Our core commitment is to provide safe and effective products that make a difference by providing innovative solutions for unmet medical needs. Products everyone should have access to and that deliver a true benefit. As motivated physicians, researchers, and innovative leaders, it is our goal to make a difference in the lives of people everywhere by continuously improving and evaluating our goals and objectives to further the advancement of health care.
Our leadership team works relentlessly to ensure we uphold our commitment to develop safe and effective products that make a difference in healthcare. Meet the team who continues to lead us towards growth and success.
Dr. Bhatnagar was appointed as our Chief Executive Officer in February 2014. Prior to that, he served as our President and Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Bhatnagar joined us in 2006, and has held positions of increasing responsibility since then. Dr. Bhatnagar is a physician with over 15 years of experience in the medical device and biopharmaceutical industries. His experience spans development of biologics, drugs, drug-device combinations and diagnostic as well as therapeutic medical devices. His prior experience includes working at Coulter Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 1998 to 2000 and Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2000 to 2006. He is the author of several peer-reviewed publications, abstracts and book chapters. He obtained his medical degree at SMS Medical College in Jaipur, India and completed his Residency and Fellowship training in the U.S. at various institutions, including Georgetown University Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. O’Toole was appointed Chief Financial Officer in July 2014. He has more than 30 years of experience in the accounting and finance sectors, and for the past 14 years has focused on the medical device, tools, and diagnostics industry. From September 2012 to June 2014, Mr. O’Toole was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Codexis, Inc., a public company focused on developing biocatalysts. From May 2010 to August 2012, Mr. O’Toole was Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Response Genetics, Inc., and served from May 2008 to August 2010 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Abraxis Bioscience, Inc. From 1992 to 2008, Mr. O’Toole worked at Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he served for 12 of those years as a partner. He worked at Arthur Anderson & Co. from 1984 to 1992 as an international tax manager. Mr. O’Toole received his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Arizona, and is a certified public accountant.
Dr. Cowen joined Capnia as the Senior Vice President of Drug Development in March 2017, at the time of the Capnia acquisition of Essentialis. Previously, Dr. Cowen was part of the senior management team of Essentialis since its founding in May 2003, functioning first as founding CEO and most recently as President and CSO, directing the product development, finance and business development functions. From 2001 to 2003 Dr. Cowen served as VP for Strategic Development at Epicyte Pharmaceutical, directing the product development, regulatory, manufacturing, business development and HR functions of the company. From 1986 to 2001 Dr. Cowen functioned in various business development and research management roles in Dow Chemical and its subsidiaries, ending as Global Business Leader for biopharmaceuticals and animal health. Dr. Cowen has a PhD from Iowa State University an MBA from the University of Indianapolis, and BS and MS degrees from Michigan State University.
Ms. Yen has over 15 years of clinical research experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. She joined the Company 2006, and currently serves as the head of Clinical Operations. Prior to joining the Company, she managed multiple U.S. and global clinical studies in oncology, and held various positions of increasing responsibility at Titan Pharmaceuticals. She began her career in the industry as a clinical employee at PRA International. She has served as a team member and managed clinical studies in neonatology, neurology, pulmonary/allergy, cardiovascular disease, endocrine/metabolic disease, and oncology. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of California, Davis, and a Master of Science degree in cell, molecular and neurosciences from the University of Hawaii, Manoa.
Ms. Hirano has over 20 years of regulatory affairs in the biopharmaceutical industry. Her experience encompasses the development of pharmaceuticals, biologics, and drug-device combination products for the treatment of oncology, cardiovascular, neurology, pulmonary/allergy, and endocrine/metabolic diseases. Prior to becoming a regulatory consultant, she held various positions of increasing responsibility at the Company Titan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., PRTM (now PWC), CV Therapeutics, Inc. (acquired by Gilead), and Matrix Pharmaceutical, Inc. (acquired by Chiron Corp). She has also been the coordinator of the Bay Area Compliance Discussion Group in 1998. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of California, Berkeley, and Master of Public Health degree from San Jose State University.
Mr. Wondka was appointed Vice President of Research at Capnia, a subsidiary of Soleno, in June 2013, after working as a consultant for the company since May 2001. He has held management and executive positions in the medical device industry for over 20 years in large and small companies. From April 2006 to March 2011, Mr. Wondka served as Vice President of R&D, and Vice President of Technology and Clinical Affairs for Breathe Technologies, where he invented and co-invented ventilation products that address large unmet needs in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and obstructive sleep apnea. From July 1997 to April 2006, Mr. Wondka was Director of R&D and Vice President of Manufacturing at Pulmonx, where he co-invented and led the early development of the Chartis™ diagnostic system and procedure that is used to guide endobronchial lung volume reduction for the treatment of COPD, which is currently being sold in the E.U. Prior to Pulmonx, Mr. Wondka worked at Pfizer subsidiary Shiley (acquired by Covidien) and Bear Medical (acquired by Carefusion), where he held lead roles in engineering and quality assurance, supporting commercialization activities for market leading ENT and respiratory products. He holds over 40 issued or pending patents, and has a Bachelor of Science degree bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego.