Beryllium Launches and Expands Leadership Team

May 12, 2014

New company created to shape the future of collaborative drug discovery

BEDFORD, Mass. – May 12, 2014 – Beryllium announced today its formation as it recently finalized its consolidation of restructured assets from Emerald Bio and deCODE Genetics. With this restructuring, Beryllium emerges as a company positioned to address the market need for collaborative drug discovery. Beryllium has combined extensive target-based drug discovery expertise, comprehensive disease pathways knowledge, deep experience in protein characterization and diverse technological capabilities. The company also announced today it is building out its team of world-class drug discovery professionals. Industry veteran Dalia Cohen has joined Beryllium as the company’s head of research, and additionally, Daniel Kemp, Arturo Morales and Thomas Roddy have joined the company’s leadership team.

“Beryllium’s vision is to enable novel drug discovery through integrated, multi-disciplinary partnerships, deep expertise and proven market experience,” said Johan Pontin, chief executive officer of Beryllium. “Our new name is derived from the naturally-occurring chemical element, Beryllium, which exists only in combination with other elements of the periodic table. We are working in partnership with biopharmaceutical companies and organizations of all sizes around the world to address the most difficult scientific and business challenges facing drug discovery. To help accomplish this important work, we have significantly grown our leadership team.”

Collectively, Beryllium’s staff has been instrumental in taking hundreds of targets to lead compounds and 28 drug candidates into clinical development, covering all therapeutic areas. The newest members of the Beryllium team are as follows:

  • Dalia Cohen, Ph.D., head of research: Cohen has been charged with leading Beryllium’s drug discovery methods and breakthroughs. She is well-known for her vast industry experience and myriad publications and accolades, having founded a life sciences consultancy, served as chief scientific officer at Asterand and Rosetta Genomics, and led the functional genomics team at Novartis for 8 years.
  • Daniel Kemp, Ph.D., vice president of drug discovery: Kemp has more than a decade of drug discovery experience conducting programs in target discovery, lead identification and optimization, and early clinical development. He has worked at Merck Research Laboratories and the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. His main focus at Beryllium is developing and managing innovative drug discovery partnerships with a range of biopharmaceutical companies.
  • Arturo Morales, Ph.D., vice president of informatics: Morales has led cutting-edge informatics efforts for more than 15 years at both small and global life sciences companies, including the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Scion Pharmaceuticals Inc., Ensemble Discovery Corp. and Concert Pharmaceuticals. In his role at Beryllium, he is responsible for overseeing all informatics functions to enable collaborative communication, data mining, and knowledge management.
  • Thomas Roddy, Ph.D., vice president of drug discovery: Roddy leads Beryllium’s collaboration with the Broad Institute and other drug discovery organizations. He has worked for more than 15 years at several biopharmaceutical companies, including Merck Research Laboratories, the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research and Genzyme, focused on research and development research on translational biomarkers and mass spectrometry.

“Beryllium’s team is well-positioned to take advantage of the evolving industry landscape,” said Dalia Cohen, head of research for Beryllium. “Industry changes are altering the progression from discovery to development. We are seeing large pharmaceutical companies looking for ways to boost their development pipelines with less risk and entrepreneurial small companies are now developing virtual models that are based on focused therapeutic development. These changes along with academic and research organizations suffering from decreases in government funding, have provided an opportunity for a team with a successful track record to open the door to both genetically- and clinically-validated targets, and in developing new therapeutic modalities.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Dalia, Dan, Art and Tom to our team,” continued Pontin. “Dalia’s leadership in complex target discovery and validation will prove endlessly valuable as we tackle challenging drug targets with our collaborators. Dan and Tom’s deep expertise in target discovery and early clinical development will help our company excel at driving critical drug discovery projects across the finish line. And, finally, Art’s leadership experience in informatics will play a key role in Beryllium’s efforts to optimally utilize and apply our growing knowledge base.”

About Beryllium
Beryllium is shaping the future of collaborative drug discovery. Our proven teams of drug discovery professionals are passionate about unlocking the therapeutic potential of both genetically- and clinicallyvalidated drug targets, and in developing new therapeutic modalities. We work in partnership with our clients to address the most difficult scientific and business challenges facing drug discovery, and to ultimately enable transformational health care outcomes. www.be4.com

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