Board of Directors
G. Kirk Raab
Mr. Raab has almost 5 decades of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He held marketing management roles at Pfizer, started Beecham's pharmaceutical business in Latin America, and served as Vice President, Latin America, Executive Vice President, President and COO, and Director at Abbott Laboratories. Mr. Raab joined Genentech as President, COO and a Director in 1985, and was elected CEO in 1990. He was the Founding Chairman of the California Health Care Institute and the Biotechnology Industry Organization. He has been involved in a number of biotech companies, including board positions at Amgen and Connetics, among others. Mr. Raab graduated with honors from Colgate University and is a Trustee Emeritus.
Kevin Bitterman, Ph.D.
Kevin J. Bitterman is a principal in Polaris' Boston office. Kevin joined Polaris in July 2004 and focuses on investments in the life sciences. Prior to joining Polaris, Kevin completed his Ph.D. in genetics at Harvard Medical School under the guidance of Dr. David Sinclair. His doctoral research focused on small molecule regulation of a novel class of protein deacetylases. Kevin has authored papers in the journals Nature, Science and Molecular Cell and is a cofounder of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals.
Chris Ehrlich has been part of InterWest's life sciences team since 2000, focusing on investments in novel therapeutic approaches. He currently serves on the boards of two publicly owned companies: BioMimetic Therapeutics (BMTI) and Transcept Pharmaceuticals (TSPT). He also serves on the boards of several private companies, including: Carbylan BioSurgery, CVRx, Follica, Invuity, KAI Pharmaceuticals, QuatRx Pharmaceuticals, Satori Pharmaceuticals and Xenon Pharmaceuticals.
Prior to joining InterWest, Ehrlich was director, licensing and business development at Purdue Pharma, a private pharmaceutical firm based in Stamford, CT. In this position, he was responsible for developing a biologic oncology franchise, including in-licensing key intellectual properties, establishing and managing collaborations with biotechnology companies and participating in the commercial operations of Purdue BioPharma, a biotechnology company located in Princeton, NJ. Prior to joining Purdue, Ehrlich worked in business development at Genentech, in venture capital at The U.S. Russia Investment Fund, and in biotechnology strategy development at LEK Consulting.
Ehrlich received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, cum laude, and an M.B.A. from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He also sits on advisory boards for the Innovation and New Ventures Office at Northwestern University and the Peter Michael Foundation.
William Ju, M.D.
President, CEO & Member, Board of Directors
Dr. Ju is a board-certified dermatologist who has 17 years of biopharmaceutical experience in a wide variety of therapeutic areas, including dermatology. Prior to joining Follica, Dr. Ju was chief operating officer at PTC Therapeutics, where he played an important role in successfully leading and building the company including helping PTC triple in size, complete a $50 million Series E round, and enter into a partnership with Genzyme worth over $400 million. Prior to PTC, he held executive positions at Pharmacia Corporation and Merck Research Laboratories in a broad spectrum of product development functions. Dr. Ju served as project leader for SUTENT®, introduced CANCIDAS® into humans, and was part of the registration team for CRIXIVAN®. Dr. Ju began his pharmaceutical career at Hoffmann-La Roche where he was a clinical leader for the development of dermatology compounds. Before entering industry, he was a senior staff fellow in basic research in the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology and was affiliated with the Dermatology Branch at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. Dr. Ju obtained his M.D. with Alpha Omega Alpha honors at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and his A.B. with Phi Beta Kappa honors at Princeton University.
Daphne Zohar is the founder and managing partner of PureTech Ventures, a Boston-based venture creation firm specializing in translating breakthrough research from top tier academic institutions into therapies that will impact human health and well-being. PureTech's senior partners include entrepreneurs and leaders from the highest echelon of pharma, biotech and academia. In 2010, Ms. Zohar was recognized by BioWorld as one of 28 leaders predicted to be the "movers and shakers" of the biotechnology industry over the next twenty years and by Fierce Biotech as one of the "Top 10 Women in Biotech." Previously she was named one of the world's leading young innovators by MIT's Technology Review magazine and one of the top "40 under 40" by the Boston Business Journal. A successful entrepreneur, Ms. Zohar created PureTech and assembled a leading team to help implement her vision for the firm. She sits on the Boards of Directors of PureTech Ventures, Enlight Biosciences (a technology development company whose backers include Merck, Pfizer, Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott, and Novartis), Follica, Inc., Libra Biosciences (where she is Founding CEO), Mandara Sciences (where she is Founding CEO), Karuna Pharmaceuticals, Tal Medical, and SatoriPharmaceuticals. She also sits on the Technology Development Fund Advisory Board at Children's Hospital Boston, the Tufts University School of Medicine Advisory Committee for Drug Discovery and Development, and is an Editorial Advisor to Xconomy, a national technology news blog.