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Escient Pharmaceuticals: Escient Pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company that is advancing first-in-class G Protein-Coupled Receptor (GPCR)-targeted drugs to address serious, unserved medical needs across a broad range of therapeutic indications. Focused on unleashing the therapeutic potential of specific orphan GPCRs, including the novel family of Mas-Related G-Protein Receptors (MRGPRs), Escient’s lead program targets MRGPRX4. Based in San Diego, Calif., Escient is led by an experienced team of biotechnology entrepreneurs with specific expertise in GPCR drug discovery and development, and funded by top-tier life science investors, including The Column Group, 5AM Ventures, Osage University Partners and Altitude Life Science Ventures.
US - Pacific
10578 Science Center Dr #250
San Diego, CA 92121
San Diego, CA 92121
Company Participants at Fall Private Company Showcase 2020
Escient Pharmaceuticals, Co-Founder, President, Chief Executive Officer & Board Member
Alain Baron is a co-founder of Escient Pharmaceuticals and was named President and CEO in May of 2018. In 2010, Dr. Baron co-founded Elcelyx Therapeutics where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer during his tenure with the company. Dr. Baron was a Venture Partner at Lightstone Ventures until 2017 and previously held the role of Entrepreneur-in-Residence at its predecessor firm, Morgenthaler Ventures beginning in 2008. Previously, Dr. Baron was Senior Vice President of Research at Amylin Pharmaceuticals where he served in senior roles in R&D since 1999. He was instrumental in advancing clinical programs that have culminated in four successful endocrinology products (Byetta®, Bydureon®, Symlin® and Myalept®). Prior to joining industry, Dr. Baron had a successful academic career, most recently at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, where he served as Professor of Medicine and Director, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. He has also held faculty positions in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at University of California, San Diego, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center in San Diego. He is the recipient of several prestigious awards for his research in diabetes and vascular disease, including the 1996 Outstanding Clinical Investigator Award from the American Federation for Medical Research and is a Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He is also a past National Institutes of Health MERIT award recipient.
Escient Pharmaceuticals, Chief Business Officer
William Hodder joined Escient in March 2019 as Chief Business Officer, bringing more than 30 years of broad biopharmaceutical industry experience including business development, corporate and product marketing, sales, fundraising and product development. Most recently, Mr. Hodder was a corporate and business development consultant, advising multiple private and public biotech companies on partnering and fundraising matters. Previously, he was Senior Vice President, Corporate Development at Protagonist Therapeutics (Nasdaq: PTGX), a clinical stage biotech company where he was responsible for all licensing and alliance management as well as certain fundraising and operations activities. At Protagonist, Mr. Hodder led, or played a significant role in, licensing and fundraising transactions that raised over $220 million including the licensing of a pre-clinical asset to Janssen Biotech for upfront and future milestone payments totaling $990 million. Prior to joining Protagonist, Mr. Hodder was a co-founder and CEO of Trenovus, Inc., a biotech company focused on developing novel inhibitors of heterotopic ossification present in several serious and rare conditions including Ankylosing Spondylitis and Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva. Mr. Hodder also previously served as Vice President of Business Development and Corporate Officer at FibroGen, Inc., where he was responsible for all licensing and M&A activity, raising over $500 million for the company. This included the out-licensing of HIF prolyl hydroxylase inhibitors for anemia indications to Astellas for the European, South Africa and Middle East territories. Prior to joining FibroGen, Mr. Hodder served as Director of Business Development and Marketing at Aradigm, a drug delivery company. He has also held sales, marketing, and product development positions at Penederm (acquired by Mylan Laboratories), Ciba Geigy (now Novartis), Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, and Marion Laboratories (now Sanofi). Mr. Hodder received a B.S. in biology from Oakland University and an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.