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Daphne Zohar is the driving force behind an interesting and potentially unique biotech company based in the Boston Seaport district called PureTech Health. The company’s founder and CEO was our special guest on Episode 3 of our new show, Close to the Edge.
Zohar has assembled an immensely talented and experienced advisory board, including laureate Bob Horvitz, PhD, and serial entrepreneur Bob Langer, PhD— both MIT professors; Raju Kucherlapati, PhD, Harvard Medical School and the co-founder of Millennium Pharmaceuticals; Dennis Ausiello, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital; John LaMattina, PhD, former president of Pfizer Global Research and Development; and more.
PureTech has about two dozen products in the pipeline, many of which revolve around the company’s main focus—the BIG (Brain-Immune-Gut) axis. Other areas of interest include cancer, neuroscience and long COVID.
Last May, one of PureTech’s founded entities Akili completed a $160-million financing, with proceeds earmarked to accelerate the commercialization of EndeavorRx, a digital therapeutic for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—the first FDA-cleared treatment delivered through a video game experience. Another drug, AKL-101, is being studied to treat COVID brain fog.
Zohar also talks about the financial markets and PureTech’s business strategy (initially listing in London as opposed to the United States) and shares her feelings on opportunities for women taking up leadership positions in science and the biotech industry.