Management

John A. Orwin

President and CEO

John joined Relypsa in June of 2013 bringing nearly 25 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.  Prior to Relypsa, Mr. Orwin served as chief executive officer and a member of Affymax’s board of directors starting in February 2011. From April 2010 to January 2011, he served as president and chief operating officer of Affymax. From 2005 to 2010, Mr. Orwin served as vice president and then senior vice president, BioOncology Business Unit, at Genentech, where he was responsible for all marketing, sales, business unit operations and pipeline brand management for Genentech's oncology portfolio in the United States. From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Orwin served in various executive-level positions at Johnson & Johnson, overseeing oncology therapeutic commercial and portfolio expansion efforts in the US. He has also held senior marketing and sales positions at Alza Pharmaceuticals, Sangstat Medical Corporation, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals and Schering-Plough Corporation. Mr. Orwin holds an M.B.A. from New York University and a B.A. from Rutgers University.

Lance Berman

Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer

Lance joined Relypsa in December 2011 as Senior Vice President, Commercial Strategy and Medical Affairs and was promoted in October 2012 to Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. Most recently, he was Chief Medical Officer of CPEX Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for the clinical development of the Company’s late stage clinical product as well as its in-licensing and acquisition strategies. Prior to that, he served in various medical leadership roles at Pfizer Inc. from June 2003 to January 2009, where he was responsible for atherosclerosis, hypertension and endocrinology products serving at various times as US or Global Medical Team Leader. Previously, Lance held roles of increasing responsibility at Schering-Plough Corporation (merged with Merck) and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Johnson & Johnson). Lance received his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa, and holds a Masters Degree in Pharmaceutical Medicine.

Mary E. Corbett

Senior Vice President, Human Resources 

Mary Corbett joined Relypsa in December 2013, bringing over 30 years’ experience in human resources in a wide range of industries, including life sciences, technology, financial services and consumer goods. Prior to Relypsa, Ms. Corbett was Vice President for Human Resources at Verinata Health, a maternal and fetal health company acquired by Illumina, Inc. Prior to Verinata Health, Ms. Corbett served as Vice President, Human Resources of Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. During her tenure at Pacific Biosciences, the company grew from 150 to over 500 employees, launched its first product and completed an initial public offering. Prior to Pacific Biosciences, Ms. Corbett headed the HR function for Synarc, Broadlane, myCFO, and MarketMile. Ms. Corbett also had a human resources consulting practice based in Paris for six years. She holds a BA from Fordham University and an MA from Columbia University.

Scott Garland

Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer

Scott Garland joined Relypsa in October 2014 with over 20 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical experience. He has extensive expertise in launching products and building commercial infrastructure to support specialty drugs, including within the nephrology community. Prior to joining Relypsa, Mr. Garland was executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Exelixis, Inc., where for three years he led global commercial operations and was responsible for building and leading sales, marketing, market access and commercial operations. Before Exelixis, Mr. Garland had a nine year tenure at Genentech, most recently as vice president, Avastin Franchise, where he led a team of over 300 people and revenue of $3 billion.  While at Genentech, he also held other senior level positions overseeing sales and marketing for a number of products at the biotech company.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Garland held various sales and marketing positions at Amgen, including overseeing market development for the launch of Aranesp for chronic kidney disease patients. Mr. Garland holds a M.B.A. from Fuqua School of Business, Duke University and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

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.

Ronald A. Krasnow

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Ron joined Relypsa in October 2007 and now serves as Relypsa's General Counsel and Senior Vice President.  Prior to Relypsa, Ron was at Symyx Technologies, Inc. where he spent 10 years in various positions, including Senior Vice President, Intellectual Property.  Prior to Symyx, Ron was an attorney at Fish & Neave (now Ropes & Gray LLP) representing clients in complex patent litigation and interferences. Ron has also been a Patent Examiner at the US Patent and Trademark Office. Ron received his BS in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from The University of Michigan and JD from The George Washington University Law School.

Wilhelm Stahl

Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer

Willi joined Relypsa in September 2011. Previously, he was a Managing Partner of Rondaxe Enterprises, providing consulting services and strategic advice on CMC aspects of drug development, including supply chain management and strategic business support. Until 2008, he was Head of the Pharma Custom Manufacturing business of Saltigo GmbH, a subsidiary of Lanxess AG. Willi began his career as a medicinal chemist with Hoechst AG and ran HMR's global high throughput screening center. After moving to Bayer AG in 1999 as director of CNS discovery chemistry, he lead Life Science Research in Central Research and advanced to become Head of Research and Development and Pharma Marketing and Sales for Bayer’s Fine Chemicals Division and for Lanxess, after its spinout from Bayer. Willi earned both his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees from the Institute for Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Bonn. 

Alain Romero

Vice President, Medical and Scientific Affairs

Alain joined Relypsa in August 2015 bringing 25 years of experience in clinical research & development, medical affairs and business development. He has led clinical programs across a wide-range of therapeutic areas, including drug delivery, anti-infective, neuroscience, cardiovascular and respiratory medicine, resulting in the successful filing and launches of several new pharmacological treatments. Before joining Relypsa, Alain was vice president of Medical Affairs at Actelion where he launched Opsumit, a drug for treating Pulmonary Arterial Hyptertension. Previously, Alain spent 18 years at Pfizer, Inc. working in early clinical research on licensing assets to late-stage development, domestically and internationally, before taking medical affairs responsibilities. Prior to joining the industry, Alain practiced at the Rennes teaching 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 graduated with a Pharm.D. from the School of Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of Rennes and with a Ph.D. in Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Rhode Island.

Monte R. Montgomery

Vice President, Finance and Chief Accounting Officer

Mr. Montgomery joined Relypsa in February 2013 to lead the Finance team and has had increasing responsibility during his tenure with the company. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Montgomery served as Director, Finance at Amgen, Inc. from July 2012 to December 2012, following Amgen’s acquisition of KAI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Mr. Montgomery joined KAI in October 2008 with increasing responsibilities during his time at the company. At the time of Amgen’s acquisition of KAI, Mr. Montgomery was serving as Executive Director, Finance and was overseeing all Finance, Facility, Purchasing and Information Technology activities. Before joining KAI, Mr. Montgomery was Director, SEC Reporting at Exelixis, Inc. where he was a key contributor in various equity offerings, collaborations, and other funding-raising activities. Earlier in his career, Mr. Montgomery was audit professional in Ernst & Young’s life sciences audit practice. He received a B.A. in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and he is a certified public accountant (inactive).