Skip to content

Rubius Named by FierceBiotech as one of 2017’s “Fierce 15,” Recognizing it as One of the Most Promising Private Biotechnology Companies in the Industry

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--September 17, 2017--Rubius Therapeutics, a “Fierce 15” company pioneering the creation of a new class of extraordinarily active, ready-to-use and life-changing cellular therapies, today announced the appointment of Chris Carpenter, M.D., Ph.D., as chief medical officer. Dr. Carpenter will oversee Rubius’ clinical and regulatory strategy as the Company prepares to enter human clinical trials in 2018. In addition, Rubius announced the appointments of Joanne Protano as vice president of finance; Mark Boshar as vice president of legal affairs; and Theo Proukou as vice president of human resources.

“We are delighted to welcome Chris, Joanne, Mark and Theo to the team, and look forward to their leadership and leveraging their decades of pharmaceutical and biotech experience as we work to lead the next generation of cellular therapies,” said Torben Straight Nissen, Ph.D., president of Rubius Therapeutics. “Chris and the rest of the team will play a pivotal role in bringing the promise of red cell therapeutics to the clinic in 2018.”

“Rubius is transforming the way we think about cellular therapies and developing an entirely new class of ready-to-use cell therapeutics to treat cancer, enzyme deficiency disorders and autoimmune diseases through the induction of tolerance,” said Chris Carpenter, M.D., Ph.D. “The next year is primed to be an exciting one for the Company, and I am thrilled to join a group of people so passionate and committed to bringing life-changing products to patients as soon as possible.”

Dr. Carpenter most recently served as senior vice president and head of the cancer epigenetics department at GlaxoSmithKline, where he was responsible for the overall strategy, as well as the identification and validation of new epigenetic targets and advancing novel therapies through clinical proof of concept. While at GSK, Dr. Carpenter also led the development of Votrient (pazopanib). Prior to GSK, he was at Merck and led the development of MK-4827, which became Tesaro’s Zejula. Prior to Merck, Dr. Carpenter led a laboratory at Harvard Medical School for 14 years after having completed a clinical fellowship in hematology/oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and a post-doctoral fellowship in Lewis Cantley’s laboratory. Dr. Carpenter received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and B.S. from Stanford University.

Joanne Protano joined Rubius from Flagship Pioneering, most recently serving as senior vice president of finance, new ventures, where she was responsible for the financial and administrative operations of early-stage portfolio companies. Before that, Joanne held senior financial roles in public technology and biotechnology companies, including as vice president and chief financial officer of Cellectar Biosciences. She started her career at Deloitte LLP.

Mark Boshar brings more than 25 years in the biotechnology industry focused on intellectual property and transactional law, including licensing and pharma partnering. Most recently, he served as a legal advisor and business consultant to a number of early-stage companies. Previously, he founded the legal department at Millennium Pharmaceuticals (now Takeda Oncology) and served as its associate general counsel and chief patent counsel for several years. Mark began his legal career as an attorney with the law firm of Hale and Dorr (now WilmerHale). Prior to that, Mark was a scientist at Genetics Institute and the Worcester Foundation.

Theo Proukou brings nearly 20 years of human resources experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. He spent 16 years at Novartis Pharmaceuticals holding numerous roles with increasing responsibilities in human resources, marketing and sales. In 2014, Theo joined Vertex Pharmaceuticals leading the HR team for commercial and G&A. In 2015, he was promoted to vice president of talent acquisition and development where he led efforts to recruit, retain and develop talent across the organization. In 2016, Theo joined TripAdvisor, where he led the global HR business partner organization until coming to Rubius earlier this summer.

“Rubius’ ability to attract this caliber of talent for its management team validates the promise and potential that this technology holds for developing important new treatments for patients,” said David Epstein, executive chairman of Rubius. “With this team and our recent $120 million financing, we are well prepared to deliver against several key goals for our Red Cell Therapeutics™ platform in 2018.”

About Rubius Therapeutics

Rubius Therapeutics, a 2017 “Fierce 15” award winner, is creating Red-Cell Therapeutics™ (RCTs™) as a new class of medicines to address a wide array of indications. Leading applications include programs in cancer, rare and autoimmune disease, as well as additional potential in infectious and metabolic diseases. The company was conceived and launched by Flagship VentureLabs®, the institutional innovation foundry where a team of scientific entrepreneurs systematically evolves enterprising ideas into new fields, or previously undiscovered areas of science into real-world inventions and ventures. The company was founded by Flagship Pioneering in 2014 and has been capitalized with $140 million to date. For more information please visit us at

About Red-Cell Therapeutics™

Red-Cell Therapeutics™ are genetically engineered, enucleated red cells that are being developed to provide allogeneic, off-the-shelf therapies to patients across multiple therapeutic areas. RCT advantages over other therapies include immuno-privileged presentation of proteins within or on the red cell, high target avidity and affinity resulting in highly potent and selective therapies, and long circulation half-life. Rubius RCTs exhibit fundamentally unique biology and have been engineered to replace missing enzymes for patients living with a variety of rare diseases, to kill tumors, and upregulate or downregulate the immune system to treat both cancer and autoimmune disorders.