Led by a Board with Broad Expertise in Clinical-Stage Pharmaceuticals and Infectious Disease
Meet our highly knowledgeable and talented Board of Directors.
Milind Deshpande, PhD Chairman of the Board
Milind Deshpande, PhD, serves as Chairman of the Spero Therapeutics Board of Directors. Milind joined Achillion in September 2001 as Vice President of Chemistry, was named Head of Drug Discovery in April 2002, Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery in December 2002, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer in December 2004, and Executive Vice President of Research and Chief Scientific Officer in June 2007. He was promoted to President Research and Development in October 2010. From May 2013 to May 2018, Dr. Deshpande served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Achillion and was on the Board of Directors. Prior to joining Achillion, Dr. Deshpande was Associate Director of Lead Discovery and Early Discovery Chemistry at the Pharmaceutical Research Institute at Bristol-Myers Squibb from 1991 to 2001, where he managed the identification of new clinical candidates to treat infectious and neurological diseases. From 1988 to 1991, he held a faculty position at Boston University Medical School. Dr. Deshpande received his PhD in Organic Chemistry from Ohio University, following his undergraduate education in India.
Jean-François Formela, MD
Jean-François Formela focuses on new advances in biology and drug discovery technologies as well as novel therapeutics.
He is chair of the board of IFM Therapeutics and serves on the boards of F-star, Intellia Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NTLA), Kyn Therapeutics, Spero Therapeutics, and Translate Bio (formerly RaNA Therapeutics) which he co-founded.
Jean-François has been involved in the formation of companies such as Adnexus (acquired by BMS), ArQule (NASDAQ: ARQL), Arteaus Therapeutics (acquired by Lilly), Cellzome (acquired by GSK), deCODE (NASDAQ: DCGN, acquired by Amgen), Exelixis (NASDAQ: EXEL), MorphoSys (Xetra: MOR.DE), NxStage (NASDAQ: NXTM, acquired by Fresenius Medical) and SGX Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SGXP, acquired by Lilly). He was also an investor in Achillion (NASDAQ: ACHN), Annovation Biopharma (acquired by The Medicines Company), CoStim Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Novartis) and Horizon Pharma (NASDAQ: HZNP) as well as a board member of Biochem Pharma (NASDAQ: BCHE, acquired by Shire) and Novexel (acquired by AstraZeneca).
Jean-François joined Atlas Venture in 1993 to build the U.S. life sciences franchise. Prior to joining Atlas, Jean-François worked at Schering-Plough, where he directed U.S. Phase IV studies in all therapeutic areas. Before that, he was responsible for the marketing of Intron A, Schering-Plough’s alpha-interferon. Jean-François began his career as a medical doctor and practiced emergency medicine at Necker University Hospital in Paris.
Jean-François is a member of the Massachusetts General Hospital Research Advisory Council and a former trustee of the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art.
He received his MD from Paris University School of Medicine, and his MBA from Columbia University.
Ankit Mahadevia, MD President and CEO
Ankit Mahadevia is the CEO of Spero Therapeutics and a member of the Board of Directors. He was formerly a Venture Partner in the life sciences group at Atlas Venture, located in Cambridge, MA. In that capacity he supported the formation of eight companies focused on novel drug discovery platforms and therapeutic products including Nimbus Therapeutics, Arteaus Therapeutics (acquired by Lilly), and Translate Bio (Nasdaq: TBIO). He led three of these as Acting CEO, including Synlogic (Nasdaq: SYBX). Prior to joining Atlas in 2008, Ankit worked on product and business development with the founding team at Arcion Therapeutics. He has also held positions in business development both at Genentech and at Vanda Pharmaceuticals. Previously, he worked in the health care groups of McKinsey & Company and Monitor Group. Ankit began his career in health care policy, with roles in the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committees, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS). He has spoken widely on entrepreneurship, including at Harvard Univesity, Columbia University, Northwestern University, and the Berkeley Forum. Ankit has also been active in the policy of life science innovation, including service on the Advisory Council at the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Studies.
John C. Pottage, Jr., M.D.
John C. Pottage, Jr., M.D. currently serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of ViiV Healthcare, where he oversees research and development, regulatory, safety and medical affairs. Prior to joining ViiV Healthcare, Dr. Pottage served as Senior Vice President and Head of the Infectious Disease Medicine Development Center at GlaxoSmithKline from September 2008 to November 2009, and prior to that, from June 2007 to September 2008, as Vice President of Global Clinical Development of Antivirals at GlaxoSmithKline. From May 2002 to May 2007, Dr. Pottage served as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Drug Development of Achillion Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Pottage served as Medical Director of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and in various positions at Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Pottage presently serves on the advisory board of Medicines for Malaria Venture in Geneva, Switzerland. He received his A.B. in biology from Colgate University and his M.D. from Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
Cynthia Smith most recently served as Chief Commercial Officer and a member of the executive team of ZS Pharma where she helped lead the company from development to commercialization through its acquisition by AstraZeneca in 2016. Prior to joining ZS Pharma, Ms. Smith served as Vice President, Market Access and Commercial Development at Affymax from 2008 to 2013. She also held various senior leadership positions in market access, corporate strategy, government relations and external affairs at Merck from 2000 to 2008. Before transitioning to the biopharmaceutical industry, Ms. Smith served as a healthcare policy analyst in the White House Office of Management and Budget from 1995 to 2000. Ms. Smith currently serves on the boards of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals and Akebia Therapeutics, and previously served on the board of Nivalis Therapeutics from 2016 to 2017. She earned her M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a M.S. in public policy from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Ms. Smith received a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Frank E. Thomas
Frank Thomas has served as a member of our Board of Directors since July 2017. Mr. Thomas has served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer of Orchard Therapeutics Limited since January 2018, a development-stage biotechnology company based in the United Kingdom. Prior to Orchard, Mr. Thomas served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly traded, commercial-stage pharmaceutical company, from April 2015 to April 2017, as AMAG’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from May 2012 through April 2015 and as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer from August 2011 through May 2012. Prior to AMAG, he served as Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Molecular Biometrics, Inc., a commercial stage medical diagnostics company, from October 2008 to July 2011. Prior to Molecular Biometrics, Mr. Thomas spent four years at Critical Therapeutics, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company, from April 2004 to March 2008, where he was promoted to President in June 2006 and Chief Executive Officer in December 2006 from the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He also served on the Board of Directors of Critical Therapeutics from 2006 to 2008. Prior to 2004, Mr. Thomas served as the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations at Esperion Therapeutics, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company. Mr. Thomas was a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council from 2007 to 2015 and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Zafgen, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company, which he joined in June 2014. Mr. Thomas holds a B.B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. We believe that Mr. Thomas’ extensive commercial and operational management experience at biopharmaceutical companies and with financial matters qualifies him to serve on our board of directors.
Patrick Vink, MD
Patrick Vink, M.D., M.B.A., aged 52, is currently an advisor to the Pharmaceutical industry since 2015 and non-executive Board member of several companies. Previously, Dr. Vink was employed at Cubist Pharmaceuticals. Most recently he served as Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, overseeing all worldwide commercial and technical operations as well as global alliance management and managing the company’s P&L. He joined Cubist in 2012 as Senior Vice-president and Head of all International Business Operations. In this role he was responsible for the all business activities in International markets outside USA.
Prior to joining Cubist, Dr. Vink served as Senior Vice President, Global Head of Hospital Business and Global Head of Biologics for Mylan Inc. In this role, Dr. Vink managed the global hospital business of the company. He joined Mylan in 2008 and established a number of global functions for the company in Switzerland. Before joining Mylan, Dr. Vink held several leadership positions across the industry, including Head of Global Business Franchise Biopharmaceuticals for Novartis Sandoz; Vice-President International Business for Biogen; and Head of Worldwide Marketing, Cardiovascular and Thrombosis for Sanofi-Synthelabo.
Dr. Vink served as a member of the Executive Committee of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) between 2013 and 2015. Dr. Vink graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Leiden, Netherlands in 1988 and obtained his MBA in 1992 at the University of Rochester.
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