J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Co-founder and Former CEO, becomes Executive Chairman and Co-Chief Scientist
La Jolla, CA — October 27, 2014 — Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI), a synthetic biology company commercializing genomic technologies to revolutionize several industries, today announced the appointment of Oliver Fetzer, Ph.D., MBA as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In his role as CEO Fetzer will also be a member of SGI’s Board of Directors. Founding CEO, J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., will remain actively involved in SGI as Executive Chairman and Co-Chief Scientist with Co-Founder, Hamilton Smith, M.D.
“I am excited to welcome Oliver as the new CEO of SGI,” said Dr. Venter. “His decades of proven biotechnology product development experience coupled with his scientific intellect and measured leadership style will help drive SGI’s continued upward trajectory. I look forward to working with Oliver and the executive team to continue to meet our goals of turning SGI’s science and technology into commercially viable and societal changing products.”
Dr. Venter is also Co-Founder and CEO of the company Human Longevity, Inc., and Founder, Chairman and CEO of the not-for-profit J. Craig Venter Institute.
“I am thrilled to become the CEO of Synthetic Genomics, a company that unites leading science with a strong platform to address some of the world’s pressing needs, and a proven track record of applying these capabilities in high profile partnerships,” said Dr. Fetzer. “I look forward to working with Craig and an exceptional team to fulfill SGI’s vision and to advance the company into commercialization.”
Dr. Fetzer will lead all aspects of SGI, including management of SGI’s three business units- SGI-DNA, Synthetic Genomics Vaccines, Inc. (SGVI), and Genovia Bio. Over the last several years, SGI has refined its business plan to leverage and deploy its core synthetic biology technologies in a variety of industries. One of the most important recent announcements for the company is the agreement with Lung Biotechnology, a subsidiary of United Therapeutics Corporation, to create humanized pig organs for transplantation. SGI has also expanded its algae programs to include important deals with Archer Daniels Midland Company in the Omega-3 nutritional products sector.
Dr. Fetzer comes to SGI from Cerulean Pharma Inc., a pharmaceutical company that develops nanoparticle drug conjugate oncology therapeutics, where he was President and CEO for five years. Under Dr. Fetzer’s leadership, Cerulean advanced from a pre-clinical platform company to become a publicly traded clinical development stage company with a pipeline of product candidates.
Prior to Cerulean Pharma, Dr. Fetzer served in variety of positions at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., including Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Research & Development, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Business Officer, and Senior Vice President, Business Development. Dr. Fetzer began his career in 1993 in various positions of increasing responsibility at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global leading management consulting firm, including Consultant, Project Leader, Principal, Partner and Managing Director. Since 2005, Dr. Fetzer has served on the board of directors of Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and since 2011, on the board of Tecan Group AG.
Dr. Fetzer received a B.S. in Biochemistry from the College of Charleston, his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Medical University of South Carolina, and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.
About Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI)
SGI is a privately-held company dedicated to developing and commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address a wide range of global challenges. The company is focused on several key commercialization programs including developing new synthetic DNA products, tools and instruments through its subsidiary, SGI-DNA; new and improved algae based food and nutritional products, and biofuels through its subsidiary Genovia Bio; and synthetically-derived vaccines and anti-microbials through Synthetic Genomic Vaccines Inc. (SGVI), a business unit co-founded with the J. Craig Venter Institute. The company is also developing clean water technologies using microbial fuel cells and is developing sustainable agricultural products through AgraCast, a company co-founded with Plenus S.A. de C.V. For more information go to: www.syntheticgenomics.com.
SGI Media Contact