BOULDER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Enveda Biosciences, a pioneer in transforming small molecule drug discovery by using machine learning and metabolomics to harness the potential of natural products, today announced the appointment of Vanitha Sekar, Ph.D., R.Ph., to the newly created position of Chief Business Officer. Dr. Sekar will play a key role in Enveda’s ongoing growth and will be responsible for shaping the company’s business development strategy.
Dr. Sekar brings more than 20 years of business development, corporate strategy and R&D experience in pharma and biotech to Enveda. She joins Enveda from Gilead Sciences Inc., the global biopharmaceutical company, where she was Head of Corporate Development for its flagship virology therapeutic area.
Prior to joining Gilead, Dr. Sekar was Executive Director, Business Development & Licensing, for Merck Research Laboratories. Before joining Merck, she served in multiple roles at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, including business development and R&D, and led the evaluation of multiple opportunities with cross-functional teams and business partners. She has closed numerous deals for preclinical and clinical stage assets during her career.
Dr. Sekar also has helped to develop and execute strategies for new chemical entity development, life-cycle management and post-marketing for anti-HIV and hepatitis B and C drugs. Prior to her tenure at Johnson & Johnson, she led clinical pharmacology at Tibotec U.S., which was acquired by J&J and became part of Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Sekar also spent five years as Acting Team Leader and Senior Reviewer for antiviral and neuropharmacological drugs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She earned her doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, Pilani.
“Vanitha is an exceptionally experienced, knowledgeable pharma and biotech executive who has forged key partnerships throughout our industry and understands it well,” said Viswa Colluru, Ph.D., Enveda’s CEO. “We are excited to welcome Vanitha to Enveda, where her 20 years of experience creating value for companies, their partners and investors is a key addition to our team and commercial efforts. She joins Enveda at a fantastic time, as we are making important, rapid advances through our platform and our pipeline is showing great progress. All of us look forward to working with Vanitha as we continue our work to bring hope to patients everywhere.”
Dr. Sekar brings an extensive scientific background, passion for patients, breadth of drug development experience and strong business acumen to her new role at Enveda.
“Growing up and studying to be a pharmacist in India, I learned to value and respect medicinal plants for their therapeutic properties,” Dr. Sekar said. “As a result, joining the Enveda family feels a lot like going Back to the Future. I am excited to join a company that is on the path to revolutionizing drug discovery by integrating machine learning and metabolomics to translate natural products into medicines. Just as important, I am privileged to have the opportunity to partner with Viswa and his uniquely talented team.”
Dr. Sekar’s commitment to the health care industry extends to her passion for recruiting, mentoring and supporting women and minorities in early career and leadership roles. She is a life sciences council member of Springboard Enterprises, the premier platform for building great women-led businesses and a member of BIO’s Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.
“Vanitha’s impact can be seen not just in the companies she worked with but also in her influence on efforts to mentor women in our industry. We look forward to doing great work together at Enveda,” Dr. Colluru said.
About Enveda Biosciences
Enveda Biosciences is a biotechnology company building the first high-resolution chemical map of the natural world to tackle the toughest problems in drug discovery. Enveda’s platform is the world’s most advanced drug discovery search engine for the almost limitless expanse of nature’s unknown chemistry, building on years of cutting-edge advancements at the intersection of metabolomics and machine learning. Complementing its breakthrough technology, Enveda’s team includes seasoned drug hunters with decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry working alongside world-leading data scientists. For more information on Enveda, visit envedabio.com.