Synthetic Genomics Announces Changes to its Board of Directors

San Diego, CA — August 14, 2018 – Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI), a leader in designing and programming biology for function, today announced J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., has retired from his longtime position as Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors to focus on his work at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI). Dr. Venter will remain a Scientific Advisor to SGI.

“Craig’s pioneering vision was instrumental in forming SGI and spurring significant scientific advances, including many industry-firsts in synthetic biology and DNA synthesis,” said Oliver Fetzer, Ph.D., MBA, Chief Executive Officer at SGI. “I am grateful for the foundation Craig built and the scientific leadership and counsel he has provided since the company’s inception in 2005.”

In June, SGI welcomed Reinhard Ambros, Ph.D. to the company’s Board. Reinhard was previously Founder and Global Head of the Novartis Venture Fund where he built one of the largest and most active corporate Biotechnology Funds. His exceptional investment, business development, and pharmaceutical drug development experience adds relevant Board skills as SGI progresses toward RNA-based medicines and becoming a therapeutically focused company.

Earlier this year, Hamilton (Ham) Smith, M.D., co-founder of SGI also transitioned off SGI’s Board to become Board Member Emeritus. Ham remains a Scientific Advisor to SGI.

“We thank both Craig and Ham for their many years of service on the Board and look forward to working with them in their new roles. These transitions are consistent with our evolving company strategy and increased business focus on algal cell engineering and RNA medicines,” continued Oliver.

About Synthetic Genomics, Inc.

Synthetic Genomics, Inc., is a private biotechnology company harnessing the power of living cells — nature’s most efficient machines — to create transformative medicines and bio-based products. With an unmatched understanding of how DNA and RNA instruct the functions of life, we program cells for improved purpose and function. Our R&D competencies focus on our novel self-amplifying RNA replicon platform for infectious disease and oncology vaccines and our algal cell systems for industrial and biotherapeutic discovery and manufacturing. Built on a legacy of scientific firsts, our team of biological engineers are shaping the future bioeconomy. For more information about our research, partnering opportunities or careers, please visit us at to learn more.

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