Flagship Pioneering expands leadership team with key appointments and promotions – company announcement

, July 10, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Flagship Pioneering, a bioplatform innovation company, today announced key executive appointments and promotions to its leadership team. Today’s personnel announcement comes alongside Flagship’s announced expansion of its capital base with a capital pool of $3.6 billion supporting the creation and development of approximately 25 groundbreaking platform companies operating in the areas of human health, sustainability and artificial intelligence.

Lovisa AfzeliusPh.D., promoted to General Partner. Afzelius joined Flagship in 2020 after leading Pfizer’s Systems Immunology business, where she served as Executive Director of Clinical Programs. A computational scientist by training, Afzelius joins Flagship with two decades of leadership experience. Afzelius’ previous roles include CEO, co-founder, president, chairman, and executive director at emerging biotech and large pharmaceutical companies.

“Lovisa has demonstrated exemplary leadership, vision and commitment to pioneering original science, as evidenced by her key role in the founding and growth of Alltrna, Apriori Bio, Metaphore Biotechnologies and Prologue Medicines,” she said. Noubar AfeyanPh.D., Founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. “I am pleased with Lovis’ promotion to General Partnerand we count on her continued involvement in our mission.”

Paul BiondiHe was also promoted to General Partner. Biondi joined Flagship in 2019 after nearly two decades of service Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), where he most recently served as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development. As President of Pioneering Medicines by Flagship, Biondi has grown the initiative into a robust drug development unit with a leading team of experts who bring a broad range of capabilities to Flagship and its platforms. Under Biondi’s leadership, Pioneering Medicines has entered into strategic partnerships with Foundation for the Fight Against Cystic Fibrosis, New Nordiskand Pfizer.

“In just four years since joining Flagship, Paul has transformed what was then a nascent Pioneering Medicines company into an innovation powerhouse, where his vision and leadership have enabled us to build an R&D team full of experts who bring a range of drug discovery, design and development capabilities to our organization,” said Afeyan. “The strategic partnerships he has forged represent not only a tremendous opportunity to impact patients and create value, but also represent a new, innovative supply chain model for collaborating with the broader biopharmaceutical ecosystem. In addition, Paul has provided instrumental leadership in a variety of roles at Flagship and has positively impacted our growth trajectory.”

Dina Ciarimboliwas appointed General Counsel and Executive Partner to oversee legal, corporate, IP, compliance and related matters for Flagship Pioneering and its ecosystem of internally managed businesses. She most recently served as General Counsel at EQRxand brings more than 30 years of experience advising life sciences companies and venture capital funds on corporate strategy and operations spanning company formation, early research, clinical development and launch. Ciarimboli leads legal, corporate, IP, compliance and related matters for Flagship Pioneering and its early-stage, wholly owned subsidiaries.

“We are happy to have Dina Ciarimboli on board as our General Counsel,” added Afeyan. “Dina’s impressive track record includes over three decades of invaluable experience advising life sciences companies and venture capital funds, making her the ideal candidate for this role. Dina’s expert guidance and counsel have quickly become an asset to Flagship and its wholly owned subsidiaries.”

Marcello Damianhas been appointed Senior Partner responsible for leading and supporting Flagship and its ecosystem companies in digital strategy, IT and operations. Damiani joins Flagship from Modern where he held the position Head of Digital and Operational Excellence Specialist, developing and driving the digitalization strategy, leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as robotics, cloud automation, and AI/ML for Modern transition from preclinical therapy to commercial therapy.

“Marcello implemented an effective digitalization strategy during his time at the company Modern“Using advanced technologies such as robotics, automation, cloud computing, and AI/ML, his expertise makes him an invaluable addition to our team,” Afeyan added.

Gary Pisano, Ph.D., long-time Flagship collaborator and academic partner on sabbatical for the past year Harvard Business Schooljoined Flagship full-time as Executive Partner and Chief Strategist. Pisano most recently served as the Harry E. Figgie Jr. Professor of Business Administration. Harvard Business Schoolwhere he served as Senior Dean of Advancement and Tenure and taught MBA, executive, and doctoral programs. As Chief Strategist, Pisano’s role will be to address the broad strategic choices and business models Flagship faces, with a focus on operating effectively and efficiently at scale. Pisano will also serve as a key resource for Flagship companies on strategy and business model design.

“We have long valued Gary’s insight and strategy at Flagship and are pleased to welcome him as our Chief Strategist,” added Afeyan. “Gary’s guidance and unique understanding of the Flagship model will enable him to address the broad strategic and business choices Flagship faces, with a focus on operating effectively and efficiently at scale. A key part of his role will be to help leverage the company’s nearly 25 years of experience and ensure Flagship operates at the forefront of governance, strategy and leadership practices.”

Strengthening Flagship’s Leadership Team

Flagship has further strengthened its leadership team with the following executive appointments and promotions:

  • Junaid BajwaMD, will join Flagship in early September as Senior Partner and Head of United Kingdomand Scientific Partner for Pioneering Intelligence. He will focus on developing new strategic opportunities and partnerships in the region for Flagship and its businesses. Bajwa will join Flagship from Microsoft Research where he served as Chief Medical Scientist, focusing on how trusted, reliable, and human-centric AI can transform the practice of medicine. He brings over two decades of experience in primary care, secondary care, and public health, and has served as a payer and policymaker in Great Britainspecializing in IT, digital transformation and leadership.
  • David Khougazian was recently promoted to Executive Partner, Growth and Head of Global Engagement. David brings over 25 years of global healthcare leadership experience, including over two decades at Sanofi.

  • Justine Levin-AllerhandPh.D., was recently promoted to Executive Partner, Origination and Corporate Development to maximize the effectiveness of Flagship’s origination teams and thereby enrich its ecosystem with unique company creation opportunities and innovative, sustainable science platforms.

  • Mark Stevensonjoined Flagship as a Senior Partner. In this role, he will help develop the new Flagship Enabling Technologies Initiative (ETI) and focus on growing our external partnerships. Mark brings more than 30 years of experience in the life sciences industry to this role, including serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Thermo Fisher.
  • Flagship has also expanded its source partner ranks through promotions Kyle Chiang, Molly Gibson, Scott Lipnick, Armen MkrtchyanAND Jacob Rubens.

“Flagship is committed to hiring and nurturing world-class executives with a track record of extraordinary achievement, and with these additions to our already strong leadership team, I believe we are in the strongest position we have been in our nearly 25-year history,” Afeyan added. “We are pleased to congratulate our colleagues on their new and expanded leadership roles and look forward to working with them as we advance our mission to invent transformative technologies and businesses that advance the health of people and the sustainability of our planet.”

About the flagship pioneer

Flagship Pioneering invents and builds bioplatform companies, each with the potential to create multiple products that transform human health or sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, Flagship has initiated and supported more than 100 scientific endeavors, resulting in more than $75 billion in total value. To date, Flagship has implemented over $3.8 billion capital for the establishment and development of pioneering companies, in addition to over $27 billion follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem includes 40 companies, including Foghorn Therapy (NASDAQ: FHTX), Modern (NASDAQ: MRNA), Biotechnology Sana (NASDAQ: SANA), Generate Biomedicines, Inari, Indigo Agriculture and Tessera Therapeutics.

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SOURCE Flagship Pioneer