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NGM Biopharmaceuticals Overview

South San Francisco, CA
51 to 200 employees
Company - Private
Biotech & Pharmaceuticals
$5 to $10 million (USD) per year
NGM Bio is a research-driven, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company with a passion to improve the lives of those struggling with serious diseases. Our expertise in drug discovery and translational development, coupled with the significant resources from our partnership with ... Read more

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NGM Biopharmaceuticals – Why Work For Us?

NGM Bio’s comprehensive approach to drug discovery focuses on elucidating the biology of hormones, cell receptors and associated ligands. As we investigate these novel biological mechanisms, we assemble a deep understanding of the relationship between the structure and function of proteins of interest. Coupled with our experience in protein and antibody engineering, our approach enables the efficient and targeted generation of potential first-in-class therapeutics with optimized pharmacologic profiles.

Who We Are

NGM Bio’s initial R&D focus has been to develop a portfolio of high-impact therapeutics for the underserved patient populations who suffer from cardio-metabolic and liver diseases. We believe that our research expertise – comprehensive and grounded in fundamental, interrelated mechanisms of human biology – is capable of driving the development of new therapies for a wide range of other disease areas as well, such as cancer.

Learn about our pipeline.

We are forward-thinking. We are moving forward. We are NGM Bio. 

At NGM Bio, we offer a creative, collaborative, highly challenging scientific environment where innovation and cutting-edge science is the foundation for a robust, drug discovery engine. We are seeking collaborative colleagues who are forward and innovative thinkers, willing to push the boundaries of knowledge and science, and thrive on the challenges presented by a dynamic drug discovery and development organization that is passionate about improving patient lives.

A driven team. Fueled by excellence. Biology driven. Research driven. People driven. We are NGM Bio. 

Biology Driven. NGM Bio’s in-depth biology-based approach to drug discovery is designed to identify therapeutics that address the fundamental mechanisms underlying disease states. Research Driven. Our portfolio consists of clinical and preclinical development programs, focusing on cardio-metabolic and liver diseases, and immuno-oncology. People Driven. Our experienced and passionate scientific team has joined forces with distinguished researchers and prominent industry professionals.

A new generation. A next generation. We are NGM Bio. Join the movement.

NGM Bio is located in South San Francisco where we are surrounded by an entrepreneurial and creative spirit. From recent grads to experienced PhDs, we are seeking candidates who share our passion and commitment. NGM Bio is an equal-opportunity employer and offers a strong compensation package that includes salary, stock options, 401(k), and a comprehensive benefits package.

Interested applicants should apply through the NGM Bio website.

William J. Rieflin
Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Rieflin joined NGM as Chief Executive Officer in 2010 and brings over 20 years of industry experience to the company. Most recently, he was President of XenoPort, Inc. (NASDAQ: XNPT). Prior to that, he was Executive Vice President, Administration, Chief Financial Officer, General Counsel and Secretary for Tularik Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRK), which was acquired by Amgen Inc. in 2004. Previously, he was Vice President, Human Resources, General Counsel and Secretary for AMSCO International, Inc. (NYSE: ASZ). He was also an associate at Sidley & Austin in the corporate and securities department. He began his career as a sales representative for American Hospital Supply Corporation. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANAC), FLX Bio, Inc. and XenoPort. Mr. Rieflin earned his B.S. from Cornell University, his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Jeff Jonker

Prior to joining NGM in 2014, Mr. Jonker was the Senior Vice President, Corporate and Business Development at Theravance Biopharma (NASDAQ: TBPH) and held that same role at Theravance, Inc. (NASDAQ: THRX) prior to the spin-out of TBPH. He previously served as the Chief Business Officer of Satori Pharmaceuticals, the Vice President of Business Development and Corporate Strategy for Gloucester Pharmaceuticals prior to its acquisition by Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) and leadership positions in the business development and legal groups at Genentech. Prior to Genentech, he was an associate in the Technology Transactions Group at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, representing clients in the life science and high tech industries. Mr. Jonker holds a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, an M.LITT. from the University of St. Andrews and a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College.

Jin-Long Chen, Ph.D.
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Chen is the Company's Founder, and has served as a member of the board of directors and as the Chief Scientific Officer since January 2008. He was also NGM's President until November 2014. Previously, Dr. Chen held various positions at Amgen, most recently as its Vice President, Metabolic Disorders, with responsibility for leading the company's global research efforts in small molecule and biologic drug discovery for the treatment of human diseases affecting metabolism, bone, mineral balance and muscle. Prior to joining Amgen, he served as Vice President of Biology at Tularik where he guided drug discovery research in oncology, inflammation and metabolic disease. Dr. Chen's pioneering work on a broad array of targets at both Amgen and Tularik not only opened up opportunities to study new aspects of biology and physiology across disease areas, but also led to contributions of multiple drug candidates to the development pipelines of these organizations, including RepathaTM (evolocumab), a novel anti-PCSK9 antibody that lowers low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Dr. Chen received a B.S. in Nutrition and Food Science from Fu-Jen Catholic University, and a M.S. in biochemistry from National Taiwan University. He completed his graduate training at the University of California, Berkeley in 1994, receiving a Ph.D. for his research on the mechanisms of transcription carried out in the laboratory of Prof. Robert Tjian.

Alex DePaoli, M.D.
Vice President, Chief Medical Officer

Prior to joining NGM in 2010, Dr. DePaoli was CMO at InteKrin Therapeutics. In this role he oversaw global development of INT131, a PPARg modulator, through a successful End of Phase 2 meeting with the FDA. He brings to NGM more than 20 years of experience as a clinician and translational researcher in diabetes, obesity and metabolic disease. Dr. DePaoli trained in Clinical and Molecular Endocrinology at the University of Chicago and in the Howard Hughes laboratory of Dr. Graham Bell. His clinical and translational research interests in diabetes and obesity were focused during his work at the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute which led him to join Amgen in 1998 to champion the development of their cardiometabolic disease portfolio. His work at Amgen was pivotal in enabling multiple clinical applications of the adipocytokine leptin (Myalept). At Amgen, he also led a broad array of cardiometabolic, muscle and bone programs with a focus on translating novel pathways into the clinic. These pathways included: RANK Ligand (now Prolia and Xgeva), PCSK9 (Evolocumab), 11 Beta HSD-1, Myostatin, IL-1 receptor, Calcium Sensing Receptor (Sensipar), PPAR-gamma modulation, DPP-4 and MCH-R1. Dr. DePaoli also maintains a clinical endocrinology practice at the William Sansum Diabetes Center.

Aetna Wun Trombley, Ph.D.
Vice President, Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Trombley joined NGM as head of Business Development in 2011 and became our Vice President, Chief Operating Officer in 2015. She was most recently from Novartis in Basel, Switzerland, where she was Chief of Staff for the Chief Executive Officer and worked on key corporate initiatives and strategic projects across the company’s healthcare businesses. Previously, she was Associate Director, Business Development at XenoPort, Inc. (NASDAQ: XNPT), where her responsibilities also included strategic and portfolio planning in addition to various out-licensing projects. Prior to XenoPort, she was a Senior Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, where she advised pharmaceutical and medical device clients on strategic, commercial and operational issues. She received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from MIT.

David Woodhouse, Ph.D.
Chief Financial Officer

Dr. Woodhouse joined NGM in 2015 from Goldman Sachs where he was a managing director and co-head of U.S. biotechnology investment banking. As a member of Goldman's healthcare investment banking group for nearly 13 years in both the New York and San Francisco offices, his responsibilities included corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions advice for the biotechnology, specialty pharma and diagnostics industries. In this capacity, he advised on several billion in equity and equity-linked financings as well as over $90 billion in M&A transactions.

Prior to Goldman Sachs, Dr. Woodhouse worked in various business development and research roles at Dynavax and Amgen. He graduated, with highest honors, from UC Santa Barbara, with a B.A. in Pharmacology. He also earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from Stanford University School of Medicine and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

"I enjoy working with smart people and this is the brightest group I’ve ever worked with! They keep me smart and on my toes. They inspire me and they motivate me to work my brain harder than I imagined possible.”

Senior Director

"I don’t like to sit idle. I like to work hard and work with like-minded people who are doers. In most companies, if you see a ball on the floor, the average person will step right over it. At NGM, we pick up that ball and do something with it. NGM is a very proactive community."

Principal Scientist

“My projects at NGM are both interesting and fun and I work here because I love the work! I was a surgeon in China, which to me was a perfect job, and I can't practice surgery here; so this is the next best thing…. the perfect job in the States!”


NGM Biopharmaceuticals Reviews

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NGM Biopharmaceuticals CEO William J. Rieflin
William J. Rieflin
11 Ratings
  • Helpful (3)

    "Great place to work"

    • Work/Life Balance
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    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NGM Biopharmaceuticals full-time (More than a year)


    The people are great; all my co-workers are engaged, enthusiastic scientists who are truly great to work with. It's a very collaborative, supportive atmosphere. The culture here is truly special.

    There are many active areas of early discovery research. Because the company is so small, scientists have the chance to be involved in many phases of the drug development process, from early discovery and target validation through pre-clinical and translational work. Teams are diverse but small enough that everyone can make an impact.


    Opportunities for career advancement are limited. There are very few "rungs" on the career ladder, so people with a huge spectrum of experience end up all lumped in together at the same level. A scientist with a post-doc and 5+ years of industry experience may have the same title as someone who just finished their post-doc. An offshoot of that is that someone can work here for many years before being granted a promotion, even with stellar performance reviews and a track record of success.

    Advice to Management

    We understand that leadership opportunities (and what we do with them) are more important for our career development than our titles, but it still stings when our titles don't match our experience or our contributions. It's a bit depressing to see colleagues kill it year after year with no advancement. A real effort needs to be made to ensure that everyone's title is commensurate with their experience and with their role.

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NGM Biopharmaceuticals Photos

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NGM Biopharmaceuticals Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Helpful (2)  

    Anonymous Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in South San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview


    I applied online. I interviewed at NGM Biopharmaceuticals (South San Francisco, CA).


    Way too many interviews: watch out, they will string you along to wear you out.

    1 hour phone interview with 2 different people (half hour each, hiring manager and recruiter). Pretty standard, this was ok.

    ~3 hour in-person interview with 4-5 people, one at a time. Ok, hard but pretty standard. Positive feedback from most interviewers. They all express that I seem like a good fit, for the most part. Hiring manager says he hopes we will be able to work together.

    1 hour interview over the phone again. Starting to wonder when it will end.

    30 min interview with recruiter, again. This time, they say "We know you had a minimum target salary, but we won't be able to pay you that. We will be lower by about $10K"
    Ok, this is unnecessary. You knew that the whole time and didn't bother to bring it up? We talked about salary early on in the screening interview. Screening interviews go both ways, and I was interviewing the company to see if THEY were a good fit for ME and it seems you lied. I had to take time off from the job I am leaving for interviews and don't have unlimited vacation, so need to choose only companies that seem like a good fit and are truly interested. I agree that is ok to see where this circus goes.

    Another 1 hour interview over the phone, did it on my lunch break so why not.

    10 minute call from recruiter. They want to schedule another ~3 hour in-person round of interviews, say I'm almost hired.

    Ok, now you are wasting my time and insulting me. If this is how you hire people, I don't even want to know what it is like for employees.

    Interview Questions

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NGM Biopharmaceuticals Awards & Accolades

  • Fierce 15, FierceBiotech, 2015

NGM Biopharmaceuticals Locations

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