Joan Lau is Chief Executive Officer of Spirovant, responsible for the strategic direction and growth of the gene therapy company. She delivers more than 20 years of biopharma leadership experience, including as CEO for several venture-capital-backed biotech companies. Dr. Lau co-founded Spirovant (then called Talee Bio), envisioning the potential for advanced gene therapy to treat cystic fibrosis and other patients in need. Within a few years under Dr. Lau’s leadership, Spirovant gained the prestigious scientific support of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and was acquired twice (in one year), most recently by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma.
Previously, Dr. Lau co-founded and served as Managing Partner of Militia Hill Ventures, focused on building and growing high quality life sciences companies. Dr. Lau also has served as President and CEO of Azelon Pharmaceuticals, a venture-backed clinical stage company; President and CEO of Locus Pharmaceuticals, a computational chemistry discovery company; and in various leadership roles at Merck, including roles in R&D drug development and business development.
In addition, Dr. Lau is an adjunct instructor at the University of Pennsylvania. She also serves on several boards including the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice and the Roy & Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences Management, and she co-founded the nonprofit PhillyBio, an organization focused on fostering relationships across Philadelphia-based biopharma.
Dr. Lau earned her MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and her BS in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Bill Symonds has served as the chief executive officer of Altavant Sciences since its inception in August 2018. Previously, Dr. Symonds was a member of the founding management team at Roivant Sciences, Inc. where he served as Roivant’s chief development officer.
In that role, Dr. Symonds crafted the research and development plans for a number of products including rodatristat ethyl, Altavant’s lead asset for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Earlier in his career, Dr. Symonds held senior positions at a number of pharmaceutical companies including Pharmasset, Inc. and Gilead Sciences, Inc. During his tenure at Pharmasset, Dr. Symonds led the development of Sovaldi® for hepatitis C virus infection medicines. Based on the early success at Pharmasset, Dr. Symonds and his team were brought into Gilead after its acquisition of Pharmasset, where he continued to advance Sovaldi® through to FDA approval. Previously, he worked at GlaxoSmithKline and its predecessor companies on numerous approved medicines for HIV infection including Ziagen®, Agenerase® and Epzicom®.
Dr. Symonds received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Campbell University and completed a fellowship in clinical pharmacokinetics at the Clinical Pharmacokinetics Laboratory at Millard Fillmore Hospital in Buffalo, New York. He has authored or co-authored over 35 clinical articles and is named on nine patents related to the composition of matter and methods of use of drugs for hepatitis C infection.
Rachelle joined Enzyvant as CEO from Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where she most recently served as Senior Vice President and Global Franchise Head of Complement across therapeutic areas of hematology, nephrology, and neurology. She brings broad experience in US and Global commercial leadership, including multiple high-profile product launches in rare diseases. Previously, Rachelle was Vice President of U.S. Hematology Marketing at Shire plc, which acquired Baxalta Inc. (“Baxalta”) in 2016 and served as Vice President of Business Operations at Baxalta after its spinoff from Baxter International Inc. (“Baxter”) in 2015. At Baxter, Ms. Jacques held multiple leadership positions, including Vice President of Finance, U.S. Bioscience Business and Vice President, Business Operations for the Global Bioscience Business Unit. Earlier in her career, Ms. Jacques served in various roles of increasing responsibility at Dow Corning Corporation, including U.S. and international operational management roles. Rachelle has lived and worked in the US, Belgium, and China. She started her career in finance and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting from Alma College. Rachelle also serves on the boards of Corbus Pharmaceuticals and Viela Bio.
Jim Robinson was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Urovant on March 23, 2020, having served as a member of our board of directors since March 2019. Mr. Robinson is a proven leader in the biopharmaceutical and healthcare industries having successfully led multiple global businesses, operations and commercial ventures in multiple corporations over the past 28 years. Most recently, Mr. Robinson held the position of President and Chief Operating Officer at Paragon Biosciences where he oversaw Paragon’s operations. Previously, Mr. Robinson served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Alkermes, where he was responsible for global commercial, new product planning, corporate planning, manufacturing, quality, human resources and business development functions. Prior to Alkermes, Mr. Robinson spent over twelve years at Astellas U.S. – most recently as President, Americas Operations where his responsibilities included all aspects of operations for North and South America. Prior to that, he was President of Astellas Pharma US, where he was responsible for leading the U.S. commercial organization. Prior to Astellas, Mr. Robinson spent thirteen years at Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals where his last role was Vice President, Hepatitis Sales and Managed Care. Mr. Robinson serves on the Board of Directors for Neos Therapeutics and the Chicago Botanic Garden and is a founding member of MATTER. Previously, Mr. Robinson served on the Board of Directors of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and served as Chairman of PhRMA’s State Committee. Mr. Robinson received a Bachelor of Science degree from DePaul University.
Mr. Marek previously served as Chief Commercial Officer of Axsome Therapeutics. Prior to joining Axsome, Mr. Marek served as Vice President and General Manager of Amgen’s Neuroscience business unit where he led the U.S. commercialization strategy and launch of Aimovig® (erenumab-aooe) for migraine prevention. Mr. Marek also previously served as Executive Vice President, Consumer Services, and Commercial Strategy Officer of WebMD, and as Managing Director of Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare Advertising. Mr. Marek began his career at Eli Lilly and Company, followed by AstraZeneca, where he served in a variety of marketing and sales roles. Mr. Marek earned a BA in business administration from Washington State University.
Yuichiro Haruyama serves as Executive Vice President, Finance & Corporate Strategy and a member of the board of Sumitovant Biopharma. Mr. Haruyama was instrumental in creating the broad strategic partnership between Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma and Roivant Sciences in 2019, including forming Sumitovant Biopharma. He started his career at Sumitomo Chemical, a leading Japanese chemical company, in 1993 and, since then, he has played a leading role in global pharmaceutical/chemical operations, corporate strategy, business development and finance. At Sumitomo Chemical, he was responsible for designing and implementing strategy for OLED (organic light-emitting diode) business, including a number of partnerships with global electronics companies, as well as oversaw its global operations. As Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, he served as a key member in developing the corporate mid-term business plan in 2019, setting up and managing global business operations, such as the U.S., UK and Chinese affiliate companies, and leading a number of M&A efforts. Mr. Haruyama earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Commerce at Keio University in Tokyo and an MBA in finance from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
Tara Soni serves as the Head of Legal and Compliance at Sumitovant. Ms. Soni has served as a Partner on the Legal Team of Roivant Sciences since July 2016 where she held a diverse role that focused on corporate transactions, compliance, employment law and general corporate advisory work. She previously served as Assistant General Counsel to a financial technology firm where she led the legal function across multiple jurisdictions in Europe, North America and South America. She began her career as an attorney specializing in cross-border transactions, with a focus on emerging markets. Ms. Soni is a dual-qualified attorney and is licensed to practice law in New York and India. She holds a LL.B. (Juris Doctor equivalent) from University of Delhi and an LL.M. from New York University School of Law.
Mi Yong Cho serves as the Head of Human Resources at Sumitovant. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the firm’s people strategy and operations, including recruiting, talent development, and total rewards. Ms. Cho has served as the Head of Human Resources at Roivant Sciences since August 2018, where she transformed the Human Resources department from a service provider to a strategic business partner. Prior to joining Roivant, Ms. Cho spent eight years at Two Sigma Investments, where she founded and led the compensation, talent analytics and HR infrastructure teams and served in various HR leadership roles. Previously, she held multiple HR and compensation roles at Credit Suisse and Merrill Lynch. Ms. Cho began her career in investment banking and received her B.A. in Economics and M.B.A. from Columbia University.
Bill McMahon serves as Chief Algorithmic Analytics Officer of Sumitovant. McMahon served as Vice President of Computation Research at Roivant Sciences since 2016 during which time he led the development of the DrugOme. From 2009-2016, McMahon was the manager and technical lead of the functional reliability team at GlobalFoundries responsible for critical semiconductor process technologies. Previously McMahon held multiple Senior Engineer and Physicist roles at Numonyx, Intel, and Data Storage Institute. McMahon received his B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Physics from MIT and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dan Rothman serves as Chief Information Officer of Sumitovant. Rothman also serves as the Chief Digital Officer of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma and has served as Chief Information Officer of Roivant Sciences since April 2017. From 2008 to 2017, he was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, where he was Head of Digital Structuring, Head of the Americas Client Strategy Group, Head of Credit and Mortgage Sales Stats, and Head of Power Sales. In those positions, he was responsible for the development of internal and external technology platforms, leveraging analytics and data mining tools to optimize various corporate services. Rothman previously served as a Managing Director at Lehman Brothers and Head of Global Foreign Exchange Derivatives Trading at Banque Nationale de Paris. Rothman received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.