Leadership

Annexon’s leadership has an extensive and successful track-record of discovering, developing and commercializing breakthrough therapies for debilitating disease. Using a closely integrated approach, they are bound by their passion and commitment to translate Annexon’s platform science into break-through therapeutics for patients and their families impacted by complement mediated neurodegenerative diseases (CMND). 

Douglas Love, Esq

President & Chief Executive Officer

photo of Douglas LoveMr. Love joined Annexon Biosciences as first President and Chief Executive Officer in May 2014 with extensive business and legal leadership experience in biotech.  Annexon is South San Francisco biotech company advancing a novel neuro-immunology approach for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease.  Mr. Love previously served as Head of Operations for Elan Pharmaceuticals where he led the Tysabri® multiple sclerosis franchise, helping to propel it to nearly $2 billion in annual sales.  He also led Elan’s Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program, which was licensed to Johnson & Johnson for $1 billion in addition to milestones and royalties.  Mr. Love is a corporate attorney by training, and prior to joining Elan served as an associate at the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Corporate Counsel at Amgen, Inc. and as Section Corporate Counsel at Genentech Inc., where he led the BioOncology Healthcare Law Group and launched several blockbuster programs.  Mr. Love holds a J.D. with great distinction from McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento, CA, and a B.S. in business administration from the University of Southern California.

photo of Ted YednockTed Yednock, PhD

evp & Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Yednock joined Annexon Biosciences as Chief Scientific Officer in November 2013. Dr. Yednock was previously Chief Scientific Officer for Prothena Corporation, Head of Research for Elan Pharmaceuticals and a Scientist at Athena Neurosciences. While at Athena, he was the scientific inventor of Tysabri®, a blockbuster monoclonal antibody for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. In addition to his work in multiple sclerosis, Dr. Yednock has contributed to the invention or progression of numerous drugs in the areas of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyloidosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and Crohn’s disease. Dr. Yednock earned his B.S. in biology and chemistry from the University of Illinois and his Ph.D. in anatomy and cell biology from the University of California San Francisco.

Mark L. Smith 

EVP & Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Smith joined Annexon Biosciences as its Chief Financial Officer in January 2018. Prior to joining Annexon, Mr. Smith served as the Chief Financial Officer for Calimmune, Inc., a gene therapy company, playing a leadership role in that company’s sale to CSL Behring for up to $416 million in August 2017. Mr. Smith has served as Chief Financial Officer for a number of private and public companies in life sciences and renewable energy settings providing financial leadership for two initial public offerings, numerous follow on offerings, strategic exits and debt transactions.

Prior to Calimmune, Mr. Smith served as Chief Financial Officer for Fluidic Energy, Inc., Gevo, Inc., Replidyne, Inc., Nabi Biopharmaceuticals and Neuromedical Systems, Inc. Earlier in his career, Mr. Smith served in various financial executive capacities at Genzyme Corporation, most recently as Group Controller. Prior to joining Genzyme, Mr. Smith worked as chief financial officer of Genetrix, Inc. through that company’s sale to Genzyme. He started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, working in both Australia and the US. Mr. Smith holds a B.A. in accounting from the University of Canberra.

D. Richard Artis, PhD 

SVP, Chemistry

Dr. Artis began working with Annexon in early 2015, and joined full time in 2016.  He was previously Sr. Vice President at Elan Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for Small Molecule & Protein Design and Discovery, Assay Development & Screening and Informatics.  Prior to Elan, he was Vice President at Plexxikon where he led efforts in Chemistry, Structural Biology, Informatics and Intellectual Property that resulted in filing of seven INDs in just over six years.  During this time he was also co-inventor of Zelborafä, now approved for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.  Prior to joining Plexxikon, Dr. Artis also held positions of increasing responsibility at Genentech and Syntex Pharmaceuticals.  Dr. Artis received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Yale University, and his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.