George Kemble, PhD
Executive Chairman of the Board
Dr. Kemble joined Sagimet Biosciences (then known as 3-V) in August 2011 as its Chief Scientific Officer and served as Chief Executive Officer from October 2015 until October 2022. As CSO, Dr. Kemble was responsible for directing the medicinal chemistry, research, translational and CMC groups of 3-V and worked on several programs including the lead product candidate, TVB-2640 for oncology. Prior to joining the Company, Dr. Kemble served as the Senior Vice President of R&D and Head of Research at MedImmune, Inc., a subsidiary of Astra-Zeneca PLC. During his tenure, he was responsible for a large group of scientists dedicated to the research and development of programs across a number of therapeutic areas, including the launch of FluMist®, the first innovation in influenza vaccines in over 60 years. Dr. Kemble received a BS from the University of Santa Clara and a PhD from Stanford University and did his post-doctoral training at UCSF, where he worked on a number of different human viruses.
Chief Executive Officer
David Happel joined Sagimet as chief executive officer in October 2022, bringing extensive industry experience, and a strong track record of developing and executing corporate business strategies, raising private and public capital, negotiating M&A transactions, scaling operations and commercializing products. He was most recently president and chief executive officer of Cognoa, a pediatric behavioral health company developing AI-based technologies for developmental and behavioral health conditions, including the first FDA-authorized diagnostic aid, Canvas Dx, for autism. Mr. Happel was previously CEO of Chrono Therapeutics and has held several executive and commercial positions at Horizon Therapeutics, Raptor Pharmaceuticals, Dynavax Technologies and Chiron. Mr. Happel has a BA in chemistry from Indiana University and an MBA from Indiana State University.
Beth Seidenberg, MD
Founding Managing Director, Westlake Village BioPartners
From standing on a stool as a child watching her father conducting heart surgery, to her groundbreaking work developing new treatments for diseases as diverse as AIDS and arthritis, Dr. Seidenberg has applied her medical expertise to the venture capital world to help entrepreneurs translate their scientific breakthroughs into new medicines.
A longtime life sciences investor, founding managing director of Westlake Village BioPartners, and a general partner at Kleiner Perkins, Dr. Seidenberg has incubated and invested in more than 20 healthcare companies, including but not limited to ARMO, Arresto, Arsenal Biosciences, Atara Biotherapeutics, Cell Design Labs, Epizyme, Flexus, iPerian, Kyverna Therapeutics, TESARO, RAPT, True North, Livongo, and Progyny.
Dr. Seidenberg believes the pace and quality of innovation has hit an inflection point, providing the opportunity to turn the next big technologies into products and companies that benefit human health. She has a demonstrated ability to identify and accelerate meaningful molecules through development. Her expertise is grounded in her significant senior-level industry experience with leadership roles at Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck Research Laboratories.
Prior to life science investing, Dr. Seidenberg’s career focused on developing new treatments for AIDS, arthritis, asthma, cancer and psoriasis, cardiovascular, metabolic, neurological and renal disorders for over 20 years. During that time, she introduced 10 innovative products to market.
Dr. Seidenberg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and anthropology from Barnard College and attended medical school at the University of Miami School of Medicine. She completed her medical residency at Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University, and Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.
Elizabeth Grammer, Esq.
Ms. Grammer joined our board of directors in April 2021. She currently serves as the Chief Legal and Administrative Officer for Ardelyx, Inc., which she joined in 2012. Ms. Grammer brings over 25 years of experience advising privately held and publicly traded life sciences companies at all stages of corporate development, and she is respected as a credible voice in strategic decision making and establishing governance boundaries. Prior to joining Ardelyx, Ms. Grammer served as vice president and general counsel of Trine Pharmaceuticals and as an independent general counsel of GelTex Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Genzyme Corporation. Liz started her career in the law firms of Ware & Freidenrich in Palo Alto, Calif., and Palmer & Dodge in Boston, Mass., in both cases, focusing her work on emerging life sciences companies. Ms. Grammer received her J.D. from Stanford Law School and her B.A. from Boston University. Ms. Grammer is also a member of the board of directors of the California Life Sciences Association.
Merdad Parsey, MD, PhD
Dr. Parsey joined Sagimet Biosciences (then 3-V) as its President and Chief Executive Officer in September 2010. Prior to joining the Company, Dr. Parsey held positions of increasing responsibility at Genentech, Inc., a member of the Roche Group, most recently as Senior Group Medical Director in Genentech Research and Early Development, overseeing early clinical development in multiple therapeutic areas. Prior to Dr. Parsey’s tenure with Genentech, he was with Sepracor, Regeneron and Merck, Inc. He has worked on multiple development and post-marketing programs from initial human trials to NDA/BLA submissions in respiratory, inflammation, virology, neurology, ophthalmology and gastrointestinal diseases. In addition to his work in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, Dr. Parsey was the Director of Critical Care Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine. He completed his MD and PhD at the University of Maryland, his residency in Internal Medicine at Stanford University and his fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Colorado.
Gordon Ringold, PhD
Chairman and CEO, Alavita Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Director for Silicon Valley Initiatives, UC Santa Cruz
Dr. Ringold is currently the Director for Silicon Valley Initiatives, UC Santa Cruz, and Executive Chairman of Alavita Pharmaceuticals. He is a co-founder and Director of Maxygen and Alexza Corporations and Managing Partner of Technogen Associates, L.P., a private investment firm. Dr. Ringold has more than 25 years of experience managing the discovery and development of pharmaceuticals and novel, enabling life science technologies. From 1997 to 2005, he served as Chairman and CEO of SurroMed, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on biomarker discovery technologies. From 1995 to 2000, Dr. Ringold was the CEO of the Glaxo-Wellcome Group’s Affymax Research Institute, where he managed the development of novel technologies to accelerate the pace of drug discovery. Before serving as CEO, Dr. Ringold was the President and Scientific Director of Affymax where he was instrumental in nurturing the development of the DNA shuffling technology and interacting with key parties to establish Maxygen. Prior to Affymax, Dr. Ringold served as the Director and Vice President of the Institute for Cancer and Development Biology at Syntex, now a division of Hoffman La-Roche.
Dr. Ringold received his BA and BS in Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz, and his PhD in Microbiology from University of California, San Francisco in the laboratory of Dr. Harold Varmus. He was on the faculty of the Department of Pharmacology at the Stanford University School of Medicine from 1978 to 1987.
In addition to his board seat with Sagimet Biosciences, Mr. Rodgers currently serves on the Board of Directors of Ardelyx, Inc. and Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Previously, he was the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer of TESARO, an oncology focused biopharmaceutical company which he co-founded in March 2010. Mr. Rogers served as the Chief Financial Officer from June 2009 to February 2010 of Abraxis BioScience, which was subsequently acquired by Celgene. Prior to that, Mr. Rodgers served as Senior Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer of MGI PHARMA from 2004 until its acquisition by Eisai in January 2008. He has held finance and accounting positions at several private and public companies, including Arthur Anderson. Mr. Rodgers received a BS in Financial Accounting from St. Cloud State University and his MBA in Finance from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Business.
Jinzi J. Wu PhD
Dr. Wu is Founder, Chairman and CEO of Ascletis, an innovative R&D-driven biotech with two commercial products that was founded in April 2013. Led by Dr. Wu, Ascletis (1672.HK) became the first pre-revenue biotech listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in August 2018 and raised US$400M. Under his leadership, Ascletis has developed a fully integrated platform covering the entire value chain from discovery and development to manufacturing and commercialization. Also under his leadership, Ganovo® (Danoprevir), Ascletis’ first direct-acting antiviral agent (DAA) for hepatitis C, was successfully launched in June 2018 and is now commercialized by the Company’s 150+ member commercial team. Dr. Wu and his team filed an NDA in August 2018 for Ravidasvir, Ascletis’ second DAA for hepatitis C with best-in-class characteristics. Ascletis has built an innovative R&D pipeline focusing on viral, cancer and fatty liver diseases and consisting of antibody-based immunotherapy, first/best-in-class small molecules and siRNA at various clinical development stages.
Dr. Wu has more than 20 years of experience covering R&D, GMP manufacturing and commercialization in big pharma and biotech. Prior to founding Ascletis, he was the Vice President at GSK R&D in the U.S. He has also held various R&D positions from Sr. Scientist to Vice President at Novartis, Immunex/Amgen and Ambrilia in USA and Canada. Dr. Wu obtained his PhD in Cancer Biology from University of Arizona.
James F. Young, PhD
In addition to his Board seat with Sagimet Biosciences, Dr. Young currently serves on the Board of Directors of Novavax, Inc., and on the Board of Trustees of The Phillips Collection Museum of Modern Art in Washington, DC. Recently, Dr. Young graduated first in his class with a Certificate de Cuisine from Le Cordon Bleu Academie d’Art Culinaire de Paris in Paris, France. Previously, he was with MedImmune, Inc. from 1988 through 2008 following its sale to AstraZeneca PLC. Dr. Young led MedImmune’s research and development organization and was directly involved in the development of approximately 20 clinical programs and the commercialization of Synagis9® , RespiGam®, CytoGam®, Flumist®, and Ethyol®. Prior to MedImmune, he was a Director in the Department of Molecular Genetics at Smith Kline and French Laboratories. Dr. Young has served on the Boards of Directors of Xencor, Inc., Iomai, Inc., and Arriva Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He received his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from Baylor College of Medicine.