Board of Directors

Our highly experienced Board brings depth and expertise to align our strategy with the best interest of our shareholders.

Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D.

Chairman of the Board of Directors

Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D. Chairman of the Board

Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D. has been a director since November 2011 and became Chairman of the Board in December 2013.

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, has introduced two life science companies to NASDAQ and has financed and brokered numerous creative strategic alliance and partnership deals with large pharmaceutical partners.

Dr. Xanthopoulos is currently the Executive Chairman of IRRAS AB, a commercial stage medical device and drug delivery company, and Managing Partner at the Vandel-Group, focusing 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 a director of Zosano Pharma, Inc., (NASDAQ: ZSAN), a director of LDO S.p.a. (Milan, Italy), and is the co-founder and a member of the board of directors of privately held Sente Inc.

Rusty Ray


Rusty Ray has been a director since December 2009. Mr. Ray is the Chair of our Corporate Governance/Nominating Committee and a member of our Audit Committee.

Mr. Ray is currently a partner with 11T Partners, a healthcare-only investment bank. He has worked with a wide variety of clients across the healthcare industry ranging from large pharmaceutical companies to early-stage drug development companies to medical device and service-based companies. Mr. Ray was a partner with Brocair Partners, a healthcare investment banking boutique, beginning in 2004 until he formed 11T Partners in 2012. Mr. Ray served as Deputy Director for eight years with Resources for the Future (“RFF”) a non-partisan Washington-based think-tank that conducts independent economic research. During his tenure, RFF conducted a number of studies related to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Prior to joining RFF, Mr. Ray worked with The Meningitis Research Foundation in London where he worked to support basic research to cure the disease.  Beyond life sciences, Mr. Ray has also worked on issues related to emissions credit trading and utility restructuring.  He has served on the board of directors of New Media Mill LLC since 2002.

Mr. Ray holds an M.B.A. in Finance from the Fordham University School of Business and a B.S. in Biology from Wake Forest University. Mr. Ray resides in New York with his wife and daughter.

Richard W. Pascoe


Richard W. Pascoe has been a director and served as our Chief Executive Officer since March 2013 and has served as the Company’s Secretary since February 2015.

Mr. Pascoe joined the Company following the merger of Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. with Pernix Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. Mr. Pascoe was the Chief Executive Officer of Somaxon from August 2008 until joining the Company and was responsible for the FDA approval of Somaxon’s lead drug Silenor®. Prior to Somaxon, Mr. Pascoe was with ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company where he was most recently Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Prior to joining ARIAD in 2005, Mr. Pascoe held a series of senior management roles at King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by Pfizer Inc.), including Senior Vice President positions in both marketing and sales, as well as Vice President positions in both international sales and marketing and hospital sales. Prior to King, Mr. Pascoe was in the commercial groups at Medco Research, Inc. (acquired by King), COR Therapeutics, Inc. (acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Takeda Oncology Company), B. Braun Interventional and The BOC Group. Mr. Pascoe is a member of the board of directors of KemPharm, Inc., as well as a member of the company’s audit and compensation committees and its lead independent director.  He also serves as a member of the board of directors of Biocom and the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund, a charity for military veterans.

Mr. Pascoe served as a Commissioned Officer with the U.S. Army 24th Infantry Division.  He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point where he received a B.S. degree in Leadership.

Paul V. Maier


Paul V. Maier has been a director since June 2012. Mr. Maier is the Chair of our Audit Committee and a member of our Corporate Governance/Nominating Committee.

Mr. Maier was most recently the Chief Financial Officer of Sequenom, Inc. from November 2009 until June 2014. Prior to joining Sequenom, Mr. Maier served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated from 1992 until 2007, where he helped build Ligand from a venture stage company to a commercial, integrated biopharmaceutical organization. Prior to joining Ligand, he spent six years in various management and finance positions at ICN Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  Mr. Maier currently serves on a number of boards, including public companies like International Stem Cell Corporation, where he is Chair of the company’s audit and a member of the compensation committees, MabVax Therapeutics Holdings Inc., where he is Chair of the company’s audit and a member of the governance committee, and Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he is Chair of the audit committee and a member of the compensation committee.  Mr. Maier also serves on the board of Biological Dynamics, a private company.  Mr. Maier previously served on the board of directors of the following public companies: Pure Bioscience and Talon Therapeutics, Inc. (previously Hana Bioscience).  Mr. Maier was also an independent financial consultant from 2007 through 2009.

Mr. Maier received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. from Pennsylvania State University.

Wendell Wierenga, Ph.D.


Wendell Wierenga, Ph.D. has been a director since March 2014.  Dr. Wierenga is a member of our Compensation Committee.

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 in Research and Development at Ambit Biosciences Corporation from 2007 until 2011 and Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. from 2003 until joining Ambit.  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 (now Pfizer, Inc.), and he spent 16 years at Upjohn Pharmaceuticals in research and drug discovery roles. Dr. Wierenga’s most recent board appointments to public companies include Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  He has served as a member of the board of directors of the following private companies, Patara Pharma LLC and Crinetics Pharmaceuticals Inc., since June and November of 2015, respectively.  He also serves on the board and as a member of the compensation committee at the following public companies, Ocera Therapeutics Inc., Cytokinetics Inc. and XenoPort, Inc. and he was previously on the board of directors of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by Amgen). Additionally, Dr. Wierenga serves on multiple scientific advisory boards, including Concert Pharmaceuticals, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, and aTyr Pharma, Inc.

Dr. Wierenga holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stanford University and a B.A. in Chemistry from Hope College.

Sandford D. Smith


Sandford D. Smith has been a director since August 2014.  Mr. Smith is a member of our Compensation Committee.

Mr. Smith has been actively engaged in the development of international biotech and pharmaceutical companies for almost four decades.  Most recently, Mr. Smith served as Interim Chief Executive Officer at Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from July 2015 to January 2016, and now serves as Aegerion Chairman. He is chair/founder of Global BioLink LLC, a biotech consultancy formed in 2011.  He was President of Genzyme International and Executive Vice President of Genzyme Corporation until the company’s acquisition by Sanofi in 2011. He joined Genzyme in 1996, and initially served as Vice President and General Manager of Genzyme International and President of Genzyme Specialty Therapeutics. Prior to joining Genzyme, Mr. Smith was President and Chief Executive Officer at RepliGen Corporation, a publicly traded biotechnology company, from 1986-1995. Mr. Smith previously held leadership positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb from 1977-1985, including Director of Operations for Bristol-Myers Squibb–Asia Pacific and Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Planning for the Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Division.  Mr. Smith currently serves on the board of directors of publicly traded biotechnology companies Cytokinetics, Incorporated, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Neuralstem, Inc.  He is also on the advisory council for Brigham & Women’s Hospital, where he created the Smith Scholars Residency in medical education to benefit physicians from resource-poor nations and the advisory board at Tullis Health Advisors.

Mr. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver.