Management

Gerry Proehl
President, CEO and Managing Director

Mr. Proehl is a Founder, President, CEO and Director of Dermata Therapeutics, LLC. From January 2002 until January 2014 he was President and CEO of Santarus, Inc., where he led the sale of Santarus to Salix Pharmaceuticals for $2.6 billion.  Prior to Santarus, Mr. Proehl was with Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc. for 14 years, where he served in various capacities, including VP of Global Marketing. While at Hoechst, he was responsible for marketing products in multiple therapeutic areas, including cardiology, allergy/respiratory, immunology, and neurology.  Mr. Proehl holds a B.S. in Education from State University of New York at Cortland, an M.A. in Exercise Physiology from Wake Forest University, and an M.B.A. from Rockhurst College.  Mr. Proehl currently serves on the boards of three public companies, Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Sophiris Bio Corp, and Tenax Therapeutics, Inc. and three private boards, Kinetek Sports, Inc., MDRejuvena, and Patara Pharma.

Tom Insley
Chief Financial Officer

Tom Insley serves as Chief Financial Officer of Dermata Therapeutics, LLC.  He has served in Chief Financial Officer roles for the past thirteen years and has 29 years experience with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the last five years of which he was the Managing Partner of the San Diego Office.  Prior to Dermata Therapeutics, LLC, Mr. Insley was Chief Financial Officer of Intrepid Therapeutics, Inc. and prior to that, Chief Financial Officer of SkinMedica, Inc., a venture capital funded specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing and selling prescription and non-prescription topical skin care products.  From June 2002 to May 2003, he served as Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Molecular Imaging Corp., a public company that provided Positron Emission Tomography services to hospitals and clinics.  Mr. Insley is currently a member of the Board of Governors of the Gemological Institute of America, Inc., serving on the Audit and Finance Committees and is a former member of the Board of Trustees of The Scripps Research Institute, having served on the Executive, Audit, Finance and Governance Committees.

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Paul Budworth, PhD
Director, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance

Dr. Budworth joined Dermata in January 2016.  From 2014 to 2016, he previously served as Associate Director of Regulatory Affairs at Receptos where he was the global regulatory lead for an immune therapeutic drug for multiple sclerosis.  From August 2013 to March 2014, he was at Santarus until purchased by Salix Pharmaceuticals.  From 2009 to 2013 he served as Manager Global Regulatory Affairs at Vical.  From 2006 to 2009 he worked at Amylin Pharmaceuticals in regulatory affairs. From 2003 to 2006 Dr. Budworth worked at Diversa in discovery research.  From 1998 to 2003 he worked at Novartis and then Syngenta in biotech research.  His experience spans from research, pre-clinical work through Phase 4 drug development of both small molecules and biologics for a broad range of therapeutic areas including: diabetes, oncology, vaccines, and neurology.  Dr. Budworth holds post-doctoral work at Case Western University in Pharmacology and a PhD at Washington State University in Reproductive Physiology, a MS (Reproductive Physiology) from Colorado State University, and BS (Animal Science) from University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Hazel M. Aker
Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Hazel has served as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Dermata since its inception.  Prior to Dermata, Hazel served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Inc., from April 2007 through its acquisition by Mallinckrodt plc in March 2014.  Previously, Ms. Aker served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for several pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies, including CancerVax Corporation, Alaris Medical, Inc., Ambrx, Inc., and Women First Healthcare, Inc.  Ms. Aker is a member of the State Bar of California and holds a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law, and a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego.

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Maria Bedoya Toro Munera, PhD
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance

Maria Bedoya Toro Munera, PhD, MBA, has held this position since she joined Dermata in January 2016 after serving as Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance at Receptos Inc.  She previously served as Senior Director Regulatory Affairs at Eisai Medical Research Inc., from November 2006 to May 2007, moving to Eisai from Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc. when Ligand divested their oncology products to Eisai in November 2006.  Dr. Bedoya Toro Munera worked as Senior Director Global Regulatory Affairs and Compliance at Ligand from 2003 to 2006. From 2000 to 2003 she served as Director Global Regulatory Affairs at Baxter Hyland Immuno.  From 1998 to 2000 Dr. Bedoya Toro Munera worked at BASF Bioresearch Corporation as Director, Regulatory Affairs/Quality, and from 1996 to 1998 she worked as Director, Quality Assurance and Regulatory Compliance at Amylin Pharmaceuticals.  From 1988 to 1996 Dr. Bedoya Toro Munera worked at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer in a number of increasingly responsible positions in regulatory compliance, quality assurance, quality control and compliance.  Dr. Bedoya Toro Munera holds an M.B.A from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in bio-analytical chemistry from Ohio University. In addition, she has a M.A. in bio-analytical chemistry and a B.S. in chemistry from Western Michigan University.

Laura Weston
Executive Director, Pharmaceutical Technology

Laura has served as our Executive Director of Pharmaceutical Technology since July 15, 2015.  Laura has over 20 years of experience in analytical method development and validation, global contract facility oversight, regulatory compliance, building teams, and product development.  Prior to joining Dermata, Laura held several positions of increasing responsibility at Santarus where she managed formulation and development activities associated with over a dozen drug development programs ranging from early-stage research through NDA approval.  She also authored and/or edited the CMC sections of over 6 NDAs that were all approved within their established PDUFA timeframes.  Prior to Santarus, Laura worked in a number of professional roles at Lone Pine CMC Consulting, Dura Pharmaceuticals, and Molecular Biosystems supporting the development of several small molecule and biologic drug products.  Laura holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of California at Davis and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. 

  

Warren E. Hall
Senior Vice President, Product Development and Manufacturing

Warren has served as our Senior Vice President, Product Development and Manufacturing since July 15, 2015.  Previously, Warren served as SVP, Manufacturing and Product Development, at Santarus, Inc. and was a member of the executive team from July of 2001 to March 2014.  He was responsible for activities relating to analytical development, product and process development, and supply chain management including commercial manufacturing.  He also supported the in-licensing and out-licensing of portfolio products through CMC due diligence and partner management.  Prior to joining Santarus, Mr. Hall was with Dura Pharmaceuticals Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company from July 1998 to July 2001, which was acquired by Elan Corporation plc, a pharmaceutical company, in September 2000.  Mr. Hall served in various operational roles for the Pulmonary Group including: Senior Director of Development, Senior Director of Program Management and Senior Director of Manufacturing.  From November 1995 to June 1998, Mr. Hall served as Director of Manufacturing Operations at Cell Therapeutics, Inc. a cancer treatment company where he was responsible for analytical, process development and manufacturing supply activities.  Prior to Cell Therapeutics, Mr. Hall was with Mallinckrodt, Inc., a pharmaceutical and specialty chemical company, for 17 years, serving in various capacities, most recently as Director of Worldwide Manufacturing.  Mr. Hall holds a B.A. in chemistry and biology from Greenville College and a M.S. in organic chemistry from Southern Illinois University.

Chris Nardo, PhD
Senior Vice President, Development

Dr. Nardo has served as our Vice President of Development since June 2015.  Dr. Nardo has more than 25 years' experience in the biopharmaceutical industry  and has successfully filed more than a dozen marketing applications in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan.  His experience spans pre-clinical work through Phase 4 drug development of both small molecules and biologics for a broad range of therapeutic ares including: dermatology, ophthalmology, oncology, antiviral, urology, auto-immune and cardiology.  From 2010 to 2015, Dr. Nardo was Senior Director of Clinical Development at Allergan where he had responsibility for the conduct, submission, and approval of several global drug development programs, involving multiple dermatology assets, which included several new indications for BOTOX®.  From 2005 to 2010, Dr. Nardo served as Vice President of Clinical Operations at Spectrum Pharmaceuticals where he worked on developing new therapeutic opportunities in oncology and urology, including Fusilev® and Zevalin®.  Prior to joining Spectrum, Dr. Nardo held several clinical development positions with increasing responsibility at CancerVax Corporation, The Immune Response Corporation, and Procter and Gamble.  Dr. Nardo earned a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.P.H. from San Diego State University, and a B.S. (Biology) from Loyola Marymount University.  

 

 

Board of Directors

David Hale
Managing Director

Mr. Hale is a Founder and Managing Director of Dermata Therpeutics, LLC.  He is Chairman and CEO of Hale BioPharma Ventures, LLC, a private company focused on the formation and development of biotechnology, specialty pharma, diagnostic and medical device companies.  He was involved in the formation and development of SkinMedica and served as Executive Chairman and Chairman from 2001 through the Company’s significant revenue growth and the sale of the Company to Allergan in 2012.

Mr. Hale served as Chairman of Santarus, Inc. prior to its sale to Salix Pharmaceuticals in 2014, Micromet prior to its sale to Amgen in 2012 and Somaxon Pharmaceuticals prior to its sale to Pernix in 2013.

Mr. Hale is a serial entrepreneur who has been involved in the formation and/or development of a number of life sciences companies.  In addition to the companies above, these include Hybritech, Viagene, Gensia Sicor, CancerVax, Neurelis, MDRejuvena, Clarify Medical, Adigica Health, Oncternal and Neurana.  He serves on the board of three public companies, Conatus, BIOCEPT and Cassiopea. 

 

Gerry Proehl
President, CEO and Managing Director

Mr. Proehl is a Founder, President, CEO and Director of Dermata Therapeutics, LLC. From January 2002 until January 2014 he was President and CEO of Santarus, Inc., where he led the sale of Santarus to Salix Pharmaceuticals for $2.6 billion.  Prior to Santarus, Mr. Proehl was with Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc. for 14 years, where he served in various capacities, including VP of Global Marketing. While at Hoechst, he was responsible for marketing products in multiple therapeutic areas, including cardiology, allergy/respiratory, immunology, and neurology.  Mr. Proehl holds a B.S. in Education from State University of New York at Cortland, an M.A. in Exercise Physiology from Wake Forest University, and an M.B.A. from Rockhurst College.  Mr. Proehl currently serves on the boards of three public companies, Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Sophiris Bio Corp, and Tenax Therapeutics, Inc. and three private boards, Kinetek Sports, Inc., MDRejuvena, and Patara Pharma.

Wendell Wierenga, PhD
Director

Wendell Wierenga, Ph.D. joined the Dermata Board of Directors in September 2016. From June 2011 to January 2014, Dr. Wierenga served as Executive Vice President, Research and Development at Santarus, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by Salix Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. in January 2014.  Prior to Santarus, Dr. Wierenga served as Executive Vice President, Research and Development at Ambit Biosciences Corporation and Neurocrine Biosciences. Prior to Neurocrine, he served as the Chief Executive Officer for Syrrx, Inc. where he built an early stage biotech company which was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceuticals in 2005. Dr. Wierenga earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University and his B.A. from Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Cytokinetics, Ocera Therapeutics, and SRI Int’l and most recently was on the Board of Directors for Anacor Pharmaceuticals and XenoPort, Inc. prior to their sales to Pfizer and Arbor Pharmaceuticals, respectively. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Concert Pharmaceuticals, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, and aTyr Pharma, Inc.