Dr. Gardner was the founding CEO of Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. in 2007, following twenty-three years of pharmaceutical discovery and development work at Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals. As CEO of Akebia, Joseph completed four rounds of private financing and moved the lead anemia drug, AKB-6548, successfully through Phase 2 studies in humans. In March of 2014, Akebia Therapeutics raised over $100M in a public offering and is now a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ. Joseph founded Aerpio as a spin out from Akebia Therapeutics, Inc in December of 2011 bringing over the Tie2 and HIF-1 activator programs. Dr. Gardner successfully closed two series A financing rounds and Aerpio’s recent private placement and reverse merger, which are funding the lead Tie2 activator, AKB-9778, through human proof of concept studies in patients with diabetic eye disease.
While at P&G Joseph created, and managed a broad range of functions including medicinal chemistry, process chemistry, high throughput screening, computational modeling, and early clinical development. Dr. Gardner was Director of intellectual property management and managed the entire patent portfolio for the P&G Pharmaceutical business.
Dr. Gardner received his B.S. with honors in Biological Chemistry from Tulane University, earned his M.S. in Biochemistry from Utah State University and Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from University of Wisconsin.