Jose-Carlos Gutiérrez-Ramos, Ph.D. Joins Synlogic as Chief Executive Officer
Accomplished drug hunter takes helm of synthetic biology leader as company advances lead therapeutic microbe programs toward clinical testing and executes path to drug discovery platform expansion
Company debuts rare disease focused pipeline with two programs directed at genetic metabolism disorders
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – May 21, 2015 – Synlogic, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development of therapeutic synthetic life, today announced the appointment of Jose-Carlos (JC) Gutiérrez-Ramos, Ph.D., as President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Gutiérrez-Ramos brings more than 20 years of experience in drug discovery and development leadership spanning the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as well as academia.
“JC is an accomplished biopharmaceutical leader who has focused his career on translating science into drugs through a thoughtful understanding of the underlying biology, a continuous focus on innovation, and the creation of development paths that will ensure treatment access by patients that need it most,” said Peter Barrett, Partner at Atlas Venture and Chairman of Synlogic. “The scope of his experience and his entrepreneurial leadership style is an ideal fit for the incredible opportunities that lie ahead at Synlogic.”
“In less than 2 years since inception, Synlogic has made tremendous progress both on the development of our leading platform created to synthetically engineer therapeutic microbes and the creation of our rare disease focused product pipeline,” said Ankit Mahadevia, M.D., Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Atlas Venture, previous acting-President and Co-founder of Synlogic. “I am delighted to hand over the reins to such a highly-regarded colleague to deliver on the vision for the next phase of Synlogic’s growth.”
The Synlogic drug discovery engine is based on an engineering methodology that uses standardized and well-characterized interchangeable parts, as well as cutting-edge, logical gene-circuit control features. These unique and proprietary elements allow the scientific team to rapidly design, build and test synthetic life that leverage the microorganisms (bacteria and viruses) that live in and interact with the human body and transform them into programmable symbiotic living therapeutics that exhibit exquisite genetic control in response to pathophysiological signals. In a very short time, Synlogic has applied this platform to develop two lead programs in rare diseases that are advancing towards clinical development. Synlogic’s programs for the treatment of urea cycle disorders and for the treatment of phenylketoniuria exemplify the power of synthetic biology to offer patients a safe and effective alternative to current therapies and the broad applicability of the company’s platform.
“Synlogic is at the forefront of the most exciting area of emerging biomedical science today — transforming biology into an engineering science to create cures for disease. The introduction of synthetic biology into therapeutics will fundamentally change the efficacy and safety of these novel medicines, significantly redefining cost and time for discovery, development and drug approval,” said Dr. Gutiérrez-Ramos. “Synlogic has assembled an outstanding team of founders, scientists, collaborators and investors to make the potential of synthetic biology a reality for the treatment of human disease. I am thrilled to lead them in this fascinating journey to change the world by bringing the future of medicine forward.”
Dr. Gutiérrez-Ramos joins Synlogic from Pfizer where he served as Group Senior Vice President (SVP) and global head of BioTherapeutics Research & Development. In that role, he held responsibility for more than 25 novel programs across the full spectrum of clinical development, re-launched efforts in Rare Disease Discovery and Development, and founded the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation. He also oversaw and enhanced the biologics platform for the company from early discovery to initial manufacturing. He previously held the position of SVP and Head of the Immuno-inflammation Center for Drug Discovery at GSK where he founded several entrepreneurial research units such as Epinova and Tempero focused on translating novel areas of science such as epigenetics, tregs, and others, into therapeutics. Prior to his work in the pharmaceutical industry, JC held senior leadership positions at several biotech companies. He was Senior Vice President and Head of R&D at Avidia Inc. and Peptimmune Inc. where he led a significant effort focused on the discovery of novel protein therapeutics and peptides for autoimmune disease, including multiple sclerosis and diabetes. He began his career in the drug industry at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. serving as Vice President of Inflammation Drug Discovery. Key accomplishments during his tenure in biotech and pharma include responsibility for directing one drug through to market approval and commercialization, two drugs into phase 3 clinical trials, and multiple drugs into phase 2 clinical testing. JC began his career in academia as part of the Faculty at the Genetics Department of Harvard Medical School. He was also a member of the Basel Institute for Immunology in Basel, Switzerland, and a fellow at the Max-Plank Institute in Freiburg, Germany. He has co authored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications.
About Synlogic Inc.
Synlogic is a private, biotechnology company, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts focused on delivering the potential of next generation synthetic biology to patients. Synlogic leverages the most advanced technology platform available for the creation of therapeutic microbes with the goal to make significant advancements in the treatment of disease. Founded in 2014, Synlogic is backed by world-class life science investors, including Atlas Venture, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more information, please visit http://synlogictx.com/.
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