Chief Business Officer

Client Team Lead: Andy Cronin
CBO | 20230605

Client: Variant Bio

Variant Bio, a genomics-driven drug discovery company, is transitioning from a company that 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.

The appointment of David Moller, MD, as Chief Scientific Officer, and Steve Bryant, PhD, as Chief Business Officer, two long time stars of biopharma innovation, signals a new level of maturation of the company. Drs. Moller and Bryant joined Variant Bio to deliver on the company’s unique potential to create novel therapeutics in multiple areas of unmet need and to spearhead a new approach to more equitable drug discovery and development.

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. Drs. Moller and Bryant will help 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 pioneering benefit-sharing program and Affordable Medicines Pledge.

David E. Moller, MD, brings over 20 years of experience leading R&D efforts in both large pharmaceutical companies and in biotech – most notably Eli Lilly and Merck. At Variant Bio, he will be responsible for leading scientific-related activities with a focus on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics. Dr. Moller is an expertly trained physician-scientist with a demonstrated ability to turn genetic insights into therapeutic programs, and to oversee both research and clinical development. His accomplishments included the advent of several successful medicines such as Januvia(R) (sitagliptin)1, Trulicity(R) (dulaglutide)2, and Mounjaro (tirzepatide)(R) injection.3

Steve Bryant, PhD, is a recognized industry leader 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. Dr. Bryant trained as a geneticist and bioinformatics scientist before embarking on a long career in business development. Most recently, he served as Head of Global Business Development at Genmab, where he led the deal team that put together numerous high-value licensing deals that resulted in successful drugs and many drugs now in clinical development. Several of these launched products are now blockbusters and have collectively resulted in several billion dollars in licensing revenue.

“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.”

On Steve Bryant, Mr. Farnum said, “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.”

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