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Salk Institute Board of Trustees welcomes biotech entrepreneur Richard Heyman

Richard Heyman

The Salk Institute is pleased to announce the election of Richard Heyman, PhD, to its Board of Trustees. Heyman was appointed to the board in November. Currently, Heyman serves as CEO of Seragon Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based biotech company that he cofounded in August 2013. Seragon develops selective estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs), which are being used for the treatment of breast cancer.

“Rich’s record of leadership in the biotech industry and his successes as an entrepreneur will make him a valuable addition to our board,” says Salk Board Chairman Irwin Jacobs. “He offers insight, experience and professional expertise that will further expand the Salk Institute’s scientific impact.

Heyman’s affinity for the Salk Institute extends beyond his background in biotech. He once worked at the Salk Institute as a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow and staff scientist. With Salk Professor Ronald Evans, Heyman cofounded X-Ceptor Therapeutics, which was acquired by Exelixis in 2004.

Prior to Seragon, Heyman was the CEO and cofounder of Aragon Pharmaceuticals, which developed novel therapeutics for the treatment of hormone dependent cancers, such as prostate and breast cancers, based on new insights into molecular mechanisms of resistance. Before X-Ceptor, he held various roles at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, including vice president of research, where he led a project to develop Panretin® and Targretin®, retinoids approved by the FDA for the treatment of cancer. He is the author or inventor of more than 120 publications and patents.

Heyman serves on the board of directors for BIOCOM, Organovo Holdings, Inc. and Receptos, Inc. He is a member of the therapeutic advisory board for aTyr Pharma, and serves on the executive committee of the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. He received a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Minnesota and a BS in chemistry from the University of Connecticut.