— The former President and CEO of Nuvelution Pharma also served as the CEO of three public biopharmaceutical companies, including Sevion and NeurogesX, and has overseen billions of dollars in industry transactions —
AUSTIN, TX (June 8th, 2021) – MorphImmune, Inc., a Research Bridge Partners portfolio company that is advancing a highly specific targeting technology that uses a ligand-linked payload to reprogram the immune system, announced the appointment of Ronald Martell as the company’s President and CEO effective April 12, 2021. A biopharma entrepreneur who has founded, led and managed companies for more than 30 years, Martell has overseen business development agreements and transactions worth billions of dollars.
A serial entrepreneur, Martell has founded five biopharmaceutical companies and served on the boards of directors of several others. Prior to joining MorphImmune, Inc., Martell served as the President and CEO of Nuvelution Pharma. He was also Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Indapta, Orca Bio and Co-Founder and CEO of Achieve Life Sciences, where he led the merger of the company with Oncogenex. Martell has served as the CEO of three public biopharmaceutical companies, including Sevion and NeurogesX, and has overseen billions of dollars in industry transactions.
Earlier in his career, Martell served as Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations at ImClone Systems, where he was instrumental in deals with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck KGaA, and built ImClone Systems’ worldwide operations to market and commercialize Erbitux®. He also served in various leadership positions with Genentech where, as Group Manager, Oncology, he was responsible for building the company’s oncology franchise, including the launch of Herceptin® and Rituxan®.
“Ron’s track record demonstrates that he has the entrepreneurial vision, leadership and management skills necessary to optimize the value of a company’s intellectual and human assets,” said MorphImmune Founding Board Chairman and Research Bridge Partners Co-Founder and CEO Isaac Barchas. “His intimate understanding of the R&D process, along with his deep relationships with Silicon Valley and Wall Street, will help create highly favorable market opportunities for MorphImmune.”
Barchas added: “He will bridge our technology and people with the scaling resources required to deliver MorphImmune’s therapies to those in need.”
Research Bridge Partners worked with Purdue University and Philip S. Low, PhD, the Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University, as well as the named inventor of more than 500 patents and patents pending, to found MorphImmune, Inc.
In addition to making a seed capital investment in February 2020 and follow-on investment in November 2020, Research Bridge Partners built out MorphImmune’s business infrastructure to compete successfully for industry-leading business talent and capital in global markets.
“We were in search of an industry leader whose entrepreneurial acumen is equal to the potential of our technology, and we found just that in Ron,” said Low, the Scientific Founder of MorphImmune, Inc. and various startup companies including Endocyte, Inc., which Novartis acquired for $2.1 billion in October 2018. “I trust in him to help us realize our goal of saving lives by reprogramming the immune system in multiple disease settings.”
“At a time of extraordinary opportunity in the biopharma world, what draws me to MorphImmune is the strength and platform nature of its science, the rigor of the lab’s science, culture and Phil’s drive to address diseases that have claimed the lives of people he cares about,” said Martell. “The work of Phil and his team is emblematic of the preeminent innovation birthed at the nation’s midcontinent research universities, and MorphImmune the investible opportunities identified and readied by Research Bridge Partners.”
About Research Bridge Partners
Research Bridge Partners, makes formative investments in biomedical startup companies based on the breakthroughs of preeminent innovators at mid-continent research universities—creating high quality investment opportunities that are sourced from geographies with thinner commercialization resources.
Founded by Isaac Barchas and Reid Hoffman, Research Bridge Partners uses proprietary analytics to identify the less than 1% of academic researchers nationwide whose science and entrepreneurial mindsets are characteristic of successful biomedical startups. We then make seed capital and scaling investments and establish effective corporate structures to create portfolio-ready opportunities for downstream investors.
About MorphImmune, Inc.
MorphImmune, Inc. is a private platform company that is advancing a highly specific targeting technology that uses a ligand-linked payload to reprogram the immune system. The MorphImmune Chemistry Platform enables physicians to drug previously undruggable physiological pathways in treating an array of cancers, chronic diseases and other conditions mediated by the immune system. We design targeted drugs to reprogram specific immune cell types (macrophages, T cells, antigen presenting cells, Fc receptor expressing cells) for treatment of malignant, CNS, infectious, autoimmune and fibrotic diseases and develop ligand-targeted chemotherapies, radiotherapies, and immunotherapies of cancer.
The company is led by a team with extensive accomplishments in discovering and advancing biopharmaceutical innovations. Our Scientific Founder, Philip S. Low, PhD, the Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University who is the named inventor of more than 500 patents and patents pending, established various technology companies including Endocyte, Inc., which Novartis acquired for $2.1 billion in October 2018. President and CEO Ronald Martell has served as the CEO of three public biopharmaceutical companies, including Sevion and NeurogesX. Our Chief Scientific Officer, Sunil Singhal, MD, MBA, is the Director of the Thoracic Surgery Research Laboratory and the William M. Measey Associate Professor of Surgical Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Our Directors include Isaac Barchas, JD, Co-Founder and CEO of Research Bridge Partners, and Franklyn Prendergast, MD, PhD, the former Edmond and Marion Guggenheim Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at the Mayo Medical School, Mayo Distinguished Investigator, Emeritus Director at the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center and Mayo Center for Individualized Medicine, and a former Director for Eli Lilly.
To learn more, visit www.morphimmune.com.