Centessa Pharmaceuticals Appoints Gregory Weinhoff, M.D., MBA, as Chief Financial Officer and Expands Board of Directors

Written by: Editor
Published on: 11 Mar 2021

March 11, 2021 – Centessa Pharmaceuticals (“Centessa”), a pharmaceutical company consisting of 10 subsidiary companies advancing a portfolio of high conviction programs with strong biological validation, today announced key additions to its leadership team. Gregory Weinhoff, M.D., MBA, joined the team as chief financial officer, while Mary Lynne Hedley, Ph.D., Robert M. Califf, M.D., MACC, and Samarth Kulkarni, Ph.D., joined Centessa’s board of directors effective February 23, 2021.

“Centessa launched last month with a goal of redefining pharmaceutical R&D productivity through an asset-centric model that we believe has the potential to support the advancement of novel programs by industry-leading experts in their respective fields,” said Saurabh Saha, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer of Centessa. “Each member of our team brings industry-leading qualifications and differentiated perspectives to help guide the expansion of our organization. We are thrilled to welcome Greg, Mary Lynne, Robert and Samarth to Centessa and look forward to partnering together to build one of the most respected medicine companies in the world.”

“The enhanced scale and resources of Centessa, combined with the benefits of asset-centricity, can further accelerate development of important therapies,” said Dr. Weinhoff.  “I am excited to work with the management team, board of directors, top healthcare investors and the industry leaders and subject matter experts at our Centessa subsidiaries to advance this bold new R&D model. We want to make Centessa a partner of choice for scientific entrepreneurs looking to accelerate the development of their discoveries and ultimately deliver impactful medicines for patients.”

Dr. Weinhoff joins Centessa after most recently co-founding and serving as chief financial and business officer of Arvelle Therapeutics B.V., which was acquired by Angelini Pharma in 2021 for $960 million. While with Arvelle, he raised a $207.8 million Series A financing and led the asset identification and in-licensing of cenobamate, a novel anti-seizure medicine with best-in-class efficacy. Previously, Dr. Weinhoff served as chief financial officer at Axovant Sciences, Inc., where he led financial functions and the execution of several private and public financings. Before Axovant, Dr. Weinhoff spent 15 years as an early-stage healthcare venture capitalist at CHL Medical Partners, where he was founding CEO of Amicus Therapeutics and his firm was the sole Series A investor. Dr. Weinhoff holds an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, an MBA from Harvard Business School and an A.B. in economics from Harvard College. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Weinhoff was a financial analyst in Morgan Stanley & Co.’s healthcare corporate finance group.

In addition to the company’s new chief financial officer, Centessa welcomes three new members to its board of directors:

  • Mary Lynne Hedley, Ph.D., is a senior fellow and strategic advisor at the Broad Institute and former president, co-founder and chief operating officer at TESARO, Inc. She has extensive experience in the discovery and development of new medicines, formerly serving as executive vice president and chief scientific officer at MGI PHARMA, executive vice president of Eisai Corporation of North America, executive vice president of operations and chief scientific officer of Abraxis BioScience. Dr. Hedley holds a Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and a B.S. in microbiology from Purdue University. In addition, she completed two consecutive postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University.
  • Robert M. Califf, M.D., MACC, is an internationally recognized expert in the development of medicines and in quality healthcare delivery with more than 40 years of clinical research and health outcomes expertise. He currently works as the head of strategy and clinical policy for Verily and Google Health. Dr. Califf served as the 22nd Commissioner of Food and Drugs for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 2016 to 2017 and has directed major initiatives targeted at improving methods and infrastructure for clinical research. As a graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine, he became the vice chancellor for health data science for the Duke University School of Medicine, is the founding director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute and remains a board certified cardiologist.
  • Samarth Kulkarni, Ph.D., is the chief executive officer of CRISPR Therapeutics. Dr. Kulkarni brings expertise in strategy and operations in biotech with a wide range of cutting-edge therapeutic technologies. Prior to CRISPR, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company, where he had a leading role in the pharmaceutical and medical products practice. Dr. Kulkarni earned a Ph.D. in bioengineering and nanotechnology from the University of Washington and bachelor of technology from the Indian Institute of Technology.