John A. Orwin
Chief Executive Officer
John joined Relypsa in June 2013 with nearly 25 years of biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry experience. Prior to Relypsa, John served as Chief Executive Officer of Affymax and a member of its Board of Directors. Earlier, he was President and Chief Operating Officer of Affymax. Before joining Affymax, John served as Senior Vice President, BioOncology Business Unit, at Genentech, where he was responsible for all marketing, sales, business unit operations and pipeline brand management for the oncology portfolio in the U.S. Earlier in his career, he served in various executive-level positions at Johnson & Johnson, overseeing oncology therapeutic commercial and portfolio expansion efforts in the U.S. He also held senior marketing and sales positions at Alza Pharmaceuticals, Sangstat Medical Corporation, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals and Schering-Plough Corporation. John earned a B.A. from Rutgers University and an M.B.A. from New York University.
Scott joined Relypsa in October 2014 with more than 20 years of biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry experience. Before becoming President in 2017, Scott served as Relypsa’s Chief Commercial Officer. He has extensive expertise in launching products and building commercial infrastructure to support specialty drugs, including within the nephrology community. Prior to joining Relypsa, Scott was Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Exelixis, where he led global commercial operations and was responsible for building and leading sales, marketing, market access and commercial operations. Before Exelixis, Scott had a nine-year tenure at Genentech, most recently as Vice President, Avastin Franchise, where he led a team of more than 300 people with revenue of $3 billion. While at Genentech, he held other senior-level positions overseeing sales and marketing for a number of products. Earlier in his career, Scott held various sales and marketing positions at Amgen, including overseeing market development for the launch of Aranesp® for chronic kidney disease patients. Scott has a B.S. in biological sciences from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and an M.B.A. from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Stephen D. Harrison
Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer
Stephen joined Relypsa in December 2014 with 20 years’ tenure in biotechnology and pharmaceutical discovery and development. A biochemist and molecular biologist, he is highly published and has extensive experience leading product-driven research organizations at all stages, from target identification to early clinical development. Prior to joining Relypsa, Stephen was vice president, Research Biology at Nektar Therapeutics, a leader in polymer conjugate therapeutics, where for four years he managed global oncology and pain research efforts. Prior to Nektar, he was senior vice president, Research at KAI Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on peptide modulators of protein interactions. While at KAI, Stephen generated one development candidate per year and led discovery efforts, including the company's lead compound for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism, which served as the basis for the company's eventual acquisition by Amgen. Earlier in his career, Stephen held senior research positions at Chiron Corporation and Thios Pharmaceuticals. He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, a M.A. and B.A. in Biochemistry all from University of Cambridge, England.
Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer
Patrick joined Relypsa in May 2015 as Vice President of Sales, where he assisted with the successful launch of Relypsa’s first commercial product. He has more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry in sales, marketing, managed markets and training and development, and over 10 years of senior leadership experience. Prior to Relypsa, Patrick served as Vice President of Sales and Managed Markets at Insulet Corporation, a medical device company. Before Insulet, he served as Vice President of U.S. Sales at AMAG Pharmaceuticals, where he assisted in the buildout of its first commercial team and successful launch of its first brand. Earlier in his career, Patrick held positions of increasing responsibility at Johnson and Johnson, Abbott Laboratories and Oscient Pharmaceuticals including roles as District Sales Manager, Brand Manager, Director of Sales Training and National Sales Director. Patrick earned a B.S. in management from Bryant University and an M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Vice President of Quality and Analytical Development
Estela joined Relypsa in September 2013 with more than 25 years of experience in quality and analytical development in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry. Prior to Relypsa, she was a Senior QC Specialist at Genentech. Before that, she was Executive Director of QC and Analytical Development at Affymax. Earlier in her career, Estela worked at Vaxgen as a QC Director, where she built a team and a GMP laboratory that supported the manufacture of vaccines. Prior to Vaxgen, she worked at Sugen and Scios. She began her career at Sterling Winthrop (currently Sanofi-Aventis). Estela has a B.S. from the Iberoamerican University in Mexico City, an M.S. from American University in Washington D.C., and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Maryland.
Vice President of Technical Operations
Ann joined Relypsa in February 2012 with more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to Relypsa, Ann founded and was a Managing Partner at Rondaxe Enterprises, a consulting service that provides global strategic and tactical guidance on CMC aspects of drug development to emerging biotech, established pharma, and pharma fine chemical supplier companies. During the 10 years she was with Rondaxe Enterprises, she grew the company to include clients in Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Earlier in her career, she was Executive Director of Technical Operations for Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she had global responsibility for Manufacturing Network strategy and support. At BMS, she was involved in launching 14 new drugs into global markets and participated in in- and out-licensing evaluations from a manufacturing perspective. Ann has a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Maine, Orono.
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs
Zane began consulting for Relypsa in January 2015, became a full-time employee in December 2015, and has led Regulatory Affairs since June 2016. He has broad experience leading teams and engaging with the FDA in research and development planning and execution, including all phases of clinical trials, Advisory Committees and NDA filings. He has extensive experience in commercial regulatory compliance for marketed products. Prior to joining Relypsa, Zane led a regulatory consulting practice whose clients included InterMune, Exelixis, AcelRx, Neos Therapeutics and NewLink Genetics. He has worked in numerous therapeutic areas, including nephrology, pulmonology, oncology, dermatology and pain. Prior to consulting, Zane held roles of increasing responsibility at Affymax. He began his career at Connectics Corporation (now a GlaxoSmithKline company). Zane has a B.A. from Purdue University and an M.A. in ethics from Virginia Tech. He holds the U.S. RAC certification from the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society. Zane has served on various Biotechnology Industry Association (BIO) working groups and on Geron’s Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee.
Vice President of Medical and Scientific Affairs
Alain joined Relypsa in August 2015 with 25 years of experience in clinical research and development, medical affairs and business development. He has led clinical programs across a wide range of therapeutic areas, including drug delivery, anti-infectives, neuroscience, cardiovascular and respiratory medicine, resulting in the successful filing and launch of several new pharmacological treatments. Before joining Relypsa, Alain was Vice President of Medical Affairs at Actelion, where he launched Opsumit® for pulmonary arterial hypertension. Previously, Alain spent 18 years at Pfizer, where he worked in early clinical research on licensing assets to late-stage development, domestically and internationally, before becoming responsible for Medical Affairs. Prior to joining the biotechnology/pharma industry, Alain practiced at the Rennes University Hospital, was a Research Fellow at Ciba-Geigy, and served as a consultant for several companies and on FDA-mandated audits. He was an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of Rennes and the Miller Medical School in Miami. Alain has a Pharm.D. from the University of Rennes School of Medicine and Pharmacy and a Ph.D. in biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Rhode Island.
Vice President of Finance
James joined Relypsa in March 2014 and has had increasing responsibility during his tenure with the Company. He has more than 15 years of experience in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry in the areas of corporate finance, financial planning and analysis, accounting operations and collaborations. Prior to joining Relypsa, James served as Director, Financial Planning and Analysis, at Exelixis. Before that, he held management roles at Titan Pharmaceuticals and Affymax. He received a B.S. in business administration from the University of San Francisco and an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Golden Gate University.
Vice President and General Counsel
Deborah joined Relypsa in September 2014 and now serves as Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to Relypsa, Deborah was Vice President of Legal Services at Exelixis, where she helped the company prepare for the U.S approval and commercial launch of Cometriq® for the treatment of progressive, metastatic medullary thyroid cancer. During her 10 years at Exelixis, she built the companys legal transactions team and worked on a variety of transactions to support the research, development, partnering and commercialization of drug products. She also initiated the companys healthcare compliance program. Before Exelixis, Deborah served as in-house counsel at Peninsula Pharmaceuticals. Earlier in her career, she was an Associate in the Life Sciences Transactions Practice Group at Cooley LLP. Deborah received a B.S. in biological sciences from the University of California, Davis, and a J.D. from Santa Clara University Law School.
Director of U.S. Communications
Albert joined Relypsa in February 2017 with more than 10 years of experience in healthcare communications spanning corporate, product and R&D communications. Most recently, he was Director, R&D Communications, at Baxalta (now part of Shire), where he oversaw communications for R&D including the newly created Global Innovation Center. Prior to Baxalta, he was Director, Global External Communications, at Novartis Vaccines, where he led public relations for the global launch of Bexsero®, the first vaccine available to prevent meningococcal serogroup B. Albert started his career in Europe, working for the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and Sanofi Pasteur MSD. He received a B.A. in business economics and international relations from Brown University and an M.A.S. in international studies from the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Switzerland.