Rachel King is a trailblazer in biotech, a venture capitalist turned co-founder and CEO, now turned industry leader.
As CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), King has focused in recent months on stabilizing the leadership and direction of the 1,000-plus member industry group, where the long tenure of Jim Greenwood was followed by the relatively short tenure of Michelle McMurry Heath, MD—about two years, ending last October.
King is also leading BIO’s ramp-up toward its 2023 BIO International Convention, to be held June 5-8 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, and overseeing the organization’s response to a series of challenges to the industry. These challenges range from articulating industry’s perspective on pricing prescription drugs following enactment of the “Inflation Reduction Act” last year, to preserving access to the most widely used abortion pill, mifepristone in the face of a court challenge by opponents of abortion rights.
King is a former chair of BIO, and previously served as CEO of GlycoMimetics, a late clinical-stage biotechnology company she co-founded. GlycoMimetics focuses on discovering and developing glycobiology-based therapies for cancers and inflammatory diseases.
Before GlycoMimetics, King was a one-time Entrepreneur in Residence at venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Speaking with GEN senior business editor Alex Philippidis, Rachel recounts her multi-faceted career in biotech, and assesses the industry’s progress and continuing challenges in ensuring federal funding for basic research, advancing newer technologies such as synthetic biology and cell and gene therapy; and diversifying the industry’s workforce.