Today we’re thrilled to announce the formation of our new Biopharma Advisory Board!
This council of experts from across the biopharmaceutical industry will provide critical insight into the development of Ginkgo’s core platform service offerings across target discovery, drug discovery, optimization, and manufacturing. The group, which will conduct regular meetings at Ginkgo and with its partners, includes (in alphabetical order) —
- Norbert Bischofberger, PhD, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Kronos Bio, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing medicines that target the deregulated transcription that is the hallmark of cancer and other serious diseases. Prior to Kronos, Dr. Bischofberger spent 28 years at Gilead, where he presided over the development and approval of more than 25 medicines for a range of serious conditions, including the transformation in the treatment of diseases such as HIV and viral hepatitis. Notably, he is one of the inventors of Tamiflu, an oral medication on the market for both the prevention and treatment of influenza A and B. Norbert was part of the core management team that grew Gilead from less than 50 employees with no revenues to 10,000 employees with $25B in revenue.
- Jeff Legos, PhD, MBA, is currently an Executive Vice President and Global Head of Oncology and Hematology at Novartis, where he leads development, registration, approval, and life cycle management for a clinical pipeline of 35+ assets across a broad range of cancers and blood disorders. Dr. Legos has a proven track record of successfully leading large multinational teams across all functions and stages of R&D in both his current and previous role as Vice President and Global Medicine Development Leader at GlaxoSmithKline, which has resulted in more than 30 global regulatory drug and companion diagnostic approvals.
- John Maraganore, PhD, served as the founding Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Alnylam from 2002 to 2021. Under his leadership, Alnylam helped lead the interventional RNA revolution by launching the first RNAi therapeutic medicine, ONPATTRO®, in 2018, followed by four more RNAi therapeutics through mid-2022. Dr. Maraganore was the chair of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) from 2017 to 2019 and is an active mentor to leaders across the biotechnology industry. John is the principal of JMM Innovation, and also serves as a Venture Partner for Arch Ventures and Atlas Ventures, an executive partner for RTW Investments, a senior advisor for Blackstone Life Sciences, and as an advisor for M28.
- Paolo Martini, PhD, is the Chief Scientific Officer of International Therapeutic Research Centers and the Founder of Rare Diseases at Moderna, where he previously worked on messenger RNA therapy for rare and orphan diseases. He has more than 20 years of experience in drug discovery working on molecular mechanisms underlying monogenic and multigenic metabolic and fibrotic disorders as well as hematologic malignancies.
- Mark McCamish, MD, PhD, is the President & Chief Executive Officer of IconOVir Bio, a preclinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering the next generation of oncolytic virus therapy to improve the treatment of patients with cancer. He was previously the President & Chief Executive Officer of Forty Seven, which he led from a valuation of $169M to an acquisition by Gilead for $4.9B. Previously he has had extensive experience at multiple companies including Abbott, Amgen, and Novartis/Sandoz and is a renowned expert in biologic and biosimilars development and manufacturing.
- Christi Shaw is an Independent Director on the Boards of Beam Therapeutics, ReAlta Life Sciences, and Avantor. She previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Kite Pharma and as Senior Vice President at Eli Lilly & Company, where she was President of Lilly Bio-Medicines. Ms. Shaw has also held prominent leadership roles at Johnson & Johnson and Novartis where she served as US Country Head and President. Christi co-founded the More Moments More Memories Foundation which provides financial assistance to help cancer patients access potentially life saving clinical trials.
Together, this council represents a wide breadth of technical experience and deep business expertise that will contribute to the development of Ginkgo’s service offerings in Gene Therapy, Cell Therapy, RNA, Biologics, Process R&D and more.
Over the past year, we announced new R&D services collaborations with Boehringer Ingelheim, DARPA, Esperovax, Merck, Pfizer, Prokarium, Sensible, Synplogen, WARF, as well as advancements in its work with Novo Nordisk, Persephone Biosciences, and Synlogic. Ginkgo acquires and integrates new technologies to expand its horizontal platform, with past acquisitions serving to develop our capabilities in AAV and circular RNA.
The discovery and development of new medicines is critically important and incredibly challenging. Advanced technologies in high throughput automation, synthetic biology, and more recently AI, have opened up possibilities for the development of novel modalities and exploration of more design space for the discovery and optimization of new targets and candidate therapies.
It’s an incredibly exciting time for the industry as these technologies come together at scale, and we’re thrilled to have this group of luminaries as part of our inaugural cohort of advisors.
“I’m excited to welcome this incredible deep bench of wisdom and creativity to the Ginkgo family,” said Jennifer Wipf, SVP & Head of Commercial at Ginkgo Bioworks. “These leaders have shaped the modern vaccines and therapeutics landscapes by spearheading the discovery, testing, manufacturing, and deployment of entirely new modalities, and reinventing how researchers and drugmakers work with more familiar areas of medicine. I can’t wait to see how their mentorship, insights, and provocations help our growing team reach new heights.”
“We live in a global, interconnected society, and therefore, we are all susceptible to the spread of novel infectious diseases. Now more than ever, the speed of drug discovery and development is important,” said Norbert Bischofberger, Ginkgo Biopharma Advisory Board member. “Ginkgo’s experience in accelerating biological R&D across modalities and their extensive work in biosecurity and epidemiology positions the company to make a meaningful impact. I look forward to supporting the growth of their team and offerings.”
“Ginkgo represents a huge opportunity for businesses who want to take new pharmaceuticals to market. By outsourcing risky R&D to a partner with unprecedented scale, companies can optimize their approach to new modalities and targets wherever they are in the pipeline,” said John Maraganore, Ginkgo Biopharma Advisory Board member. “Our industry is at a pivotal moment. More and more of biopharma can leverage scale and AI to turn scientific uncertainty into predictable engineering, so I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to the energy and movement I saw firsthand when I spoke onstage with Jen at Ferment.”