News & Events : Press Releases
November 13, 2012
Peter Wirth Named Chairman Of The FORMA Therapeutics Board Of Directors
WATERTOWN, Mass. – November 13, 2012 – FORMA Therapeutics today announced the appointment of Peter Wirth, former Executive Vice President, Legal and Corporate Development, Chief Risk Officer and Corporate Secretary of Genzyme, as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mr. Wirth will replace Alexis Borisy of Third Rock Ventures who is stepping down from the Board.
“Peter’s experience building Genzyme into a leading global biotechnology firm will be extremely valuable, as FORMA expands beyond the strength of its drug discovery engine to develop transformational patient-tailored therapies,” said Steven Tregay, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, FORMA Therapeutics. “His strategic, financial and legal expertise will be a significant asset to the company and our Board of Directors. We are very pleased to welcome him and extend our gratitude to Alexis for his contributions and dedication to FORMA.”
“I am particularly excited to be joining Steve Tregay and the team at FORMA at this exciting time in the company’s development,” said Peter Wirth. “Steve and Ken Bair, FORMA’s Chief Scientific Officer, have built an innovative, industrial-scale drug discovery platform, established important collaborations with leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, and have added translational science and clinical development capabilities through their strategic relationship with Dr. Daniel Von Hoff and TGen Drug Development (TD2). I look forward to contributing to this unique approach to building a sustainable biotech company that can discover and develop transformative drugs to address the needs of cancer patients.”
Peter Wirth is currently a 2012 Advanced Leadership Fellow at Harvard University. Mr. Wirth served Genzyme Corporation as Secretary to the Board of Directors and outside general counsel since 1982. From January 1996 through May 2011, he was a senior executive at Genzyme, most recently serving as Executive Vice President, Legal and Corporate Development, Chief Risk Officer and Corporate Secretary. During this time, Mr. Wirth had senior management responsibility for Genzyme’s legal function, its corporate development function, its molecular oncology tracking stock division (Nasdaq: GZMO), its non-absorbed polymer drug discovery and development division and its enterprise risk management function. Mr. Wirth worked closely with Henri Termeer, Genzyme’s CEO, to build the company from a small start-up to a diversified enterprise with more than 12,000 employees in locations spanning the globe and 2009 revenues of $4.5 billion. Genzyme was named a Fortune 500 company in 2010 and was acquired by Sanofi-Aventis in a transaction valued at more than $20 billion in April 2011.
From 1975 through 1995, Mr. Wirth practiced law at Palmer & Dodge, a Boston law firm, where he was head of the firm’s biotechnology practice group. Mr. Wirth acted as outside general counsel for a number of public and private biotechnology companies, including companies working in the areas of neuroscience, immunology, non-absorbable pharmaceuticals, gene therapy, structure-based drug design, NMR imaging agents, and bioseparations. Mr. Wirth also acted as special outside counsel to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in the area of corporate collaborations and joint ventures. His areas of legal expertise include venture capital financings, institutional private placements, public offerings, off-balance sheet R&D financings such as RDLPs and SWORDS, corporate collaborations, joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions.
Mr. Wirth received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1972 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1975. He currently serves as a Director of Synageva BioPharma Corp. (Nasdaq: GEVA).
About FORMA Therapeutics
FORMA Therapeutics targets essential cancer pathways to create transformative small molecule cancer therapies. FORMA’s novel approach to accessing high value drug targets, many of which pose significant challenges to conventional discovery approaches, leverages the integration of its innovative drug discovery technologies and oncology expertise, enabling efficient screening, discovery and rational development of small molecule drug candidates with qualified cellular mechanisms of action. FORMA is leveraging translational and clinical development capabilities through their strategic relationship with Dr. Daniel Von Hoff and TGen Drug Development (TD2) to build a robust pipeline of transformative cancer therapies in areas such as tumor metabolism, epigenetics, protein homeostasis, and protein-protein interactions. FORMA is headquartered in Watertown, MA.