Allergan exec Sanjiv Patel becomes new CEO at upstart Relay

The biotech is looking to create a next-generation "3D movie platform" for drug discovery.

Third Rock startup Relay Therapeutics has poached Allergan’s EVP and chief strategy officer Sanjiv Patel, M.D., as its new president and CEO.

The 10-year Allergan vet, who was trained in the U.K. and had a career as a surgeon in the country’s state-run health service, succeeds the biotech’s interim CEO Alexis Borisy, a partner at Third Rock Ventures, who now becomes its chair.

The company, which got off a $57 million Series A round last September, is looking to create a next-generation “3D movie platform” for drug discovery.

FREE DAILY NEWSLETTER

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceBiotech!

Biopharma is a fast-growing world where big ideas come along every day. Our subscribers rely on FierceBiotech as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data in the world of biotech and pharma R&D. Sign up today to get biotech news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech is using the dynamic structural changes undergone by protein molecules within the body to design a new platform for drug discovery that it believes will become the new and accepted way of finding new meds in the future. Its focus initially will be on cancer.

It had 25 staffers as of late last year and had been in stealth mode for about a year until last September, and under the Third Rock program for two years before uncloaking.

Relay plans to use its platform to create its own compounds, notably in oncology and genomic targets that have not been druggable before. Specific targets have not yet been released, but rare diseases, inflammation and other areas are on the cards.

Borisy said: “We are thrilled to welcome Sanjiv as the CEO of Relay Therapeutics. Sanjiv’s strategic acumen and business experience coupled with his deep commitment to patients will help fulfill the transformational potential of Relay.

“This is a rare opportunity to join a team that is fully dedicated to treating diseases where today, no truly effective therapy exists,” added Patel. 

“Relay is uniquely positioned to design innovative drugs by visualizing protein motion through integrating emerging computational and experimental methods. I look forward to working with the team to build a pipeline of ground-breaking therapies with an initial focus in oncology.”

Suggested Articles

Belgian devicemaker Miracor Medical received a breakthrough designation from the FDA for its treatment designed to limit the damage of a heart attack.

Biotech leaders criticized the dismissals of Chinese scientists from U.S. universities in a letter with more than 150 signatures.

Following an FBI raid and the replacement of its leadership, it’s come to light that the data behind uBiome’s microbiome test may contain flaws.