Warp Drive Bio, a Cambridge start-up that is developing technology that will enable it to make drugs from microbes found in plant extracts, said that Gregory Verdine, a company cofounder, is taking over as chief executive.
The company was launched in 2012 through a strategic partnership with Sanofi SA, the French drug maker that acquired Genzyme, and Third Rock Ventures and Greylock Partners, which provided some of the financing. Third Rock partner Alexis Borisy has been serving as Warp Drive Bio interim CEO. Borisy will shift into the role of the company’s executive chairman.
In addition, Warp Drive Bio said that it has appointed industry veteran James Nichols to the newly created role of chief operating officer and drug hunter Julian Adams to its board of directors.
In a statement included in the company’s press release, Verdine said: “In the year since the launch of Warp Drive Bio, the team has invented a completely new way of discovering ‘nature’s drugs’, which are hiding in plain sight literally in the soil of our own backyards. Warp Drive Bio is leading the rebirth of natural products, a field that has historically made a powerful contribution to the betterment of human health, but had worked itself into seeming obsolescence. We believe Warp Drive Bio’s proprietary genomic technologies will propel natural products into the forefront of the future pharmacopeia. The research being conducted by the Warp Drive Bio team is one of the most exciting scientific enterprises that I have ever been a part of, and I am thrilled to lead the company as we enter our next phase of growth and progress.”