PureTech Health, a cross-disciplinary biotech company developing novel medicines at the interface of the gut, brain and immune system, has announced the appointment of Feng Zhang, Ph.D., to its scientific advisory board (SAB). The company has also appointed Jeff Stevens, as vice president of Growth Strategy & Operations and has expanded its team of senior advisors to include Meghan Fitzgerald, DrPH, executive vice president of Corporate Strategy, M&A and Health Policy at Cardinal Health; Atul Pande, M.D., former senior vice president and head of Neurosciences at GlaxoSmithKline; and Philip J. Larsen, M.D., Ph.D., global head of Diabetes Research & Development at Sanofi.
“We are very pleased to add these accomplished leaders to our team and advisory group of distinguished scientists and clinicians,” said Daphne Zohar, chief executive officer of PureTech Health. “Insights from this group will further add to the intellectual capital resident at PureTech as we advance and enhance our pipeline.”
Feng Zhang, Ph.D., will join PureTech as a member of the company’s SAB. He is an accomplished bioengineer focused on developing tools to better understand nervous system function and disease. His lab applies these novel tools to interrogate gene function and study neuropsychiatric diseases in animal and stem cell models. Since joining MIT and the Broad Institute in January 2011, Dr. Zhang has pioneered the development of genome editing tools for use in eukaryotic cells—including human cells—from natural microbial CRISPR systems.
Jeff Stevens will join PureTech as vice president of Growth Strategy & Operations. In this role, he will be helping to refine and prioritize indications and commercial opportunities for PureTech’s growth stage platforms. Stevens has been involved with the global healthcare industry for nearly 25 years. He started his career at Roche in sales, marketing, and business development before transitioning into institutional investments. Over the past decade, Stevens was a dedicated healthcare analyst and portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments in Boston.
Meghan Fitzgerald, DrPH, will join PureTech as a senior advisor. She is the executive vice president of Strategy, M&A and Health Policy at Cardinal Health and is a member of Cardinal Health’s executive committee. She is an expert on a wide array of healthcare topics and trends, including specialty healthcare and healthcare policy. Dr. Fitzgerald leads Cardinal Health's Corporate Strategy team and previously was the president of Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions, a specialty healthcare business that offers services for healthcare providers, payers, and pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Prior to joining Cardinal Health, she was senior vice president of New Markets International Division and Business Development at Medco Health Solutions, where she was responsible for leading business development efforts in the U.S. and internationally. She previously held positions at Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals, where she supported business strategies and operations, including the implementation of 10-year lifecycle plans for various pharmaceutical products such as Celebrex. Dr. Fitzgerald serves on the board of directors for SeniorLink, a model of in-home care for elders, as well as Concert Pharmaceuticals.
Philip J. Larsen, M.D., Ph.D., will join PureTech as a senior advisor. He is the global head of Diabetes R&D at Sanofi. He has 20 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry experience in the field of diabetes and obesity. Previously he was head of the Neuroendocrine Pharmacology Department at Novo Nordisk and was chief scientific officer for diabetes research at Eli Lilly. Dr. Larsen also founded Rheoscience, a Danish biotechnology company focused on obesity and diabetes. He has served in his current role at Sanofi since August 2012, where he is directing discovery and early clinical development in the field of diabetes, including addressing diabetes with both small molecule and biologics based therapies.
Atul Pande, M.D., will join PureTech as a senior advisor. Dr. Pande has more than two decades of experience in drug development. He has led several programs in neurosciences, respiratory, HIV, oncology and cardiovascular therapy areas. Dr. Pande is the former senior vice president and senior advisor, Pharmaceutical R&D at GlaxoSmithKline and has been active in the development of multiple important central nervous system drugs while holding various senior roles in Pfizer R&D, Parke-Davis/Warner-Lambert, and Lilly Research Laboratories. His experience includes drug development, registration, launch and lifecycle management in the areas of anxiety, depression, epilepsy, neuropathic pain, schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury, and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.