare finance experience to XOMA, including roles as Director at Bain Capital, LP, and Portfolio Manager at Pyramis Global Advisors LLC, a Fidelity Investments Company. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ikena Oncology and was the former Chairman of Radius Health and Lead Independent Director of Translate Bio until their sale to Gurnet Point Capital and Sanofi, respectively. Mr. Hughes holds a Bachelor’s in History from Dartmouth College.
Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Kronos Bio, Inc.
Barbara Kosacz was appointed a director in January 2019. In 2020, Ms. Kosacz joined Kronos Bio, Inc., as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel after her retirement from Cooley LLP, where she was the international head of the firm’s Life Sciences Practice. She has more than 25 years of experience counseling clients in the life sciences arena, ranging from early stage startups to larger public companies, venture funds, investment banks, and non-profit institutions. Ms. Kosacz has received numerous awards and accomplishments, including being recognized by Best Lawyers in America since 2008, and most recently as Biotechnology Lawyer of the Year for 2018, being elected to Northern California’s “Super Lawyers” annually since 2011, being listed as a “Band 1” attorney in the latest edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and in the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America. Ms. Kosacz is a thought leader on deal making in the industry and has served as a member of the BIO Emerging Companies’ Section Governing Board, is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Keck Graduate Institute, and serves on the business advisory board of Locust Walk Partners. She also is a guest lecturer at both the law and business schools of University of California (UC), Berkeley and Stanford University. Ms. Kosacz received her Juris Doctor degree from the UC, Berkeley School of Law, and her bachelor's degree from Stanford University.
Joseph M. Limber
President and Chief Executive Officer of Secura Bio, Inc.
Joseph M. Limber has been a director since December 2012. Mr. Limber is a Series A investor and currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors of Secura Bio, Inc., a position he has held since February 2019. Prior to that, Mr. Limber was a Series A investor and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Genoptix, Inc. from March 2017 through its sale to Neogenomics in December 2018. Mr. Limber served as Executive Chairman of ImaginAb from January 2016 through November 2017. Mr. Limber served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Gradalis, Inc. from July 2013 through April 2015. Mr. Limber served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Prometheus Laboratories Inc., from December 2003 through April 2013 and as a member of its Board of Directors, and executed the sale of Prometheus to Nestle' Health Science in July, 2011. January 2003 to July 2003, Mr. Limber was a consultant and interim Chief Executive Officer for Deltagen, Inc., a provider of drug discovery tools and services to the biopharmaceutical industry. From April 1998 to December 2002, Mr. Limber was the President and Chief Executive Officer of ACLARA BioSciences, Inc. (now Monogram Biosciences, Inc.), a developer of assay technologies and lab-on-a-chip systems for life science research, and completed the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of ACLARA in March of 2000. From 1996 to 1998, he was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Praecis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline plc), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of pharmaceutical products. Prior to Praecis, Mr. Limber served as Executive Vice President of SEQUUS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by Alza Corporation and now part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies). He also held management positions in marketing and sales with Syntex Corporation (now F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.) and with Ciba-Geigy Corporation (now Novartis AG). Mr. Limber holds a B.A. from Duquesne University. Mr. Limber brings to the Board his experience in successfully developing markets for specialty pharmaceutical products and managing the critical transition from research organization to commercial entity.
President, BVF Partners L.P.
Matthew Perry has been a director since February 2017. Mr. Perry is the President of BVF Partners L.P. (BVF Partners) and portfolio manager for the underlying funds managed by the firm. BVF Partners is a private investment partnership that has focused on small-cap, value oriented investment opportunities for more than 20 years. Mr. Perry joined BVF Partners in December 1996 and has been a successful lead investor in dozens of transactions and has positively influenced corporate direction for numerous biotechnology companies during the course of his career. In January 2016, Mr. Perry was named to CTI BioPharma Corp.'s Board of Directors and is a member of its Compensation Committee. Mr. Perry is also a co-founder and director of Nordic Biotech Advisors ApS, a venture capital firm based in Copenhagen, Denmark. He holds a B.S. degree from the Biology Department at the College of William and Mary. Mr. Perry brings extensive management consulting experience and experience investing in biotechnology companies to the Board.
Jack L. Wyszomierski
Former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, VWR International, LLC
Jack L. Wyszomierski has been a director since August 2010. From 2004 until his retirement in 2009, Mr. Wyszomierski was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of VWR International, LLC, a global laboratory supply, equipment and distribution business that serves the world's pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as industrial and governmental organizations. At Schering-Plough, a global health care company which had worldwide sales of over $8 billion in 2004, Mr. Wyszomierski held positions of increasing responsibility from 1982 to 2004 culminating in his appointment as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Wyszomierski also serves on the Board of Directors of Athersys, Inc., Exelixis, Inc. and SiteOne Landscape Supply, Inc., and served on the Board of Directors of Unigene Laboratories, Inc., from 2012 to 2013. He holds an M.S. in Industrial Administration and a B.S. in Administration, Management Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University. Mr. Wyszomierski brings his considerable financial expertise to the Board, the Audit Committee, and the Compensation Committee.