Roche Vet Takes CEO Job at Boston’s Enlight Biosciences

4/12/11

Michelle Browner saw firsthand what huge challenges lie along the way to developing a new drug during her 18 years at Swiss healthcare giant Roche. Now, Xconomy has learned, she has taken the CEO job at Boston-based Enlight Biosciences, a firm that was founded to aid Big Pharma with some of its biggest research and development problems.

Browner, who was most recently global head of emerging science and technologies in Roche’s partnering group in Basel, Switzerland, seems suited to head a company supported primarily by six of the world’s largest pharmaceutical players: Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK), Novartis, and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE). Browner took over as CEO of Enlight last week and has relocated to Boston.

David Steinberg, the founding CEO of Enlight and a partner at Boston-based venture firm PureTech Ventures, is continuing to serve on Enlight’s board of directors along with his other duties as a partner at PureTech.

PureTech, which specializes in building biotech startups from scratch, announced the formation of Enlight in 2008 with Eli Lilly, Merck, and Pfizer on board as financial supporters as collaborators. Enlight is somewhat unique in that, unlike biotechs formed to develop their own drugs, the company focuses on advancing core technologies that could help its pharma supporters develop new products in a more efficient and effective manner. For Browner, Enlight’s mission complements her experience in keeping Roche at the cutting edge of new technologies shaping the pharmaceutical industry.

“When I heard that Enlight was looking for a CEO, and they expressed interest in meeting me, I was … Next Page »

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