Estepan brings to Cellarity’s BOD deep experience and expertise in all aspects of finance, corporate strategy, investor relations, and business development, and a dedication to directly improving patient lives through innovation in medicine
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., December 8, 2021 — Cellarity, a life sciences company founded by Flagship Pioneering to transform the way medicines are discovered, announced today the appointment of Ian M. Estepan to its Board of Directors. Mr. Estepan currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: SRPT), the leader in precision genetic medicine for rare diseases. At Sarepta and as a member of Sarepta’s Executive Committee, he leads finance and accounting, corporate strategy, business development, strategic alliances, investor relations, and corporate affairs, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Mr. Estepan is a chief architect of Sarepta’s global business strategy and drives the Company’s annual strategic planning process. Over the course of his tenure at Sarepta he has helped secure $2.5 billion in capital to support Sarepta’s growth. Additionally, he established Sarepta’s corporate strategy and program management functions. Prior to joining Sarepta, Estepan managed a multi-million-dollar portfolio of biotechnology, medtech, and pharmaceutical stocks at Spectra Financial Group for 15 years.
“Ian brings to Cellarity’s Board deep experience in developing and financing corporate strategies to fund visionary biotech companies,” said Stephen Berenson, Chairperson of Cellarity’s Board of Directors and Managing Partner at Flagship Pioneering. “In addition, his intense focus on having a direct and lasting impact on patients’ lives will help guide Cellarity in its mission to develop an entirely new approach to drug creation to deliver transformative medicines with an innately higher rate of clinical success.”
Cellarity's new drug discovery approach looks beyond an individual molecular target to understand the complex biological network of changes that drive a cell from health to disease. Cellarity combines expertise in network biology, single cell sequencing, and machine learning to understand how a cell behaves in different health and disease states and then engineers new chemical entities to broadly address the network changes to move a cell back to health. By leveraging a more complete view of the complexity of cell biology, Cellarity's drug discovery platform allows for efficient drug discovery across families of diseases related by similar cell types or cell dysfunctions and is designed to drive higher rates of clinical success.
“By embracing the complexity of human biology, Cellarity’s unique approach to drug discovery has the potential to be more efficient, more successful, and help more patients,” said Estepan. “I look forward to working with the Board and leadership team to help them establish the necessary support to scale and maximize the impact Cellarity can have on patients.”
“Ian’s insights and experience in developing and executing long-term strategies for global biotech companies will serve Cellarity well as we execute on our vision to fundamentally improve how drugs are created,” said Fabrice Chouraqui, Ph.D., CEO of Cellarity and a CEO-Partner at Flagship Pioneering. “I look forward to working with Ian and the Board as we advance drug discovery programs in diverse therapeutic areas to meet a wide range of patient needs.”
Mr. Estepan joined Sarepta in 2015 as Senior Director, Corporate Affairs and has held several positions of increasing responsibility during his time at the Company. Prior to his appointment as CFO, he served as Sarepta’s Senior Vice President, Chief of Staff and Corporate Affairs. In addition, Mr. Estepan leads diversity, equity, and inclusion at Sarepta and serves as Executive Sponsor of PRIDE (Sarepta’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group) and HUES (Sarepta’s Black Employee Resource Group).
Before joining Sarepta, Mr. Estepan managed a portfolio on the buyside at Spectra Financial Group, overseeing pharmaceutical, biotech, and medtech equities. Mr. Estepan received his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a concentration in pre-medicine from Columbia University.
Cellarity's mission is to bring breakthrough medicines to patients by completely redefining the way drugs are discovered. Founded by Flagship Pioneering in 2017, Cellarity is designing medicines against the cell as opposed to a single molecular target. The company has developed a unique combination of expertise across network biology, high-resolution data, and machine learning to unlock new treatment options in a vast array of disease areas. Cellarity currently has drug discovery programs underway in metabolic disease, hematology, immuno-oncology, and respiratory disease. The company has raised $123 million as part of a Series B funding round with contributions from funds and accounts managed by Blackrock, The Baupost Group, Banque Pictet on behalf of their clients, and eight other investors alongside Flagship Pioneering. For more info, visit www.cellarity.com.
About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category bioplatform companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has, through its Flagship Labs unit, applied its unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in more than $200 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $2.5 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $19 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 42 transformative companies, including Axcella Health (Nasdaq: AXLA), Codiak BioSciences (Nasdaq: CDAK) Denali Therapeutics (Nasdaq: DNLI), Evelo Biosciences (Nasdaq: EVLO), Foghorn Therapeutics (Nasdaq: FHTX), Indigo Ag, Kaleido Biosciences (Nasdaq: KLDO), Moderna (Nasdaq: MRNA), Omega Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OMGA), Rubius Therapeutics (Nasdaq: RUBY), Sana Biotechnology (Nasdaq: SANA), Seres Therapeutics (Nasdaq: MCRB), and Sigilon Therapeutics (Nasdaq: SGTX).