CSO, CFO, and GC added as technology-enabled pharma company bolsters growing management team and SAB
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — January 25, 2022 — Atomwise, a leader in using artificial intelligence (AI) for small molecule drug discovery, announced today the appointment of David Thomson, Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer. Additional management team appointments include Jonathan Barr as Chief Financial Officer and Jeffrey Cerio, Pharm.D., J.D. as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Lori Kunkel, M.D. and Ron Dror, Ph.D. have also joined the company’s Scientific Advisory Board.
In his new role, Dr. Thomson will set the Company’s drug development strategy and guide Atomwise as it enters its next phase of growth.
“I’m thrilled to join Atomwise as Chief Scientific Officer. Throughout my career, I’ve repeatedly seen the lack of novel and tractable chemical leads undermine project success. The Atomwise discovery engine solves this key problem by repeatedly delivering multiple high-quality chemical starting points,” said Dr. Thomson. “I’m incredibly impressed with the results that Atomwise has produced to date, and I look forward to partnering with the team to drive and scale our technology-first drug discovery process. I share the team’s vision of industrializing drug discovery with technology, and I’m excited to accelerate the advancement of our wholly-owned small molecule pipeline through preclinical development and into the clinic.”
Dr. Thomson has more than 30 years experience in senior and executive roles in the biopharma industry. He joins Atomwise from Precision BioSciences (Nasdaq: DTIL) where, as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Development Officer, he led preclinical strategy toward commercialization and was instrumental in scaling the company to its successful initial public offering (IPO). Previously, Dr. Thomson was Head of Research and Nonclinical Development for Shire (Nasdaq: SHPG) and Vice-President of Small Molecule Drug Discovery and Chair of the International Chemistry Committee at Boehringer Ingelheim, which developed strategy for the BI global chemistry organization.
Jonathan Barr joins Atomwise from Bridge Bio (Nasdaq: BBIO) where he was the VP of Finance and Operations, drove capital raises of more than $1.5bn, and helped guide the Company through its IPO. He also oversaw many of BridgeBio's general and administrative functions, including strategic finance, IT, legal, and facilities. He was previously responsible for strategic planning at Juno Therapeutics and was an investor at HealthCare Royalty Partners.
Jeffrey Cerio, Pharm.D., J.D. joins Atomwise from Triplet Therapeutics where he was General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. He previously served as Senior Corporate Counsel, Securities at Moderna (Nasdaq: MRNA) where he took the company through its $604M IPO. Dr. Cerio has deep experience leading and advising life sciences companies on various legal matters relating to corporate governance, business development, financing, securities law, intellectual property, and regulatory matters. Before Moderna, he was a member of the legal team at Alkermes plc (Nasdaq: ALKS) in roles of increasing responsibility, and prior to that was a corporate attorney in the life sciences practice at the law firm Ropes & Gray LLP.
“The essence of Atomwise is bringing together the world’s best talent across multiple disparate fields, to solve the hardest and most valuable problems in drug discovery. David, Jeff, and Jon are seasoned executives that bring us deep expertise in the disciplines that are key to the next stage of growth at Atomwise.,” said Abraham Heifets, Co-Founder and CEO of Atomwise. “With their leadership, Atomwise is well positioned to advance its pipeline towards the clinic.”
Lori Kunkel, M.D. and Ron Dror, Ph.D. have been appointed to the company’s Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Kunkel has more than two decades of experience in oncology and immunology drug development and commercialization. She presently serves on the Board of Directors of Curis, Inc., Nurix Therapeutics, Oric Pharmaceuticals, and K36 Therapeutics. She also chairs the Scientific Advisory Boards of Elevation Oncology and Rain Therapeutics, and serves as a clinical advisor to Enliven Therapeutics, Indapta Therapeutics, Jasper Therapeutics, Oncopeptides, Inc, Oryzon, S.A., and Pyramid Biosciences. She was previously the acting Chief Medical Officer and served on the board of Loxo Oncology (sold to Eli Lilly). She also served as Chief Medical Officer at Pharmacyclics (acquired by AbbVie) and CMO at Proteolix, Inc. (acquired by Onyx Pharmaceuticals), where she contributed to the global approvals of cancer therapeutics IMBRUVICA® and Kyprolis®, respectively.
Ron Dror is an Associate Professor of Computer Science in the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab. Dr. Dror leads a research group that uses machine learning and molecular simulation to elucidate biomolecular structure, dynamics, and function, and to guide the development of effective, safe medicines. He collaborates extensively with experimentalists in both academia and industry. He has published more than 100 papers, including more than 30 in Science, Nature, and Cell. Before joining Stanford, Dr. Dror served as second-in-command of D. E. Shaw Research.
For more information on Atomwise, please visit www.atomwise.com.
Atomwise is a technology-enabled pharmaceutical company leveraging the power of AI to revolutionize small molecule drug discovery. The Atomwise team invented the use of deep learning for structure-based drug design; this technology underpins Atomwise’s best-in-class AI discovery engine, which is differentiated by its ability to find and optimize novel chemical matter. Atomwise has extensively validated its discovery engine, delivering success in over 185 projects to-date including a wide-variety of protein types and numerous “hard-to-drug” targets. Atomwise is building a wholly-owned pipeline of small-molecule drug candidates, with three programs in lead-optimization and over 30 programs in discovery. The company has raised over $174 million from leading venture capital firms to advance its mission to make better medicines, faster. Learn more at atomwise.com or follow @AtomwiseInc.