CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cellarity, a life sciences company founded by Flagship Pioneering to encode and simulate human biology to reimagine the way we create medicines, announced today the expansion of its executive leadership team with three key appointments. As Chief Scientific Officer, Laurens Kruidenier, Ph.D., will lead the continued evolution of Cellarity’s platform and pipeline and oversee cross functional integration across all aspects of computation, drug creation, and optimization. As Chief People Officer, Anna O’Driscoll will lead the development of human resources and talent development strategies to enable the fast growth of Cellarity and make the company a top place to work for talent. As Senior Vice President and Head of Data and Software Engineering, Parul Doshi will spearhead the development of a leading and scalable data infrastructure to support the entire drug creation and development process.
“We are building a transformative company and bringing together a strong team of people with a track record of making things happen,” said Fabrice Chouraqui, Ph.D., CEO of Cellarity and a CEO-Partner at Flagship Pioneering. “Laurens is not only an exceptional translational scientist, with experience and success advancing primary research into clinical-stage programs, he is also a team and company builder, helping integrate and mature drug discovery platforms.”
Dr. Chouraqui continued, “Anna brings deep experience in talent and leadership development in the biotech industry, and she is known for her passion to positively impact the employee experience. Parul not only brings broad expertise in data infrastructure across the entire pharma value chain, from preclinical and clinical to tech operations and commercialization but also hands-on expertise in software engineering. I am excited that these top leaders have joined us at this pivotal time as Cellarity grows our team, advances key programs, and scales a pipeline of important new therapeutics.”
Cellarity has developed unique capabilities to encode biology and model computationally the changes that occur between health and disease to design breakthrough medicines. Cellarity’s transformative approach to drug creation looks beyond an individual molecular target to understand the complex biological network of cellular changes that underlie the start and progression of a disease. Built at the confluence of systems biology, single cell data, and machine learning, the Cellarity platform leverages a more complete view of cell biology to purposefully create drugs. Since all diseases stem from a disorder at the cellular level, Cellarity’s approach can be applied to virtually every disease and uncovers new biology and treatments that are unlikely to be found through target-based discovery.
“Despite the tremendous progress the industry has made in advancing medical treatments, most diseases do not have curative therapies, and there are thousands of conditions that lack treatments,” said Dr. Kruidenier. “I’m impressed with Cellarity’s drug creation engine, which looks beyond the single target and embraces the full complexity of human disease. I look forward to working with the team to realize the truly transformative nature of the Cellarity platform and advance into the clinic novel medicines in diverse therapeutic areas to meet a wide range of patient needs.”
Laurens Kruidenier, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Kruidenier has more than 25 years of experience in discovery research, both in academic settings as well as in the life sciences industry and a track-record of success in drug discovery and development, driving research programs into clinical study and integrating teams and technologies for growth and scale. Prior to joining Cellarity, Dr. Kruidenier was Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at Prometheus Biosciences, a precision medicine company in the immune-mediated disease space. At Prometheus, he helped mature the company from an early, seed-stage Cedars-Sinai-spinout into a Nasdaq-listed, platform-driven portfolio company with three active Phase 2 clinical trials. Previously, he held the roles of Vice President of Discovery at Second Genome, where he was responsible for a portfolio of microbiome programs and Head of GI Immunology Research at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for developing the global discovery research and business development strategy into inflammatory diseases of the bowel. Earlier in his career, Dr. Kruidenier held various positions at different discovery units at GlaxoSmithKline, where he led preclinical teams and projects in immuno-inflammation, epigenetic, and protein degradation drug discovery. He completed his post-doctoral training at the University of London and holds an M.Sc. in medical biology from Utrecht University and a Ph.D. in mucosal immunology from Leiden University. His research has resulted in multiple publications in top tier scientific journals, including Nature.
Anna O’Driscoll, Chief People Officer
Ms. O’Driscoll has more than a decade of experience in human resources and was most recently Vice President of Human Resources at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, where she worked in roles spanning R&D, Commercial, Corporate Functions, Learning and Development, and Employee Relations as Alnylam evolved from a research organization to a leading biotech company. Prior to Alnylam, she was Head of Talent Strategy and Process at Shire and in the Human Resources Leadership Development Program at Johnson & Johnson. Ms. O’Driscoll graduated with an MBA from the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts and a bachelor’s degree in marketing and languages from Dublin City University.
Parul Doshi, Senior Vice President, Head of Data and Software Engineering
Ms. Doshi has more than twenty years of experience in information technology (IT) and software engineering and was most recently Head of IT & Digital for Takeda’s Vaccine division. She spent the past 16 years at Takeda, in roles of increasing seniority across several divisions of the company. She notably led the IT programs to launch oncology products NINLARO® and ALUNBRIG® as well as the consolidation of the Vaccines Business Unit to Cambridge, Massachusetts and integration of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals post acquisition. Prior to Takeda, Ms. Doshi worked as a developer at Patni Computer Systems, servicing major companies such as Fidelity Investments and LEGO®. Ms. Doshi graduated with an MBA in information technology and finance from Savitribai Phule Pune University, and a bachelor’s in economics and applied statistics from the University of Rajasthan.
Cellarity’s mission is to fundamentally transform the way medicines are created through the development of the first full stack digital cell. Founded by Flagship Pioneering in 2017, Cellarity has developed unique capabilities combining high-resolution data, single cell technologies, and machine learning to encode biology, model interventions, and purposefully design breakthrough medicines. By focusing on the cellular changes that underlie disease instead of a single target, Cellarity’s approach uncovers new biology and treatments and is applicable to a vast array of disease areas. The company currently has programs underway in metabolic disease, hematology, immuno-oncology, and respiratory disease. The company has raised $123 million as part of a Series B funding round with contributions from funds and accounts managed by Blackrock, The Baupost Group, Banque Pictet on behalf of their clients, and eight other investors alongside Flagship Pioneering. For more info, visit www.cellarity.com.
About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category bioplatform companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has, through its Flagship Labs unit, applied its unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in more than $140 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $2.6 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $19 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 42 transformative companies, including Axcella Health (Nasdaq: AXLA), Codiak BioSciences (Nasdaq: CDAK) Denali Therapeutics (Nasdaq: DNLI), Evelo Biosciences (Nasdaq: EVLO), Foghorn Therapeutics (Nasdaq: FHTX), Indigo Ag, Kaleido Biosciences (Nasdaq: KLDO), Moderna (Nasdaq: MRNA), Omega Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OMGA), Rubius Therapeutics (Nasdaq: RUBY), Sana Biotechnology (Nasdaq: SANA), Seres Therapeutics (Nasdaq: MCRB), and Sigilon Therapeutics (Nasdaq: SGTX).