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26 October, 2021 - 15:59 By Tony Quested

Winter, Hauser, Roemer: Top trio boost bit.bio board

A Cambridge startup steering synthetic biology cell programming technology has recruited three supreme board members as it scales globally.

bit.bio has literally onboarded Nobel Laureate Sir Greg Winter, serial tech founder and investor Dr Hermann Hauser and serial life sciences entrepreneur Alan Roemer.

The new board members have each turned world-class science into new industries and company growth. They provide critical guidance as bit.bio scales its proprietary synthetic biology cell programming technology platform, creating products and solutions based on human cells that can transform healthcare from basic research and drug discovery to next generation cell based therapies.

Dr Hauser will chair the board. He brings valuable experience in creating entire new industries and markets through groundbreaking technologies with his experience as co-founder of Arm, a world leading UK computer chip company.

As an early investor of Solexa (now Illumina), Dr. Hauser laid the foundation for the ongoing synthetic biology revolution with technologies to read the human genome. He is also a key member of the Cambridge science and technology community, as well as a trusted innovation adviser to the UK government.

He says: “I believe bit.bio is well positioned to become one of the defining companies in the synthetic biology field and I am very excited to take the position of chair of the board. 

“I see world-changing potential in the company’s technology and look forward to bringing my experience and expertise to the leadership team. I want to see bit.bio grow into an iconic Cambridge company, creating jobs and new industries, and most importantly, bringing the next generation of medicines to patients.”

Sir Greg Winter is a Nobel prize winning scientist who invented technologies for making therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, and was directly involved in their industrial development, notably through the startup company Cambridge Antibody Technology.

His inventions underpin many of the therapeutic antibodies in development and on the market, including blockbuster drugs such as Humira, Herceptin, Avastin and Keytruda. More recently, through Bicycle Therapeutics, he has been helping to develop another invention – the use of bicyclic peptides as a platform for novel therapeutics.

Sir Greg commented: “I think we are still in the foothills when it comes to the use of human cells for therapeutic applications and I am excited to join bit.bio on its journey to the peaks. 

“With access to potentially unlimited numbers of human cells at defined states of differentiation, we could do so much more for patients – whether researching difficult to treat, complex diseases, screening potential drugs on human cells, or developing precision cell therapies at an affordable cost. And the opti-ox technology seems to offer a realistic path to scale those peaks.”

Alan S. Roemer will bring his entrepreneurial expertise from the biotechnology sector to bit.bio. As a life sciences executive and board director, he will offer meaningful capital markets and operational business building experience to ensure that bit.bio is well-financed and well-positioned to scale.

Roemer has launched four multi-billion dollar biotechnology companies, raised over $1.75 billion in private and public capital, and consummated five IPOs. 

He was a founding leadership team member of Pharmasset (acquired by Gilead Sciences for $11 billion ) and Roivant Sciences, a company developing innovative medicines through a novel form of industrial organisation in R & D. 

His experience at Roivant is particularly relevant to bit.bio’s strategy to build its cell coding technology opti-ox into multiple verticals where human cells are applied to research, drug discovery and cell therapies. In addition to serving as a member of the board, Roemer will chair the audit and compensation committees.

Founder and CEO Mark Kotter said: “I’m humbled to be bringing together three world leaders in science, entrepreneurship and industry making for the board of bit.bio. 

“The expertise and experience our new board will bring to the company will give our technology the best chance to transform healthcare for every patient, everywhere.”

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