Flagship adds four exec partners to team


Flagship Pioneering has made four executive partners. They are Dr. Robert Berendes, Ron Hovsepian, Theo Melas Kyriazi and Dr. John Mendlein.

PRESS RELEASE

Cambridge, Mass., – Flagship Pioneering, a unique life sciences innovation enterprise, today announced the expansion of its executive partner team with new leaders dedicated to its growth-stage companies.

The announcement follows Flagship’s closing of a $824 million capital pool to support the growth of human health and sustainability companies originated by Flagship Labs. By combining innovation, company origination, and growth activities in a single integrated institution, Flagship Pioneering has developed a unique model that combines scientific creativity, systematic entrepreneurship, and professional capital management.

Collectively, Flagship’s new leadership possesses decades of experience in founding and growing platform companies in health, agriculture, and technology, having served on the boards of the most innovative public and private companies in their fields. In their new roles, they will work with the CEOs of Flagship’s companies and provide world-class growth resources to achieve the companies’ best attainable value.

Flagship’s new executive partners are Robert Berendes, Ph.D., Ron Hovsepian, Theo Melas Kyriazi, and John Mendlein, Ph.D.

“I am thrilled by what this group of leaders brings to Flagship and our pioneering companies,” said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., founder and chief executive officer of Flagship Pioneering. “We are significantly increasing our investment of expertise and capital based on our belief that deeper and longer-term engagement will significantly increase the probability of unprecedented outcomes.”

New Executive Partners
The new executive partners will serve on the boards of Flagship’s growth-stage companies and will be responsible for supporting their rapid value-growth and marshalling Flagship’s resources towards this goal.

Robert Berendes
Robert Berendes, Ph.D., joined Flagship Pioneering in 2014 as an advisory partner. He serves on the boards of Flagship companies focused on innovations that address sustainability in the agriculture and nutrition sectors, including Indigo Agriculture, CiBO Technologies, Inari, and Invaio.
Robert’s career has spanned leadership roles in business development, research, operations, and consulting. At Syngenta, he was head of business development and a member of the executive committee, and also responsible for research and development. Prior to those roles, he headed Syngenta’s diverse field crops unit, and from 2002 to 2005 was head of the company’s strategy, planning, and M&A. Before Syngenta, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company. He began his career as a process engineer at Proctor & Gamble. Robert has a degree in chemistry from the University of Cologne and a doctorate in biophysics from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry/Technical University of Munich.

Ron Hovsepian
Ron Hovsepian brings a wealth of business experience in multiple technology areas and digital market transformations, as well as in scaling young companies. His breadth of leadership skills includes experience as a CEO and board member of several public and private companies. His is currently chairman of Ansys (ANSS) and board member of Pegasystems (Pega).
Ron recently served as president and chief executive officer of Intralinks.

Previously, he served as president and chief executive officer of Novell. He was also a managing director in a business-to-business venture capital firm assisting early-stage companies. He began his career at IBM where he had a broad range of executive experiences during his more than 16-year career, including global general manager for several industry solutions groups. He was formerly chairman of Ann Inc. Ron received a bachelor of science degree from Boston College.

Theo Melas-Kyriazi
Theo Melas-Kyriazi is a longtime member of the Flagship ecosystem, currently serves on the board of Evelo Biosciences, and was previously on the board of Moderna.

Prior to joining Flagship as executive partner, Theo was chief financial officer (CFO) of Levitronix Technologies LLC, a leader in magnetically levitated pumps for microelectronics and bioprocessing applications. He spent nearly two decades at Thermo Electron Corporation (now Thermo Fisher Scientific) in a variety of roles, including six years as CFO. Theo has been a director of several private and public biopharmaceutical companies. Theo holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and an M.B.A from Harvard University.

John Mendlein
John Mendlein, Ph.D., is a longtime member of Flagship’s ecosystem. He has served in multiple leadership roles at Flagship companies, including CEO of Adnexus (starting in 2005) and, prior to joining Flagship in February 2019, was a board member and the president of Moderna. He serves on the boards of new platform companies Cogen Immune Medicine and Ohana Biosciences.

Throughout his 23-year career in biotech, John has helped start and lead numerous innovative life sciences companies with product platforms, including Fate Therapeutics, where he is a cofounder and vice chairman of the board, aTyr Pharma, and Adnexus Therapeutics Inc., where he served as CEO. Prior to those roles, he served as CEO and chairman of Affinium Pharmaceuticals Ltd. John is co-author or co-inventor of over 210 publications and published patents. John holds a Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from the University of California, Los Angeles, a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law, and a B.S. in biology from the University of Miami.

About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category life sciences companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has applied a unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in over $30 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship is backed by more than $3.3 billion of aggregate capital commitments, of which over $1.5 billion has been deployed toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $10 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 31 transformative companies, including: Denali Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DNLI), Evelo Biosciences (NASDAQ: EVLO), Indigo Agriculture, Kaleido Biosciences (NASDAQ: KLDO), Moderna Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MRNA), Quanterix Corporation (NASDAQ: QTRX), Rubius Therapeutics (NASDAQ: RUBY), Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB), and Syros Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SYRS). To learn more about Flagship Pioneering, please visit our website: www.FlagshipPioneering.com.