Maze Therapeutics, a company translating genetic insights into new precision medicines, today announced that Atul Dandekar, a successful business leader with nearly 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience, has joined the Company as chief strategy officer. In addition, Maze has expanded its board of directors with the appointments of Nancy Andrews, M.D., Ph.D., Catherine Angell Sohn, Pharm.D. and Daniel K. Spiegelman.
“We have been making significant progress at Maze, leveraging our proprietary COMPASS platform to identify and advance a very exciting pipeline of therapeutic candidates based on new, pivotal insights into genetic drivers of both rare and common diseases,” said Jason Coloma, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Maze. “Our COMPASS platform has the potential to lead us to establishing a very broad pipeline that we will advance internally or through partnerships, and Atul’s guidance on our execution strategy will be critical. We are very excited to have him on board to help advance our precision therapies toward clinical development and ultimately to patients.”
“Maze has built an impressive portfolio of potential therapeutic candidates, all informed by our curated COMPASS platform that combines human genetic data, functional genomic tools and data science technology to improve drug development efficiencies,” said Mr. Dandekar. “Since I began following the Maze story, I have been inspired by the broad potential of the platform and continue to be impressed with the progress the company has made in such a short period of time. With our ability to elucidate precision medicines based on novel genetic insights, we have a significant opportunity to shift the future of how specific individuals are treated for their disease.”
Mr. Dandekar brings extensive experience leading strategy, operations, clinical development and commercialization for biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Most recently, he was vice president, global franchise head for ophthalmology at Genentech and Roche, where he was responsible for leading the global ophthalmology business. He led the development of the global Roche ophthalmology strategy and led the ophthalmology cross-Roche team that helped develop faricimab, PDS with ranibizumab and an industry-leading retina pipeline. Prior to this role, he led the Phase 3 development programs for faricimab and lampalizumab. Before joining Genentech in 2014, Mr. Dandekar was the senior global program head in neuroscience at Novartis. During his 16-year tenure at Novartis, Mr. Dandekar held roles of increasing responsibility in diverse areas of clinical development, disease area strategy and marketing in India, Australia and Switzerland. Mr. Dandekar is an advisor for the SPARK program at Stanford and a reviewer for Cures within Reach. Mr. Dandekar holds degrees in medicine and management from Mumbai University and a master’s in marketing management from Monash University.
Dr. Charles Homcy, Maze chairman of the board and Third Rock Ventures partner added, “Despite the many recent advancements in genetics, the ability to discern which elements are critical for patient therapies, and which are not, has proven challenging. Maze and the COMPASS platform offer an incredible opportunity to propel genetic medicine forward toward clinical application through new, actionable insights into human genetics and biology. As we grow and advance as a company, it is key that we have the support of a dedicated and passionate board of directors, and as such, are thrilled to welcome Nancy, Catherine and Dan to the Maze board. Their diverse backgrounds spanning academia and clinical practice, as well as finance, business, and drug and product development strategy will be highly valuable to Maze going forward.”
The new Maze board members include:
- Nancy Andrews, M.D., Ph.D., has extensive experience as a physician, scientist, professor and senior administrator at leading academic institutions and hospitals. Her distinguished career spans more than 30 years, with leadership roles at both Harvard Medical School and the Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Andrews is currently Dean Emerita of the School of Medicine, Vice Chancellor Emerita for academic affairs and professor of pediatrics, pharmacology and cancer biology at Duke University. She also chairs the board of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is credited with conducting research that led to advances in understanding iron biology and iron diseases. Dr. Andrews also sits on the boards of directors of Novartis and Charles River Laboratories and is a member of the Executive Committee of the MIT Corporation and the Council of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Andrews holds an M.D. from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.S. and B.S. in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University.
- Catherine Angell Sohn, Pharm.D., is an experienced biopharmaceutical executive with expertise in strategy, strategic product development, business development and commercialization of new medicines. Dr. Sohn currently serves as chairman of the board of BioEclipse Therapeutics and as a director for Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc, Rubius Therapeutics, Axcella Health and Landec Corp. She was formerly senior vice president, world business development at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, and before that, she was vice president worldwide strategic product development for the cardiovascular, pulmonary and metabolic therapeutic areas at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Sohn received a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and a Certificate of Professional Development from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She also currently serves as an adjunct professor at UCSF and teaches in the American Course on Drug Development and Regulatory Science (ACDRS).
- Daniel K. Spiegelman has served as a chief financial officer in several diversified biotechnology companies spanning 30 years. He was most recently executive vice president and chief financial officer of BioMarin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company focused on development of first-in-class and best-in-class therapeutics for rare genetic diseases. Earlier, he was a financial consultant for biotechnology companies and served in executive financial positions at CV Therapeutics and Genentech. Mr. Spiegelman currently serves on the boards of Tizona Therapeutics, Inc., Myriad Genetics, Spruce Biosciences, Opthea Limited and Jiya Acquisition Corp. He has previously served on a number of public and private biotech company boards. Mr. Spiegelman received an MBA and a B.A. in economics from Stanford University.