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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Symbiota™ announced today that David P. Perry has been named President and CEO to lead the company in its next phase of growth and commercialization. Symbiota is a pioneer of plant microbiome solutions that naturally promote crop health and improve agricultural production.

"I am thrilled to be chosen to lead Symbiota," said Mr. Perry. "The company has made a breakthrough discovery that gives it an unmatched ability to develop natural products that improve crop health based on the science of the plant microbiome. Having worked on my family's farm, I know firsthand how the company's unique capabilities offer the potential to deliver solutions to some of today's greatest agricultural and environmental challenges. I believe that Symbiota has the potential to create extraordinary economic value, and to enable the planet to make meaningful progress in feeding ourselves in a more sustainable way."

Mr. Perry is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and built three innovative companies in the last 18 years, leading the last two through successful IPOs and to multi-billion dollar market capitalizations. He has raised over $750 million, while generating significant returns for investors. Mr. Perry was most recently CEO and Co-Founder of Anacor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ANAC), a biopharmaceutical company, discovering and developing novel small-molecule therapeutics to treat infectious and inflammatory diseases. During his twelve year tenure, he grew the company from inception to over 100 employees, expanded Anacor's pipeline to include six compounds in clinical trials and animal health testing, completed a $70 million IPO, and increased the company's stock price 349% after the IPO.

Prior to Anacor, Mr. Perry co-founded and served as CEO of Chemdex, later creating its parent company Ventro Corporation, a business-to-business marketplace focused on the life sciences industry, and presided over Chemdex's $130 million IPO as one of the first business-to-business e-commerce companies to go public. At its peak, Ventro was valued at $11 billion and was later sold to Nexprise. In 2000, Mr. Perry was named Entrepreneur of the Year in Northern California by Ernst and Young. Earlier in his career, Mr. Perry was President and Co-Founder of Virogen Inc., a biotechnology company focused on diagnostics. He also held various positions at Exxon Company USA. Mr. Perry holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Tulsa. He also attended the United States Air Force Academy, where he was a National Merit Scholar. Mr. Perry serves as a Director of the Infectious Disease Research Institute and the A.P. Giannini Foundation.

"David's tremendous entrepreneurial track record of growing companies makes him the ideal leader for Symbiota," said Dr. Robert Berendes, Symbiota's Chairman and Venture Partner at Flagship Ventures. "Our microbiome platform and product pipeline is positioned to be a step-change in agriculture productivity, and David's expertise will help take Symbiota to the next level of inventing and delivering on the potential of Symbiotic Agriculture. On behalf of the board of Symbiota, I also thank Dr. Geoffrey von Maltzahn, Partner at Flagship VentureLabs™ and co-Founder of Symbiota, for his successful leadership over the past two years as founding President of the company."

Symbiota has developed the first systematic approach to improving the natural microbiome residing within plant tissues in order to improve crop performance and yield under severe climatic, soil, and biotic stresses. The company's product pipeline includes candidates that benefit corn, soy, wheat, cotton and selected vegetables.

"David's experience building multiple billion-dollar companies is unequaled in agriculture startups," said Ignacio Martinez, Board member of Symbiota and Partner at Flagship Ventures. "We welcome him to Symbiota and to our effort of delivering game-changing yield increases through the plant microbiome."

About Symbiota
Symbiota™ is pioneering plant microbiome solutions that naturally promote crop health and improve agricultural production by harnessing the beneficial microbes that reside within plants. By unlocking the power of the plant microbiome, Symbiota is developing products that form unique partnerships with crops to naturally protect plant health and promote yield. Founded by the Flagship Ventures innovation foundry, VentureLabs, Symbiota has built the first platform for product discovery and generated a large pipeline of candidates in globally important crops, including corn, soy, wheat, cotton and vegetables. For more information, please visit