SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on harnessing powerful biology underlying major diseases to develop transformative therapeutics for patients, today announced several leadership team and Board of Directors updates.
David J. Woodhouse, Ph.D. has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and elected to NGM's Board of Directors. Aetna Wun Trombley, Ph.D. has been appointed President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). Drs. Woodhouse and Trombley previously served as NGM's Chief Financial Officer and COO, respectively. William J. Rieflin will step down as NGM's CEO and assume the role of Executive Chairman. In this capacity, Mr. Rieflin will remain a member of NGM's Board of Directors and continue to play an active role in the daily operations of the company. Dr. Woodhouse will assume full executive leadership and day-to-day management responsibilities of NGM, working closely with Dr. Trombley who will lead the operational functions of the company. Jeffrey D. Jonker has stepped down as President of NGM to pursue another executive leadership opportunity. He will remain a special advisor to the company. These updates are in connection with NGM's planned transition to a public company.
"We are thrilled to announce David's and Aetna's promotions. David's scientific training, business acumen and extensive track record in life sciences investment banking, as well as his intimate understanding of NGM's people, platform and pipeline, ideally position him to lead our company. Aetna's myriad accomplishments at NGM over the last seven years include the negotiation and execution of our transformational collaboration with Merck," said Mr. Rieflin. "Along with our entire management team, David and Aetna possess the leadership experience, energy and know-how to continue to build and guide NGM in the next phase of our evolution."
Mr. Rieflin continued, "On behalf of our board and the NGM team, I'd like to thank Jeff for his tireless efforts and numerous contributions over the past four years. We look forward to all that he will accomplish on behalf of patients in his new endeavor."
"I am excited and humbled by the opportunity to lead NGM and am very fortunate to assume this role from Bill after a tremendous tenure of leadership that has established our momentum today," said Dr. Woodhouse. "With five programs currently in clinical development and several more in the earlier pipeline, our experience in identifying important biological pathways underlying challenging diseases is driving our aspiration to operate one of the industry's most productive R&D engines. I look forward to continuing to work closely with our Board, Bill, Aetna and the entire NGM team, as we strive to translate powerful biology into transformative therapeutics for patients."
Concomitant with these leadership changes, NGM also announced changes to its Board of Directors. Suzanne Sawochka Hooper has been elected as a Director and will serve on the audit and nominating and corporate governance committees. Ms. Hooper has been Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Jazz Pharmaceuticals since March 2012. Prior to joining Jazz, Ms. Hooper served as a partner in the Cooley LLP law firm from 1999 through early 2012, where she practiced corporate and securities law, primarily with companies and investors in the life sciences industry. In addition, David V. Goeddel, Ph.D. will transition from his current role as Chairman of NGM's Board of Directors to become Lead Independent Director. Dr. Goeddel has served as Chairman of NGM's Board of Directors since inception and served as the company's founding CEO from 2008 to 2010. He has been Managing Partner of The Column Group since 2007.
About Drs. Woodhouse and Trombley
Dr. Woodhouse joined NGM Bio in 2015 from Goldman Sachs where he was a managing director and co-head of U.S. biotechnology investment banking. As a member of Goldman's healthcare investment banking group for nearly 13 years in both the New York and San Francisco offices, Dr. Woodhouse's responsibilities included corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions advice for the biotechnology, specialty pharma and diagnostics industries. In this capacity, he advised on several billion in equity and equity-linked financings, as well as over $90 billion in M&A transactions. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Dr. Woodhouse worked in various business development and research roles at Dynavax and Amgen. Dr. Woodhouse graduated, with highest honors, from UC Santa Barbara, with a B.A. in Pharmacology. He also earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from Stanford University School of Medicine and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
Dr. Trombley joined NGM as head of Business Development in 2011 and became its COO in 2015. Prior to NGM, Dr. Trombley served as Chief of Staff for the CEO of Novartis in Basel, Switzerland, and worked on key corporate initiatives and strategic projects across the company's healthcare businesses. Previously, she was Associate Director, Business Development at XenoPort, Inc., where her responsibilities included strategic and portfolio planning in addition to various out-licensing projects. Prior to XenoPort, Dr. Trombley was a Senior Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, where she advised pharmaceutical and medical device clients on strategic, commercial and operational issues. Dr. Trombley has been a Director at Carmot Therapeutics, Inc. since 2016. She received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from MIT.
About NGM Bio
NGM Bio is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel therapeutics based on scientific understanding of key biological pathways underlying cardio-metabolic, liver, oncologic and ophthalmic diseases. The company leverages its biology-centric drug discovery approach to uncover novel mechanisms of action and generate proprietary insights that enable it to move rapidly into proof-of-concept studies and deliver potential first-in-class medicines to patients. NGM Bio aspires to operate one of the most productive research and development engines in the biopharmaceutical industry, with multiple programs in clinical development. Visit www.ngmbio.com for more information.