Toru Kimura, PhD
Dr. Toru Kimura is the Chief Scientific Officer and a member of the board of directors of Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma. Dr. Kimura joined Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals as a scientist after completing his Ph.D. in 1989. Over the next three decades he held management positions of increasing responsibility. In 2013 he established and led the Regenerative & Cellular Medicine Office to promote the research and development of products based on induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. In this role, he encouraged collaborative research and development efforts with academia and industry. Dr. Kimura and his team conceptualized the formation of a world-class facility in which regenerative medicine and cell therapy products could be manufactured. This concept was brought to fruition in 2018 with the completion of the SMaRT (Sumitomo Dainippon Manufacturing Plant for Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy) manufacturing plant in Osaka.
Dr. Kimura’s expertise has been recognized with a position on the board of directors for the Forum for Innovative Regenerative Medicine (FIRM), which seeks to build a consensus among international governments, academia and industry organizations regarding the research and application of regenerative medicine. In addition, from 2019 to 2021 he served as a member of the Expert Panel of the Council for Science and Technology Policy in Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
Dr. Kimura earned his Ph.D. from Kyoto University and studied at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School as a visiting scientist.
Ms. Myrtle Potter was appointed Vant Operating Chair for Roivant Pharma in July 2018. In this role, she is expected to serve as one of two Roivant representatives on the boards of biopharmaceutical companies in the Roivant family.
Ms. Potter previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Genentech during a pivotal period of the company’s growth. Under her leadership, Genentech achieved record sales and earnings growth each year.
Prior to Genentech she was President of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s U.S. cardiovascular and metabolic business. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and serves on the university’s board of trustees. She also serves on the boards of Rite Aid and Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, and previously served on the boards of Amazon, Express Scripts, and Medco Health Solutions.
Bill Symonds, PharmD
Dr. Bill Symonds has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Altavant Sciences since its inception in August 2018. Previously, Dr. Symonds was a member of the founding management team at Roivant Sciences, Inc. where he served as Roivant’s Chief Development Officer.
As Chief Development Officer for Roivant, Dr. Symonds crafted the research and development plans for a number of products including rodatristat ethyl, Altavant’s lead asset for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Earlier in his career, Dr. Symonds held senior positions at a number of pharmaceutical companies including Pharmasset, Inc. and Gilead Sciences, Inc. During his tenure at Pharmasset, Dr. Symonds led the development of Sovaldi® for hepatitis C virus infection medicines. Based on the early success at Pharmasset, Dr. Symonds and his team were brought into Gilead after its acquisition of Pharmasset, where he continued to advance Sovaldi® through to FDA approval. Previously, he worked at GlaxoSmithKline and its predecessor companies on numerous approved medicines for HIV infection including Ziagen®, Agenerase® and Epzicom®.
Dr. Symonds received his Doctor of Pharmacy from Campbell University and completed a fellowship in clinical pharmacokinetics at the Clinical Pharmacokinetics Laboratory at Millard Fillmore Hospital in Buffalo, New York. He has authored or co-authored over 35 clinical articles and is named on nine patents related to the composition of matter and methods of use of drugs for hepatitis C infection.