Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
Mr. Gabrieli has served on Akcea’s board of directors since April 2016. Mr. Gabrieli is chief executive officer of Empower Schools, a non‑profit education innovation organization, and since May 2014, Mr. Gabrieli has served as a Partner Emeritus at Bessemer Venture Partners, a venture capital fund. Previously, from 1987 to April 2014, Mr. Gabrieli was a Partner at Bessemer, where he led their life sciences practice and made a founding investment Ionis. Mr. Gabrieli served on Ionis’ board of directors from 1989 to 2006. During his time at Bessemer, he invested in more than thirty life science and health care companies, including several that became publicly traded. Mr. Gabrieli is also the Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and a part‑time Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Edward M. Fitzgerald
Mr. Fitzgerald has over 35 years of business, financial and accounting experience, with 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. He has been an independent business advisor since 2016. From 2010 to 2016, Mr. Fitzgerald served as executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an international biopharmaceutical company, and served as the company’s senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer from 2002 to 2010. At ARIAD, Mr. Fitzgerald managed the growth and expansion of the company from a research-stage organization to an international commercial company with operations in the U.S. and multiple countries in Europe, managing over $1.2 billion in capital raises and other financings. Prior to ARIAD, Mr. Fitzgerald served as senior vice president, chief financial officer and secretary of AltaRex, Inc., a development stage biotechnology company, from 1998 to 2002. From 1992 to 1997, he held management positions at BankBoston Corporation in its mergers & acquisitions group and its consumer lending group. From 1989 to 1992, Mr. Fitzgerald was a partner in the audit and business advisory practice of Arthur Andersen & Co.
Sandford (“Sandy”) D. Smith
Mr. Smith has served as a member of Akcea’s board of directors since March 2017. For the past 20 years, he has focused on drugs and therapies for rare genetic diseases. Mr. Smith founded Global Biolink Partners and serves as chairman. From July 2015 to January 2016, Mr. Smith served as Aegerion’s interim chief executive officer, and following Aegerion’s merger with Novelion, he vice vhairman of Novelion. From 1996 to 2011, Mr. Smith held various positions at Sanofi-Genzyme (formerly Genzyme Corporation), most recently leading the integration of Genzyme’s international business into Sanofi’s global organization. Prior to that, he served as executive vice president of Genzyme, and president of Genzyme International. From 1986 to 1996, Mr. Smith was president, chief executive officer and a member of the Board of Directors of RepliGen Corporation. From 1977 to 1985, Mr. Smith held various positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb, culminating as vice president of business development and strategic planning for the pharmaceutical and nutritional Division. He currently serves on the boards of Cytokinetics Inc., Apricus Biosciences and Neuralstem Inc., each a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company.
Ms. Hochberg has served as a member of Akcea’s board of directors since March 2017. Currently, Ms. Hochberg is a managing partner of Elaran, LLC, a business strategy and management firm. She has 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry commercializing a wide array of products in the United States and international markets. Ms. Hochberg served in various senior leadership positions at Forest Laboratories from June 1997 to June 2014 when the company was sold to Actavis. Her roles included executive vice president of international, strategic planning and government affairs from 2013 to 2014; executive vice president, US sales and marketing; chief commercial officer from 2010 to 2013; senior vice president of marketing and chief commercial officer from 2007 to 2010; senior vice president of marketing from 1999 to 2007; and vice president of marketing from 1997 to 1999. Ms. Hochberg began her pharmaceutical career in July of 1985 at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals (now Novartis). In April of 1991, she joined Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories (now Pfizer) where she held several positions of increasing responsibility, ultimately serving as assistant vice president of marketing of the company’s vaccines and pediatrics division. She also serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations in the New York City area.
B. Lynne Parshall, J.D.
Ms. Parshall has served as a member of Akcea’s board of directors since January 2015. Ms. Parshall also serves as a Director and Senior Strategic Advisor to Ionis Pharmaceuticals, where she is also former Chief Operating Officer. She was responsible for overseeing the operations of finance, legal, patents, manufacturing, information technology, regulatory and alliance management, health and safety, facilities, corporate communications, and business and corporate development. Ms. Parshall joined Ionis in November 1991.
Previously, Ms. Parshall was a Partner with the firm of Cooley Godward LLP, now Cooley LLP, where she represented several health care companies in a general practice specializing in corporate partnering and other technology-based transactions.
Ms. Parshall received her J.D. at Stanford Law School and her B.A. from Harvard University, and is a member of the American, California and San Diego bar associations. Ms. Parshall also serves on the Board of Cytokinetics, Inc., and is a member of the Licensing Executives Society.
Damien McDevitt, Ph.D.
Dr. McDevitt is interim CEO of Akcea and has been a member of the company’s board of directors since October 2018. He was previously Chief Business Officer at Ionis Pharmaceuticals, where he led corporate development activities including business development, competitive intelligence, alliance management, investor relations and corporate communications. He joined Ionis in June 2018 from ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, where he served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development. Prior to joining ACADIA, Dr. McDevitt spent more than two decades at GSK in a variety of global and strategic business roles where he was instrumental in completing more than 70 transactions, building and supporting the commercial business, and helping to drive the strategic expansion of GSK in the western United States and Asia. He has served in various roles with increasing responsibility including Vice President, Head of Business Development for R&D Extended Therapy Areas, Head of Worldwide Business Development Asia and Head of GSK’s R&D West Coast Innovation Center. He also worked at GSK Ventures and in anti-infective discovery. Dr. McDevitt is an author of 70 scientific publications and published patents. He attended Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, where he earned his Ph.D. and undergraduate degree, both in microbiology.
Richard A. Moscicki, M.D.
Dr. Moscicki has served as a member of Akcea’s board of directors since June 2018. Dr. Moscicki has been the Executive Vice President for Science and Regulatory Advocacy and the Chief Medical Officer at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) since he joined in 2017. From 2013 to 2017, prior to joining PhRMA, Dr. Moscicki served as Deputy Center Director for Science Operations for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). He was senior vice president and Head of Clinical Development at Sanofi-Genzyme from 2011-2013. Dr. Moscicki served as Chief Medical Officer at Genzyme Corporation from 1992 to 2011 where he was responsible for worldwide global regulatory and pharmacovigilance matters, as well as all aspects of clinical research and medical affairs. Dr. Moscicki received his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School.
Michael J. Yang
Mr. Yang joined the Akcea board of directors in September 2019. He is Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at ACADIA Pharmaceuticals. Prior to ACADIA, Mr. Yang was at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, where he served as President of Janssen Biotech Inc. and was responsible for building the company’s US immunology business, generating more than $8 billion in annual revenues. Mr. Yang began his career at Johnson & Johnson in 1997 and held numerous senior commercial positions including President, CNS, where he was responsible for growing the anti-psychotic long-acting therapy portfolio. His broad background of commercialization and general management experience also includes roles as the worldwide general manager of the medical device companies of Therakos, Inc and Veridex, LLC, where he launched new platforms, expanded global revenues and diversified the product lines. Prior to that, Mr. Yang was Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Oncology at Ortho Biotech Inc. Mr. Yang earned his B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing from San Diego State University.
Joseph “Skip” Klein, III
Mr. Klein joined the Akcea board of directors in September 2019. He has served as a director of Ionis Pharmaceuticals since December 2005 and is currently Managing Director of Gauss Capital Advisors, LLC, a financial consulting and investment advisory firm focused on biopharmaceuticals, which he founded in March 1998. In this role, he performs due diligence and advises health care investors on opportunities in life sciences. Klein has also served as a venture partner for two health care venture capital firms: Red Abbey Venture Partners and MPM Capital. From June 1999 to September 2000 when it merged with WebMD Corporation, Mr. Klein served as Vice President, Strategy, for Medical Manager Corporation, a leading developer of physician office management information systems. For over nine years from 1989 to 1998, Mr. Klein was a health care investment analyst at T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., where he was the founding portfolio manager of the T. Rowe Price Health Sciences Fund, Inc. Mr. Klein serves on the board of directors of The Prospector Funds, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Company that manages 2 no-load mutual funds. Mr. Klein also serves on the boards of private and non-profit entities, and in the past has served on the Board of eight public biopharmaceutical companies. He earned his B.A. in Economics from Yale University and MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.