SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–insitro, a machine-learning driven drug discovery and development company, today announced two key leadership appointments. Keith James, Ph.D., has joined as senior vice president of drug discovery and Mary M. Rozenman, Ph.D., has joined as the company’s chief financial officer and chief business officer. The goal of insitro is to leverage machine learning and high-throughput biology to transform the way medicines are created, increasing success rates and benefiting patients by delivering new medicines faster and cheaper.
“When we launched insitro last year, we set out to break new ground in applying machine learning and high-throughput biology across the pharmaceutical R&D value chain,” said Dr. Daphne Koller, insitro’s founder and CEO. “Our announcement in April of a groundbreaking collaboration with Gilead, focused on novel targets in NASH, highlighted the power of machine learning in early discovery. But targets are only a part of the process – our real goal is to develop novel, safe, and effective therapeutics, and to do so faster, cheaper and with higher probability of success. I am excited to have Keith and Mary join us given their collective experience in drug discovery through development to regulatory approval. Their capabilities in drug hunting, company building, and business will greatly accelerate our progress towards insitro’s vision of leveraging machine learning and novel data production technologies to more effectively bring medicines to patients in need.”
Dr. James brings to insitro more than three decades of drug discovery experience, during which he built and led research enterprises ranging from handfuls to hundreds of scientists, and led programs across a wide range of therapeutic areas, employing multiple therapeutic modalities. Over the course of his career, he and the organizations he has led have delivered over 30 clinical candidates across 15 therapeutic areas, many of which have reached Phase 2 development and two of which – eletriptan (Relpax®) and maraviroc (Selzentry®) – are now in the hands of physicians, treating patients. Before joining insitro, Dr. James was president of the Ferring Research Institute, where he focused on the discovery of peptide therapeutics. Prior to Ferring, he had an extensive career at Pfizer, leading discovery research at three different sites across the United States and the United Kingdom, heading the company’s R&D strategy team, and running a laboratory as a visiting investigator at The Scripps Research Institute. Dr. James completed his academic and postdoctoral studies in chemistry and organic chemistry at Imperial College London, The University of Cambridge, Stanford University and Columbia University. He is an author and inventor of over 40 publications and patents.
“Despite decades of refinement and optimization, drug discovery remains a complex, expensive and high-risk endeavor,” said Dr. James. “It is therefore ripe for disruption through the application of machine learning, which has the potential to radically improve its efficiency. I believe the outstanding team at insitro will lead the way in transforming the drug discovery paradigm and significantly improve the prospects of delivering much needed new medicines”.
Dr. Rozenman brings to insitro more than 15 years of scientific expertise, company building and transactions leadership in the biotechnology industry. Prior to joining the insitro team, she served as the senior vice president of corporate development and strategy at Aimmune Therapeutics, leading business development and partnerships with companies such as Regeneron/Sanofi and Nestlé Health Science, and supporting the company’s strategic finance and investor relations efforts. In her time at Aimmune, she raised more than $650 million in capital through a range of private and public transactions including leadership of the company’s 2015 IPO. Before Aimmune, Dr. Rozenman was a vice president at Longitude Capital, where she focused on biotechnology investments and participated in multiple therapeutics investments and boards of directors, including observing on Aimmune’s board. Dr. Rozenman was also previously a junior partner at McKinsey & Company, focused on pharmaceuticals and corporate finance. Her scientific work has been published in premier scientific journals, and she is a named inventor on several patents. Dr. Rozenman holds a doctorate in organic chemistry and chemical biology from Harvard University and a bachelor of arts in biochemistry and Russian literature from Columbia University.
Dr. Rozenman commented, “As the power of computational approaches and machine learning continues to advance, we have a remarkable opportunity to apply these advancements to improve the way we discover and develop new drugs. Changing the paradigm will require a new approach to data generation, as well as collaborations and strategic finance. I’m inspired by the transformative potential of insitro’s platform and thrilled to work with Daphne and the team to help bring it to life.”
insitro is a data-driven drug discovery and development company that uses machine learning and high-throughput biology to transform the way that drugs are discovered and delivered to patients. By generating high-throughput, functional genomic data sets and aligning them with patient data via novel machine learning methods, insitro builds predictive models that can accelerate target selection and the design and development of effective therapeutics. The company is using state-of-the-art technologies from bioengineering to create massive data sets that enable cutting edge machine learning methods to be brought to bear on key bottlenecks in pharmaceutical R&D. insitro was launched in 2018 with a Series A of over $100M funded by a16z, Arch Venture Partners, Foresite Capital, GV (formerly Google Ventures), and Third Rock Ventures, as well as additional investments from Alexandria Venture Investments, Bezos Expeditions, Mubadala Investment Company, Two Sigma Ventures, Verily, and other undisclosed investors. The company is located in South San Francisco, CA. For more information on insitro, please visit the company’s website at www.insitro.com.