Chairman of the Board
Former EVP, Legal and Corporate Development, Genzyme
Chairman of the Board
Former EVP, Legal and Corporate Development, Genzyme
Peter Wirth is an industry veteran with a track record of value creation in biotechnology. Mr. Wirth was a senior executive at Genzyme from 1996 until its acquisition by Sanofi in 2011, most recently serving as Executive Vice President, Legal and Corporate Development, Chief Risk Officer and Corporate Secretary. During his time at Genzyme, Mr. Wirth had senior management responsibility for the company’s legal function, corporate development function, molecular oncology division, polymer drug discovery and development division and enterprise risk management function. He was instrumental in helping build Genzyme from a small start-up to a diversified, multi-billion dollar enterprise with more than 12,000 employees in locations spanning the globe. Prior to Genzyme, Mr. Wirth practiced law at Palmer & Dodge LLP, where he was head of the firm’s biotechnology practice group and served as outside counsel for Genzyme as well as numerous other biopharmaceutical companies. He is currently Chairman of FORMA Therapeutics, a small molecule drug discovery company, Executive Chairman of ZappRx, a digital health company, and Senior Advisor to Zai Lab Limited, a Shanghai-based biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Wirth was a 2012 Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard University. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Founder and Managing General Partner at Samsara BioCapitalView Bio
Founder and Managing General Partner at Samsara BioCapital
Srinivas Akkaraju, M.D., Ph.D., has nearly 20 years of investment and operational experience in the life sciences sector. Dr. Akkaraju is a Founder and Managing General Partner at Samsara BioCapital. Prior to founding Samsara BioCapital, he served as a General Partner of Sofinnova Ventures from April 2013 to June 2016, Managing Director of New Leaf Venture Partners from January 2009 to April 2013, and Managing Director of Panorama Capital, a private equity firm that he helped found, from September 2006 to December 2008. Before co-founding Panorama Capital, he was a Partner at J.P. Morgan Partners, and earlier in his career, he was in Business and Corporate Development at Genentech (now a wholly owned member of The Roche Group). Dr. Akkaraju currently serves as chairman of the board of Versartis and as a director of Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Seattle Genetics and aTyr Pharma. Previously, he served on the boards of Barrier Therapeutics, Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, ZS Pharma, Synageva Biopharma Corp. and Amarin Corp. Dr. Akkaraju received an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Immunology from Stanford University and undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Computer Science from Rice University.
Former Chairman and CEO, Celgene Corp.View Bio
Former Chairman and CEO, Celgene Corp.
Mr. Alles is a recognized biopharmaceutical executive with a proven record of building successful global oncology organizations and commercializing innovative therapies over his 30-year career. He is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Celgene Corporation, now a subsidiary of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS). In his 16-year tenure at Celgene, Mr. Alles led the expansion of the company from a US-based organization with less than 500 employees into a global enterprise serving patients in more than 50 countries with 8,800 employees. He held a series of commercial and leadership roles of escalating responsibility, consistently delivering industry-leading financial performance. He led teams that completed several multibillion-dollar company or asset acquisitions, built a diverse suite of globally marketed medicines and a pipeline of high-potential therapeutics for cancer and serious inflammatory diseases, all of which ultimately led to the $74 billion acquisition of Celgene by BMS.
Before joining Celgene, Mr. Alles was Vice President of the U.S. Oncology business unit at Aventis Pharmaceuticals and served in other senior commercial management roles at Aventis (Rhône-Poulenc Rorer). He began his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Bayer and worked at Centocor before its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Alles is a former Board member of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Gilda’s Club NYC (non-profit helping families of people with cancer), and a former member of the Trustees for the Healthcare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ). Mr. Alles earned his B.S. from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania and served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.
Chair of the Department of Oncology, University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical SchoolView Bio
Chair of the Department of Oncology, University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School
Dr. Eckhardt is a highly respected oncologist and a leader in targeted oncology drug development. She is a tenured Professor, inaugural Director of the Livestrong Cancer Institutes, Chair of the Department of Oncology, and Associate Dean of Cancer Programs at the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School. Prior to joining UT Austin, Dr. Eckhardt was at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where she was Division Head of Medical Oncology, Associate Director for Translational Research at the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of the Phase I Program and Fellowship. Dr. Eckhardt has served on numerous committees and study sections, including the ASCO Molecular Oncology Task Force, the ASCO Board of Directors, the FDA Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Centers Study Section. She is a member of the NCI Investigational Drug Steering Committee and serves on 10 external advisory boards of NCI-designated cancer centers, was a lead mentor in ASCO’s Leadership Development Program and currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI).
Dr. Eckhardt is the Principal Investigator on grants involving early clinical trials and colorectal cancer research, has conducted numerous phase I and II clinical trials and has published over 200 manuscripts. Her area of interest is in the preclinical and early clinical development of combinations of molecularly targeted compounds, with a laboratory focus on colorectal cancer. Dr. Eckhardt earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Stephen F. Austin State University and her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She conducted her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia Medical School, followed by a post-doctoral research fellowship in Experimental and Molecular Medicine at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and a fellowship in Medical Oncology at the University of California San Diego.
Former Chief Financial Officer, Millennium PharmaceuticalsView Bio
Former Chief Financial Officer, Millennium Pharmaceuticals
Marsha H. Fanucci is has served in a number of executive leadership positions at Millennium Pharmaceuticals from 2000 to 2009, including Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Strategy, Vice President of Finance and Strategy, and Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy. During her tenure, Ms. Fanucci directly contributed to a series of strategic processes, advanced Millennium to profitability and was instrumental in the acquisition by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company in 2008 for $8.8 billion. Previously, Ms. Fanucci was Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy at Genzyme Corp. and Vice President and Director at Arthur D. Little. Ms. Fanucci serves on the boards of directors of several biotech companies, including Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, FORMA Therapeutics, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals and Momenta Pharmaceuticals, and non- profit organization The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care. Ms. Fanucci received a B.S. in pharmacy from West Virginia University Medical School and an M.B.A. from Northeastern University.
Managing Partner, Polaris Venture PartnersView Bio
Managing Partner, Polaris Venture Partners
Amir Nashat, Ph.D., is a managing partner at Polaris Venture Partners, where he has worked since 2002, and focuses on investments in the life sciences. Dr. Nashat serves on the boards of directors of AgBiome, aTyr Pharmaceuticals, BIND Therapeutics, Fate Therapeutics, Promedior Pharmaceuticals, Scholar Rock and Selecta Biosciences. Dr. Nashat also serves on the board of the Partners Innovation Fund and is a mentor with the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has been named to the Forbes Midas list of Top 100 Venture Capitalists. Prior to joining Polaris, Dr. Nashat completed his Ph.D. as a Hertz Fellow in Chemical Engineering at MIT with a minor in Biology under the guidance of Dr. Robert Langer. He earned his M.S. and B.S. in materials science and mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyView Bio
Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Phillip Sharp, Ph.D., a world leader of research in molecular biology and biochemistry, is Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Much of Dr. Sharp's scientific work has been conducted at MIT's Center for Cancer Research (now the Koch Institute), which he joined in 1974 and directed from 1985 to 1991. He subsequently led the Department of Biology from 1991 to 1999 before assuming the directorship of the McGovern Institute from 2000-2004. His research interests have centered on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing. His landmark achievement was the discovery of RNA splicing in 1977. His discovery fundamentally changed scientists' understanding of the structure of genes and earned Dr. Sharp the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. His lab has now turned its attention to understanding how RNA molecules act as switched to turn genes on and off (RNA interference). Dr. Sharp has authored over 385 scientific papers and has received numerous awards and honorary degrees. He earned his B.A. from Union College, KY in 1966 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1969. His did his postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology, where he studied the molecular biology of plasmids from bacteria.
President, Chief Executive Officer, SyrosView Bio
President, Chief Executive Officer, Syros
Nancy has an established track record of value creation in biotechnology. Prior to Syros, she was Chief Medical Officer at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and, previously, Vice President of Clinical Development at Biogen. Nancy has overseen the development of the numerous medicines including AVONEX, TYSABRI, VELCADE, ENTYVIO as well as multiple drugs currently in development in oncology. Under Nancy's leadership at Millennium, VELCADE became a mainstay of treatment for multiple myeloma and a billion-dollar commercial blockbuster. Nancy also built and advanced Millennium's promising pipeline of clinical-stage investigational medicines for cancer and inflammatory diseases. Nancy started her career as a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School and neurology staff at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She trained in neurology and internal medicine at the MGH and graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology from Princeton. She is currently a member of the board of directors of Seattle Genetics.
Member, Whitehead InstituteView Bio
Member, Whitehead Institute
Richard A. Young, Ph.D., is a member of the Whitehead Institute and professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In May 2012, he was elected into the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Young’s research focuses on the regulatory circuitry that controls the gene expressions programs in each cell, including mapping the regulatory circuitry that controls cell state and differentiation in mice and humans. Experimental and computational technologies are used to determine how signaling pathways, transcription factors, chromatin regulators and small RNAs control gene expression programs in embryonic stem cells. Dr. Young has served as an advisor to Science magazine and the World Health Organization. In 2006, Dr. Young was recognized as one of the top 50 leaders in science, technology and business by Scientific American. His awards include a Burroughs Wellcome Scholarships, the Chiron Corporation Biotechnology Research Awards, and Yale’s Wilbur Cross Medal. Dr. Young received his Ph.D. from Yale University.