Kurt von Emster, Interim Chairman

Managing Partner – Abingworth LLP

Mr. von Emster joined Abingworth in January 2015 and now serves as its Managing Partner, bringing over 25 years of experience in life science investment in both private and public companies. He holds board positions at the Abingworth portfolio companies CRISPR Therapeutics, Kesios Therapeutics and SutroVax. In addition, he is on the boards of CymaBay. Kurt began his career as a Biotechnology and Healthcare Analyst and Portfolio Manager at Franklin Templeton. He then became a General Partner at MPM Capital. In 2009, he co-founded venBio, a US healthcare investment firm and most recently was a Partner in the San Francisco office. Kurt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Economics and is a CFA. He is based in Menlo Park.

Patrick Enright

Managing Director – Longitude Capital

Since 2006, Mr. Enright has served as a Managing Director of Longitude Capital, a venture capital firm, of which he is a founder. From 2002 through 2006, Mr. Enright was a Managing Director of Pequot Ventures, a venture capital investment firm, where he co-led the life sciences investment practice. He currently serves on the boards of directors of Corcept Therapeutics, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Aimmune Therapeutics and several privately-held companies. In the past five years, he also served as a director of Esperion Therapeutics, Threshold Pharmaceuticals and Sequenom. Mr. Enright received a BS from Stanford University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. As a venture capital investor focused on life science companies and someone who has worked in the pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Enright brings to our board of directors over 25 years of operating experience and financial expertise in the life sciences industry.

Patrick Heron

Managing General Partner – Frazier Healthcare

Patrick is a Managing General Partner of Frazier Healthcare Partner’s Life Sciences team. He joined the firm in 1999 and opened Frazier’s Menlo Park office in 2003. Throughout his 12 years as a General Partner, Patrick has led or co-led investments across nearly 20 companies.
Patrick has successfully partnered with entrepreneurs across a range of company types and stages, from early-stage anti-infectives companies to >$100M commercial-stage dermatology companies. Patrick has also been active in company formation around both early- and later-stage assets. He has led and served as director for many successful Frazier Life Sciences investments, including Tobira Therapeutics (acquired by Allergan), Marcadia (acquired by Roche), Calixa (acquired by Cubist), Cerexa (acquired by Forest), PreCision Dermatology (acquired by Valeant), MedPointe (acquired by Meda), and Collegium (NASDAQ: COLL). He currently serves on the boards of Imago BioSciences, Iterum Therapeutics, Silvergate Pharmaceuticals, and Zavante Therapeutics.
Prior to joining Frazier, Patrick helped develop McKinsey & Company’s West Coast biotechnology consulting practice, where he led projects involving mergers and acquisitions, product launches, sales force optimization, corporate partnering, and research prioritization.
Patrick received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He also holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate and Morehead Scholar.

William J. Newell

President & CEO – Sutro Biopharma

Mr. Newell has over 15 years of senior management experience in the biotechnology industry. He joined Sutro Biopharma as CEO in January 2009. Previously, he served as the President of Aerovance, a venture-backed company developing clinical assets for respiratory diseases. Mr. Newell also was Chief Business Officer and Senior Vice President at publicly-traded QLT and served in several senior management positions at public-traded Axys Pharmaceuticals where he ultimately served as Senior Vice President, Corporate and Business Development prior to Celera Genomics acquisition of Axys. For the 15 years prior to joining Axys, Mr. Newell practiced law at the law firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP.

Grant Pickering

President & CEO, SutroVax

See Management Team

Tracy Saxton, PhD

Managing Partner – Pivotal bioVenture Partners

Tracy Saxton is a Founder and Managing Partner at Pivotal bioVenture Partners.  Prior to founding Pivotal, Tracy held investment roles with the Roche Venture Fund (RVF) and SV Life Sciences Advisers, where she focused on biopharmaceutical investments. Dr. Saxton previously held positions at Tularik (acquired by Amgen), and Threshold Pharmaceuticals. She began her career as a drug discovery scientist and moved to leadership roles in global regulatory affairs, clinical development, business development and project management. Dr. Saxton earned her PhD in Medical Genetics from the University of Toronto, her MBA from Columbia University and was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund fellow at University of California, San Francisco.

Peter Hirth, PhD

Life Science Advisor

Dr. Hirth co-founded and led Plexxikon, Inc. as its CEO as it built a novel, structure-guided drug discovery platform that advanced several new chemical entities into the clinic, including Zelboraf, which was FDA approved and led to the company’s 2011 acquisition by Daiichi Sankyo for $935 million. Prior to Plexxikon, Dr. Hirth was President of SUGEN, Inc., where he was instrumental in building the company from its inception as well as advancing several kinase inhibitors through clinical trials, including Sutent, which was FDA approved and led to the company’s 1999 acquisition by Pharmacia & Upjohn, Inc. for $728 million. Prior to SUGEN, Dr. Hirth was Vice President of Research at Boehringer Mannheim where he successfully led the company’s erythropoietin program to approval in 1989, which was sold under the name Recormon. Before moving into industry, Dr. Hirth was a research scientist with the Max Planck Institute following his post-doctoral work at University of California, San Diego and obtaining his Ph.D. in molecular genetics from Heidelberg University, Germany.

Board Observers

Allyson Rinderle

Vice President – Longitude Capital

Prior to joining Longitude Capital in 2016, and prior to completing her MBA, Ms. Rinderle was an Analyst at Aisling Capital, a multi-strategy healthcare investment firm based in New York. Ms. Rinderle started her career as an Analyst in J.P. Morgan’s Healthcare Investment Banking practice. Ms. Rinderle holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was an Arjay Miller Scholar. She received her BS in Biomedical Engineering with distinction from Yale University, graduating magna cum laude, Tau Beta Pi, and Phi Beta Kappa.