As we strive to find and support the most ambitious life sciences founders, we also work to connect these founders with exceptional advisors who have traveled the journey before. Builders who have stood up impactful platform biotech companies and put new drugs into the clinic. Leaders who have earned the ability to see around “biological corners.” Mentors who can predict pitfalls of a new modality, but also–just as importantly–share in the optimism needed to try something completely new to solve an unmet patient need. Among such people, few shine as brightly as Greg Verdine.
We are thrilled to welcome Greg to the a16z Bio + Health team as a Venture Partner.
Greg is a unique scientific leader in both the academic and biotech worlds, a pioneer of new therapeutic modalities, and a serial entrepreneur. As you’ll hear directly from Greg in the podcast linked above, his career began from humble roots–an uncanny ability to tinker and an insatiable drive to solve the hardest problems available led him to take aim at targets that had previously been deemed “undruggable.”
Over three decades as Erving Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School (he is now Emeritus faculty), Greg seamlessly toggled between the worlds of basic and applied scientific discovery. His lab elucidated fundamental mechanisms of epigenetic DNA modification and DNA damage repair–and also invented entirely new drug modalities, such as stapled peptides. Greg embraced the challenge of translating academic discoveries into real-world medicines, leading him to found or co-found a number of biotech companies: Enanta Pharmaceuticals (ENTA), Gloucester Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Celgene), Tokai Pharmaceuticals (TKAI), Wave Life Sciences (WVE), Eleven Biotherapeutics (EBIO), Warp Drive Bio (acquired by Revolution Medicines), Aileron Therapeutics, FogPharma, and Lifemine Therapeutics (where he is presently co-founder/CEO). These companies have succeeded in achieving FDA approval for three marketed drugs, and have more than 10 drugs across multiple modalities currently in development.
With a founder’s mindset and a wealth of experience navigating the discovery and development of novel therapeutics, Greg is an invaluable thought partner in biotech. We’re so excited to work together, alongside our portfolio founders, to scale our collective impact on the entire ecosystem.