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Introducing Walter Tamulis, Senior Staff Engineer, MSAT

Antheia’s recent commercial breakthrough required the effort of many technical experts who contributed countless hours of hard work. In today’s blog, we are pleased to introduce Walter Tamulis, Senior Staff Engineer of MSAT, a key member of the operations team who was essential in executing our first 116,000L scale run of thebaine and subsequent validation runs. We sat down to speak with Walter to ask him about his background and what inspires him at Antheia: You bring a wealth of experience in pharma manufacturing to the team, from pilot scale to commercial scale manufacturing. For those who don’t know you, let’s start with you telling us a little about yourself and your background. I studied molecular biology at the lab bench in graduate school, but my first industry experience was actually in large scale manufacturing of monoclonal antibodies for Genentech. That’s where I started growing a passion for the science of manufacturing and scale up, which has endured across my 17 years in bioprocess industries. From manufacturing pharmaceutical biologics with Genentech, I moved on to developing advanced biofuels technologies with BP and DuPont, industrializing enzyme production processes with BASF, and more recently, scaling-up precision fermentation with Zymergen. Now, I am enabling the commercialization of cutting-edge synthetic biology technologies with Antheia. My experience has really been about straddling different scales of technology with different teams and tech transferring processes within and across companies, including owned and operated facilities and contract manufacturers. I’ve always loved seeing things happen for the first time on a large scale, and at Antheia, I do just that – working with the right partners, facilities, and technologies to ensure the scaleup and manufacturability of our products is feasible. What made you say “yes” to Antheia initially and what inspires you about the work you do here? I was introduced to Antheia by Zack McGahey, our COO whom I had worked with previously at Zymergen. As soon as we had our first conversation about Antheia, I really understood the power of the technology and the potential it holds for sustainable and renewable manufacturing. I found that incredibly inspiring and I was immediately interested by the opportunity to both apply my experience in the industry and work on something that is meaningful to me on a personal level, since I believe that sustainability and renewability in manufacturing is one of the most dynamic things we can do to work within our resource constraints while improving our planet. When I reconnected with Zack, the technology had just matured and was ready to move into commercial production, so I was fortunate to join right as the operations team was beginning to ramp up. Once I had a chance to meet the team, I was really sold by the work ethic, scientific excellence, and focus shared by the entire company – it was an easy decision. Since then, I’ve been a part of that critical moment where the rubber hits the road as we actively commercialize our first products. It’s been an exciting time to be a part of this team. We know you’ve had an incredibly busy season – can you share what your work looks like, as the rubber has hit the road, so to speak? My work is pretty project based, focusing on the target product that we’re working on at any given point. Now that Antheia’s first product, thebaine, has debuted, we are hard at work on moving our second and third products to commercial scale while our R&D team continues to develop and progress products that are still moving through our pipeline. These products are in various stages of development and commercialization, which means my role is overseeing the transfer of those technologies – at any stage they’re in, whether that be pilot, demonstration, or commercial – to our external sites, currently both abroad for commercial and in the U.S. for some of our pilot-scale operations. In addition to our commercial and customer engagement efforts, these tech transfers and scaled runs are critical to our forward momentum as a KSM and API producer. It’s exciting to be part of this progress as we move toward validating our product with customers and passing the final hurdles with regulatory bodies. In terms of my day-to-day, I spend a lot of time at these partner sites, working closely with our third-party manufacturing teams and liaising between Antheia’s R&D, operations, and commercial teams. One week I may be evaluating a potential facility in anticipation of scale-up and commercialization and the next week I’m supporting the execution of commercial production runs at an established partner. These are tangible, on-site projects with capital expenditures that require up-close monitoring to ensure functionality, which means that I’m constantly collaborating with people at manufacturing sites all over the world. The first successful commercial run of thebaine was a massive milestone for Antheia and then shortly after, Antheia completed its validation campaign. These were huge feats for the operations team, and you specifically spent a lot of time with our partner in Europe to make that happen. Can you share more about that experience? Absolutely. From an engineering perspective, quite a few complex capital expenditure (CAPEX) projects were required at our partner contract manufacturing organization (CMO) to enable these first manufactured batches of thebaine. In the 12 months leading up to actual execution, we had to design, order, install, and commission equipment while working closely with the CMO engineering team to ensure on-time delivery and to meet all operational and safety requirements. We also identified projects to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs, alongside modeling the techno-economics of our processes. During the execution of our first commercial validation runs, I represented Antheia at our CMO as our person-in-plant. In this role, I helped maintain timelines and ensure that Antheia’s expectations of operational execution, equipment reliability, and product quality were met. I was the eyes and ears for Antheia onsite at our CMO for weeks and months at a time, and it meant wearing multiple hats, monitoring

Introducing Suzanne Sato, Antheia’s Head of Downstream Processing

As the Head of Downstream Processing, Suzanne Sato leverages her 19 years of experience to lead downstream chemistry processes at Antheia. Her ability to keep the big picture in focus while working collaboratively with various teams is central to the success of Antheia’s mission.  Suzy recently sat down for a Q&A in which she shares her insights on the challenges and opportunities that arise when bridging the gap between research, commercial production, and downstream processing in the biomanufacturing industry, as well as the team dynamics that make success possible. Q: Tell us a little bit about your background, and how you came to Antheia? I originally planned on teaching science, but while I was getting my degree in chemistry, I ended up doing two years of research on inorganic chemistry and got bit by the research bug. I discovered I really enjoyed the hands-on work and problem solving that comes with research, and knew that I just had to get a job in the industry. In research, you rely on a lot of things you’ve learned, but you have to adapt and apply it differently most of the time, which means you have to get pretty clever and creative.  What drew me to the synbio field specifically was the opportunity to do something sustainable that could truly compete with fossil fuels-based chemistry. For my first job in the industry, I was lucky enough to work for a company called Arena Pharmaceuticals that had its own pilot plant producing active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). While at Arena, I worked in chemical synthesis, which provided my foundation for process development with training from chemical engineers and process chemists. I gained hands-on experience with developing chemical routes for scalable processes. This is not as simple as just performing the same chemistry on a larger scale. You have to take into consideration the costs, yields, and cycle times and most manufacturing processes are very different from the original bench-scale process. I also received training working within GMP compliance, learning to understand the gravity of producing APIs that would be tested on human beings is critical in the pharmaceutical industry. Eventually, I joined Amyris, which was my first experience with fermentation products. This is very different from chemical synthesis, as bio-derived products have much more variability. No two fermentations are exactly the same in impurity profiles. This meant the team had to develop very robust processes while at the same time meeting the specifications deduced by the commercial team for customers. In the 8 years I worked with the Amyris team, we had very aggressive timelines and the team had to learn a fail-fast approach. For chemical conversion products, it was about the simplest path to the products, minimizing the number of steps and raw materials. We would try several routes and continuously narrow the possibilities based on testing until the process was defined, then we optimized. An opportunity at Antheia came at exactly the right time. I had built a team at Amyris that was doing really well, and the role at Antheia allowed me to apply my collective career experience from both the pharmaceutical ingredients side and the fermentation process development. It was the perfect combination, so of course I said yes. Q: What milestones in your career are you particularly proud of? One of my proudest accomplishments is that I played a pivotal role in helping the team at Amyris transition from chemical process development to fermentation process development. We were able to pivot quickly and successfully, taking 11 projects to commercial scale. Normally, it takes 18-24 months to develop and scale a process to manufacturing, so for the team to have scaled so many processes successfully in 8 years to meet specifications speaks volumes of their skill. More recently, I’ve been thrilled to be a part of Antheia’s efforts to scale our first products to commercial levels. In the four years I’ve been at Antheia, I’ve had the pleasure of building the DSP team and watching my colleagues grow into skilled industry-leading professionals and prove themselves with every successful run, from pilot to commercial scale. I’d like to think that my aspirations for being a teacher have still been fulfilled at Antheia.  Q: Antheia’s core mission is to innovate and transform essential medicine supply chains. Tell us more about how your role as Head of Downstream Processing supports this mission. What are your key responsibilities? As soon as fermentation is complete, the DSP team takes control of the whole cell broth material to begin refining it; it’s our job to purify and isolate our products from what’s known as the fermentation broth. My responsibility is to ensure that we keep the big picture in mind, as it’s easy to become myopic and focus only on the immediate problems at hand, or even go down rabbit holes when conducting bench-scale work at 1-20L scale. Part of that is always remembering that our work must be able to apply to tech transfer, and it needs to scale up to a commercial scale of more than 100,000L. There’s a common misconception that scaling up processes is just about making the bench-scale work bigger, but it’s actually much more complex.  Some of that complexity is that we have to be able to speak to the manufacturing team about the engineering aspects of our work, not just the chemistry. Since DSP goes through stages, we have to start with understanding the physical properties of the product. As we scale, we leverage this knowledge while keeping in mind the equipment we have to work with to implement our processes. Our Chief Operations Officer Zack McGahey recently touched on this aspect in his blog, The Road to Commercialization. Another key responsibility in my role is building and managing my team. Our DSP team is composed of both chemists and engineers, and this combination is crucial, in my experience, to ensure that our process can successfully be reproduced and scaled. What I’ve learned is that by the time you

Unleashing Joy: Introducing He-Man, Chief Dog Officer at Antheia

He-Man serves as Antheia’s Chief Dog Officer (CDO), where he has worked diligently to make a paw-sitive impact on employee morale, team dynamics, and the company treat budget. In this blog, He-Man shares more about his exciting life at Antheia and his invaluable role in boosting morale. From Humble Biotech Beginnings to Biomanufacturing Brilliance Before my journey at Antheia, I had my paws in the biotech world for quite some time. I worked at two biotech companies prior to joining Antheia, where I honed skills in boosting team spirit and spreading joy, especially in the area of trashcan digging operations. I was one of the earliest hires at Antheia, joining my human, Antheia’s Chief Scientific Officer Kristy Hawkins, and CEO Christina Smolke, who co-founded the company. In addition to being told that I’m a good boy and a great team player, it’s also been said that they couldn’t have done it all without me. I agree. One of my most important qualities as a teammate is my calm demeanor under pressure, which helps me focus on what truly matters, and encourages others to do the same. Whether we’re tackling complex scientific challenges or navigating intricate strategy decisions, I’m right alongside the team, reminding everyone that a little bit of positivity can go a long way. Picture this: Scientists engrossed in deep discussions about groundbreaking research and innovative biomanufacturing processes. You can imagine that it can be intense, so sometimes a little of my light-heartedness is necessary to keep the atmosphere balanced. I typically step in during meetings to unleash my charm and infectious energy, ensuring that everyone has a reason to smile. After all, a happy team makes for a happy workplace.  Teamwork Makes the Dream Work I’m fortunate to have an excellent team by my side at Antheia. One of my closest collaborators is Suzy, the Head of DSP (they keep referring to it as Downstream Processing, but we all know it’s Doggy Snack Preparation). Suzy is responsible for crafting the most delectable lunches for my canine colleagues and I, a tradition that started originally with her lunch prep for her dog, Maddie. Here at Antheia, we have a culture of supporting the whole team, so over time, Suzy began making all of our lunches as well. She moonlights as the head of DSP, ensuring that our key starting materials (KSMs) and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are purified and isolated. Another important part of my role is serving as a mentor to the other dog employees. Ember, our Director of Dogs, joined us when she was just a pup with her human Ken, Antheia’s Head of Biology, and thanks to my guiding paw, she has climbed the ranks quickly. One of our more recent hires, Avo, is just getting her feet wet as an intern in Business Strategy, shadowing me and her human, Yen-Hsiang, who is helping her learn the ropes on the business side in his role as Head of Strategy, Partnerships, and Finance.  A Day in the Life As a critical part of the Antheia team, I have the honor of uniting us through my cheerful presence and playful antics. Even when the scientists are grappling with the most intricate problems, a wagging tail can lighten the mood and a surprise “gas bomb,” as my mom calls them, can diffuse the tension and remind us all to find some levity in our day-to-day work.  I take pride in setting these precedents for a dog-friendly office culture that embraces both productivity and playfulness. But as any good executive knows, it’s not all fun and games. As CDO, I adhere to a purposeful routine to remind my team that I mean business. I spend much of my day patrolling the office, enforcing our open door policy so that my team and I can take full advantage of the best napping spots and access all the treats we need. Of course, I also attend meetings where my presence is a vital part of our work, and as part of our commitment to sustainability, I do a trash can inspection at 5pm to make sure no one is wasting their lunch leftovers.  “Have You Tried Trying?” When I’m not busy fulfilling my duties as the CDO, you can find me moonlighting as a coach for elite powerlifters at Boss Barbell Club alongside my championship human. I’ve picked up some valuable insights from the gym that I apply to my role here at Antheia. Just like in the gym, teamwork, dedication, and a positive attitude are crucial for success – and just like how the lifters at Boss Barbell Club are the elite, best-of-the-best, so is our team at Antheia. That means I expect only the best of them. “Have you tried trying?” is my mantra. It may sound harsh, but I only use it to help push everyone when they need a little nudge to achieve their full potential. Every pound matters in the gym, just as every ounce matters in fermentation.  Being a Part of Something Bigger than Ourselves Serving as the Chief Dog Officer of Antheia is a role I wholeheartedly embrace, from spreading smiles to fostering a sense of unity among our dedicated team members. I am committed to making every day at Antheia a paw-sitive experience for our teams so that they can continue to make groundbreaking discoveries and advancements in Biosynthetic KSMs and APIs. While we’re focused on making products for humans at Antheia, I know that synthetic biology has the potential to change the world for all types of problems – who knows what the future could hold for us dogs! This meaningful work drives me to be the best Chief Dog Officer I can be, day in and day out and I’m proud to be a steward of Antheia’s culture.     Follow Antheia on LinkedIn and Twitter/X, and for more content from the company’s Chief Dog Officer, follow He-Man on Instagram. 

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

Introducing CPO Heidi Pucel

Growth and change can be challenging within dynamic, evolving startups, but it’s easier to navigate when you are tuned in to how people experience the world. Heidi Pucel, Antheia’s new Chief People Officer, knows a thing or two about this…

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.