Hunter Jackson, PhD, Chairman and CEO
Hunter is co-founder and Chairman and CEO of Navigen. He was a co-founder and served as Chairman and CEO of NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: NPSP) from 1986 to 2006. Three products were brought forward during Hunter's tenure at NPS. The company’s first product was Sensipar®, for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism and hypercalcemia. It was launched in 2004, is marketed by Amgen in the U.S. and Europe, by Kyowa Hakko Kirin in Asia, and will generate sales of over $1 billion in 2011. NPS’s second product, Preotact®, an injectable synthetic hormone for osteoporosis, is marketed by Nycomed in the EU and has received an “approvable” letter from the FDA. The company’s third product, Gattex™, an injectable peptide intended for the treatment of short bowel syndrome, successfully completed phase 3 clinical trials and NDA filing is expected in the fall of 2011. Under Hunter's leadership at NPS, the company entered into major agreements with Pfizer, FMC, GlaxoSmithKline, Amgen, Kirin, Abbott, AstraZeneca, Allergan, and Nycomed. Additionally, the company raised approximately $900 million dollars through a variety of public and private financings.
Hunter is a member of the Governing Authority of the Utah Science, Technology, and Research Economic Development Initiative (USTAR) and received the 1998 Ernst & Young Utah Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the 2002 Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology.
Hunter has a BA from the University of Illinois, a PhD in Psychobiology from Yale University and did his postdoctoral work in the Neurosurgery Department at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
Dean Li, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer
Dean is Chief Scientific Officer of Navigen. He is the H.A. & Edna Benning Endowed Professor of Medicine and Cardiology and the Director of the Molecular Medicine Program at the University of Utah. Dean was a co-founder of Hydra Biosciences in 2001 and was head of research and development until the end of 2003. Hydra Biosciences is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing drugs through leveraging its expertise in ion channels and molecular regeneration. Dean maintains his role as member of the scientific advisory board. He was the director of the Vascular Biotherapeutics Center of Excellence sponsored by the State of Utah Department of Economic Development.
Dean is the recipient of multiple honors including the Established Investigator Award by the American Heart Association and Clinical Scientist Award in Translation Medicine from the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigators. He is the author of multiple manuscripts published in peer reviewed journals including Science and Nature.
Dean received an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Chicago. He earned his MD and PhD from Washington University in St. Louis and completed his residency in Internal Medicine and was a clinical fellow in Cardiology at Barnes Hospital at Washington University Medical Center.
Brandi Simpson, MBA, Chief Business Officer
Brandi is Chief Business Officer of Navigen. She has held positions in business development, corporate strategy, and investor relations at NPS Pharmaceuticals. At NPS, Brandi negotiated and closed an out-licensing agreement worth over $90 million for the European rights to NPS’s lead product, PREOS; rights to early stage series of compounds for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease; and rights to drug delivery formulations. Prior to joining NPS, she was director of business development at Emergen, a Utah genetics start-up. Brandi was a life sciences management consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton where she advised clients on a variety of business and strategic issues including mergers and acquisitions, post-merger integration and development of new business ventures. She began her career as an investment banking analyst at Merrill Lynch where she worked on multiple public debt and equity financing transactions, structured financings, and mergers and acquisitions.
Brandi graduated summa cum laude from the University of Utah with an honors degree in Finance. She earned an MBA degree at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
Alan Mueller, PhD, RPh, Vice President of Research
Alan is Vice President of Research at Navigen. He brings over 25 years of industry experience to Navigen. Alan was a research scientist for 5 years in Neuroscience Drug Discovery at Abbott Laboratories in Abbott Park, Illinois. He then spent 19 years with NPS Pharmaceuticals as Vice President of Drug Discovery and later Vice President of Research and a member of the Executive Team and Operating Committee. He was responsible for all aspects of the Research Division, from early stage drug discovery through the completion of Phase 1 clinical trials. Most recently, Alan was Executive Director of Clinical Site Operations and a member of the Executive Team for Lifetree Clinical Research, where he was responsible for all aspects of the conduct of Phase I through Phase III clinical trials for investigation of new drugs.
Alan received his undergraduate degree in Pharmacy from the University of Kansas and received his doctorate in Pharmacology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Nicole Rempel, MS, PMP, MBA, Director of Program Management
Nicole is Director of Program Management at Navigen, where she has broad responsibilities including working closely with the company's academic partners to ensure successful transition of technologies from the laboratory into effective commercial development programs. As a Project Manager at NPS Pharmaceuticals from 2003-2007, she had a variety of responsibilities including coordination of the Regulatory Compliance group, drafting of corporate and departmental SOPs, and directing preparations for the successful FDA audit of corporate headquarters. She was also responsible for coordinating and managing the submission of NPS's first NDA filing.
Nicole received her BS from Colorado State University, where she was a Howard Hughes Fellow. She then moved to the University of Bonn as a Fulbright Scholar before returning to the US to receive her MS from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Nicole is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She received her MBA from the University of Utah.