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.
Matthew K. Fust
Mr. Fust is a leading expert on business strategy and finance matters, and has been an adviser to Crinetics for several years. Mr. Fust was chief financial officer and executive vice president at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, culminating in the company’s sale to Amgen. Prior to this role, he served as chief financial officer and senior vice president at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, chief financial officer at Perlegen Sciences, and chief financial officer and senior vice president at ALZA Corporation, where he was an executive through the company’s acquisition by Johnson & Johnson. Prior to these roles, he was a member of the healthcare strategy consulting practice at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). He currently serves as an outside director of Atara, Dermira, MacroGenics, Sunesis, and Ultragenyx and is an advisor to several other life sciences executive teams and investors. He holds a B.A. in accounting from the University of Minnesota and M.B.A. from Stanford University.
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.
Weston Nichols, Ph.D.
Weston Nichols, Ph.D., is currently an Analyst at Perceptive Advisors. Founded in 1999, Perceptive Advisors focuses on supporting progress in the life sciences industry by identifying opportunities and directing financial resources toward the most promising technologies in modern healthcare. Today, the firm manages approximately $3 billion across various strategies. Prior to joining Perceptive, Dr. Nichols was an Analyst at Balyasny Asset Management. Dr. Nichols has published scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals on the topic of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Dr. Nichols holds a B.S. in Biological Engineering from Cornell University and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the California Institute of Technology.
Mr. Nielsen is a director at Crinetics representing Vivo Capital, which he joined as a managing director in 2017. Prior to joining Vivo, Mr. Nielsen worked within the Novo A/S organization and its venture activities since 2001 in several roles, most recently as a senior partner. From 2006 to 2012, he was employed as a partner at Novo Ventures (U.S.) Inc. in San Francisco, where he established Novo’s U.S. office. Mr. Nielsen currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Reata Pharmaceuticals Inc, and Harmony Biosciences, Inc. He previously served on the board of directors of publicly traded companies Akebia Therapeutics Inc., Merus, B.V and Apollo Endosurgery, Inc. He was also a member of the board of directors of a number of private companies including Alios Biopharma, Anokion, Kanyos Bio, NeoMend, Procept Biorobotics, ProteinSimple, Tobira Therapeutics, and Unchained Labs. From 1990 to 2001, Mr. Nielsen served various positions in Novo Nordisk A/S, ranging from R&D projects over large-scale production of enzymes to marketing and technical service in the textile areas. He received a M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and a Masters in Management of Technology from Center for Technology, Economics and Management from Technical University of Denmark.
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.