Chief Executive Officer
William Hodder joined NFlection in October 2021 as Chief Executive Officer, bringing more than 35 years of broad biopharmaceutical industry experience including fundraising, business development, corporate and product marketing, sales, and product development.
Most recently, Mr. Hodder was Chief Business Officer for Escient Pharmaceuticals a privately held biotechnology company that is advancing first-in-class G Protein-Coupled Receptor (GPCR)-targeted drugs for neuro-immuno-inflammatory and autoreactive diseases. At Escient, Mr. Hodder led the completion of a $77.5 million Series B financing and was responsible for all finance and operational functions. 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.
Corey Goodman, Ph.D.
Corey Goodman is a scientist, educator, and entrepreneur. He spent 25 years as Professor of Biology at Stanford University and Evan Rauch Chair of Neurobiology at U.C. Berkeley (Dept. of Molecular and Cell Biology), where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Head of the Neurobiology Division, and co-founder and Director of the Wills Neuroscience Institute.
He is currently Adjunct Professor of Neuroscience in the Wills Neuroscience Institute at U.C. Berkeley. Dr. Goodman is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Philosophical Society, and recipient of many honors including the Alan T. Waterman Award, Canada Gairdner Biomedical Award, March-of-Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, Reeve-Irvine Research Medal, and Gruber Prize in Neuroscience.
Dr. Goodman co-founded eight biotechnology companies (the first being Exelixis), and led one of them (Renovis) as President and CEO from a private to public company until its acquisition by Evotec. At Pfizer, he was President of the Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center and a member of the executive leadership team.
Dr. Goodman is co-founder and a Managing Partner of venBio Partners LLC. He is Chair of the Board of ALX Oncology, Tallac, Axonis, Attralus, Axent, MindRhythm, and Insamo. He is a member of the Board of NFlection and FOG. He chaired Labrys Biologics, a company he founded, until its acquisition by Teva. The Labrys drug, called Ajovy, is a CGRP antibody for chronic migraine that was approved by the FDA in 2018.
Dr. Goodman’s public service has been at the interface of science and public policy. He is former Chair of the California Council on Science and Technology (advising the Governor and State Legislature), a member of the University of California Innovation Council (advising the UC President), and former Chair of the National Research Council’s (NAS) Board on Life Sciences (advising the Federal Government).
Dr. Goodman received his B.S. in biological sciences from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in neurobiology as a National Science Foundation Fellow from the University of California, Berkeley. He received postdoctoral training in developmental neuroscience as a Helen Hay Whitney Fellow at the University of California, San Diego.
Ketan Patel, M.D.
Ketan Patel is a Partner with F-Prime Capital and has worked in the healthcare sector as an investor, consultant, and physician. Prior to joining F-Prime Capital in 2007, Dr. Patel advised biopharmaceutical and medical device companies on brand strategy, clinical development plans, and business development activities in the corporate consulting division of Leerink Swann & Company. Dr. Patel served as a physician at the VA Boston Healthcare System and at Weill Cornell Medical Center-New York Presbyterian Hospital and Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where he completed his internal medicine training.
Dr. Patel focuses on investing in therapeutics and medical device companies and has served as a director or board observer of Aclaris Therapeutics, Acorn Cardiovascular, Amphora Medical, Bioconnect Systems, Eywa Pharma, Ivenix, Laurus Labs, Medwell Ventures, Menlo Therapeutics, NextWave Pharmaceuticals, Vicept Therapeutics, and Xcyton Diagnostics.
Dr. Patel is a graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine, where he received both his M.D. and MBA as part of that institution’s Healthcare Management Program and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his undergraduate studies in biology and economics with highest honors at Rutgers University.
Joshua Grass, Chief Executive Officer, joined Escient in December 2021. Most recently, Josh was Chief Executive Officer from 2017 to 2019 of Modis Therapeutics, a company developing a treatment for a rare mitochondrial disease. As an Entrepreneur in Residence at F-Prime Capital, Josh led a $30M series A financing (F-Prime Capital and Orbimed Advisors) of ModisTx in March of 2018. ModisTx was acquired by Zogenix for $400M in total consideration ($250M upfront) in September of 2019. From 2002 to 2017 Josh was a member of the BioMarin senior executive management team, during most of that time leading Business and Corporate Development reporting to the CEO. Over these 15 years at BioMarin, Josh led the acquisition and divestiture of many technologies and products, and also participated in the global development and launch of many products to treat rare genetic diseases. Josh started his career in biotech as a scientist at Cerus corporation from 1993 to 1998 after which time held roles in finance and equity research at boutique investment banks. Josh earned a B.S in Biology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from William E. Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester.
Christopher Powala is a serial entrepreneur with over 34 years of experience in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry. Mr. Powala joined NFlection Therapeutics as President & CEO in June 2019. Mr. Powala co-founded and served as Chief Development Officer of Aclaris Therapeutics until his retirement in June 2019. He also served as the Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer of Vicept Therapeutics, Inc. from 2009 until its acquisition by Allergan, Inc. in July 2011. Prior to joining Vicept Therapeutics, Inc., from 2008 to 2009, he served as Vice President, Clinical Operations & Global Regulatory Affairs for Vital Therapies, Inc., a biotechnology company. From 1993 to 2008, Mr. Powala was with CollaGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a dermatology-focused specialty pharmaceutical company, where he served as Vice President, Drug Development and Regulatory Affairs. Previously, Mr. Powala held various positions in product development and regulatory affairs at Wyeth Laboratories, Inc. Mr. Powala received his Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in General Management from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and his bachelor’s degree in Biology from State University of New York-Regents College.