Peter G. Ernster serves as Chairman of the Board for Sopherion Therapeutics, Inc. Mr. Ernster retired from Merck & Co., Inc. in December 2000, after a 27-year career with that company. In his last six years he served as Senior Vice President, Business Management, for the U.S. Pharmaceutical Division. In that role Mr. Ernster had responsibility for 16 diverse areas, including, among others, all physician and consumer marketing support, and all analytic, data and general business functions.
Mr. Ernster has outstanding domestic and international experience in both marketing and operational issues in a wide range of business and marketing functions. Before his position in the senior management of Merck's U.S. Pharmaceutical Division, Mr. Ernster focused on virtually every aspect of Merck's international business in more than 20 countries. In addition to building Merck's international ophthalmic business, his responsibilities included, among others, licensing and acquisitions, strategic and long-range operating planning, and restructurings. Mr. Ernster began his management career at Merck in 1977, after serving as European Counsel since 1974. Prior joining Merck he practiced international commercial law in New York City for six years.
Following his tenure with Merck, Mr. Ernster has worked as an independent consultant, specializing in the life sciences and informatics. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Barrier Therapeutics, Inc., a public company focused on developing and marketing pharmaceutical products in the field of dermatology, and is a member of the Business Advisory Board of Medem, Inc. Most recently, Mr. Ernster co-founded, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Optio Research, Inc., a company formed to develop syndicated, subscription, predictive models of therapeutic classes for the pharmaceutical industry. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association. Mr. Ernster completed his undergraduate studies at New York University, earning a B.A. in Economics and European History. A graduate of Rutgers University School of Law, Mr. Ernster completed advanced studies at Columbia University's Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law. In recent years, Mr. Ernster has served as a Visiting Lecturer at Columbia University's Mailman Graduate School of Public Health.