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Antheia’s 2022 in Review: A Year of Value

Dear colleagues, friends, and followers:

This year has been ripe with growth, major achievements, and opportunities to showcase who and what make Antheia the visionary business it is. Nearly eight years ago, we co-founded Antheia to transform today’s fragile pharmaceutical supply chain and ensure equitable access to essential medicines. As we look back at a fruitful year, we want to highlight the exceptional progress our team has made:

New Financing

In June 2022, Antheia announced $40M in venture debt financing from Oxford Finance LLC and Silicon Valley Bank. This new financing will help propel Antheia into its next stage of growth and we are thrilled to welcome new investors in our journey to transform pharmaceutical supply chains and build the next generation of biomanufacturing.

Team Growth

In 2022, we added 20 new people to our team who have been instrumental in achieving our business and technical goals, and moving toward commercialization. Three notable additions to our leadership team include Zack McGahey, our Chief Operating Officer, Heidi Pucel, our Chief People Officer, and Guerin Kob, our Head of Supply Chain. As we look to 2023, we will continue to grow our team strategically and lead all recruitment efforts with diversity and inclusion at the forefront.

Technical Validation

This year, we successfully completed several pilot runs for our first products, additional customer sampling and validation, and announced our plans to build an on-site pilot plant facility adjacent to Antheia’s headquarters in Menlo Park, CA.

The U.S. government has also recognized the power of synthetic biology. In July, the CHIPS-PLUS legislation was passed and included two key provisions that support the advancement of the U.S. synthetic biology industry: the Endless Frontier Act and the Bioeconomy Research and Development Act. The Biden Administration also issued an executive order in September focused specifically on advancing biotechnology and biomanufacturing innovation for a more robust American bioeconomy.

With a brilliant team, expanding footprint, and a pipeline brewing with possibility, we’re looking forward to an even bigger year for our company in 2023. As we move closer to bringing our vision to reality, it’s also the perfect time to reflect on the reasons that drive and impact the work we do – and the many ways that Antheia is committed to operating as an organization.

While we have long held the following core values and guiding principles at the heart of our work, today we share them with all of you as our public declaration of our unstoppable mission. They are the north star by which Antheia makes and drives all of its business decisions and we’re proud to share this more widely as we continue on our path toward transforming pharmaceutical supply chains that can better meet the demands of today’s healthcare system.

We look forward to sharing our progress with you all in 2023 and beyond.


Christina Smolke, PhD Kristy Hawkins, PhD

CEO and Co-Founder CSO and Co-Founder

Our Values

Antheia is committed to unleashing the power of plants to inspire the next generation of medicines. Antheia is disrupting the pharmaceutical supply chain to sustainably and more effectively produce plant-derived essential medicines that are difficult to manufacture at commercial scale. Antheia’s work unlocks the full potential of nature with synthetic biology, in order to discover new medicines, and realize a more efficient, resilient, and equitable pharmaceutical manufacturing model. We are passionate about leveraging this platform approach to make the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and key starting materials (KSM) for much-needed pharmaceuticals classified as essential medicines by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We focus on producing these molecules to ensure essential medicines are readily accessible to all who need them, with our work specifically aiming to reduce and eliminate sourcing constraints that disrupt reliable supply chains and access, and increase drug prices. As such:

  • We value socially responsible and ethical production of APIs and KSMs;
  • We value socially responsible healthcare and consider equitable access and equitable distribution of the supply of essential medicines a critical function of socially responsible healthcare that supports all patients in reaching their full health potential;
  • We value socially responsible innovation and investment in synthetic biology that improves health equity in ways neglected through the current pharmaceutical and healthcare paradigm, and that provides broader access to essential medicines in transparent, traceable, and cost effective ways;
  • We value pharmaceutical supply solutions that do not seek to shift old ways of plant-based production that heavily tax natural and labor resources, but instead transform production with true, forward-thinking modernization efforts;
  • We value supply chains that heal the planet, and do not harm our environment, by spurring the reduction of demands on land and agricultural resources, and reduction of environmental harm caused throughout the continuum of the supply chain.

Our Guiding Principles

Antheia strives to be a leader in transparent and transformative essential medicine production. The following are our guiding principles – the value-based beliefs we hold as ethical imperatives – and some of the fundamental ways our organization strives to embody our values in all the work we do:

  • Access to medicine: Medicines that reduce suffering are a human right, not a privilege – including but not limited to medicines used to alleviate suffering in palliative care, neurological diseases, and cancer treatment.
  • Safety and Quality: Prioritizing quality and safety is paramount. We strive to inspire a race to the top of technology development that champions quality and safety standards, ensuring the essential medicines industry always meets and exceeds the highest levels of excellence and regulatory requirements.
  • Sustainability: Improving planetary health and believing that the future of our planet depends on our ability to transform how we source our supply chains, including those for essential medicines. We’re committed to flipping the paradigm of medicine production and moving away from the traditional model of resource-intensive farming and overharvesting that has had cascading impacts on global biodiversity.
  • Equity: Advancing health equity through our work and embracing the many definitions of health equity that focus on allowing patients to reach their full health potential without barriers. Antheia’s work aims to reduce barriers surrounding access to and distribution of essential medicines and champions equitable access, availability, and affordability so everyone can access medicines that are essential to their health.
  • Resilience: Resilient, responsive, and sustainable supply chains are the future of manufacturing and will support the production of plant-inspired solutions to current pharmaceutical challenges.
  • Transparency: Transparency within supply chains ensures visibility and traceability throughout a medicine’s journey from lab to patient. We support minimizing the footprint of APIs and KSMs as much as possible.

Richard Sherwin

Head of Commercialization

Richard is an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience in the KSM, API, and intermediate markets. He is responsible for leading the commercialization and revenue generation for Antheia’s robust pipeline of products. Richard brings an exceptional track record of leading international sales teams, driving revenue growth, building strategic partnerships, and delivering innovative products to market, including ANDA and NDA developments. Richard led commercial efforts at some of the leading global pharmaceutical companies and most recently, built his own consultancy business advising a range of clients, including $1B divisions of major multinationals.

Appropriate regulatory submissions will be prepared and submitted to support Antheia’s customers who need to reference and access necessary process-related information.

Yihui Zhu, PhD

Head of Fermentation

Yihui leads the fermentation team at Antheia. With over 25 years of hands-on experience in the field, he brings in-depth knowledge and expertise in microbial metabolism and fermentation process development. He is also skilled in developing comprehensive fermentation data collection, analysis, and visualization systems. Prior to joining Antheia, he served as a fermentation lead at Intrexon and Codexis where he successfully built fermentation labs and teams and led multiple biofuel and biochemical projects to reach stretch milestones and tech transfer. Yihui is passionate about the potential of fermentation and is dedicated to advancing the field through innovative research and development.

Yen-Hsiang Wang, PhD

Head of Strategy, Partnerships, and Finance

Yen-Hsiang leads strategy, partnerships and finance at Antheia. He completed his M.S. and Ph.D. in Bioengineering at Stanford, with extensive research experience in synthetic biology, metabolic engineering and computational modeling. Before joining Antheia, he worked at McKinsey and Tencent with a strong focus in corporate strategy and big data/advanced analytics. At Tencent, he served as Director of Strategy and Business Development for the AI Lab, leading corporate initiatives in healthcare AI/ML applications and commercialization. He also served in AI4H (Artificial Intelligence for Health), a collaboration between WHO and ITU, to establish global standards for AI in healthcare.

Audrey Wang

Head of Financial Planning and Analysis

Audrey leads financial planning and analysis at Antheia. With an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, Audrey is passionate about leveraging financial analysis, digital technology, and data analytics to guide companies in making optimal investments and strategic business decisions. Audrey has a decade of experience in helping companies solve unique problems and creating long-term impact with unconventional approaches. Before joining Antheia, she was at Vir Biotechnology and Merck where she led various FP&A workstreams, including investment valuation, asset prioritization, and manufacturing sites operation finance support. Audrey completed CFA Level II and passed the U.S. CPA exam in 2011.

Antonij Tjahjadi, CPA

Head of Accounting

Antonij Tjahjadi leads accounting at Antheia and holds active CPA license. He joined Antheia with more than 20 years of experience in corporate accounting, bringing deep expertise in ramping up accounting operations for start-up companies, SEC reporting/technical accounting, and SOX implementation efforts. Before joining Antheia, he held various leading roles in both public and private company settings, including directing accounting functions at Ambys Medicines, where he successfully implemented Netsuite with Point Purchasing integration and set up various accounting policies and processes, and played a key role in the initial public offering of Nutanix, Inc.

Ken Takeoka

Head of Biology

Ken leads the Biology team at Antheia, which incorporates both strain and protein engineering functions. He has more than 16 years of experience in the synthetic biology field, working with leading companies, including Amyris and Novartis. One of his passions is molecular biology tool development and he previously worked to build the foundation for the automated strain engineering pipeline at Amyris. At Novartis, he modernized the molecular biology techniques and established a platform to model mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in a range of organisms.

Suzanne Sato

Head of Downstream Processing

Suzy leads downstream chemistry processes at Antheia. She has 19 years of experience in process development, including route development through synthetic chemistry and scale-up of small molecule APIs for GPCR targets under cGMP for Phase I-III trials. Before joining Antheia, Suzy led a full DSP team at Amyris where she successfully pivoted developments from biofuels hydrocarbon products to pharmaceutical intermediate, flavor, fragrance and nutraceutical products. She led a team that scaled 11 products and took five products to commercial manufacturing.

Farrah Pulce, PMP

Head of Project Management

Farrah leads program and project management at Antheia. She has over 20 years of experience leading program and project management, operations, and engineering for companies across the CPG, aerospace, and automotive industries. Prior to joining Antheia, Farrah implemented and led the sustaining program management team at Impossible Foods. She also led product operations, project management, and cost optimization at Blue Bottle Coffee and Tyson Foods to develop and commercialize new products. As a certified project management professional (PMP), Farrah has a proven record of successful project delivery, improving project management practices, and building collaborative teams.

Jordyn Lee

Head of Communications

Jordyn leads communications and external affairs at Antheia. She brings a decade of multidisciplinary communications experience in helping companies make complex science and technology accessible to broad audiences, all while maintaining technical accuracy and integrity. She has a passion for visionary storytelling and translating impact across the entire communications ecosystem – her work has spanned from public relations to corporate communications to marketing. Jordyn has served as an advisor to a number of different life sciences companies and most recently led corporate communications at Amyris.

Ben Kotopka, PhD

Head of Data Science

As Head of Data Science at Antheia, Ben manages in-house software development and external partnerships for storing and interpreting research data, executing bioinformatics analyses, and streamlining business processes. Prior to Antheia, Ben worked as an academic researcher at the intersection of machine learning, bioinformatics, and synthetic biology. Following this, as an entrepreneur and consultant, he developed and deployed data science solutions for biotechnology applications ranging from metabolomics-driven compound discovery to MRI segmentation.

Guerin Kob

Head of Supply Chain

Guerin is responsible for leading the design, development, management and improvement of Antheia’s end-to-end global supply chain. He has over 15 years of experience leading high-performing supply chain and procurement teams at leading biotechnology and specialty chemical companies, with extensive experience in process development and end-to-end supply chain optimization. Prior to joining Antheia, Guerin served as Senior Director of Global Supply Chain for Sumitomo Chemical’s biotechnology division with Valent Biosciences, where he led the end-to end supply chain including procurement, logistics and distribution, integrated business planning, materials management, customer service, and supply planning functions globally.

Pavel Aronov, PhD

Head of Bioanalytics

Pavel leads the Bioanalytics team at Antheia. He has 20 years of experience in analytical and clinical chemistry, mass spectrometry, chromatography, and metabolomics. Pavel built and led the original Chemistry and Analytics team at Impossible Foods enabling strain development, fermentation, DSP, regulatory, QC, and scale-up of leghemoglobin biomanufacturing. During his academic career at UC Davis and Stanford University Pavel developed a vitamin D assay used by all major clinical diagnostics laboratories and pioneered metabolomics studies to investigate kidney disease and microbiome.

Jesse Ahrendt

Head of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs

Jesse has more than 25 years of experience in regulatory affairs, quality systems, manufacturing quality, and regulated industries, ranging from early- to late-stage pharmaceuticals, biomanufacturing, consumer care, and medical devices. He has supported global product launches and the underlying quality supply chain components in industries that require strict adherence to internationally accepted quality standards. Before Antheia, he led quality efforts at Zymergen and Sandoz, and supported many global pharmaceutical companies during his time in Biotech Consulting at NSF International, all to bring quality to the forefront in manufacturing, standardize global processes, and support customer regulatory requirements.

Heidi Pucel

Chief People Officer

Heidi is a results-driven human resources executive and HR business partner who leverages decades of experience in empowering, motivating, and inspiring to drive transformation within high-performing and rapidly-growing workforces. A certified executive coach and passionate advocate for people-oriented solutions, Pucel serves as a partner to executive teams to design programs that support employee development, engagement, and recruitment and retention. Pucel most recently served as Chief People Officer for Countsy, where she worked as an interim HR executive for clients in the biotechnology and software industries, such as Ceribell and Tune Therapeutics.

Zack McGahey

Chief Operating Officer

Zack is a leading executive in operations management, specializing in bioprocess engineering and manufacturing management. He has over 20 years of experience leading manufacturing functions for companies across the pharmaceutical, synthetic biology, diagnostics, and automotive industries. Before joining Antheia, Zack was VP of manufacturing and capex project management at Zymergen. He also gained experience managing commercial scale facilities operations for Tesla, where he was responsible for managing 10 million square feet of factory, lab and warehouse space during the Model 3 ramp.

Kristy Hawkins, PhD

Co-Founder & CSO

Kristy has over 20 years of experience in the field of synthetic biology, focusing on yeast metabolic engineering for the production of small molecules. She did the founding work on the benzylisoquinoline alkaloid pathway during her graduate studies and gained valuable industry experience at Amyris and Lygos. Kristy is an expert in tool development, high-throughput screening, and host strain and heterologous pathway engineering.

Christina Smolke, PhD

Co-Founder & CEO

Christina is a pioneer in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, where she has over 20 years of experience. As Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering at Stanford University, her laboratory led the breakthrough research to engineer baker’s yeast to produce some of the most complex and valuable medicines known. Under her leadership, Antheia’s synthetic biology platform enables new possibilities for drug discovery and efficient, sustainable, transparent, and on-demand drug manufacturing at scale. Her vision and accomplishments have garnered numerous awards, including the Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator, NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, Nature’s 10, Novozymes Award for Excellence in Biochemical Engineering, and TR35 Award.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken visits Antheia to discuss biotechnology innovation

Appropriate regulatory submissions will be prepared and submitted to support Antheia’s customers who need to reference and access necessary process-related information.