President (ad interim)
Patrick joined Relypsa in May 2015 as Vice President of Sales, where he assisted with the successful launch of Relypsa’s first commercial product. In April 2017 he was appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Relypsa and in 2018, he was appointed President (ad interim). 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 Human Resources
Laurie joined Relypsa in 2016 with more than 25 years of experience in human resources, talent development, facilitation/coaching and improving organizational effectiveness. Prior to Relypsa, she was responsible for the evolution and development of change leadership practices, standards, tools and guidelines as a senior manager in talent development at Intuit, Inc. She partnered with executives across the legal, corporate affairs, big data engineering and analytics and information security organizations to drive key strategic outcomes and decisions on talent, organizational effectiveness, strategic capability and leadership. Prior to Intuit she served as Director, HR Business Partner for Altera Corporation. While there, she also served as the Director of Learning and Organizational Effectiveness and established a leadership framework and development program. Earlier in her career, Laurie was a senior training consultant providing instructional design, leadership development training and worldwide sales training to Cisco Systems. She was also a technical trainer for Quantum Corporation and Unisys Corporation. Laurie received a B.A. in organizational communication with a concentration in marketing from Arizona State University.
Vice President of Technical Operations
Rolf joined Relypsa in 2016 with 28 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to Relypsa, Rolf worked at several companies, including Medicines360, Johnson & Johnson and ALZA Corporation. While at Medicines360, he led the design and manufacturing development of Liletta®, an intrauterine device (IUD) that was approved in 2015. Rolf also designed the second generation Duragesic® fentanyl patch for Johnson & Johnson and was awarded a patent for the design of a novel multilayer patch design and method of manufacture. Rolf held many leadership roles at ALZA Corporation, including managing the transdermal and oral product pilot plants; designing, developing and manufacturing iontophoretic drug delivery systems; and developing controlled release patches and capsules resulting in several other successful and currently marketed products. Rolf received a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Vice President of Clinical Development
Martha joined Relypsa in 2013 with more than 20 years of experience in clinical drug development and is responsible for oversight of all Veltassa clinical trials. Prior to Relypsa, Martha served as Executive Director of Clinical Development at Affymax, Inc. Martha received a B.S. in pharmacy from the University of North Carolina and a PharmD from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
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 company’s 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 company’s 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.
Executive Director of Clinical Operations
Philippe joined Relypsa in 2016 with more than 20 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry experience in clinical development and operations. Prior to Relypsa, Philippe served as Director of Clinical Research at Pfizer, Inc., where he was responsible for the formation of a clinical research team in South San Francisco. Philippe also held positions of increasing responsibility in clinical operations at Genentech, Inc.; Quintiles IMS Holdings, Inc. (now IQVIA); and PAREXEL International, located in Canada and the United States. He is also an industry advisor for the Clinical Research and Management Program at UC Berkeley Extension. Philippe received a B.Sc. in biology at Université du Québec á Montréal and a M.Sc. in microbiology at Université Laval.
Executive Director of New Product Strategy and Planning
Sarah joined Relypsa in 2017 with more than 15 years of experience in healthcare. Prior to Relypsa, Sarah held leadership roles in strategy consulting, market planning, commercial development and marketing at companies including McKesson Specialty Health; the World Bank Group; Genentech, Inc.; and Cytokinetics, Inc. While at McKesson, Sarah served as the Head of Product Marketing, leading a team that marketed nearly 20 healthcare information technology (IT) products. Prior to McKesson, Sarah held strategic and analytic roles at the World Bank, where she analyzed vaccine economics for the developing world; Genentech, where she led the market planning team for Herceptin; and Cytokinetics, where she managed market and commercial planning activities for the company’s four development programs. Sarah received an A.B. in history and literature from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.
Executive Director of Information Technology
Satish joined Relypsa in 2018 with more than 25 years of business and information technology (IT) experience in various industries, including medical device manufacturing where he led global cross-functional programs. He is responsible for leading Relypsa’s IT organization. Prior to Relypsa, Satish worked at General Electric (GE) where he held several IT leadership roles. Most recently, he worked as the Senior Director at GE Digital, where he was responsible for growing a global center of excellence IT team. Satish holds a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Bangalore University.
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.