September 23, 2021 – Over the past few months, numerous healthcare and life sciences organizations have turned to executive search firms to find new leaders. In the era of COVID-19, the sector has been a burgeoning area for recruiters to ply their trade. Recently, life sciences search specialist Coulter Partners joined with Civetta Therapeutics in the recruitment of Christopher D. Roberts as its new CEO. Cameron Wheeler, who was serving as CEO at Civetta and is a partner in the biotherapeutics group at Deerfield Management Company, will continue to serve as chairman of Civetta’s board of directors.
“We see broad potential for targeting beta-propeller proteins and we’re working to identify novel, near-term therapeutics and establish the leading beta-propeller targeting platform in the industry,” said Dr. Wheeler. “Attracting top talent like Chris will continue to be critical as we accelerate and expand our programs and pipeline and we thank Coulter Partners for their outstanding professional support in achieving this appointment.”
Dr. Roberts, who most recently served as chief scientific officer of Black Diamond Therapeutics, brings more than 20 years of leadership experience discovering and developing novel therapies for oncology, immunology, virology and other indications. Previously, he served as an entrepreneur in residence at SR One, the corporate venture capital arm of GlaxoSmithKline. Prior to that, Dr. Roberts was the VP of chemistry and early development at Syros Pharmaceuticals Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company focused on gene control and drugging transcription, where he built and led a variety of discovery and development functions and helped guide two oncology assets into clinical development.
Before that, he held numerous positions of increasing responsibility at GSK, including VP and head of the host defense discovery performance unit. He also led multiple clinical development projects. He joined GSK as senior director of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) medicinal chemistry via its acquisition of Genelabs Technologies. As a medicinal chemist at Genelabs, Dr. Roberts was significantly involved in establishing Genelabs’ HCV research focus.
“Civetta has developed a unique discovery platform designed to rigorously investigate, validate and drug beta-propeller proteins,” said Dr. Roberts. “Because propeller domains are ubiquitous and play critical functions in pathways that are known contributors to pathogenesis, they provide broad opportunity as therapeutic targets. I’m impressed by the work the team has done advancing its lead programs and platform,” he said. “I look forward to joining the Civetta team in the discovery and development of novel, first-in-class therapies that can help patients across a variety of disease areas, from cancer, inflammation and immunology to neurodegeneration and metabolic disease.”
Civetta is a biotechnology company focused on the development of therapies that target beta-propeller domains to treat cancer and other diseases. The company was founded based on the pivotal insights into beta-propeller domains made by its founders, which helped elucidate beta-propeller domain functionality and their potential for therapeutic intervention in oncology as well as neurodegeneration, metabolic disease and other disease areas. Civetta is funded by Deerfield Management Co. and is based in Cambridge, MA.
Life Sciences Sector Grows
Coulter Partners is a board- and senior-level global executive search specialist focused exclusively on life sciences. The firm works closely with those at the cutting edge of innovation in the industry to understand their challenges. With an extensive global network and expertise gained over 25 years in the sector, Coulter Partners have become trusted advisers on leadership in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical technology, diagnostics, health tech, CRO and services sectors. The firm also works closely with the global investor community, hiring for their own teams as well as building the boards and executive leadership teams of their portfolio companies. Its team of 95 completes over 260 assignments a year working from 14 offices across the U.K., EMEA, the U.S. and APAC.
Coulter Partners Finds Chief Scientific Officer for OxStem
With the integration of technology into all facets of everyday life, the life sciences and healthcare industry is hardly alone in facing technology-related issues. These take on increased importance when they impact health, disease diagnosis, treatment and, ultimately, human longevity. Having the right leaders in place to sort through these complex challenges, say recruiters serving the sector, is critical — especially those with vision and transformational skills.
Bianca Coulter founded Coulter Partners in 2003 and has 25 years’ experience of board and C-level global search, building the leadership teams of early stage, mid cap and global multinationals in over 20 countries. Through appointing the best leadership, Ms. Coulter channels her judgement and considerable expertise to impact patient benefit and assist those at the cutting edge of life science to achieve their goals.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media