Jose-Carlos Gutierrez Ramos had one of biopharma’s plum jobs as a top Pfizer executive. So why did he give it up to take the risk of running a biotech startup in, of all things, the uncertain field of synthetic biology?
You can ask Gutierrez-Ramos himself in a few weeks. He’s one of the stars of our latest event, “Boston’s Life Science Disruptors,” on the evening of Sept. 30 at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge. We’re pairing up founders, investors, and leaders from three Boston biotech startups—Synlogic, Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB), and Foundation Medicine (NASDAQ: FMI)—for a series of candid, interactive chats about the ups and downs, the key decisions, and the challenges folks have to fight through to push a company forward.
You can get your tickets here.
Gutierrez-Ramos will join MIT professor Jim Collins, for instance, to give a behind the scenes look at Synlogic, a startup developing manmade microbes that serve as custom-designed, living drugs. The concept was seeded in Collins’s lab and germinated with the help of a roughly $30 million round last year before Gutierrez-Ramos came aboard to lead the company, telling Xconomy at the time that he felt the Synlogic’s approach could “change the way we think about therapeutics.”
Synlogic is a long way off from that, of course. As with any other biotech, the proof is in the human data—and that likely won’t come for awhile. But Synlogic’s journey, and Gutierrez-Ramos’s decision to leave Big Pharma lead it, will be one to watch.
Here are some of the other folks you’ll see:
Roger Pomerantz: President, CEO, and Chairman, Seres Therapeutics
Noubar Afeyan: Founder, CEO, and Senior Managing Partner, Flagship Ventures
Michael Pellini: President and CEO, Foundation Medicine
Alexis Borisy: Partner, Third Rock Ventures, and Chairman, Foundation Medicine
Space is limited and tickets are going fast but you can still save some cash if you grab a seat online instead of at the door (get your spot here). See you in Cambridge on Sept. 30.