hero-team

Our team.

Saurabh Saha M.D. Ph.D. is Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Centessa Pharmaceuticals. Most recently, as Senior Vice President of R&D at Bristol Myers Squibb, Dr. Saha led translational medicine across all therapeutic areas spanning discovery, early development through late development and commercialization. In 2019, he led the R&D diligence in the acquisition of Celgene by BMS and subsequently managed key aspects of the integration across both organizations. During his tenure, he lay the foundation for the BMS R&D headquarters in Cambridge MA, serving as site head and establishing a research focus on discovering new cancer treatments for immunotherapy resistance.

Previously, Dr. Saha was a venture partner at Atlas Venture where he held leadership positions with a number of its portfolio biotech companies, including as chief medical officer of Synlogic, and as chief executive officer of Delinia until its sale to Celgene in early 2017. In 2008, Dr. Saha established the translational research and development organization at BioMed Valley Discoveries where he served as chief scientific officer and later president, and was responsible for leading the development and demonstrating human effectiveness of two first-in-class cancer therapies. Earlier in his career, Dr. Saha was a management consultant in the pharmaceutical practice at McKinsey & Company and subsequently appointed director and head of the New Indications Discovery Unit at Novartis. Dr. Saha is on the editorial boards of a number of medical journals and is an associate member and global clinical scholar at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Saha holds an M.D. and Ph.D. in cancer genetics from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he completed his graduate studies in Bert Vogelstein’s lab. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and Oxford University, studying general management and biophysics respectively. Dr. Saha received a B.Sc. in biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Dr. Saha's passion for advancing human health to bring novel medicines for patients has been the compass that has guided him in his educational and professional pursuits.

Moncef Slaoui, Ph.D. is Chief Scientific Officer, Advisor of Centessa Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Slaoui was most recently the Chief Scientific Advisor to Operation Warp Speed. He brought to the mission extensive experience in vaccine and Medicines development and production from a long career in the field of life sciences. Under his leadership the Operation enabled the fastest ever development manufacturing and approval of COVID19 vaccines in less than 11 months after the virus genetic sequence was described.

He is also a partner at Medicxi, a venture capital firm specializing in seed, Series A, early stage and late stage life sciences investments.

Dr. Slaoui sat on various biotechnology companies' boards, including Moderna, Inc. and Lonza Group AG, and he still chairs the boards of Galvani and Vaxcyte, an independent vaccine development platform company.

Dr. Slaoui spent nearly 30 years at GlaxoSmithKline holding a number of leadership positions including member of the board of directors of GSK PLC; Chairman of Pharmaceutical R&D; Chairman Global R&D. Dr. Slaoui led to restructuring to improve focus on innovation and productivity. As Chairman of Global Vaccines, Dr. Slaoui was directly involved in the company's vaccine pipeline, which led the industry during his time, with the broadest portfolio of vaccines of any company—48—and the creation of 14 new vaccines in ten years. Dr. Slaoui led the development of a number of novel vaccines, including Cervarix, to prevent cervical cancer; Mosquirix, a candidate to prevent malaria; Rotarix, to prevent rotavirus gastroenteritis; Shingris, to prevent shingles; and Synflorix, to prevent pneumococcal disease.

Among other honors, in 2016, Dr. Slaoui was recognized as one of Fortune's 50 Greatest World Leaders for his work in under-researched diseases common to the developing world, served on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the NIH from 2011 to 2016, and has advised the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Dr. Slaoui holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Immunology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, in Belgium; completed postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicines; and has been a professor of Immunology at the University of Mons, Belgium. He received an accelerated Master of Business Administration from IMD, Switzerland in 1998.

Board of Directors.

Francesco is a co-founder and Partner at Medicxi. Prior to Medicxi, Francesco was a Partner at Index Ventures for 19 years, having joined the firm in 1997 to launch its life sciences practice. Under his leadership, the asset-centric approach to life sciences investing was conceived and adopted. Francesco currently serves on the boards of a number of portfolio companies, including Palladio Biosciences, Rivus Pharmaceuticals, Orexia and Inexia.

Francesco’s prior investments include CellZome (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline), GenMab (Copenhagen: GEN.CO), GenSight Biologics (Euronext: SIGHT), Micromet (acquired by Amgen), Minerva Neurosciences (NASDAQ:NERV), Molecular Partners (Swiss:MOLN.SW), PanGenetics (acquired by Abbott), Parallele Biosciences (acquired by Affymetrix), Profibrix (acquired by The Medicines Company), Versartis (NASDAQ:VSAR).

Francesco received a B.A. in Genetics and Microbiology from the University of Pavia (Italy) and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Geneva (Switzerland) after which he became a postdoctoral scientist at the Whitehead Institute at M.I.T. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and serves on the main board of the University of Geneva (Switzerland).

In November 2017 Francesco was named in the first "Bloomberg 50” as one of the Top 50 entrepreneurs and innovators who helped to define Global Business in 2017.

Arjun Goyal is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Vida Ventures. Arjun focuses on creating and investing in companies that translate groundbreaking science into innovative medicines. Arjun serves as a director on the boards of Scorpion Therapeutics, Quanta Therapeutics, Pionyr Immunotherapeutics and has been involved in Vida Venture’s investments in Homology Medicines (NASDAQ:FIXX), Peloton Therapeutics (acquired) and Asklepios Bio (acquired). Before co-founding Vida Ventures, Arjun was a life sciences investor at 5AM Ventures. Arjun received his B.S. in Medical Science, Diploma in French and his M.D. degree from the Universities of Melbourne and Oxford. He completed his postgraduate clinical training in Internal Medicine in Sydney. He received his M.Phil. in Bioscience Enterprise from University of Cambridge and his MBA from Harvard Business School. Arjun has received multiple awards for his work including the American Australian Association Education Fellowship, Robert Kaplan HBS Life Science Fellowship, Oxford Clarendon Scholarship, Commonwealth Scholarship and Gates Cambridge Scholarship. He is a co-inventor on one patent and had served on the editorial board of an international scientific journal. He serves on the Committee for the American Australian Association Education Fellowship.

Aaron Kantoff is currently a Venture Partner on the Medicxi investment team.

Prior to joining Medicxi, Aaron was most recently a partner with Apple Tree Partners (ATP), where he was a key member of the life science investment team since 2011. While at ATP, he played a leading role in assembling several ATP portfolio companies, previously serving on the boards of Akero Therapeutics (NASDAQ: AKRO), Corvidia Therapeutics (acquired by Novo Nordisk), Elstar Therapeutics, Limelight Bio, and Syntimmune (acquired by Alexion). During his time at ATP, Aaron was also a board observer at Stoke Therapeutics (NASDAQ: STOK) and led many of ATP's crossover and public biotech investments. Prior to joining ATP, Aaron held roles in private equity and investment banking.

Aaron received a BS in Finance and International Business from NYU Stern's School of Business. In addition to his role on the board of Centessa Pharma, he currently serves on the boards of two private biotech companies for which he was a founding board member, RayzeBio and Silagene.

Saurabh Saha M.D. Ph.D. is Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Centessa Pharmaceuticals. Most recently, as a Senior Vice President of R&D at Bristol Myers Squibb, Dr. Saha led translational medicine across all therapeutic areas spanning discovery, development and commercialization. In 2019, he led the R&D diligence in the acquisition of Celgene by BMS and subsequently managed key aspects of the integration across both organizations. During his tenure, he laid the foundation for the BMS R&D headquarters in Cambridge MA, serving as site head and establishing a research focus on discovering new cancer treatments for immunotherapy resistance.

Previously, Dr. Saha was a venture partner at Atlas Venture where he held leadership positions with a number of its portfolio biotech companies, including as chief medical officer of Synlogic, and as chief executive officer of Delinia until its sale to Celgene in early 2017. In 2008, Dr. Saha established the translational research and development organization at BioMed Valley Discoveries where he served as chief scientific officer and later president, and was responsible for leading the development and demonstrating human effectiveness of two first-in-class cancer therapies. Earlier in his career, Dr. Saha was a management consultant in the pharmaceutical practice at McKinsey & Company and subsequently appointed director and head of the New Indications Discovery Unit at Novartis. Dr. Saha is on the editorial boards of a number of medical journals and is an associate member and global clinical scholar at Harvard Medical School. He is an author and inventor on over 100 total publications and patents (issued and pending).

Dr. Saha holds an M.D. and Ph.D. in cancer genetics from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he completed his graduate studies in Bert Vogelstein’s lab. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and Oxford University, studying general management and biophysics respectively. Dr. Saha received a B.Sc. in biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Dr. Saha's passion for advancing human health to bring novel medicines for patients has been his North Star that has guided him in his educational and professional pursuits.

Brett Zbar, MD, serves as Managing Director and Global Head of Life Sciences at General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for growth companies. Before joining General Atlantic in 2020, Brett was a Managing Director at Foresite Capital, where he focused on backing leading healthcare entrepreneurs and companies at all stages. While at Foresite, Brett served as a board member or observer at multiple companies including ConnectiveRx, Kinnate Biopharma, ORIC Pharmaceuticals (IPO), Peloton Therapeutics (acquired), Pharvaris, Replimune (IPO), Signant Health, Turning Point Therapeutics (IPO) and VenatoRx Pharmaceuticals.

Prior to that, he was a Partner at Aisling Capital, where he invested in life sciences companies developing and commercializing innovative products, services and technologies. Brett began his career in McKinsey & Company's Pharmaceuticals and Medical Products practice and completed his internship in internal medicine on the Osler Medical Service at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He received his MD from Harvard Medical School and holds a BA in English and Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry from Yale University.

Investors.

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U.S.-based, healthcare focused fund

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