Board of Directors

Andrew Dreyfus, President and Chief Executive Officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Andrew Dreyfus joined our board of directors in April 2016. Mr. Dreyfus has served as president and chief executive officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, or BCBSMA, one of the largest Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance plans in the country, since 2010. From 2005 to 2010, Mr. Dreyfus served as the executive vice president of healthcare services of BCBSMA. Prior to joining BCBSMA, he served as the first president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation. Mr. Dreyfus also previously served as executive vice president of the Massachusetts Hospital Association and held a number of senior positions in Massachusetts state government, including undersecretary of consumer affairs and business regulation. Mr. Dreyfus serves on the board of directors of BCBSMA, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, BCBSMA Foundation and RIZE Massachusetts. He is a member of the advisory boards of Ariadne Labs and the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics at the University of Southern California (USC). He serves on the advisory board and is a founding member of the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care. Mr. Dreyfus received a B.A. in English from Connecticut College.

Julie H. McHugh, Chair - Former Chief Operating Officer, Endo Health Solutions, Inc.

Julie McHugh joined our board of directors in February 2014 and became chair of our board in April 2019. Ms. McHugh most recently served as chief operating officer for Endo Health Solutions, Inc., or Endo, from 2010 through 2013, where she was responsible for the specialty pharmaceutical and generic drug businesses. Prior to joining Endo, Ms. McHugh was the chief executive officer of Nora Therapeutics, Inc. Before that she served as company group chairman for the worldwide virology business unit of Johnson & Johnson, or J&J, and previously she was president of Centocor, Inc., a J&J subsidiary. While at J&J, Ms. McHugh oversaw the development and launches of several products, including Remicade (infliximab) and she was responsible for oversight of a research and development portfolio including compounds targeting autoimmune diseases, HIV, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis. Prior to joining Centocor, Inc., Ms. McHugh led marketing communications for gastrointestinal drug Prilosec (omeprazole) at Astra-Merck Inc. Ms. McHugh currently serves on the board of directors of Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: AERI), Lantheus Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: LNTH), Evelo Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: EVLO), and Xellia Pharmaceuticals ApS. She also serves on the strategic advisory board for HealthCare Royalty Partners and the board of visitors for the Smeal College of Business of Pennsylvania State University. She previously served on the board of directors for Trevana, Inc., ViroPharma Inc., Epirus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association and the New England Healthcare Institute. Ms. McHugh received her M.B.A. degree from St. Joseph’s University and her B.S. degree from Pennsylvania State University.

Mark G. Currie, Ph.D., Former President and Chief Scientific Officer, Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc.

Portrait

Mark Currie joined our board of directors in April 2019. Dr. Currie has been the chair of the scientific advisory board of Cyclerion Therapeutics, Inc., or Cyclerion, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, since January 2021. Dr. Currie previously served as Cyclerion’s president and chief scientific officer from April 2019 to December 2020. Prior to joining Cyclerion, Dr. Currie served as senior vice president, chief scientific officer and president of research and development at Ironwood from 2002 to April 2019. Prior to joining Ironwood, Dr. Currie directed cardiovascular and central nervous system disease research as vice president of discovery research at Sepracor, Inc. and initiated, built and led discovery pharmacology and also served as director of arthritis and inflammation at Monsanto Company. Dr. Currie currently serves on the board of directors of Science Exchange, Inc. and Sea Pharmaceuticals, LLC, privately held companies. Dr. Currie earned a B.S. in biology from the University of South Alabama and holds a Ph.D. in cell biology from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University.

Read about Mark’s inspiration to become a drug hunter

Jon R. Duane, Senior Partner Emeritus, McKinsey & Company

Jon Duane joined our board of directors in April 2019. Mr. Duane is senior partner emeritus at McKinsey & Company, or McKinsey, an international management consulting company. Before his retirement in December 2017, Mr. Duane had served as a partner at McKinsey since 1992. Mr. Duane is an independent advisor to clients, including the San Francisco Giants, a professional sports team, and Makena Capital Management, LLC, an investment management company. At McKinsey, Mr. Duane founded and led the firm’s biotech practice. In that role, Mr. Duane advised both private and public companies in the pharmaceutical, medical device and life science industries, as well as academic research centers, on various strategic initiatives. Mr. Duane serves as the executive chair on the board of directors of Nashville Biosciences, LLC. Mr. Duane graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in government and received an M.B.A from Harvard Business School.

Marla L. Kessler, Chief Customer Officer, Aetion, Inc.

Marla Kessler joined our board of directors in April 2019. Ms. Kessler has been chief customer officer of Aetion, Inc., or Aetion, a health care technology company, since September 2021. Prior to joining Aetion, Ms. Kessler served as an advisor to the chief executive officer of IQVIA Holdings Inc., or IQVIA (formerly IMS Health and Quintiles), a global analytics and technology company, from October 2020 to February 2021. Prior to that, Ms. Kessler had been the senior vice president for strategy, marketing and communications for IQVIA since October 2016. Previously, Ms. Kessler served in various roles for IQVIA, including vice president for global services marketing and knowledge management from 2013 to September 2016, regional leader of the IMS Consulting Group in Europe from 2011 to 2013, location manager for the London IMS Consulting Group from 2009 to 2011 and senior principal from 2008 to 2009. Before joining IQVIA, Ms. Kessler led several marketing efforts for Pfizer Inc. from 2004 to 2007 and worked in consulting for McKinsey & Company from 1996 to 2004. Ms. Kessler received a B.S. in economics from Arizona State University and an M.B.A. from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Catherine Moukheibir, Former Chief Executive Officer, MedDay Pharmaceuticals

Catherine Moukheibir joined our board of directors in April 2019. Ms. Moukheibir most recently served as chief executive officer of MedDay Pharmaceuticals, or MedDay, a biopharmaceutical company that focused on nervous system disorders, from July 2019 to January 2021. She was also the chairman of the board of directors of MedDay from April 2016 to January 2021. Prior to that, Ms. Moukheibir served as the senior advisor for finance and a member of the executive board of directors at Innate Pharma SA, an oncology company, from 2011 to December 2016, and as the chief financial officer for Movetis N.V. from 2008 to 2010, when it was acquired. Ms. Moukheibir previously served as the director of capital markets for Zeltia Group S.A. from 2001 to 2007. Ms. Moukheibir currently serves on the board of directors of MoonLake Immunotherapeutics AG (Nasdaq: MLTX), Biotalys NV (EBR: BTLS), Oxford Biomedica plc (LSE: OXB), Asceneuron SA, Noema Pharma AG, DNA Script SAS, and CMR Surgical. She held past directorships on the boards of directors of Ablynx NV, Cerenis Therapeutics SA, Creabilis S.A., GenKyoTex S.A., Kymab Group Limited, Orphazyme A/S and Zealand Pharma A/S. Ms. Moukheibir has an M.A. in economics and an M.B.A. from Yale University.

Alexander J. Denner, Ph.D., Founding Partner and Chief Investment Officer, Sarissa Capital Management LP; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sarissa Capital Acquisition Corp.

Alexander Denner joined our board of directors in October 2020. Dr. Denner is a founding partner and the chief investment officer of Sarissa Capital Management LP, or Sarissa, a registered investment advisor, where he has been since 2011. Dr. Denner also has been chairman and chief executive officer of Sarissa Capital Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company since December 2020. Prior to joining Sarissa, Dr. Denner served as a senior managing director at Icahn Capital L.P, an investment advisory firm, from 2006 to 2011. Prior to that, he served as a portfolio manager at Viking Global Investors, a private investment fund, and Morgan Stanley Investment Management, a global asset management firm. Dr. Denner serves on the board of directors of Biogen Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB), Sarissa Capital Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: SRSA) and Attralus, Inc. In the last five years, Dr. Denner has served as chair of the board of directors of Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and The Medicines Company, as well as a member of the board of directors of Bioverativ Inc. Dr. Denner earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. and M.Phil. in mechanical engineering from Yale University and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from Yale University.

Jay P. Shepard, Former President and Chief Executive Officer of Aravive, Inc.

Jay Shepard joined our board of directors in December 2020. Mr. Shepard is an advisor at Caralys Pacific, a venture group focused on licensing drug programs and creating new companies in the U.S. and Japan. Mr. Shepard previously was president and chief executive officer of Aravive, Inc. (formerly Versartis, Inc.), a clinical-stage oncology company, from May 2015 to January 2020, when he retired. From 2013 to 2015, Mr. Shepard was executive chairman of Versartis, Inc. From 2008 until May 2015, Mr. Shepard was an executive partner at Sofinnova Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on the healthcare industry. From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Shepard served as president and chief executive officer and was a member of the board of directors of NextWave Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pediatric pharmaceutical company. From 2005 to 2007, Mr. Shepard served as interim president and chief executive officer of Relypsa (Ilypsa, Inc.’s spin-out company, which was acquired by Galencia), a pharmaceutical company. Mr. Shepard was also vice president of commercial operations at Telik and oncology business unit head of Alza Pharmaceuticals (acquired by J&J). Mr. Shepard has over 35 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and drug delivery arenas. Mr. Shepard has participated in or led over 16 product launches by preparing markets and establishing sales and marketing operations. Mr. Shepard also currently serves on the board of directors of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: INO), Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ESPR), Aculys Pharma, LLC and Pathalys Pharma, Inc. Mr. Shepard also serves as the chairman of the board of directors of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Within the past five years, Mr. Shepard also served on the boards of directors of Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Durect Corporation. Mr. Shepard holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Arizona.

Thomas McCourt, Chief Executive Officer, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Mr. McCourt has served as our chief executive officer and member of the board of directors since June 2021 and had previously served as president and interim chief executive officer from March 2021 to June 2021 and as president from April 2019 to June 2021. Prior to April 2019, Mr. McCourt served as our senior vice president of marketing and sales and chief commercial officer since joining Ironwood in 2009. Prior to joining Ironwood, Mr. McCourt led the U.S. brand team for denosumab at Amgen Inc. from 2008 to 2009. Prior to that, Mr. McCourt was with Novartis AG from 2001 to 2008, where he directed the launch and growth of ZELNORM™ for the treatment of patients with IBS-C and CIC and held a number of senior commercial roles, including vice president of strategic marketing and operations. Mr. McCourt was also part of the founding team at Astra-Merck Inc., leading the development of the medical affairs and science liaison group and then serving as brand manager for PRILOSEC and NEXIUM. Mr. McCourt serves on the board of trustees for the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). Mr. McCourt previously served on the board of directors of Acceleron Pharma Inc., including as a member of the audit committee and the chair of the nominating and governance committee. Mr. McCourt received a B.S. in pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin.