MassBio® Welcomes Seven New Board Members to its Esteemed Board of Directors

Jun 26, 2020

Clark, Cload, Fox, Hager, Heidecker, Perettie, and Verjee bring wealth of experience and novel perspectives

June 25, 2020 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) – The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio®) appointed seven new life sciences executives to the organization’s Board of Directors, along with new board leadership. Collectively the Board will leverage its leadership to implement the strategies put forth in MassBio’s 2025 five-year strategic report and help the Massachusetts life sciences industry capitalize on the opportunities ahead. These valued additions increase the diversity of the MassBio Board.

“We are currently living through a historic pandemic and the outsized role our industry has played in solving this crisis further solidifies Massachusetts’ world-renowned leadership in the life sciences,” said Robert K. Coughlin, President and CEO, MassBio. “It is an honor to welcome these new members to our Board and utilize their rich perspectives to help us grow the industry, implement our five-year strategic plan, and stand-up for change as we work to improve and ingrain equity, diversity, and inclusion in our industry. Through this collective effort, we will ensure Massachusetts remains the best place in the world for patients and innovation.”

Joining the Board of Directors this year:

  • Chip Clark, President and Chief Executive Officer, Genocea Biosciences, Inc.
  • Sharon Cload, Vice President, Discovery Biotherapeutics, Bristol Myers Squibb
  • Barbara S. Fox, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Rheos Medicines
  • Sue Hager, Chief Communications Officer and SVP Corporate Affairs & Citizenship, EQRx
  • Martin Heidecker, Managing Director, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund USA
  • Cindy Perettie, Chief Executive Officer, Foundation Medicine
  • Rehan Verjee, President, EMD Serono, and Global Head of the Innovative Medicine Franchises, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

The 2020-2021 Executive Committee is now comprised of:

  • Chair: Charles Wilson, President and CEO, Unum Therapeutics
  • Vice Chair: Pam Randhawa, Founder and CEO, Empiriko
  • Treasurer: Michael O’Hara, Partner, Deloitte
  • Clerk: Chris Garabedian, Chairman and CEO, Xontogeny
  • Counsel: Lawrence Wittenberg, Senior Partner, Technology Companies & Life Sciences Group, Goodwin
  • Immediate Past Chair: David Lucchino, Co-founder, President and CEO, Frequency Therapeutics

“As the next Chair of the MassBio Board of Directors, it is an honor to lead the organization through its next chapter and execute on the plans set forth in our new five-year strategic report to make the Massachusetts life sciences cluster broader, stronger, and more sustainable,” said Charles Wilson, President and CEO, Unum Therapeutics, and Chair, MassBio Board of Directors. “Together, with the bright minds that are joining our Board, we will continue to lead by example to instill positive change throughout the industry as we charge towards a new future.”

About the New Board Members:

Chip Clark has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Genocea since February 2011 after serving as Chief Business Officer from August 2010 to February 2011. Prior to joining Genocea, he served as Chief Business Officer at Vanda Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: VNDA), a biopharmaceutical company he co-founded in 2004.  Prior to Vanda, Chip was a principal at Care Capital, a venture capital firm investing in biopharmaceutical companies, after serving in a variety of commercial and strategic roles at SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline). Chip holds a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sharon Cload is Vice President, Discovery Biotherapeutics, at Bristol Myers Squibb, where her team works across several therapeutic areas including immunology, cardiovascular, fibrosis, and oncology.  Sharon is part of the team that launched Bristol Myers Squibb’s new research site in Kendall Square in 2018, and she took on her current role in November 2019, after Bristol Myers Squibb’s acquisition of Celgene. She joined Bristol Myers Squibb in 2008 and led the evolution of the core biologics discovery platforms at their Adnexus site in Waltham, as well as integration of that group into the broader discovery organization. Sharon has enjoyed being part of the vibrant Cambridge life sciences ecosystem throughout her career. Her prior roles in biotech settings cultivated her interest in novel discovery technologies. She led the aptamer discovery team at Archemix Corp. and developed affinity-based screening platforms for small molecules at Scriptgen Pharmaceuticals. She was a post-doctoral fellow with Peter Schultz at the University of California, Berkeley and earned her Ph.D. in Bio-Organic Chemistry with Alanna Schepartz at Yale University.

Barbara S. Fox, PhD, is a biotechnology executive with extensive leadership expertise starting up and building clinical-stage biotech companies. She is currently CEO of Rheos Medicines, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines that modulate immune cell metabolism with an initial focus on treating patients with severe autoimmune diseases and cancer. Dr. Fox was previously CEO of Tilos Therapeutics, a company developing antibodies specific for LAP-TGFβ for the treatment of cancer, fibrosis and autoimmune disorders that was acquired by Merck in 2019. Dr. Fox has previously served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Partners Innovation Fund, founder and CEO of Avaxia Biologics, founder and CSO of Recovery Pharmaceuticals, VP Discovery and Immunology at ImmuLogic Pharmaceutical Corp., and Associate Professor of Rheumatology at the U. Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Fox received her AB in chemistry from Bryn Mawr College, her PhD in chemistry from MIT and trained as a post-doc in cellular immunology at the NIH.

Sue Hager brings more than two decades of life sciences enterprise leadership and stakeholder communications expertise to her role at EQRx. Most previously, Sue served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications, Government Affairs and Advocacy for Foundation Medicine. In this role, Sue directed the stewardship of Foundation Medicine’s corporate brand, led strategic communications for internal and external stakeholders, and spearheaded advocacy efforts focused on accelerating patient access to genomic testing in oncology. During her tenure, Foundation Medicine became one of the most recognized brands in genomic testing for people with advanced cancer. Prior to Foundation Medicine, Sue was Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications for Myriant Corporation, a renewable bio-based chemicals company, where she led strategic communications and investor relations, as well as policy and project finance efforts supporting funding and commercialization of “green” chemicals in the United States. Her efforts contributed to the building of the first at-scale, bio-based renewables chemicals manufacturing plant in the US prior to the company’s sale to PTT Global Chemical. Previously, Sue held senior communications leadership positions in life sciences organizations including Targanta Therapeutics, Coley Pharmaceutical Group and Bayer Healthcare, among others, where she led initiatives spanning corporate affairs, corporate and marketing communications, investor relations, advocacy and corporate development. Over her career, she has architected and directed marketing communications campaigns to support the successful launches of more than two dozen therapeutics, diagnostics and digital health products worldwide. Sue holds an MBA and a B.S. degree in biology with honors from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She serves on the Boston Friends of Pablove, a non-profit foundation dedicated to improving the lives of children with cancer through the art and science.

Martin Heidecker joined Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) in 2010 and established US offices for BIVF in 2013 in Cambridge, MA. His focus is on early biotechnology startups in the United States. He has built and launched several successful biotech companies. Prior to joining BIVF, Martin held several Marketing positions at Solvay Pharmaceuticals and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals in CNS and Oncology and was involved in the launch of various drugs in the CNS space. Martin started his career as investment professional by joining BayernKapital in 2002 to focus on seed investments in biotechnology companies. Martin holds a PhD in Biology from University at Würzburg and an MBA from University Hagen. Martin currently serves on the Boards of Armagen Inc., Sentien Biotech, Rgenta Therapeutics, and Abexxa Biologics.

Cindy Perettie joined Foundation Medicine in February 2019 as its Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Perettie is passionate about improving the care of cancer patients and brings more than two decades of scientific and commercial experience with global biopharmaceutical organizations. Prior to joining Foundation Medicine, Ms. Perettie served as senior vice president in global oncology product strategy for Roche’s Oncology unit, where she led one of the largest global oncology portfolios in the industry. Ms. Perettie began her tenure at Genentech as a program team leader for bevacizumab, and she led several successful therapy launches in the U.S. and abroad for Roche and Genentech across the oncology portfolio, including in lung cancer, breast cancer and hematology. Since joining in 2004, she held roles of increasing responsibility at Genentech, including vice president of global regulatory operations and regional head of Europe, Middle East and Africa operations and global development. In 2012, Ms. Perettie took a hiatus from Genentech to join Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI) as President, Global Development Innovations where she gained invaluable insights into the day-to-day care of people living with cancer. During her tenure, she was responsible for leading and growing SCRI’s contract research organization globally, driving critical oncology clinical trials to further expand options for cancer patients and access precision medicine. Before joining Genentech, Ms. Perettie lead portfolio management at IVAX Pharmaceuticals and was the director of global program management at Élan Corporation. Her pharmaceutical experience began as a research scientist associate director role at Chiron Corporation. She started her career as a senior research associate at Johns Hopkins University following her continuing education program there. Ms. Perettie holds an MBA in marketing and finance from St. Mary’s College of California and received her bachelor’s degree in biology, with a minor in chemistry from State University of New York College at Potsdam.

Rehan Verjee is President of EMD Serono and Global Head of the Innovative Medicine Franchises for Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. In this role, Rehan leads the North American biopharmaceutical business across the U.S. and Canada in addition to leading the global oncology and neurology & immunology specialty medicine franchises for the healthcare business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Prior to this role, Rehan served as Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer since October 2015, leading the global franchises of oncology, neurology & immunology, and infertility, in addition to global business development, market access, strategy and portfolio management, marketing operations and the medical device and services unit. Prior to this, he led the Canadian operations as Managing Director of EMD Serono Canada Inc. Rehan holds a master’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry from the University of Oxford in the U.K, and first joined the company in 2004.

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