Over the many years of Henri's leadership in the biotechnology industry, he mentored many aspiring/starting/established entrepreneurs and CEO’s in building biotech companies that developed drugs for important unmet medical needs. With Henri’s passing we lost an unprecedented mentor for our industry.
The Henri Termeer Legacy Program (HTLP) aims to continue Henri’s legacy by providing a platform where aspiring entrepreneurs can connect with mentors - mentors who carry on their own experience or spirit of Henri’s mentorship.
Scroll down to meet the HTLP Fellows for 2019 and 2018, the Mentors, and to apply for the Class of 2020.
tina liu, ally therapeutics
Tina Liu is leading the spinout of Ally, following almost two years as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Wyss Institute supporting the research and the team. Prior, Tina was a private equity investor at TPG Capital, where she evaluated potential investments $1Bn+ in size across commercial pharma and other sectors of the healthcare industry. Before that, Tina was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley, where she advised healthcare companies on key transactions including mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt financings, and other strategic alternatives. Tina received her MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School and her BA, magna cum laude, from Harvard College.
Alex nichols, mythic therapeutics
Alex Nichols is President and CEO of Mythic Therapeutics, which he co-founded in 2017. Alex is an accomplished entrepreneur with a track record of innovation at the intersection of medicine, biology, and engineering. Before Mythic, Alex was at Flagship Pioneering where he co-founded Cogen Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on the emerging field of antigen-specific immune control. Alex earned his PhD in Biophysics from Harvard University, where he was jointly enrolled in the Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and worked in the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. His thesis research on new methods for biomedical oxygen sensing was featured on television by CBS Boston, as well as in multiple trade journals. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, the MIT Idea Squared Fellowship, and the Harry Holmes Prize for Biochemistry.
Philip strandwitz, holobiome
Born in Wisconsin but brought to Boston by the allure of biotechnology, Dr. Philip Strandwitz is a microbial ecologist with expertise in the human microbiome, bacterial cultivation, and the gut-brain-axis. He received his Bachelor’s in Microbiology from the University of La Crosse – Wisconsin, and his PhD from Northeastern University in Boston, MA, where he focused on cultivating unique bacteria from the human gut microbiota, as well as studying their ability to modulate neurotransmitters. Philip’s work has been published in top journals like Nature Microbiology, and he has presented at numerous scientific and industrial conferences, including those sponsored by the New York Academy of Science and BIO. He is now CEO at Holobiome, a gut-brain-axis microbiome company he co-founded, located in Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA. Here he has assembled and manages a team of leaders in neuroscience, microbiology, and drug development, with the goal to translate microbiome science into interventions to treat diseases of the nervous system, with planned expansion into other markets. He has raised venture funding and established industry partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and consumer companies to rapidly pursue the core mission of Holobiome – focus on the patient and the societal needs.
chris vandeusen, omdana
Dr. Chris VanDeusen is the co-Founder and President of Omdana Therapeutics. In addition to his role at Omdana, Chris also serves as VP Head of R&D at PIC Therapeutics, Head of Chemistry at Artax Biopharma, and is a member of the SAB at Katexco Pharmaceuticals. Prior to founding Omdana, he led global project teams at Genzyme and Sanofi legacy companies focusing primarily in the areas of Inflammation and Fibrosis. While at Sanofi, Chris served as the head of the chemistry division within the Tissue Protection and Repair group. During his career, Chris has contributed to or been the inventor of multiple compounds entering into pre-clinical development. Chris’ first exposure to rare disease came at a young age when his best friend was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy and the experience of growing up with him left him with a deep-seated desire to find therapeutics that change lives. Inspired by the significant unmet needs of patients in the areas of dysregulated tissue homeostasis, Chris co-Founded Omdana with Steve Ledbetter, former global head of Fibrosis research at Sanofi-Genzyme. Chris holds a BA in chemistry from Wittenberg University and PhD from Stanford University.
Thomas de Vlaam, AMYLON
Thomas de Vlaam is the founder and CEO of Amylon, a biotechnology company developing a breakthrough therapy for Alzheimer’s disease. He holds a bachelor’s degree in International Medicine and Global Health from the University of Groningen which he studied with the ambition of becoming a neurosurgeon. Unfortunately, after a diagnosis of Scheuermann’s disease, Thomas underwent significant spinal fusion surgery in 2011, forcing him to give up on his medical career. Despite the physical challenges and long recovery periods, his dream of helping patients and changing the world grew stronger and became an unstoppable driver. He joined ProQR – a biotech company in the Netherlands working on a novel drug to treat rare orphan disorders. While working there he invented and developed a complete new approach to treat Amyloid disorders and decided to start a new company: Amylon. With some initial capital, that idea turned into Amylon’s lead program, a breakthrough therapy for one of today’s most important unmet medical needs.
Ana Maiques & Giulio Ruffini, Neuroelectrics
Ana Maiques is the CEO of Neuroelectrics, a company aiming to change the way we interact with the brain; developing innovative technologies to monitor and stimulate the brain. She was nominated by IESEas one of the most influential entrepreneurs under 40 in Spain in 2010, she was the only woman on that list. She received the EU Prize for Women Innovators from the European Commission EC in 2014. Also in 2014, she was an award recipient of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge. In 2015 & 2016, she was named one of most inspiring women on the Inspiring Fifty list in Europe of women technological leaders and innovators. As a company, Neuroelectrics received the Best Start-up in Health Award in 2015 by Wired UK magazine and in 2016 was recognized as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America” by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur 360™ List, the most comprehensive analysis of private companies in America. Ana continues to break the barriers for women and entrepreneurs bringing together science and technology in an impactful way.
Dr. Giulio Ruffini obtained a BA in math and physics from Berkeley and a PhD in theoretical physics from UC Davis/LANL in 1995. In 2000 he and others founded Starlab to transform science into technologies with impact. He has provided the science and technology visions for Neuroelectrics, and believes that neuromodulation will make great advances thanks to the union of precision multifocal stimulation technologies with advanced biophysical and neuro-computational models, EEG and fMRI. His recent paper on brain-to-brain communication was the 9th most shared paper of 2014.
Sun Altbach,PIC Therapeutics
Sun Altbach, founding CEO and President of PIC Therapeutics, brings 20 years of experience as a biopharmaceutical executive. Her first exposure to the biotech industry was at Beth Israel Hospital, where she worked in Neurological research. Intrigued by the blending of science and business, she joined Biogen and helped develop their Medical Affairs function and worked on Biogen’s first MS product, among other therapeutic areas. She was then recruited to Genzyme, where she oversaw the Transplant portfolio of early development to commercial products. Following Biogen and Genzyme, she went on to get her MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, and then joined Shire where her last position was Head of Research and Nonclinical Operations, overseeing the research portfolio. Subsequently, she moved abroad to live and work in London as Head of Global Tech Ops for an infertility-focused biotech firm. She was then invited to join a privately-held start-up company in the Microbiome space to serve as the VP of Program Management and Operations back in Boston. In 2018, she took on the role of President and CEO of PIC Therapeutics to develop a new class of cancer therapeutics to dramatically improve cancer patient outcomes.
Sun brings a multi-disciplinary approach to drug development and never loses sight of the patients the industry exists to serve.
Ailis Tweed-Kent, Cocoon Biotech
Dr. Ailis Tweed-Kent is an up-and-coming entrepreneur and leader in the development of innovative medical technologies. With her education in medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Ailis has first hand knowledge of the burden of disease. In 2013, Ailis was inspired by her patients to found Cocoon to develop innovative therapeutics leveraging silk as a materials science platform. Prior to Cocoon, she worked on the design, development, and delivery of diagnostic technologies for global health collaborating with organizations such as PEPFAR/Office of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and the Global Health Delivery Project. She brings a multidisciplinary approach with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. She was recently named a MedTech Boston 40 Under 40 Healthcare Innovator and a Boston Business Journal 2017 Women to Watch in Science in Technology.
Meet the Mentors
Jeff Albers is the CEO, President and Member of the Board of Directors at Blueprint Medicines in Cambridge, MA. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Magenta Therapeutics and on the Board of Directors of the New England American Cancer Society. Jeff has more than 20 years of experience in leadership roles in the biopharmaceutical industry. He joined Blueprint Medicines after a tenure as president of Algeta ASA, where he oversaw the US commercial and business functions. Under his leadership, Algeta gained FDA approval and launched prostate cancer drug XOFIGO® (radium Ra 223 dichloride) on an expedited timeline and ultimately supporting an acquisition by Bayer.
Prior to Algeta, Jeff held senior commercial and corporate development positions at Genzyme (now a division of Sanofi), most recently as vice president of the US hematology and oncology business unit. After several years in Corporate Development roles at Genzyme, Jeff was called to Henri’s office to meet with Henri and Peter Wirth where they unexpectedly offered him a position as the head of the US transplant business. Jeff views this moment as a critical inflection point in his career as these two mentors were clearly willing to “take a chance” on him and place him in a role that would expand and accelerate his career growth. Earlier in his career, Jeff was a life sciences corporate attorney at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo.
Jeff holds a B.S. from Indiana University and an MBA and J.D. from Georgetown University.
Areas of Expertise: Financing/IR; company building – recruiting/talent; Commercial build; Partnering / BD.
Michael W. BonnEy
Mike Bonney is Executive Chair of Kaleido Biosciences’ Board of Directors. Previously, Mr. Bonney was CEO and Director of Cubist Pharmaceuticals from 2003 until 2014. Under his leadership, Cubist grew from a struggling micro-cap to the world’s leading antibiotic company, and was acquired by Merck early in 2015 for $9.5 billion. Prior to Cubist, Mr. Bonney was Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Biogen where he built the company’s commercial infrastructure for the launch of its first product. Before joining Biogen, he spent 11 years at Zeneca Pharmaceuticals in a range of commercial, operating and strategic roles, ending his career there as National Business Director.
Mr. Bonney also chairs the boards of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Magenta Therapeutics and Bates College. He is a member of a number of other boards, including Celgene Corporation, Sarepta Therapeutics, and Syros Therapeutics. Mr. Bonney spends much of his time identifying and mentoring the next generation of life science leaders.
Mr. Bonney was a regional winner and national finalist (2013) in the life science segment of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year and was one of six executives nationwide named as Marketwatch’s CEO of the Year (2011).
Mr. Bonney received his undergraduate degree in economics from Bates College.
John Butler joined Akebia as President and CEO in September, 2013. He has more than 25 years of experience leading the development, launch and commercialization of innovative therapies. He served as CEO of Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, a company focused on developing products for patients with hemophilia, from 2011 until 2013. He led the sale of the company’s assets, including the company’s lead asset to Baxter Corporation, the world leader in hemophilia. The value of the transactions should total over $1 billion to Inspiration’s shareholders.
From 1997 to 2011, Mr. Butler held various positions at Genzyme Corporation, one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies. While at Genzyme, he most recently served as President of the company’s rare genetic diseases business, which has developed and commercialized first-to-market, transformative therapies for small patient populations. Mr. Butler also led the company’s renal, endocrinology, and cardiovascular businesses, growing the division to $1 billion in revenue. Earlier in his career, he held sales and marketing positions at Amgen and Hoffmann-La Roche.
He has spent over twenty years working to improve the lives of patients with kidney disease. He served in a number of commercial roles while at Amgen for Epogen® and he led the renal business at Genzyme which brought Renagel®, Renvela®, and Hectorol® to these patients. He was a member of the board of directors of Relypsa, Inc. a company developing a first in class treatment for hyperkalemia in patients with CKD and served as Chairman of the Board at Keryx Biopharmaceuticals a commercial stage company developing innovative products for people with renal disease. Additionally, he served as the chairman of the American Kidney Fund board of trustees from 2013-2015. The AKF is the leading patient focused charitable organization in kidney disease providing assistance to one in 5 patients on kidney dialysis in the US.
Mr. Butler received his BA degree in Chemistry from Manhattan College and his MBA degree from Baruch College.
Areas of Expertise: commercial strategy, business development, alliance management, and company building.
DANIEL DE BOER
Daniel De Boer is a serial entrepreneur and founding Chief Executive Officer of ProQR Therapeutics since 2012. Before starting ProQR, Daniel was founder and CEO of 4 tech companies that he led through phases of growth, product launch, international roll-out and acquisition. After his son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis he switched to biotech and started ProQR to develop therapies for CF and other severe genetic orphan diseases. Today ProQR is a 150 people company, public on Nasdaq, raised approx. $200M and is developing RNA therapeutics for CF, genetic blindness and life-threatening skin diseases.
Daniel met Henri in late 2011, after stalking him for months to get a meeting. 6 months later they co-founded ProQR Therapeutics. Daniel had the privilege of working closely with Henri as a board member in the years after and benefit from his mentorship in building ProQR.
Areas of Expertise: Company initiation and building; Fundraising private and public, including IPO; Building patient-centric organization.
ELI DE LOS PINOS
Eli De Los Pinos is the founding CEO of Aura, which she has created from the ground up: She developed the company concept collaborating with Lasker award winner Dr. John Schiller at the National Cancer Institute and spearheaded fundraising efforts raising a total of $80M in three rounds of financing. Prior to founding Aura, she worked in Eli Lilly & Co.’s oncology business unit, where she was part of the leadership team responsible for the market launch in Europe of Alimta, a drug for the treatment of lung cancer. Earlier in her career, Eli worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Cancer Research in London. She previously completed fellowships at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine Institute of Molecular Medicine and at the Georgetown School of Medicine.
She is a member of the board of overseers at the Museum of Science, Boston. Eli has also been named to Boston Business Journal's 2009 “Top 40 under 40” list; as a Mass High Tech “Woman to Watch” in 2010; as a “Technology Pioneer” by the World Economic Forum in 2010; and as one of Goldman Sachs’ “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs” in 2014.
Eli first met Henri in 2010 right after moving to Boston from Spain to start Aura. As a first time female CEO, Eli was privileged to have Henri’s mentorship in those early and challenging years guiding her to define the company’s strategy and Board of Directors, actively participating in her seed round of angel investors and in every financing round thereafter, introducing her to his closest business network and later becoming a Board member and key strategic advisor.
Eli holds a Ph.D., magna cum laude, in Molecular Biology from the University of Barcelona and an MBA from IE Business School.
Areas of Expertise: Fundraising: Angel/Family Office and Venture Capital; Company Creation; General Management; Business Strategy; Research and Development: Rare Diseases, Oncology & Ophthalmology.
Mark Enyedy joined ImmunoGen in 2016 as President and Chief Executive Officer, bringing over twenty-five years of combined general management, business development and legal experience in the biotechnology industry. He joined ImmunoGen from Shire plc, where he served as Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Development, leading the company’s Strategy, M&A, and Corporate Planning functions and providing commercial oversight for the company’s pre-Phase 3 portfolio. Previously, Mr. Enyedy served as CEO of Proteostasis Therapeutics, Inc., following 15 years at Genzyme Corporation in diverse roles, most recently as President of the Transplant, Oncology, and Multiple Sclerosis divisions. Before joining Genzyme, Mr. Enyedy was an associate with the Boston law firm Palmer & Dodge.
Mr. Enyedy serves on the Board of Directors of Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. and The American Cancer Society of Eastern New England.
Mr. Enyedy holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.S. from Northeastern University.
Areas of Expertise: M&A; Oncology Development Commercialization; Corporate Strategy; Transformation.
Alison Lawton is currently Chief Executive Officer & President of Kaleido Biosciences, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel chemistries to unlock the power of the human microbiome. From January 2015 to December of 2017 Ms. Lawton served as Chief Operating Officer of Aura Biosciences Inc. and prior to that as Chief Operating Officer of OvaScience, Inc., a public life sciences company. Ms Lawton also worked as consultant from 2014 to 2017 including as COO for X-4 Pharmaceuticals. From 1991 to 2013, Ms. Lawton worked in various positions of increasing responsibility at Genzyme Corporation, and subsequently at Sanofi-Aventis, following its 2011 acquisition of Genzyme. Ms. Lawton served as head of Genzyme Biosurgery, where she was responsible for Genzyme’s global orthopedics, surgical and cell therapy and regenerative medicine businesses. Prior to that, Ms. Lawton oversaw Global Market Access at Genzyme, which included Regulatory Affairs, Global Health Outcomes and Strategic Pricing, Global Public Policy, and Product Safety & Risk Management. Before joining Genzyme, Ms. Lawton worked for seven years in the United Kingdom at Parke-Davis, a pharmaceutical company. Ms. Lawton currently serves on the board of directors of ProQR Therapeutics (PRQR) and Verastem, Inc. (VSTM) both public biopharmaceutical companies. She previously also served on the board of directors of CoLucid Pharmaceuticals until it’s acquisition by Eli LIlly in March 2017 and of Cubist Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Merck &Co., Inc. in 2015. She is past President and Chair of the Board of Regulatory Affairs Professional Society and past FDA Advisory Committee member for Cell and Gene Therapy Committee.
Ms. Alison Lawton earned her BSc in Pharmacology, with honors, from King’s College London.
Dr. John Maraganore has served as the CEO and a Director of Alnylam since 2002.
Prior to Alnylam, Dr. Maraganore served as an officer and a member of the management team for Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. As Senior Vice President, Strategic Product Development for Millennium, he was responsible for the company’s product franchises in oncology, and cardiovascular, inflammatory, and metabolic diseases. He was previously Vice President, Strategic Planning and M&A and, prior to that, he was General Manager of Millennium BioTherapeutics, Inc., a former subsidiary of Millennium. Before Millennium he served as Director of Molecular Biology and Director of Market and Business Development at Biogen, Inc. At Biogen, Dr. Maraganore invented and led the discovery and development of ANGIOMAX® (bivalirudin) for injection, formerly HIRULOGTM and currently marketed by The Medicines Company. Prior to Biogen, Dr. Maraganore was a scientist at ZymoGenetics, Inc., and the Upjohn Company.
Dr. Maraganore is the Chair of the Board for Agios Pharmaceuticals, Chair of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Board, and is a member of the BIO Executive Committee.
Dr. Maraganore received his MS and PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Chicago.
Areas of Expertise: General Management; Leadership and Strategy; Science and Clinical Development; and Communications.
Thomas P. Mathers
Tom Mathers is a partner at Pappas Capital, a dedicated life science venture capital firm focused exclusively on investing in the life sciences sector across the United States and Canada. In his current role, Mr. Mathers has founded Allievex Corp. and serves as its President and CEO. Allievex is focused on the development of novel non-opioid therapeutics for the treatment of pain. Prior to Pappas Capital and Allievex, Mr. Mathers was the President and CEO of CoLucid Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCD), which focused on the development of lasmiditan for the acute treatment of migraine headaches. Eli Lilly & Company acquired CoLucid in March 2017 in an all cash transaction for almost $1 billion. Prior to CoLucid, Mr. Mathers was President and CEO of Peptimmune, Inc.; President and CEO of Cell Based Delivery, Inc; Vice President and General Manager of Cardion AG; and Vice President of Strategic Development at Genzyme Corporation.
Mr. Mathers is also currently serving as a Trustee of Butler University and as co-founder and Chairman of Déclion Holdings, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. He has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Biotechnology Industry Organization for nine years, where he was active in the policy areas of capital formation, bioethics, intellectual property, and regulatory policy.
Mr. Mathers earned a BS in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1988, where he also played football for four years. He went on to serve as a Captain in the United States Army and received several medals for his service as an AH-64 Apache helicopter pilot during the Gulf War.
Geoff McDonough is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Generation Bio. Geoff formerly served as president and chief executive officer of Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (Sobi) from 2011 – 2017. Prior to Sobi, he held a variety of senior roles at Genzyme Corporation, including president of Genzyme Europe and senior vice president and general manager of the global lysosomal storage disease business.
Geoff has a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating summa cum laude in both. He obtained his doctor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and completed his residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital.
David Meeker joined KSQ from Sanofi, where he was a member of the executive committee and Head of Sanofi-Genzyme. He previously served as President and CEO of Genzyme (a Sanofi company) following the merger of Genzyme and Sanofi. Post-merger at Sanofi-Genzyme, David assumed responsibility of the rare disease unit and the launch of the company’s new multiple sclerosis franchise, and he was given responsibility for the full specialty-care portfolio of Sanofi, adding the oncology and immunology portfolios. In that capacity, he oversaw the initial launch of products for atopic dermatitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
David joined Genzyme in 1994 to work on the cystic fibrosis gene therapy program and ultimately served in a variety of R&D leadership roles before moving to operational roles with increasing responsibility beginning in the year 2000. He was named COO of Genzyme in 2009, with broad responsibility for the global commercial portfolio.
Prior to joining Genzyme, David was a practicing physician at Cleveland Clinic, with a specialty in pulmonary and critical care. He did his internal medicine training at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and his pulmonary/critical care training at Boston University. He currently serves as chairman of the board of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals and Trevi Therapeutics, and he is a member of the board of Myokardia. He also serves on the boards of the Biomedical Science Careers Program and the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation.
David received his MD from the University of Vermont Medical School. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Paula Ragan has more than 18 years of experience building and leading companies in the biotechnology industry. Since 2014, Dr. Ragan has been the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of X4 Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA.
Previously, Dr. Ragan consulted as Chief Business Officer at Lysosomal Therapeutics Inc. (LTI), an Atlas Venture portfolio company, where she led the company’s business activities. From 2007-2012, Dr. Ragan held leadership roles in corporate development and operations at Genzyme/Sanofi where she led strategic partnering efforts for Genzyme’s Rare Disease business and headed the supply chain planning for Genzyme’s flagship commercial products. Other professional roles include business roles at Hydra Biosciences, Oscient Corporation and Celera Corporation.
Dr. Ragan received her PhD in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics from MIT and completed post-doctoral studies at Harvard Medical School.
Alicia Secor is an accomplished 25+ year healthcare executive with a demonstrated track record in leading teams from product development through regulatory approval, and commercialization across multiple therapeutic areas spanning orphan and prevalent diseases.
Alicia most recently served as president and chief executive officer at Juniper Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a diversified public healthcare company where she led the successful turnaround strategy for the company resulting in a sale to Catalent, Inc. in August 2018. Prior to her role at Juniper, Ms. Secor held a number of leadership positions in the life sciences industry, including chief commercial officer at Zafgen Inc., senior vice president and chief operating officer at Synageva BioPharma Corp, and roles of increasing responsibility at Genzyme over her 15-year tenure, including serving as vice president and general manager of metabolic diseases, a global business with multiple commercial products, including two orphan drugs. Prior to Genzyme, Ms. Secor held positions at Alkermes, Inc. in business development, at Centocor, Inc. (a Johnson & Johnson Company) in clinical and commercial operations, and began her career at Pfizer Inc. as a hospital-based sales representative. Ms. Secor is also a member of the board of directors at GW Pharmaceuticals, plc., Orchard Therapeutics, and a board member of the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research (FPWR).
Alicia received her B.S. in health administration from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from Northeastern University.
Areas of Expertise: Commercial: from pre-launch prep to post-launch life-cycle management; Investor relations (C-Suite perspectives); Patient advocacy; Corporate culture development; Crisis leadership (navigating teams and businesses through ups, downs, and turnarounds).
Paula Soteropoulos is the Chief Executive Officer of Akcea Therapeutics, a company focused on the development and commercialization of transformative medicines for people living with serious and rare diseases. Akcea’s business model is centered on patient advocacy, and works to unite, educate and empower its rare disease patient communities globally, a focus that Paula modeled from her experience at Genzyme and the legacy of Henri Termeer.
Paula was the founding CEO in 2015 and led the company through its initial public offering on NASDAQ in 2017, as well as significant growth: Akcea now employs over 250 staff in thirteen countries and has six drugs in its portfolio. Akcea launched its first rare disease therapy for hereditary TTR Amyloidosis in global markets in 2018. Akcea was named by the Boston Business Journal as Massachusetts’ fastest growing public company in 2017 and one of the top stock performers in Massachusetts in 2018 and named one of Massachusetts’ Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in both 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Prior to joining Akcea, Paula was on the executive leadership team of Moderna Therapeutics as the Cardiometabolic Business General Manager and Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances. Prior to Moderna, Paula was most recently Vice President, Cardiovascular Business General Manager at Genzyme where she spent 21 years serving in a variety of roles with increasing responsibility. Paula credits Henri and other Genzyme mentors for their willingness to take risks on her, giving her growth opportunities in varied roles from engineering and manufacturing to leading global commercial businesses. Prior to Genzyme, Paula was a bioprocess engineering consultant for various biopharmaceutical companies. She serves on the Board of Directors of gene therapy company uniQure and on the Advisory Board of the Tufts University Chemical and Biological Engineering Department.
Paula earned her B.S. and Master’s degrees in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from Tufts University and earned an executive management certificate from Darden School of Business, University of Virginia.
Areas of Expertise: IPO and Investor relations; Rare disease development and commercialization; Building a global company; Building a board & governance; Diversity/Female mentorship.
Alan Walts serves as a Director of the Termeer Foundation, Executive Chairman of PIC Therapeutics and of Artax Biopharma, Chairman of Aura Biosciences and as a Board Observer at Amylyx Pharmaceuticals and at Arrakis Therapeutics. Alan is also a US-based Venture Partner with Advent Life Sciences. Alan was a Business Advisor to Henri Termeer from 2013 - 2017, and worked closely with Henri on founding and investing in early stage companies. Alan first met Henri in 1983 at Genzyme and had the remarkable good fortune to learn from Henri throughout his career at Genzyme. While demanding excellence, Henri provided regular advice, guidance, and mentoring during Alan’s career at Genzyme and thereafter. Alan has over 25 years of industry experience at Genzyme in business development, business strategy, research and development, general management, and venture capital. Prior to leaving Genzyme in 2013, Alan most recently managed Genzyme’s corporate venture fund, Genzyme Ventures (now Sanofi Ventures).
Alan received a Ph.D. in chemistry from MIT in 1985, carried out post-doctoral research in biochemistry at MIT with Professor Christopher Walsh, and completed the executive Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School.
Peter Wirth serves as Chairman of FORMA Therapeutics Holdings, LLC, a small molecule drug discovery company, and Chairman of Syros Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SYRS), a biotechnology company, each based in the Boston area. Peter is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Zai Lab Limited (NASDAQ: ZLAB), a Shanghai-based biopharmaceutical company and a Venture Partner with Quan Capital Management, a global life sciences venture capital firm with offices in Shanghai, San Francisco and Boston. Peter 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, Peter 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. After leaving Genzyme, Peter maintained his Genzyme connections by co-founding Lysosomal Therapeutics, Inc. (with Henri and Bob Carpenter) and serving as a Director of Synageva BioPharma Corp (Nasdaq: GEVA) under the leadership of Sanj Patel until its acquisition by Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALXN) in June 2015 in a transaction valued at over $9 billion. Prior to joining Genzyme, Peter 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 received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Apply for the Class of 2020
Apply now. Selections will be made and notifications sent out in Q1 2020.