Management Team

Rick Orr, Chief Executive Officer

Rick Orr joined Exalys in July, 2020 as President and Chief Executive Officer, and has more than 20 years of operational, development and legal experience. Most recently, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Adynxx.  Rick previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Corthera where he led the successful sale of the company to Novartis in February 2010. Rick also served as Chief Operating officer of Calixa, where he led the successful sale of the company to Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Prior to that, he served as Sr. Vice President, Operations of Cerexa, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Forest Laboratories. During his tenure at Cerexa, the company completed the successful clinical development of Teflaro® (ceftaroline fosamil), a parenteral antibiotic for the treatment of life-threatening infections. Rick was one of the founders of Cerexa and served as General Counsel until the company was acquired by Forest Laboratories in January 2007. Earlier in his career, he served as the Associate General Counsel of Peninsula Pharmaceuticals where he played a central role in structuring the acquisition of Peninsula by Johnson & Johnson. Prior to working at Peninsula, Rick was an attorney at Cooley LLP.

Rick received a JD magna cum laude from the University of San Francisco School of Law. He received a BA from The Ohio State University and an MA from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Rick is a member of the State Bar of California.

Julien Mamet, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Julien Mamet joined Exalys in July, 2020 as Chief Scientific Officer.  Prior to Exalys, Dr. Julien Mamet founded Adynxx, a developer of non-opioid pain therapeutics in 2007. He served as Chief Executive Officer and President until 2010 and as Chief Scientific Officer until 2020.

Julien has extensive pharmaceutical experience in the areas of neuroscience and drug discovery and is the inventor of the AYX transcription factor decoy technology platform developed by Adynxx. Prior to Adynxx, he worked at the SCRIPPS Research Institute and Novartis Genomics Institute in San Diego, California.

Julien obtained his PhD in Pain and Pharmacology at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology in Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France, where he worked in the laboratory of Prof. Michel Lazdunski, a worldwide leader in pain research with over 600 publications in the field. His graduate work focused on the identification and validation of novel targets for pain drug therapies. In parallel to his PhD work, he taught biochemistry Masters’ courses at the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France. Julien obtained his BS and MS in Pharmacology and Genetics at the University Claude Bernard in Lyon, France.

Lynne Rollins, Chief Financial Officer

Lynne R. Rollins has served as Chief Financial Officer of Exalys since April, 2020. Ms. Rollins over 37 years of experience in the healthcare industry in the areas of finance and business development. Ms. Rollins has extensive experience as Chief Financial Officer, having served in the role for numerous start-up pharmaceutical, medical device, and agricultural companies. Lynne was with Baxter Healthcare Corporation for 19 years. Her positions there included Vice President of Business Development for the Cardiopulmonary Business, Vice President of Finance for the Cardiopulmonary Business (Bentley Division) and numerous finance positions within the Hospital Products Group of the Corporation.

Lynne received her Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from California State University and her MBA from Pepperdine University.

William Martin, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Operations

William Martin joined Exalys in July 2020, and serves as as Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Operations.  Prior to Exalys, Bill held roles of increasing responsibility at Adynxx heading up business development and building the Adynxx marketing and commercial strategy. Prior to joining Adynxx, Bill ran his own consulting business, advising venture-backed and public life sciences companies on transaction finance and valuation, marketing and commercial strategy, and business development. Bill was Director, Operations at Corthera where he supported business development activities leading to a successful sale to Novartis. His previous experience also includes The Boston Consulting Group, Raytheon, and AIR Worldwide, a company that models the risk of property damage due to natural disasters.

Bill received his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Sciences and Economics from Dartmouth College.

Board of Directors
Dennis Podlesak, Chairman
Dennis joined Domain as a partner in 2007 and became an advisory partner in January 2020. Since joining the Domain team has served as an active investor, a company founder and as the chief executive officer or executive chairman for a number of portfolio investments, resulting in multiple successful exits, initial public offerings, and new drug approvals to address unmet medical needs.

Most recently, Dennis led the growth and sale of Tobira Therapeutics to Allergan in November 2016.  He previously served on the board of Avanir Pharmaceuticals through its acquisition by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals in January 2015, and was a founding board member of RightCare Solutions through its acquisition by Cardinal Health in December 2015.

Currently, Dennis is the chairman of the board at Adynxx and Syndax Pharmaceuticals and a board member of Adastra Pharmaceuticals and Exalys Therapeutics.

Earlier in his tenure with Domain, Dennis served as the chief executive officer of Peninsula Pharmaceuticals and, after building the company, led its sale to Johnson & Johnson. In his next role, Dennis was a founder and the chief executive officer of Cerexa and led its sale to Forest Laboratories. Dennis was also a founder and the chief executive officer of Calixa Therapeutics and successfully led the growth and subsequent sale of Calixa to Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Dennis also served as executive chairman of Corthera and after repositioning the company into the cardiovascular space, led the sale of Corthera to Novartis AG.

Prior to Domain, Dennis served as head of the North American Business Unit for Novartis AG and as a member of Novartis’ Pharmaceutical Executive Committee and Global Leadership Team. Earlier in his career, Dennis served as vice president and head of the CEC division of Allergan, and as member of Allergan’s Global and North American Management Teams. Dennis spent the first ten years of his career with SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline). Dennis received a B.A. from Western Illinois University and an MBA from Pepperdine University, and has completed post-graduate studies at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Rick Orr

Rick Orr joined Exalys in July, 2020 as President and Chief Executive Officer, and has more than 20 years of operational, development and legal experience. Most recently, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Adynxx.  Rick previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Corthera where he led the successful sale of the company to Novartis in February 2010. Rick also served as Chief Operating officer of Calixa, where he led the successful sale of the company to Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Prior to that, he served as Sr. Vice President, Operations of Cerexa, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Forest Laboratories. During his tenure at Cerexa, the company completed the successful clinical development of Teflaro® (ceftaroline fosamil), a parenteral antibiotic for the treatment of life-threatening infections. Rick was one of the founders of Cerexa and served as General Counsel until the company was acquired by Forest Laboratories in January 2007. Earlier in his career, he served as the Associate General Counsel of Peninsula Pharmaceuticals where he played a central role in structuring the acquisition of Peninsula by Johnson & Johnson. Prior to working at Peninsula, Rick was an attorney at Cooley LLP.

Rick received a JD magna cum laude from the University of San Francisco School of Law. He received a BA from The Ohio State University and an MA from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Rick is a member of the State Bar of California.

BT Slingsby, M.D., Ph.D., MPH
BT Slingsby founded Catalys Pacific to transform life-sciences innovation in Japan using transpacific bioventure. He specializes in healthcare investments in the pharma sector including novel therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines.

Prior to Catalys Pacific, he founded the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund – the world’s first public-private fund focused on the development of new medicines for low- and middle-income countries. In his role as CEO and Executive Director at the GHIT Fund, he deployed over 100 investments and grew the fund to $350M in capital.

Previously, BT was global head of access strategy at Eisai Co., Ltd. where he led market access strategy for global products and managed a portfolio of anti-infective clinical programs.

BT graduated from Brown University with honors, earned his M.P.H. and Ph.D. from Kyoto University and the University of Tokyo, and received his M.D. with honors from the George Washington University. In recognition of his contributions to global health, he has been awarded a Foreign Ministry Commendation from the Government of Japan.  BT has authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles on medicine and public health and currently lectures at the Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University.

Takeshi Takahashi
Takeshi Takahashi holds extensive experience in M&As, IPOs, and financing in the healthcare sector.

Prior to Catalys Pacific, he worked for the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley for 12 years and played a significant role in over 30 distinguished transactions including, but not limited to, Japanese companies’ acquisitions of U.S. listed companies with an enterprise value of over US$10.0 billion, acquisitions of global healthcare companies with an enterprise value of over US$5.0 billion, and a number of alternative financing transactions.

Prior to working for Morgan Stanley, Takeshi was an analyst and a portfolio manager for global and Japan fixed income and managed a $3.0+ billion portfolio in Japan and the U.S. at Merrill Lynch’s asset management division.

Takeshi graduated from Waseda University with a degree in Political Science and Economics, and holds an M.B.A. from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Proficiently bilingual and bicultural.

Nicole Vitullo
Nicole joined Domain in 1999 and became a partner in 2004.

With extensive experience in both public and private investing, Nicole’s current board memberships include, Antios Therapeutics, Esperion Therapeutics, Exalys Therapeutics and Marinus Pharmaceuticals.  Additionally, she was a former board observer at Iterum Therapeutics.  Past board memberships include Achillion Pharmaceuticals (sold to Alexion), Calixa Therapeutics (sold to Cubist Pharmaceuticals), Celator Pharmaceuticals (sold to Jazz Pharmaceuticals), Cerexa (sold to Forest Laboratories), Durata Therapeutics (sold to Actavis), Onyx Pharmaceuticals and VentiRx Pharmaceuticals (sold to Celgene).

In addition to investment responsibilities, Nicole is involved with the liquidation and distribution strategies for the public companies in Domain’s venture capital portfolios.  For more than a decade, Nicole was responsible for Domain Public Equity Partners L.P., a fund focused on private investments in public companies.

Previous to Domain, Nicole was senior vice president at Rothschild Asset Management, Inc. where she had responsibility for the U.S. public market investments of International Biotechnology Trust plc and Biotechnology Investments Limited.

Previous to Rothschild, Nicole served as the director of corporate communications and investor relations at Cephalon, a publicly traded biotechnology company.  Prior to Cephalon, Nicole spent 12 years at Eastman Kodak, where she held a number of positions including corporate development, where she was involved in the development and management of Kodak’s venture capital activities.  She received her B.A. in mathematics and her MBA in finance from University of Rochester.

Eckard Weber, M.D.
Eckard joined Domain in 2001 as a partner and became an advisory partner in January 2020. He specializes in creating companies around promising new pharmaceutical products and has led Domain’s Japanese in-licensing initiatives.

Eckard is a board member of Adastra Pharmaceuticals, Adynxx and Exalys Therapeutics.

He has been founding CEO of multiple biopharmaceutical companies in the Domain portfolio including Acea Pharmaceuticals, Adastra Pharmaceuticals, Ascenta Therapeutics, Calixa Therapeutics, Cytovia, Domain Anti Bacterial Acquisition Corporation, NovaCardia, Novacea, Novalar Pharmaceuticals, Ocera Therapeutics, Orexigen Therapeutics, Sonexa Therapeutics, Syndax Pharmaceuticals and Tobira Therapeutics.

Eckard was chairman of a number of companies until their successful exits including Peninsula Pharmaceuticals (sold to Johnson & Johnson, 2005), Cerexa (sold to Forest Laboratories, 2007), NovaCardia (sold to Merck, 2007), Calixa (sold to Cubist Pharmaceuticals, 2009) and Ocera Therapeutics (sold to Mallinckrodt, 2017). He was also a board member of Conforma Therapeutics (sold to Biogen-IDEC, 2006), Cabrellis Pharmaceuticals (sold to Pharmion, 2006) and Tobira Therapeutics (sold to Allergan, 2016).

Previously, Eckard was a tenured professor of pharmacology at the University of California at Irvine. He has more than 30 years of drug discovery and development experience and has been a consultant to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. He is the inventor or co-inventor of numerous patents and patent applications, and he has published more than 130 papers in scientific periodicals.

Eckard completed his Abitur from Kolping Kolleg, Friedrichshafen, Germany and his M.D. from the University of Ulm Medical School, Germany. He received his postdoctoral training in neuroscience at Stanford University Medical School.