Officials at Variant Bio report that the company is transitioning from a firm focused on identifying genomic variants that uncover the basis of disease resistance to one that now also transforms those findings into therapies addressing unmet medical needs in areas such as fibrotic, kidney, and liver disease.
To date the company has built a foundation of more than 20 genomic research partnerships across six continents and has spent the last several years developing novel insights based on these collaborations, according to David Moller, MD, CSO, who, along with Steve Bryant, PhD, chief business officer, say they will work to harness the most promising of these findings and translate them into therapeutic programs to create value for Variant Bio, and for partner communities and patients through a benefit-sharing program and Affordable Medicines Pledge.
Science and business skill sets
Moller brings over 20 years of experience leading R&D efforts in both large pharmaceutical companies and in biotech, most notably Eli Lilly and Merck. He will be responsible for leading scientific-related activities with a focus on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics. Moller is a physician-scientist who will oversee both research and clinical development. His accomplishments included the advent of several successful medicines such as Januvia (sitagliptin), Trulicity (dulaglutide), and Mounjaro (tirzepatide) injection.
Bryant brings expertise in business development and partnering strategy and will be responsible for leading this area at Variant Bio, including structuring, negotiation, and oversight of industry collaborations.
“I’m deeply excited to add David and Steve, with their complementary experience and expertise, to our talented team,” said Andrew Farnum, CEO of Variant Bio. “David’s expertise in drug discovery-development is extraordinary, but most importantly he has direct experience turning genetic insights into therapeutic programs, which is fundamental to our objectives as a company.
“Steve is an industry leader in putting together value-creating deals that accelerate therapeutics through development to commercialization, but more importantly he has worked hard to build lasting relationships with others in the industry, following the maxim that deals are first and foremost done between people, on a foundation of trust and mutual benefit.”