Sorbent Therapeutics appoints two new board members

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sorbent Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for cardiovascular and renal diseases, has appointed Jay Shepard and William D. Waddill to the company’s board of directors.

“Shepard’s significant expertise in pharmaceutical marketing and commercialization and his success as a biotechnology executive will be extremely valuable to Sorbent as our lead product candidate, CLP-1001, advances through late-stage clinical trials in heart failure,” said Detlef Albrecht, M.D., Sorbent’s president and CEO. “Waddill brings tremendous first-hand knowledge of private and public fundraising, financial management, and the finance and governance aspects of partnerships. Together, their insights will support Sorbent’s executive team in achieving our strategic goals.”

Shepard currently is executive partner at Sofinnova Ventures following his role as CEO of NextWave Pharmaceuticals, through its sale for $700 million to Pfizer in 2012. Prior, Shepard was president and CEO of Ilypsa, a nephrology therapeutics company acquired for $420 million by Amgen in 2007. He then was interim president and CEO at Relypsa, an Ilypsa spin-out company. Shepard held senior leadership roles at Telik and Alza (now Johnson & Johnson). Shepard currently is executive chairman of Versartis, and is a board member of Bullet Biotechnologies, Marinus Pharmaceuticals, Durect and the Santa Clara University Entrepreneurial School. 

Waddill joined Calithera BioSciences as senior vice president, chief financial officer, in April 2014. He began his career 30 years ago in commercial banking and public accounting and has been in the biotechnology industry for over 20 years. Previously, Waddill was senior vice president, chief financial officer at OncoMed Pharmaceuticals from 2007 to 2014, where he was responsible for all corporate financial matters. Waddill was senior vice president, chief financial officer at Ilypsa, where he was the finance lead for the $420 million acquisition by Amgen in 2007. Waddill was the founder and principal at Square One Finance, a financial consulting business. Waddill  is on the board of the Association of Bioscience Financial Officers, and was formerly the chairman of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) BIO Business Solutions Advisory Board and Finance and Tax Committee.

Sorbent’s lead product, CLP-1001, is a cross-linked polyelectrolyte polymer intended to selectively bind to and remove excess water and sodium in the GI tract. CLP-1001 currently is being studied in the phase IIb STEPWISE clinical trial to assess the safety, tolerability and efficacy of CLP-1001 therapy in addressing the signs and symptoms of fluid overload in heart failure patients. Sorbent completed a phase IIa study with CLP-1001 in 100 patients that demonstrated favorable effects on many of the signs and symptoms of heart failure in patients with advanced symptomatic heart failure and chronic kidney disease.

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