Board of Directors
Wendell Wierenga, Ph.D.Chairman
Dr. Wierenga brings more than 40 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical experience in small, medium and large companies. He has been an advisor to Crinetics since its inception and recently retired as executive vice president, research and development at Santarus. Dr. Wierenga is on the board of director’s at XenoPort, Cytokinetics, Ocera Therapeutics, Apricus Biosciences, and SRI International, as well as on the scientific advisory boards at Concert Pharmaceuticals, aTyr Pharmaceuticals, and the Ferring Research Institute. He previously served as executive vice president of R&D at Neurocrine Biosciences and Ambit Biosciences. Prior to Neurocrine, he served as chief executive officer of Syrrx, Inc. (now Takeda San Diego) and as senior vice president of worldwide pharmaceutical sciences, technologies and development at Parke-Davis/Warner Lambert (now Pfizer), where he was responsible for worldwide drug development. Prior to joining Parke-Davis, Wierenga spent 16 years at Upjohn Pharmaceuticals, where he led cancer and infectious diseases research and later drug discovery research. He led/participated in the research and development of more than 16 NDAs and 16 marketed products, including Lipitor®, Neurontin®, and Uceris®. He is an author of more than 60 scientific papers and inventor on 30 patents. Dr. Wierenga holds a B.A. from Hope College and Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University.
Mason Freeman, M.D.
Dr. Freeman joined 5AM Ventures as a scientific advisor in 2007 and became a venture partner in 2008. He serves as chief of the lipid metabolism unit and director of translational medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School. Dr. Freeman currently serves as clinical advisor to Relypsa and previously served as board director for Envoy (acquired by Takeda). Trained in internal medicine and endocrinology, Dr. Freeman has spent twenty years studying the trafficking of cholesterol into and out of macrophages. As a post-doctoral research fellow in the biology department at MIT, he cloned the first macrophage scavenger receptor to be molecularly identified. In 1992, he became chief of the MGH’s lipid metabolism unit, which he continues to direct as well as the translational medicine programs at the MGH center for computational and integrative biology and the MGH clinical research program. In these roles, he oversees a basic science research laboratory devoted to studying lipid trafficking as well as a clinical investigative team developing a novel oral anti-diabetic drug. From 2005 to 2007, he served as a head of the Novartis translational medicine program for cardiovascular & metabolic diseases as well as global head of biomarker development. Dr. Freeman is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and editor of the adult primary care lipid section of a leading medical textbook, UpToDate. Dr. Freeman holds a B.A. from Harvard College and M.D. from the University of California, San Francisco.
Stephen Kaldor, Ph.D.
Dr. Kaldor is a seasoned biotech and pharmaceutical industry executive with over 25 years of experience in creating high value drugs and shareholder value. Most recently, he served as chief executive officer at Quanticel, a privately-held cancer drug discovery biotech that was acquired by Celgene for $485M. Dr. Kaldor has contributed to other companies including Syrrx (president & CSO, $270M acquisition by Takeda), Amira (independent Board member, $475M acquisition by BMS), Ambrx (CEO and president), and Furiex (NASDAQ: FURX, independent Board member, $1.5B acquisition by Forest/Actavis), and he is a co-inventor of three marketed drugs (Viracept®; Nesina®; Zafatek®). He started his career at Lilly in 1990 and is a chemist by training. He holds B.A. in chemistry from Columbia University and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard University.
Mahendra G. Shah, Ph.D.
Dr. Shah is a highly successful pharmaceutical entrepreneur and executive who has been at Vivo Capital since March 2010. He is also the founder and executive chairman of Semnur Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Vivo Capital, he was the founder, chairman and CEO of NextWave Pharmaceuticals; chairman and CEO of First Horizon Pharmaceuticals; vice president of E. J. Financial Enterprises, Inc.; and senior director of new business development with Fujisawa USA (Astellas). Prior to that time, he worked in various scientific and management positions with Schering-Plough and Bristol Myers-Squibb. Dr. Shah currently serves as chairman of the board of Essentialis Therapeutics, board member of Biotie Therapies (NASDAQ: BITI), and a member of the board of trustees of St. John’s University. He is also a board member and charter member of EPPIC and a charter member of TiE. He previously served on the boards of Unimed Pharmaceuticals (UMED), Introgen Therapeutics (INGN), Inpharmakon, Protomed, Structural Bioinformatics, and Zarix. Dr. Shah received his Ph.D. in industrial pharmacy from St. John’s University and his B.Pharm and M.Pharm from L.M. College of Pharmacy in Gujarat, India.
R. Scott Struthers, Ph.D.Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Struthers is a founder of Crinetics. Prior to Crinetics, he was senior director and head, endocrinology and metabolism at Neurocrine Biosciences. At Neurocrine, he initiated and led the company’s efforts to discover and develop orally active, nonpeptide GnRH antagonists. This resulted in a first-in-class compound, elagolix, which has demonstrated safety and efficacy in over 40 clinical trials totaling more than 3,000 patients. Prior to Neurocrine, he co-founded ScienceMedia Inc. to develop eLearning solutions for the life sciences and higher education markets and led contract research efforts at Biosym Technologies to develop and apply computational tools for drug discovery. Dr. Struthers is an author of more than 75 scientific publications. He holds Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology from the University of California, San Diego.