David Meeker, MD
Dr. Meeker has served as a member of our board of directors since November 2015. Dr. Meeker is President and Chief Executive Officer of Genzyme, a position he assumed when Genzyme merged with Sanofi in 2011. He provides oversight and vision for Genzyme’s two business units—rare diseases and multiple sclerosis—as well as the company’s relationships with patient communities and the company’s workforce of nearly 6,000 employees. As an Executive Vice President of Sanofi, he is a member of Sanofi’s Executive Committee. Prior to Genzyme’s merger with Sanofi, Dr. Meeker was Genzyme’s Chief Operating Officer, responsible for the company’s commercial organization and for overseeing its business units, country management organization, and global market access functions. Dr. Meeker joined Genzyme in 1994 as Medical Director to work on the Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy program. Subsequently, as Vice President, Medical Affairs, he was responsible for the development of rare disease therapies that today represent transformative and life-saving advancements in medicine for patients. Prior to joining Genzyme, Dr. Meeker was Director of the Pulmonary Critical Care Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Ohio State University. He has authored more than 40 articles and multiple book chapters. Dr. Meeker received his MD from the University of Vermont Medical School. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Mr. Exter has served as a member of our board of directors since April 2014. He is a partner at Third Rock Ventures, where he plays an integral role in the formation, development, business strategy, and business development efforts of portfolio companies. He has more than 20 years of business development and strategic experience, facilitating the successful development and implementation of operations and collaborations across the spectrum of newly emerging and established biotech companies. Prior to joining Third Rock Ventures, Mr. Exter was CBO of Alantos Pharmaceuticals and led the sale of that company to Amgen. Previously, he served as Vice President of Business Development for Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Exter is a board member of CytomX Therapeutics, Cibiem, Lotus Tissue Repair, Coridea NC1, Coridea NC2, Element Science, and Seventh Sense. He is a member of the Research Committee of Children’s Hospital Boston, the investment committee of the Innovation Research Fund at Partners Healthcare, the Board of Directors of the New England Venture Capital Association, the Advisory Council of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Cornell University, and the Board of Visitors of Columbia College. He holds an MBA as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School, an M.S. from Stanford University, and a B.S. from Cornell University.
Mr. Foley is a Managing Director at MPM Capital. He focuses on biotech investments and serves on a number of MPM portfolio company boards, including Repare Therapeutics, CODA Biotherapeutics, Chiasma (CHMA), Clinical Ink, Iconic, Rhythm (RYTM), Semma, and Tetherex. Mr. Foley also manages MPM’s strategic investment relationship with Novartis (NVS), which MPM believes has been one of the industry’s longest standing and most prolific collaborations between venture capital investors and pharma, having committed $200 million to over a dozen companies in the biotech and healthcare IT space under a variety of creative joint equity/strategic deal structures. Prior to MPM, Mr. Foley’s career in the life science industry included business development at Genentech (Roche) and management consulting with Arthur D. Little. He holds a B.S. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Keith M. Gottesdiener, MD
Dr. Gottesdiener has been our Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board of directors since October 2011. He joined Rhythm after 16 years at Merck Research Laboratories. Dr. Gottesdiener joined Merck early clinical development in 1995, helping to transition compounds from the bench to the bedside and through to proof of concept. He held positions of increasing responsibility, eventually leading Merck’s early clinical development across all therapeutic areas from 2001 through early 2006. From 2006-2011, he was a leader of Merck’s late clinical development organization, first overseeing the development of Merck’s infectious diseases and vaccine products through pivotal trials, registration, and life cycle management, including Gardasil™ (HPV Vaccine), Rotateq™ (rotavirus vaccine), Zostavax™ (zoster vaccine) and Isentress™ (HIV integrase inhibitor), among others. In 2008, Dr. Gottesdiener was appointed Late Stage Therapeutic Group Leader, and in that role led Merck’s late-stage clinical development efforts (from Phase 2 thru patent expiry) across all therapeutic areas. After Merck’s merger with Schering Plough in 2009, he continued as co-head of late development. Dr. Gottesdiener received his B.A. from Harvard College and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his residency and fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital-Beth Israel Medical Center-Dana Farber Cancer Institute Children’s Hospital programs. After his fellowship, Dr. Gottesdiener did postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Jack Strominger at Dana Farber Cancer Institute working on the molecular immunology of the T-cell receptor. In 1986, he joined the faculty as an assistant professor at Columbia University, started an independent research laboratory with NIH RO-1 funding, focusing on gene transcription, and was Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the time he left to join Merck in 1995.
Christophe R. Jean
Mr. Jean has served as a member of our board of directors since April 2015. He is Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Business Development, Alliances and M&A for the Ipsen Group, a position he assumed in 2013 after serving for 11 years in the position of Executive Vice-President, Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility for all commercial operations and medical affairs worldwide as well as Ipsen’s therapeutic area franchises. Prior to joining Ipsen, Mr. Jean was President and CEO for the pharmaceutical activities of the Pierre Fabre Group and President of Europe, Middle East, and Africa for Novartis’ Pharmaceutical Division. Prior to the merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz that formed Novartis, he held a number of marketing and management positions in Europe and Latin America for Ciba-Geigy, culminating as Head of Finance and IT Worldwide and Member of the Pharma Executive Committee. Mr. Jean is a member of the Ipsen Group Executive Committee, the Supervisory Board of Diaxonhit, and the European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises (EBE) Board. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Mr. Mathers has served as a member of our board of directors since March 2013. He has been a Partner at New Enterprise Associates, or NEA, a venture capital firm, since August 2008. Mr. Mathers currently serves on the boards of directors of Envisia Therapeutics Inc., Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc., Liquidia Technologies, Inc., Lumos Pharma, Inc., Lumena Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Mirna Therapeutics, Inc., Ra Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Satori Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, all of which are biotechnology companies. In addition, Mr. Mathers is a member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization board, the Southeast BIO board and the North Carolina State Physical and Mathematical Sciences Foundation board. Prior to joining NEA, Mr. Mathers served in various corporate development roles at MedImmune, Inc., a biotechnology company that was acquired by AstraZeneca PLC in 2007, culminating in the position of Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Venture. In this role, he also led the company’s venture capital subsidiary, MedImmune Ventures, Inc., from 2002 to 2008. Mr. Mathers was a director of MedImmune, LLC, from 2007 to 2008. From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Mathers was Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Licensing and Acquisitions at Inhale Therapeutic Systems, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, which is now known as Nektar Therapeutics, Inc. Previously, for 15 years, Mr. Mathers was at Glaxo Wellcome, Inc., where he held sales and marketing positions of increasing responsibility. Mr. Mathers received a B.S. in chemistry from North Carolina State University.
Mr. McGirr has served as a member of our board of directors since November 2015. Mr. McGirr serves as a director of Relypsa, Inc., a pharmaceutical company focused on polymer science, Insamed Incorporated, a pharmaceutical company devoted to the treatment of rare diseases, and Roka Bioscience, a molecular diagnostics company. From March 2013 until June 2014, Mr. McGirr was Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, and from November 2002 to March 2013, Mr. McGirr was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Cubist. Prior to joining Cubist, Mr. McGirr was President and Chief Operating Officer of hippo inc, an internet technology company, from 1999 to 2002, for which he also served as a director. He was President Chief Executive Officer of GAB Robins North America, Inc., a risk management company, from 1997 to 1999, where he had previously served as President from 1996 to 1997. Mr. McGirr was a private equity investor from 1995 to 1996. Prior that that, he served in various positions within the S.G. Warburg Group from 1978 to 1995, ultimately as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, and Managing Director of S.G. Warburg & Co., Inc., a position he held from 1992 to 1995. Mr. McGirr received a BSc in Civil Engineering from the University of Glasgow and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.