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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 10, 2024 – Flagship Pioneering, the bioplatform innovation company, today announced additions to its leadership team through key executive appointments and promotions. Today’s personnel announcement accompanies Flagship’s announced expansion of its capital base with a capital pool of $3.6 billion to support the origination and growth of an estimated 25 breakthrough platform companies in human health, sustainability, and AI.

Lovisa Afzelius, Ph.D., has been promoted to General Partner. Afzelius joined Flagship in 2020 after leading Pfizer’s systems immunology function, where she served as executive director of clinical programs. A computational scientist by training, Afzelius came to Flagship with twenty years of leadership experience. Afzelius’ past roles included CEO, co-founder, president, chairperson of the board, and executive director in both emerging biotech and large pharma companies.

“Lovisa has showcased her exemplary leadership, vision, and commitment to pioneering original science, as evidenced by her instrumental role in the creation and scaling-up of Alltrna, Apriori Bio, Metaphore Biotechnologies, and Prologue Medicines,” said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. “I am pleased with the promotion of Lovisa to General Partner, and look forward to her continued dedication to our mission.”

Paul Biondi has also been promoted to General Partner. Biondi joined Flagship in 2019 following nearly two decades at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), where he most recently served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. As President of Flagship’s Pioneering Medicines, Biondi has grown the initiative into a robust drug development unit with a leading team of experts who bring a broad set of capabilities to Flagship and its platforms. Under Biondi’s leadership, Pioneering Medicines has established strategic partnerships with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Novo Nordisk, and Pfizer.

“In just four years since he joined Flagship, Paul has transformed then nascent Pioneering Medicines into an innovation powerhouse, where thanks to his vision and leadership, we boast an R&D unit full of experts who bring an array of drug research, design and development capabilities to our organization,” said Afeyan. “The strategic partnerships he has established signify not just a tremendous opportunity for patient impact and value creation, but represent a new, innovation supply chain model for collaborations within the broader biopharma ecosystem. Beyond this, Paul has provided instrumental leadership in various capacities across Flagship and has positively impacted our growth trajectory.”

Dina Ciarimboli has been appointed as General Counsel and Executive Partner to oversee legal, corporate, IP, compliance, and related matters for Flagship Pioneering and its ecosystem of internally-operated companies. She was most recently General Counsel at EQRx, and brings over 30 years of experience advising life sciences companies and venture capital funds on corporate strategy and operations spanning company creation, early research, clinical development, and commercial launch. Ciarimboli leads legal, corporate, IP, compliance, and related matters for Flagship Pioneering and its early stage, wholly owned companies. 

“We are pleased to have Dina Ciarimboli on board as our General Counsel,” added Afeyan. “Dina’s impressive track record includes over three decades of invaluable experience advising life sciences companies and venture capital funds, which makes her a great fit for this role. Dina’s expert guidance and counsel have quickly become an asset to Flagship and its wholly-owned companies.”

Marcello Damiani has been appointed Senior Partner with a responsibility for guiding and supporting Flagship and its ecosystem companies on digital, IT strategy and operations. Damiani joins Flagship from Moderna where he served as Chief Digital and Operational Excellence Officer, developing and leading a digitization strategy using cutting edge technologies such as robotics, automation cloud computing, and artificial intelligence/machine learning in support of Moderna’s transition from preclinical through to commercial therapeutics.

“Marcello executed a potent digitization strategy during his time at Moderna, using advanced technologies like robotics, automation, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence/machine learning, and his expertise makes him an invaluable addition to our team,” added Afeyan.

Gary Pisano, Ph.D., a long-time contributor to Flagship and for the last year an academic partner while on sabbatical from Harvard Business School, has joined Flagship full time as Executive Partner and Chief Strategist. Pisano most recently served as the Harry E. Figgie, Jr. Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, where he served as Senior Associate Dean for Promotions and Tenure and has taught MBA, executive, and doctoral courses. As Chief Strategist, Pisano is tasked with tackling the broad strategic and business model choices facing Flagship with a focus on operating effectively and efficiently at scale. Pisano will also be an important resource to Flagship companies on strategy and business model design.

“We have long valued Gary’s insight and strategy at Flagship, and we are pleased to welcome him as our Chief Strategist,” added Afeyan. “Gary’s counsel and singular understanding of the Flagship model will allow him to tackle the broad strategic and business choices facing Flagship with a focus on operating effectively and efficiently at scale. A key part of his role will be helping us leverage the company’s nearly 25 years of experience, and ensuring that Flagship operates on the leading edge of management, strategy, and leadership practice.”

Enhancing Flagship’s Leadership Team

Flagship further enhanced its leadership team with the following executive appointments and elevations:

  • Junaid Bajwa, M.D., will join Flagship in early September as Senior Partner and Head of United Kingdom, and Science Partner for Pioneering Intelligence. He will focus on advancing new strategic opportunities and partnerships in the region for Flagship and its companies. Bajwa will join Flagship from Microsoft Research where he has been serving as Chief Medical Scientist focusing on how trusted, reliable, and human-centered AI can transform the practice of medicine. He will bring over two decades of experience across primary care, secondary care, and public health settings, and has worked as a payer and policymaker in the UK, specializing in informatics, digital transformation, and leadership.
  • David Khougazian was recently promoted to Executive Partner, Growth and Head of Global Engagement. David brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in the global healthcare industry including over two decades at Sanofi. 
  • Justine Levin-Allerhand, Ph.D., was recently promoted to Executive Partner, Origination and Corporate Development to maximize the effectiveness of Flagship’s origination teams, thereby fueling its ecosystem with exceptional company generation and novel, durable scientific platforms.
  • Mark Stevenson joined Flagship as Senior Partner. In this role, he will help advance Flagship’s new Enabling Technologies Initiative (ETI) and focus on driving our external partnerships. Mark brings over 30 years in the life science industry to this role, including as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Thermo Fisher.

“Flagship is dedicated to hiring and nurturing world-class executives with a history of extraordinary performance, and with these additions to our already robust leadership team, I believe we are in the strongest place we’ve been in our nearly 25-year history,” added Afeyan. "We are pleased to congratulate our colleagues on their new and expanded leadership roles. We look forward to their collaboration as we build on our mission to invent transformative technologies and companies that improve human health and the sustainability of our planet.”

About Flagship Pioneering

Flagship Pioneering invents and builds bioplatform companies, each with the potential for multiple products that transform human health or sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, Flagship has originated and fostered more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in more than $75 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $3.8 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $27 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 40 companies, including Foghorn Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FHTX), Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA), Sana Biotechnology (NASDAQ: SANA), Generate Biomedicines, Inari, Indigo Agriculture,  and Tessera Therapeutics.