SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Recursion, an industry leader in artificial intelligence for drug discovery and development, today announced the appointment of Sharath Hegde, Ph.D. as its Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Hegde has more than 28 years of leadership experience at the intersection of drug discovery and clinical development and has seen multiple drugs from discovery through FDA approval.
“I am incredibly excited to join the talented team at Recursion and become a part of its vibrant, collaborative culture,” said Dr. Hegde. “The application of AI to image-based technologies is well-proven in other industries, and Recursion is leading the way by leveraging its state-of-the-art machine learning and deep biological expertise to understand human disease. I am convinced that Recursion’s approach has the potential to create a paradigm shift in the discovery and development of transformative medicines, particularly in those cases where traditional methods have eluded effective treatments for decades.”
Dr. Hegde has participated in the discovery of several New Chemical Entities (NCE), including now-marketed products YUPELRI® and VIBATIV® as well as clinical candidates currently in Phase 2 and Phase 3 development. He joins Recursion after more than 15 years at Theravance Biopharma, a company that has been successful in building a diversified portfolio with the core purpose of creating medicines to help improve the lives of patients with serious illnesses. Dr. Hegde first joined Theravance in 1999 where he rose from positions of increasing responsibility across pharmacology and biology into his most recent role as Senior Vice President of Research. Prior to Theravance, Dr. Hegde spent nine years at Syntex Corporation, later acquired by Roche. He obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Houston and his B.Pharm/M.Pharm from the University of Mumbai.
As part of his anticipation of a broader industry trend, Dr. Hegde evaluated and studied the intersection of technology and biology in depth before choosing to move to Recursion. In Recursion, Dr. Hegde said: “I found a company that, similar to Theravance Biopharma, is building an impressive employee culture marked by energy, passion, agility, and most importantly, humility. While Recursion has good leadership and is a mature startup where I can make a big impact, ultimately it was the company’s culture that sealed it for me.”
Dr. Hegde joins several senior leaders at Recursion in migrating from the San Francisco Bay Area to Salt Lake City. Called Silicon Slopes, the Greater Salt Lake City area is increasingly being recognized as an international high-tech hub, able to attract incredible entrepreneurs and substantial venture funding.
“We have built a drug discovery platform that combines biology, chemistry, machine learning, and software, yet is very much grounded in high science,” said Recursion CEO Chris Gibson, Ph.D. “We needed a Chief Scientific Officer who could marry extensive experience leading drug discovery teams with an enthusiasm to reimagine the whole process and do it differently. In Sharath we have found that exceptional aptitude for the effective advancement of new medicines from discovery to development and a true openness to both embracing and challenging new technologies and approaches. He will enable our team to bring new treatments to patients in a way that’s compatible with industry standards, at the same time that we execute upon our disruptive vision for reimagining the process and scale of discovery.”
Since its founding in 2013, Recursion has built one of the world’s largest datasets mapping human cellular biology, using high-content imaging, and advanced two of its ML-discovered small molecules into clinical trials. The company plans to advance additional programs into clinical development, on its own or with partners, over the next 18 months.
For more information on Recursion or to join the team solving complex questions facing biology, please visit www.recursionpharma.com.
Recursion is a clinical-stage biotechnology company combining experimental biology and automation with artificial intelligence in a massively parallel system to efficiently discover potential drugs for diverse indications, including genetic disease, inflammation, immunology, and infectious disease. Recursion applies causative perturbations to human cells to generate disease models and associated biological image data. Recursion’s rich, relatable database of more than two petabytes of biological images generated in-house on the company’s robotics platform enables advanced machine learning approaches to reveal drug candidates, mechanisms of action, and potential toxicity, with the eventual goal of decoding biology and advancing new therapeutics to radically improve lives. Recursion is headquartered in Salt Lake City and in 2019 was designated a Fast Company “Most Innovative Company.” Learn more at www.recursionpharma.com, or connect on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.