Soleno Therapeutics, Inc. is focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics for the treatment of rare diseases.
We are committed to developing safe and effective therapeutic products that improve the lives of patients living with complex, life-threatening rare diseases with unmet medical needs.
Meet the people who support our vision by providing additional expertise and insight to the development, implementation, and assessment of our company and its products.
Dr. Mario joined our Board of Directors in August 2007 and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until February 2014 when he was named Chairman. From April 2003 to August 2007, Dr. Mario served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Reliant Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held pharmaceutical company that was acquired by GSK for approximately $1.6 billion in 2007. Dr. Mario served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of ALZA Corporation, a research-based pharmaceutical company, from November 1997 to December 2001, when ALZA was acquired by Johnson & Johnson for approximately $12 billion. Previously he served as Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chairman of ALZA from August 1993 to November 1997. From January 1992 until March 1993, Dr. Mario served as Deputy Chairman of Glaxo Holdings plc., a pharmaceutical company, and as Chief Executive from May 1989 to March 1993. Dr. Mario has current and past service on a number of corporate boards including Boston Scientific Corporation, Celgene Inc. (current), Chimerix, Inc. (current), Kindred Biosciences Inc., Tonix Pharmaceuticals Holding Corp. (current) and XenoPort Inc. Dr. Mario earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in physical sciences at the University of Rhode Island and a B.S. in pharmacy at Rutgers. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Rhode Island and Rutgers University. In 2007, he was awarded the Remington Medal by the American Pharmacists’ Association, pharmacy’s highest honor.
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. Harris has been a member of our Board of Directors since June 2014. Since 2001, he has been the Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Xenoport, Inc. From 1996 to 2001, he held several positions with Coulter Pharmaceutical, Inc., a biotechnology company engaged in the development of novel therapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, the most recent of which was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Corixa Corp., a developer of immunotherapeutic products, acquired Coulter Pharmaceutical in 2000. Prior to Coulter Pharmaceutical, from 1990 to 1996, Mr. Harris held several positions at Gilead Sciences, Inc., the most recent of which was Director of Finance. Mr. Harris received a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business and Administration.
Ms. Melincoff has over 25 years of leadership experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector, and was named one of the “Top Women in Biotech 2013” by FierceBiotech. She currently sits on the board of directors of Photocure ASA, and Collegium Pharmaceutical, and is an Advisor at Agent Capital, Phase 1 Ventures and Verge Genomics. She was previously a board member at Kamada, as well as Tobira Therapeutics when Allergan acquired it for $1.7 billion. She most recently served as Vice President of Business Development at BTG International Inc and from 2004 to the 2013, was Senior Vice President of Business Development at Shire Pharmaceuticals. She led Shire’s Strategic Investment Group (SIG) and served as a board member/board observer at DBV Technologies, AM Pharma, ArmaGen Technologies, Promethera Biosciences, Naurex Inc. (acquired by Allergan), and Enterome. She was responsible for the collaboration with New River Pharmaceuticals that led to the $2.6 billion acquisition of the company. Prior to joining Shire, Ms. Melincoff was Vice President of Business Development at Adolor Corporation. Ms. Melincoff received her M.S. in Management from Pennsylvania State University, completed her B.S. in Biology from George Washington University, and attained the designation of Certified Licensing Professional (CLP™).
Dr. Sinclair has been a member of our Board of Directors since December 2018. Since 2008, Dr. Sinclair has held various positions at Abingworth LLP, a life sciences investment group, where he is currently a Partner and Portfolio Manager. Dr. Sinclair is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and received a Ph.D. in chemistry and genetic engineering at the BBSRC Institute of Plant Science, Norwich, and a B.Sc. in microbiology from King’s College London.
Dr. Volck has over 18 years of leadership experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. She has served as the President R&D at AVROBIO Inc., a clinical stage gene therapy company since December 2018. From 2016 to 2018, she served as head of Research and Development, Rare Diseases, for GlaxoSmithKline. From 2012 to 2016, Dr. Volck served as the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Development at Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB. Prior to this, from 2007 to 2012, she held various positions at Amgen Inc., including Executive Development Director, Bone, Neuroscience & Inflammation. From 2004 to 2007, Dr. Volck served as Nordic Medical Director and Project Director at Genzyme A/S, and from 2001 to 2004, she served as Head of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at Pharmexa. Dr. Volck currently serves as a director for Ascendis Pharma A/S. She also served as a director for Wilson Therapeutics AB from May 2017 to May 2018 until it was acquired by Alexion Pharmaceuticals for $850 million. Dr. Volck received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Copenhagen University, Denmark.