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The Road to Commercialization

Antheia’s Chief Operations Officer Zack McGahey offers his perspective on the company’s most recent commercial milestone – a successful full-scale fermentation run of its first product at 116,000L.

Introducing Richard Sherwin, Antheia’s SVP of Commercialization 

As the newly appointed Senior Vice President of Commercialization, Richard Sherwin is poised to move Antheia into its next phase by building a vibrant commercial market footprint. His collaborative work with Antheia has spanned nearly a year as a fractional, valued member of the team, and as of August 2023, he’s now full time in preparation for what will be a milestone year in Antheia’s history.

Introducing Jordyn Lee, Antheia’s Director of Communications

As the newly minted Director of Communications, Jordyn Lee owns the voice of Antheia and all of the ways the brand shows up, from industry conferences to digital content. With a deep background in technical communications and public relations, she brings a passion for scientific storytelling to the forefront during a landmark year, as Antheia moves into commercial operations and unleashes its innovations and voice in new, emboldened ways.  Jordyn recently sat down to share her thoughts on communications, creativity, and Antheia’s legacy.  How would you describe your career narrative and background? I started my career in public relations on the agency side, which ended up being a great opportunity for exploration and on-the-job education, as I was exposed to a range of different companies and industries. My very first clients were consumer-facing companies in the food and beverage industry and I eventually ended up transitioning to B2B technology, focusing on clients in the big data and security spaces, which was where I really found my stride. I liked the challenge of telling an exciting story about something that was hard to understand and frankly, not all that interesting to 99% of the general public. My interest in these fascinating companies’ corporate stories brought me to New York where I landed at Mission North, my last PR and communications agency where I was introduced to my very first synthetic biology client. It blew my mind, and over time, it became a specialty for me at the agency.  I eventually decided to pursue an in-house communications role to get closer to the science and deepen my understanding – first at Amyris and now, at Antheia – a former client whose mission, technology, and team I’ve long believed in. Every day, at Antheia, I have the opportunity to unpack the various aspects of our corporate narrative and develop a strategy to brings that story to the world. I’m constantly learning at Antheia and that’s one of the best things you could ask for from a job.  How does creativity play a role in science communications?  Creativity is important in communications for every industry but it becomes even more critical in a field like synthetic biology where you’re dealing with concepts and even words that people have never heard of before. You have to look at things from different angles and be extremely intentional about what information is necessary, what can be misconstrued, and what can be stripped away without losing the scientific integrity or accuracy of your story. We recently launched our redesigned website, which allowed us to re-examine our story more closely and bring a sharper focus to areas like our platform and pipeline. It was an exercise in communication but certainly also creativity.  What inspired you to say yes to Antheia, and join the team?  I was already compelled by the company’s mission and technology from my days of working with Antheia as a client, but I also have immense trust and confidence in the company’s leadership team. Our Head of Strategy and Partnerships, Yen-Hsiang Wang in particular, has been an amazing mentor, friend, and trusted expert on both the science and business sides of synthetic biology.  My decision to go in-house was driven by a desire to get closer to the science and Antheia is a place where I’ve been able to do just that. Everyone here is extremely willing to share their time and expertise and there’s a deep sense of collaboration, transparency, and learning woven into the culture. While it feels like a natural part of our ethos, these types of corporate culture attributes have to be built intentionally in order to be successful – that in itself speaks volumes to Antheia’s leadership.  Joining the Antheia team was an easy decision – the team is brilliant, the corporate values are aligned with my own, and my role is expansive. It’s been very fulfilling. What would you say makes Antheia a great company? Where to start! I think we’ve all seen the dangers of companies that are bold to a fault and unafraid to put things out into the world, sometimes even before they’re proven. From our R&D team to the business side, the company is extremely humble and simply doesn’t do this. That’s not to understate the brilliance of the work that’s happening here, but we’ve done a great job of letting our science and our impact speak for itself. As a communications professional, it’s a dream to be able to amplify the work coming from this type of a company. Our mission is no small feat but our team is driven and focused in a world where many are vying to claim the spotlight.  Antheia’s culture is also really special. Everyone here is truly dedicated to the work and are motivated by the potential that it has for the future. That equates to a deep camaraderie and shared understanding of working hard for the right reasons. Where the tech industry has an antiquated mantra of “move fast and break things,” Antheia is more thoughtful and intentional because the pharma industry – and the patients and healthcare providers that rely on it – is urgently in need of new solutions where failure isn’t an option.  How would you describe your role supporting and bolstering Antheia’s mission, especially in such a critical milestone year? I’ve found that science communications too often skews one of two ways: too far in the weeds for many people to understand or so high-level that it loses any meaning at all. This year I’m focused on bringing Antheia’s technology, mission, and vision to life by finding the balance between those two ends of the spectrum, working to be technical, credible, and accurate, in a way that is interesting, visionary, and exciting. My work includes bringing our story to life through our brand, website, content, events, and internal and partner communication to continue evolving our narrative as the company grows.  Where do you see Antheia’s greatest communications opportunities and challenges, moving forward? We’re

Introducing Yen-Hsiang Wang, Antheia’s VP of Strategy and Partnerships

As the Vice President of Strategy and Partnerships, Yen-Hsiang Wang is the strategic powerhouse behind Antheia, tasked with bringing its technology and pipeline of products from ideation into realization. As a catalyst for the commercial viability of Antheia’s technology into the pharma world, this scientific innovator-turned-business leader combines his deep bench of scientific expertise in synthetic biology with lessons learned in the business world to drive the company’s success.  With some promising announcements on Antheia’s horizon, Yen-Hsiang recently sat down to share his thoughts on technology, innovation, strategy, and how safe workplaces support dynamic company growth. You wear many hats in Antheia – strategy, partnerships and finance – and are responsible for bringing its innovations to life in the commercial space. But you actually began your career as a biologist and engineer. What inspired you to move from research to strategy?  I’ve always liked to design things, but I’ve also always been interested in deciphering biology, which is still in my opinion the most sophisticated system ever. I started off my career trajectory in undergrad while working with an economist on a neuroengineering project, where I designed a novel approach to underpin the neural mechanism for strategic thinking in our brain. Even then, I saw myself as an engineer specialized in the field of biology. That work was eventually published in Science, which helped get me into Stanford. It was 2008 when synthetic biology had just started to take off and engineering genetic information and designing proteins or enzymes in all living organisms was becoming more accessible. I was immediately “distracted” – if you can call being fascinated by this amazing field being distracted! – and enamored by the idea that you can take a structural approach to studying and building biology, and that you could even apply it in an effort to improve human wellbeing.  However, it was also a period of time where the industry was navigating a better way to commercialize this cutting edge technology. By this point, I knew that I understood the fundamentals and rhythm of R&D, and I knew I could be a good scientist but I was curious to learn more about the business side of synbio. I wondered if I would be able to make a difference in bridging the gap between this technology and its real world applications. That’s what brought me to this point, and it’s what I strive to do. Make a difference by being the person who bridges the gap between business and deep science innovation in synbio. Once I took the leap toward the business side of things, I began experimenting with various business roles at McKinsey and later Tencent, which eventually led to Antheia.  One would think that it’s important for people in your role to have a scientific background to truly understand the work. What does bridging the gap between deep science and business look like, in a practical sense, and how do you think your scientific and research background informs it? I’m a believer that everybody’s a scientist. Science is about being inquisitive and reasonable, and thinking through challenges in a structured approach. It’s critical thinking, and collecting and analyzing information before solving problems. What’s particularly important for anyone in this type of role is a desire to learn the science while embracing open and growth mindsets – because the most demanding type of startup is deep science innovation, and it requires all of those things. Working in any scientific field often means that there are many unknowns, but we’re driven toward exploration because we  believe that what we’re doing can make the world better. Synthetic biology, machine learning, or quantum computing – you name it; experimentation, failure, and iteration are inherent to all of these fields and critical for driving innovation.  It’s apparent to anyone who knows you that this lights you up, and is your passion.  Absolutely. I get a lot of energy from those bridging moments where I have to consider our stakeholders, constraints, and opportunities, and within it, find a path forward. It is extremely rewarding to find those ways to make the equation work and bridge both sides – science and business – of innovation. It means our work will make a realistic and tangible impact. That’s the engineer in me – wanting to make the intangible, tangible.  I also especially enjoy my role at Antheia because the constant leap between science and business requires almost a holistic, hawk-eyed perspective, and it’s one I’ve carefully honed in myself. As a scientist, you’re trained to think about problems from mostly bottom-up approaches, where you have to amass a lot of research before taking actions. When it comes to business, it is often hypothesis-driven and making decisions with limited, imperfect information. It took a lot of practice to integrate this duality of thinking, switching back and forth between the two perspectives. I find it very helpful and incredibly useful when brainstorming or offering insights to our team, understanding that each of the next-steps come with certain rewards and risks. To me, it is a privilege to drive those strategic decisions and creative solutions, while matching technological progress.  What are Antheia’s greatest opportunities? And what are you most passionate about for Antheia’s future along that pathway?  Personally, I just love Antheia’s technology so much. I’m a big fan of AI, robotics, and synthetic biology and how it allows us to design something hardcore. I like to point to my fandom of sci-fi films (e.g., Westworld) here, because it’s an imaginative world where innovative technology and biology comes together. What Antheia’s doing is a small piece of a similarly huge puzzle, only, it’s real. We’re engineering yeast, which is one of the tiniest and simplest organisms, and doing so at the cutting edge of a thriving deep science technology, all in a big biology setup. While it can still seem very uncertain, the flipside is that the possibilities are endless.  That’s where Antheia’s biggest opportunity lies; we’re sitting within a very unique

Addressing the Drug Shortage Crisis: Transforming Pharma Supply Chains

Drug shortages in the U.S. have become an urgent issue over the last few years. So much so that in 2020, the Administration issued an Executive Order for the U.S. FDA to establish an Essential Medicines List of critical drugs that are deemed medically necessary, with the ultimate goal of identifying ways to protect and provide for the American public’s undisrupted access to these essential medicines. Ultimately, pharmaceutical supply deficits have continued to plague U.S. healthcare systems, with cancer drug shortages being the latest impacting patients. Oncology drug shortages in particular carry dire consequences for cancer patients given the urgency of treatments, leaving many with limited care options. Simultaneously, healthcare providers are being forced to make extraordinarily difficult decisions with the drugs they do have, rationing doses or delaying care in order to balance the needs of their patients with limited supplies. Compromising care and treatments leaves doctors and patients alike in a no-win situation – and one that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Unsurprisingly, recent shortages have sparked many healthcare professional and patient groups to ask Congress to intervene, leading to the recent introduction of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Risk Assessment Act. We believe it will be one of many policy efforts to seek solutions, as public discourse continues to build regarding the extreme lengths individuals have gone to secure life-saving medicines.   While the request is simple – generate more supplies, and quickly – the solution is not. Pharmaceutical supply chains are extremely complex and face many factors that are easily disrupted and can quickly trigger a drug shortage, including natural disasters, climate change, geopolitical events, and manufacturing facility issues, to name a few. These ever-growing threats and challenges continue to add pressure to the urgent need for innovative and nimble solutions to optimize pharma supply chains, and ensure that the public has reliable access to all critical, essential medications. Antheia was founded in 2015 to address the threat of drug shortages through agile biomanufacturing techniques, and we have witnessed the urgency of realizing our mission with each passing year. Currently, we are working to bring a robust pipeline of Key Starting Materials (KSMs) and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) – the critical components of a medicine that produce the intended effect – to market, across a wide variety of therapeutic areas, including oncology, as well as neurology, respiratory, anti-infective, gastrointestinal, endocrinology, and hematology. Our platform and pipeline are intentionally designed to ensure reliable, consistent, and equitable access to critical drugs, to avert supply disasters by decoupling KSM and API production from current agricultural sourcing, and over time, make drug shortages a problem of the past.  Biomanufacturing has the power to transform pharmaceutical supply chains. By leveraging engineered yeast and fermentation-based manufacturing processes that can be activated quickly, on-demand, and potentially anywhere in the world, we can ensure that patients and providers have reliable access to critical medicines. The cancer drug crisis we’re experiencing right now is not the first, but it could be the last if we systematically transform our pharmaceutical supply chains and invest in advanced biomanufacturing technologies.  Follow Antheia on LinkedIn and Twitter. 

The Natural Synergy Between Synthetic Chemistry and Synthetic Biology

At Antheia, we spend a lot of time talking about synthetic biology due to the nature of our work engineering yeast to produce key starting materials (KSMs) and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for essential medicines. However, synbio’s cousin, the long-established field of synthetic chemistry, plays a vital role. This is the third and final blog in an educational series about synthetic chemistry. If you missed them, you can find part one here, and part two here.  As we’ve discussed in this series, synthetic chemistry has long been the backbone of small-molecule drug development. However, certain molecules – either due to their size, configuration, or characteristics – remain difficult or even impossible to synthesize by current synthetic chemistry processes.  Drug development and manufacturing is an expensive and arduous process. Limitations of synthetic chemistry can add significantly to the cost and time needed to produce challenging targets, leaving potentially valuable medicines out of reach with current techniques. This means that while current synthetic chemistry approaches to drug development are responsible for the efficient and scalable production of thousands of therapeutics, this process remains limited by what it can achieve alone. The solution to synthetic chemistry’s shortcomings may lie in biosynthesis – the synthesis that occurs naturally in living cells. Is biosynthesis a magic bullet? The goal of drug development is to identify specific compounds with targeted effects. In an ideal scenario, a good drug candidate recognizes its target molecule by binding to it and having a  desired effect, such as an agonistic or antagonistic effect on a receptor for example.  Determining drug candidates with that level of specificity is no simple task, but when it comes to problem-solving, the natural world is full of solutions. Due to the limitations inherent with synthetic chemistry, only a small portion of the chemical space is accessible for drug development and discovery, therefore limiting pharmaceutical innovation. With biosynthesis, we are able to unlock much more of chemical space and access vast, underexplored opportunities for drug development and discovery.   Biology has mastered the art of synthesizing big, complex, and specific molecules. In direct contrast to synthetic chemistry, biosynthesis occurs in the aqueous environment of the cell, opening up a new range of molecules historically underrepresented by synthetic chemistry. Additionally, these living systems have undergone millennia of evolution to produce enzymes that can precisely recognize, bind, and configure molecules with a specificity that synthetic chemists can only dream of. But biology has its own limitations. Evolution is famously a tinkerer and not an engineer. Natural solutions that have evolved are adapted specifically to solve the inherent problems they face. To meet the challenges in modern drug development and ultimately make a meaningful impact on patients, we need to engineer enzymes to perform new reactions, in new environments, and at improved levels of activity. We can achieve just that by combining the best of synthetic chemistry and synthetic biology.  The best of both worlds Synthetic biology allows us to re-engineer enzymes to fit our needs. Synbio also unlocks whole organisms as potential production platforms; by engineering pathways for each step of chemical synthesis, we can turn microbes into factories to produce our target molecules using fermentation.  Synthetic chemistry, despite its constraints in producing certain types of compounds, will continue to play a major role by adding to the diversity of structures we can access and analyze. Where nature solved problems by evolving chemical solutions, their structures are blueprints that synthetic chemistry processes can complement and enhance.   Together, the potential synergy between synthetic chemistry and synthetic biology is enormous. Enzymes engineered specifically to function in synthetic chemistry environments can act as in vitro biocatalysts, adding specificity to synthetic chemistry reactions and potentially reducing costly purification steps. Similarly, synthetic chemistry’s understanding of structure informs which amino acids impact key characteristics of our engineered enzymes, such as rigidity, solubility, and coordination with the substrate. Antibiotics best illustrate the combination of biology and synthetic chemistry coming together. The penicillins used today are not natural products but are the result of chemists tinkering with the original compounds accidentally discovered by Alexander Fleming. The commonly prescribed antibiotic amoxicillin is a prime example – Penicillin G is produced by Penicillium chrysogenum and chemically converted to amoxicillin. These semi-synthetic derivatives allow us to develop new antibiotics effective against pathogenic bacteria that have long ago evolved resistance to their natural counterparts. As antibiotic resistance continues to evolve, it may be necessary to utilize every tool in our biological and chemical arsenal to develop the next generation of antibiotics. Thus, combining synthetic biology and synthetic chemistry opens up new possibilities in biological synthesis and downstream augmentation. This creates a far bigger and more dynamic space for drug discovery, development, and manufacturing. Complementary technology At Antheia, our platform is primarily built around the power of synthetic biology and biosynthesis, and we also leverage other approaches, including chemical synthesis, to make complex molecules – key starting materials (KSMs) and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) –  with proven medicinal value and well-established markets. These molecules often have long metabolic pathways and pose a challenge for both biological engineering and synthetic chemistry approaches. Our goal is to transfer these pathways, typically originating from plants, into yeast cells that can be efficiently used as a biomanufacturing platform at industrial scales. Transferring an entire metabolic pathway to another organism comes with several challenges. The major issue from the biosynthesis perspective is that the enzymes did not evolve to function in yeast cells and therefore may be less active in that environment, so we must re-engineer or rebuild certain enzymes to perform in their new host.  Evolution optimizes enzymes to perform their required functions in their natural environments. In the lab, we need these enzymes to work in new environments and often to perform new functions, whether that’s working faster, longer, or performing new reactions. We can use evolution as a tool to continue the job of optimizing and improving enzymes for their new roles. We iterate on these improved enzymes until they are capable of

Introducing Antheia’s Reinvigorated Brand Identity

Since launching Antheia in 2015, we’ve made tremendous strides toward our mission to transform pharmaceutical supply chains for essential medicines. We’ve strengthened our leadership team with veteran executives across R&D, operations, supply chain, and quality and regulatory, we’ve repeatedly validated our technology at commercially-relevant scales, and we are now actively moving into full-scale production to bring our products to market.

Leveraging Synthetic Biology for Resilient Pharma Supply Chains and Accessible Medicines

Antheia was founded in 2015 by Dr. Christina Smolke, CEO and Dr. Kristy Hawkins, CSO and is based in Menlo Park, California. Antheia’s co-founders are pioneers in the fields of synthetic biology and metabolic engineering and are applying these technologies to transform pharmaceutical supply chains in order to better support the needs of 21st century healthcare.

Live at SynBioBeta

Each year, SynBioBeta hosts the The Global Synthetic Biology Conference to showcase the latest cutting-edge developments in biology that are changing how we solve global problems. As a proud sponsor of this year’s event, we look forward to connecting with the synthetic biology community and sharing our progress toward transforming pharmaceutical supply chains.

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.