Thomas B. Neff
Chairman, Founder, and
Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Neff founded FibroGen, Inc., in 1993, and has served since that time as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our Board of Directors. Prior to founding FibroGen, Mr. Neff was a founder and managing general partner of two investment partnerships that pioneered the use of royalty interests to fund clinical development and ultimately led to the formation of Royalty Pharma, a global leader in the acquisition of royalty interests. Earlier in his career, Mr. Neff was Senior Vice President at Lazard Frères & Co. and an investment banker at PaineWebber Group (now UBS). Mr. Neff is a member of the Board of Trustees at Claremont McKenna College, and serves as a Director of FibroGen China Anemia Holdings, Ltd., and General Manager of FibroGen (China) Medical Technology Development Co., Ltd. He was a fellow of the Thomas Watson Foundation, and completed his undergraduate studies at Claremont McKenna College, with concentrations in molecular biology and government, and pursued graduate studies at the University of Chicago in economics and finance. Mr. Neff received a Doctor of Medicine degree, honoris causa, from Oulu University, Oulu, Finland in 2009.
Karen L. Bergman
Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Ms. Bergman joined FibroGen as Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications, in 2016. She brings more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical technology sectors. She has held leadership roles in investor relations, corporate, product, employee and financial communications, and corporate marketing at a number of companies and consultancies. Ms. Bergman, most recently, was the president and co-founder of BCC Partners, LLC, a life sciences and healthcare investor relations and communications strategic advisory firm. Prior, she was Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations at ALZA Corporation (now Johnson & Johnson), where she supported the company’s transition and success from an R&D company developing products for leading pharmaceutical companies to a commercial organization with marketed products in multiple specialty franchise areas in oncology, urology, endocrinology, neurology and hospital settings. Prior to ALZA, she led the life sciences practice at Burns McClellan Inc. in New York. Ms. Bergman earned her B.A. at Yale University, where she graduated cum laude with distinction.
Christine L. Chung
Senior Vice President, China Operations
Ms. Chung, Senior Vice President, China Operations, and Managing Director of our subsidiary company, FibroGen China. She joined the company in 2007 and brings more than 25 years of experience in growing businesses from start-up through various phases of corporate development. Ms. Chung serves in the role of Project Leader of our U.S.-based China development efforts and has overall responsibility for our China local operations. Under Ms. Chung’s leadership, our China strategy has advanced from conceptualization to pre-launch stage. Prior to joining FibroGen, Ms. Chung was Vice President, Business Development, at eMed Technologies and a management consultant with Monitor Group, the predecessor company of Monitor Deloitte. Ms. Chung received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Harvard University and is a native of Hong Kong.
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Cotroneo is our Chief Financial Officer, with responsibility for finance and accounting operations, Human Resources, and Information Technology. Mr. Cotroneo joined FibroGen in 2000 and has served as our CFO since 2008. Mr. Cotroneo brings 25 years experience in senior financial management in the life sciences sector. Prior to joining FibroGen, Mr. Cotroneo was at SyStemix, Inc. where he assumed Controller responsibilities for both SyStemix and for Genetic Therapy, Inc. (now Novartis) from 1993 to 2000. Prior to Novartis, Mr. Cotroneo was employed for seven years by Deloitte. Mr. Cotroneo received a B.S. degree with honors from the University of San Francisco and was selected as a Louise M. Davies Scholar.
Vice President, Human Resources
Mr. Farley is Vice President, Human Resources, and joined FibroGen in 2015. Mr. Farley has more than 30 years of human resources experience at several leading companies. Prior to joining FibroGen, Mr. Farley served as Vice President, Human Resources, at XenoPort, Inc. Previously, Mr. Farley worked at Amgen, where he oversaw HR activities for numerous Research and Development groups in Thousand Oaks, Seattle, and Burnaby, Canada. Mr. Farley has also held human resource and administrative leadership roles at ViroPharma (now Shire Plc), Sphinx Pharmaceuticals (now Eli Lilly), Eli Lilly and Company, and Hewlett Packard. Mr. Farley holds a B.S. degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Syracuse University and an M.B.A. from Duke University.
R. Wayne Frost, Pharm.D., J.D.
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
Dr. Frost, Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs joined FibroGen in 2010, bringing more than 20 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in regulatory affairs and drug development. Prior to joining FibroGen, he served as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Sangart Metabasis Therapeutics Inc. (now Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), and Prometheus Laboratories Inc. Previously, Dr. Frost served as: Global Regulatory Leader for ARANESP® at Amgen; Regulatory Therapeutic Area Head for Respiratory, Allergy, Inflammation, Immunology and Oncology at Pfizer Global Research and Development; and Head of Regulatory for Local Anesthetics and Critical Care Therapeutics at Astra Pharmaceuticals (now AstraZeneca). He also worked at Bayer Pharmaceuticals in antibiotic drug development and at Key Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in drug delivery. Dr. Frost is a guest lecturer on Food and Drug Law at Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacoepidemiology and Public Health. He completed a Pharm.D. at Creighton University School of Pharmacy and a post-doctoral fellowship in pharmacokinetics/infectious diseases at The State University of New York at Buffalo. He received a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.
M. Sean Healy, Ph.D.
Vice President, Quality
Dr. Healy, Vice President, Quality joined FibroGen in 2016. Dr. Healy has more than 22 years of industry experience, with 16 years of experience in the management of quality systems and quality assurance for biotechnology companies across all stages of drug development. Most recently, he served as Vice President of Quality at Cellerant Therapeutics, where he established both the quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) departments, including building an in-house QC laboratory. Prior to Cellerant, Dr. Healy led QA Operations and QC for commercial product programs at Ipsen and led good manufacturing practice (GMP) QA at Theravance, where he had significant responsibility for commercial preparations and launch of Vibativ®. Dr. Healy also provided QA oversight for several late-stage clinical and commercial products at Pfizer Inc. Dr. Healy obtained his Ph.D. in Physical/Analytical Chemistry from Seton Hall University.
Elias Kouchakji, M.D.
Senior Vice President, Clinical Development, Drug Safety, and Pharmacovigilance
Dr. Kouchakji, Senior Vice President, Clinical Development, Drug Safety, and Pharmacovigilance, joined FibroGen in 2014, bringing more than 25 years of experience in product development, drug safety, and clinical practice. Previously, he served as Executive Medical Director, Safety, at Amgen, Inc., supporting the development and commercialization of Aranesp®, among other programs. Prior, Dr. Kouchakji was the Global Head Pharmacovigilance and Risk Management at Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now Perrigo Company plc), Head of U.S. Safety at Hoffmann-La Roche (Roche), and Director, Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance at Serono (now EMD Serono). Prior to his transition to industry, Dr. Kouchakji was a practicing physician with specialization in surgery, having earned his M.D. at Damascus University.
Al Y. Lin, M.D., Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Drug Development
Dr. Lin, Senior Vice President, Drug Development, oversees preclinical research and development (R&D) and Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) development, and quality and supply chain management functions. Dr. Lin joined FibroGen in 1999, and has more than 30 years of drug discovery, development, and clinical experience. Prior to joining FibroGen, he was Head of In Vivo Pharmacology at Bayer and served as a senior scientist at XOMA Corporation. He received his Ph.D. from St. Louis University and post-doctoral training at the University of Virginia. He completed his clinical residency training at and received his medical degree from Nanjing Medical University, China. Dr. Lin is a native of Nanjing, China.
Michael D. Lowenstein, J.D.
Chief Legal Counsel
Mr. Lowenstein, Chief Legal Counsel, joined the company in 2003. Mr. Lowenstein has nearly 20 years of legal practice with a particular emphasis on corporate and securities law and life science transactions. Prior to joining FibroGen, Mr. Lowenstein practiced at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he focused on corporate law, securities, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and strategic transactions. He earned a J.D. from Columbia University, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and a B.A., magna cum laude, from Brown University. Mr. Lowenstein is a member of the State Bar of California.
Michael J. Martinelli, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Technical Development
Dr. Martinelli Senior Vice President, Technical Development, joined FibroGen in 2011. Dr. Martinelli has more than 30 years of experience in chemical research and development, automation technologies, and pharmaceutical research and development. He has headed the Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) development of numerous investigational new drug (IND) programs, leading to many successful new drug applications (NDAs) and product launches. Most recently, he served as Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development for Arena Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Arena, he was Executive Director of Research, Chemical Process & Technologies, at Amgen Inc. Earlier in his career, Dr. Martinelli held numerous roles at Eli Lilly and Company, overseeing Chemical Process Research and Development. He completed post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Munich and Harvard University, and was elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Chemistry. Dr. Martinelli has organized many international scientific conferences, and is a reviewer for more than 10 scientific journals and an editor for scientific monographs. Dr. Martinelli received his B.S. in Chemistry from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Wesleyan University.
James W. Polarek, Ph.D.
Vice President, Protein Therapeutics and Collagen Development
Dr. Polarek, Vice President of Protein Therapeutics and Collagen Development, and board member of FibroGen Europe Ltd., joined FibroGen in 1995. Previously, Dr. Polarek served as Senior Director of both Tissue Bioengineering Research and Process Development at Telios Pharmaceuticals Inc. (now Integra LifeSciences), where he developed tissue engineering therapeutics, designed and implemented a multi-department team to develop manufacturing processes, and managed multidisciplinary teams throughout product development. Dr. Polarek received his B.S. in Biochemistry from UCLA and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Chicago.
Leanne C. Price, J.D.
Chief Intellectual Property Counsel
Ms. Price, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, joined FibroGen in 1999. She has approximately 25 years of in-house and law firm experience with an emphasis on patent portfolio development and defense and intellectual property strategy in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Ms. Price was previously Senior Patent Attorney at Incyte Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for global management of Incyte’s core technology portfolio. Prior, Ms. Price was an associate at the Silicon Valley law firm of Skjerven Morrill MacPherson Franklin & Friel LLP, focused on the areas of patent prosecution and defense, licensing, and intellectual property counseling. Ms. Price received a B.S. in Molecular Biology and a B.A. in History Honors with high distinction from Revelle College at the University of California, San Diego. She received her J.D. from Boalt Hall, School of Law (University of California, Berkeley). Ms. Price is a member of the State Bar of California and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
K. Peony Yu, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Yu, Chief Medical Officer, joined FibroGen in 2008. Dr. Yu oversees all global and regional clinical development strategies and execution of the various clinical programs, as well as providing leadership for the roxadustat program. She brings more than 25 years of pharmaceutical leadership, patient care, and drug development experience with deep expertise in all aspects of clinical and regulatory process, and with multiple prior successful NDA/MAAs for novel drugs and drug/device combos. Prior to joining FibroGen, Dr. Yu served as Vice President of Clinical Research at Anesiva Inc. Previously, Dr. Yu was Director of Clinical Development at ALZA Corporation (now Johnson & Johnson); Director of Clinical Development at Pain Therapeutics Inc.; and Assistant Director, Clinical Development, at Elan Corporation plc (now Perrigo Company plc). Earlier in her career, Dr. Yu was Head of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Dr. Yu received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of California, Davis, and an M.D. from the UC Davis School of Medicine. She completed her residency training at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Yu is a native of China.