Board of Directors
Felix Theeuwes, D.Sc. is Chairman, co-founder, and Chief Scientific Officer at DURECT Corporation, established in July of 1998 as a spinout from ALZA Corporation to focus on the development of pharmaceutical systems and products to treat chronic debilitating diseases and enabling biotechnology drugs.
Dr. Theeuwes was with ALZA Corporation from 1970 until June 1999 holding positions directing research, technology development, and product development for a variety of controlled drug delivery systems. His work led to the product introduction of the ALZET mini osmotic pump series for animal research, and the OROS systems series of products. He directed research in transdermal research and development, initiated the electrotransport/iontophoresis program, and initiated the DUROS osmotic implant program. He holds more than 210 U.S. patents covering these systems and published more than 80 articles and book chapters.
In 1980 Dr. Theeuwes was named Inventor of the Year by the Peninsula Patent Law Association. In 1983 he was the recipient of the Award for the Advancement of Industrial Pharmacy. He was the Busse Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin in 1981, and in 1985 the Third Annual Sidney Riegelman Lecturer at the University of California, San Francisco. He is a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. In 1993 he became the first recipient of ALZA Corporation's Founder's Award.
In 1993 Dr. Theeuwes completed the Stanford Executive Program (SEP). He received his undergraduate and graduate education in physics at the University of Leuven (Louvain), Belgium, with a D.Sc. degree in 1966. From 1966 to 1970 he served as a post-doctoral fellow and visiting research assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, University of Kansas.
James E. Brown, D.V.M. co-founded DURECT in February 1998 and has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director since June 1998.
He previously worked at ALZA Corporation as Vice President of Biopharmaceutical and Implant Research and Development from June 1995 to June 1998. Prior to that, Dr. Brown held various positions at Syntex Corporation, a pharmaceutical company, including Director of Business Development from May 1994 to May 1995, Director of Joint Ventures for Discovery Research from April 1992 to May 1995, and held a number of positions including Program Director for Syntex Research and Development from October 1985 to March 1992.
Dr. Brown holds a B.A. from San Jose State University and a D.V.M. (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) from the University of California, Davis where he also conducted post-graduate work in pharmacology and toxicology.
Simon X. Benito has served as a director since April 2005. Mr. Benito is currently a director and chairman of the Audit Committee of Inovio Biomedical Corporation, a medical device company. From 1974 to 1999, Mr. Benito held various positions at Merck & Co Inc. including Senior Vice President, Vaccine Division from 1996 to 1999, Executive Vice President, Merck-Medco Managed Care from 1994 to 1996 and Executive Director and Vice President, Merck Human Health, Japan from 1986-1993. Mr. Benito was a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales from 1969 to 1999 until his retirement from Merck.
Terrence F. Blaschke, M.D. has served as a director since December 2006. Mr. Blaschke has served on the faculty of Stanford University since 1974 and is Professor of Medicine and Molecular Pharmacology (Active Emeritus) at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Mr. Blaschke held the position of Vice President of Methodology and Science at Pharsight Corporation from 2000 to 2002. During the course of his career, Mr. Blaschke has served as an independent consultant working with a number of leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Mr. Blaschke was formerly a Board member of Therapeutic Discovery Corporation and Crescendo Pharmaceuticals, two publicly-traded companies. He has also worked as a special government employee for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has served as the chairman of the FDA's Generic Drugs Advisory Committee.
David R. Hoffmann has served as a Director since December 2002 and as a Lead Independent Director since December 2010. Mr. Hoffmann is retired from ALZA Corporation (now a Johnson & Johnson company) where he held the position of Vice President and Treasurer from 1992 to until his retirement in October 2002, Vice President of Finance from 1982 to 1992 and Director of Accounting/Finance from 1976 to 1982. Mr. Hoffmann is currently Chief Executive Officer of Hoffmann Associates, a multi-group company specializing in cruise travel and financial and benefit consulting, and a consultant of ALZA Corporation. Mr. Hoffmann holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Colorado. Mr. Hoffmann is currently a director and chairman of the Audit Committee of Threshold Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company.
Armand P. Neukermans, Ph.D. has served as a Director since March 2001. Dr. Neukermans founded Xros, Inc. in December 1996. Xros was acquired by and became a division of Nortel Networks in March 2000. Throughout and until June 2002, Dr. Neukermans has held the position of Chairman and Chief Technical Officer at Xros. In October 1993, Dr. Neukermans founded Adagio Associates, a consulting firm in the area of instrumentation, metrology and microfabrication and currently serves as its President. From 1992 to 1993, Dr. Neukermans was Vice President, Systems Development at Teknekron TSDC. Between 1985 and 1992, Dr. Neukermans held various positions at Tencor Instruments including Vice President and Chief Technical Officer. From 1973 to 1985, Dr. Neukermans held various positions at Hewlett Packard Company, HP Labs, including Department Manager. Dr. Neukermans holds an Engineer’s Degree in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from Louvain University, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University and a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University. Dr. Neukermans was named Silicon Valley Inventor of the Year in 2001.
Jon S. Saxe has served as a Director since September 2003. Mr. Saxe is currently a director of a number of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies including SciClone, VistaGen and several private companies.
From January 1995 to May 1999, Mr. Saxe was President of Protein Design Labs, a leading company in the development of humanized antibodies. During 1999, he was an Executive-in-Residence at Institutional Venture Partners, a venture capital firm. Mr. Saxe was President of Saxe Associates, a biotechnology and pharmaceutical consulting firm, from May 1993 to December 1994. He served as President, Chief Executive Officer and as a Director of Synergen, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company acquired by Amgen, from October 1989 to April 1993. From August 1984 through September 1989, Mr. Saxe was Vice President, Licensing and Corporate Development at Hoffmann-LaRoche and also head of the patent law department and Associate General Counsel at the company from September 1978 through September 1989. Mr. Saxe received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University, a J.D. from George Washington University School of Law and an LL.M. from New York University School of Law.
Jay Shepard has served as a Director since September 2013. Mr. Shepard has over 30 years experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and drug delivery fields. Mr. Shepard currently serves as an Executive Partner at Sofinnova Ventures.
From 2010 until 2012, he was President and CEO of NextWave Pharmaceuticals, a pediatric focused therapeutics company which was acquired in November 2012 by Pfizer in a deal valued up to $700 million shortly after NextWave obtained FDA approval for Quillivant XR, a treatment for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While serving at NextWave, Mr. Shepard maintained a strategic advisor relationship with Sofinnova Ventures, which he joined in 2008 as an Executive in Residence. Prior to Sofinnova Ventures, Mr. Shepard was President and CEO of Ilypsa, a nephrology therapeutics company acquired by Amgen for $420 million. He then helped with Ilypsa’s spin-out company, Relypsa, serving as interim President and CEO. Before Ilypsa, Mr. Shepard served as Vice President, Commercial Operations at Telik, where he was responsible for all activities related to market preparation toward the launch of the company’s lead oncology compounds. Previously, he was Vice President of ALZA Pharmaceuticals Oncology Business Unit, having held leadership positions of increasing responsibility in the establishment and operation of ALZA’s specialty pharmaceutical sales and marketing group. Mr. Shepard began his career in pharmaceutical sales and marketing at Ortho Pharmaceutical and Syntex Laboratories.