Sorbent Therapeutics, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical firm focused on treating cardiovascular and renal diseases, has added Jay Shepard and William D. Waddill to its board of directors. Shepard is an executive partner at Sofinnova Ventures while Waddill is the senior vice president and chief financial officer at Calithera Biosciences. Sorbent’s backers include CMEA Capital, ARCH Venture Partners, Sofinnova Ventures, AgeChem and Novartis Venture Funds.
SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Sorbent Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for cardiovascular and renal diseases, today announced the appointment of Jay Shepard and William D. Waddill to the company’s Board of Directors.
Mr. Shepard currently serves as an Executive Partner at Sofinnova Ventures and has more than 32 years of commercial and company building experience in the specialty pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Mr. Waddill is the Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of privately held Calithera Biosciences, with more than 20 years of biotechnology experience focused on corporate financial matters.
“We are excited to have Jay and Will join our Board. Jay’s significant expertise in pharmaceutical marketing and commercialization and his success as a biotechnology executive will be extremely valuable to Sorbent as our lead product candidate, CLP-1001, advances through late-stage clinical trials in heart failure,” said Detlef Albrecht, M.D., Sorbent’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Will brings tremendous first-hand knowledge of private and public fundraising, financial management, and the finance and governance aspects of partnerships. Together, their insights will support Sorbent’s executive team in achieving our strategic goals.”
Jay Shepard is currently Executive Partner at Sofinnova Ventures following his role as Chief Executive Officer of NextWave Pharmaceuticals, through its sale for $700 million to Pfizer in 2012. From 2008 to 2010 he was an Executive-in-Residence at Sofinnova Ventures. Prior to that, Mr. Shepard was President and Chief Executive Officer of Ilypsa, a nephrology therapeutics company acquired for $420 million by Amgen in 2007. He then served as interim President and Chief Executive Officer at Relypsa, an Ilypsa spin-out company. Prior, Mr. Shepard held senior leadership roles at Telik and Alza Corporation (now Johnson & Johnson). Mr. Shepard is currently Executive Chairman of Versartis, Inc. and serves as a board member of Bullet Biotechnologies, Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Durect Corporation and the Santa Clara University Entrepreneurial School. He holds a BS in business administration from the University of Arizona.
Will Waddill joined Calithera BioSciences as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, in April 2014. He began his career 30 years ago in commercial banking and public accounting and has been in the biotechnology industry for over 20 years. Prior to joining Calithera, Mr. Waddill was Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer at OncoMed Pharmaceuticals from 2007 to 2014, where he was responsible for all corporate financial matters, most notably the successful completion of a $94 million Initial Public Offering in July 2013, private equity financing of $126 million in December 2008, and three collaborations collectively valued at $6.1 billion. Prior to OncoMed, Mr. Waddill was Senior Vice President, CFO, at Ilypsa, where he was the finance lead for the $420 million acquisition by Amgen in 2007. Before joining Ilypsa, Mr. Waddill served as the founder and principal at Square One Finance, a financial consulting business, managing the finances of 33 start-up biotechnology companies, including eight that became public and six that were acquired. Mr. Waddill serves on the board of the Association of Bioscience Financial Officers, and was formerly the Chairman of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) BIO Business Solutions Advisory Board and Finance and Tax Committee. He received a BS in accounting from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and certification as a public accountant (inactive) after working at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte in Boston.
Sorbent’s lead product, CLP-1001, is a cross-linked polyelectrolyte polymer intended to selectively bind to and remove excess water and sodium in the GI tract. CLP-1001 is currently being studied in the Phase 2b STEPWISE clinical trial to assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of CLP-1001 therapy in addressing the signs and symptoms of fluid overload in heart failure patients. Sorbent completed a Phase 2a study with CLP-1001 in 100 patients that demonstrated favorable effects on many of the signs and symptoms of heart failure in patients with advanced symptomatic heart failure and chronic kidney disease.
Sorbent Therapeutics is a private biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for patients requiring targeted cation and fluid removal from the body. The company is focused on the development of non-absorbed polymeric drugs to satisfy unmet clinical needs in large cardiovascular and renal markets such as heart failure, end-stage renal disease, chronic kidney disease and hypertension. Sorbent is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit www.sorbent.com.