About

Transforming Patients’ Lives by “Drugging the Undruggable”

Frontier Medicines is a pre-clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing breakthrough medicines that redefine the course of debilitating diseases.

Our focus is developing treatments against important cancer-causing proteins that the biopharma industry hasn’t found a way to treat (or “drug”) with pharmaceutical interventions. After decades of research, this has become one of the most critical challenges in addressing human disease.

At Frontier, we are using chemoproteomics to discover and pharmacologically target new binding pockets (or hotspots) on these proteins, making them – at long last – accessible to therapeutic intervention by small-molecule drugs.

By deploying our proprietary chemoproteomics platform, coupled with scientific insights, we aim to free patients from debilitating diseases.

     

Founders

CHRIS VARMA, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, CEO, President

Chris is an experienced entrepreneur and investor in the life sciences industry. He co-founded Frontier Medicines, a small-molecule therapeutics company focused on drugging the “undruggable” protein targets, in March 2018 and serves as its President & CEO. Chris also co-founded Blueprint Medicines (Nasdaq: BPMC), a targeted therapeutics company focused on genetically defined disease, and served as its President and CEO until BPMC was preparing to go public.

Previously, Chris was a Venture Partner at MPM Capital. He also co-founded Warp Drive Bio (acquired by Revolution Medicines in 2018) while at Third Rock Ventures. Prior to that, Chris was a Partner at Flagship Pioneering (f.k.a. Flagship Ventures) focusing on life science investments and driving turnarounds of portfolio companies. Before joining Flagship, he oversaw efforts spanning business development, strategy, and sales and marketing at Novartis AG.

Chris has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences & Technology, an M.S. in Management from Stanford University, and an M.S. and B.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University. Chris serves as a member of the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Discovery Council and as a member of the board of trustees for the International Vaccine Institute (IVI).

DANIEL K. NOMURA, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, Associate Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, Chemistry, Nutritional Science and Toxicology, UC Berkeley

Dan Nomura is associate professor in the Departments of Chemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also an associate adjunct professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UCSF. His research is focused on reimagining druggability using chemoproteomic platforms to discover new therapies for human disease. Dr. Nomura earned his B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology and Ph.D. in Molecular Toxicology at UC Berkeley. He was also a postdoctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute in chemical physiology before returning to UC Berkeley as a faculty member in 2011. Among his honors are selection as a Searle Scholar, American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, Department of Defense Breakthroughs Award, and the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research ASPIRE Award. 

ROBERTO ZONCU, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, UC Berkeley

Roberto Zoncu is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology in the Molecular and Cell Biology Department at UC Berkeley. His research focuses on fundamental mechanisms of growth regulation in both normal and cancer states. Roberto’s lab has made key contributions to the understanding of how cells sense nutrients and, in response, launch metabolic programs that enable cell proliferation, repair and survival.

Roberto’s achievements have been recognized by numerous accolades, including the NIH Director New Innovator Award, the Pew Stewart Scholarship for Cancer Research, the Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation Scholarship and the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award.

Roberto earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Pisa, Italy and his Ph.D in Cell Biology and Neurobiology from Yale University, followed by postdoctoral training at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (MIT).

Leadership

CHRIS VARMA, Ph.D.

Co-Founder, CEO, President

Chris is an experienced entrepreneur and investor in the life sciences industry. He co-founded Frontier Medicines, a small-molecule therapeutics company focused on drugging the “undruggable” protein targets, in March 2018 and serves as its President & CEO. Chris also co-founded Blueprint Medicines (Nasdaq: BPMC), a targeted therapeutics company focused on genetically defined disease, and served as its President and CEO until BPMC was preparing to go public.

Previously, Chris was a Venture Partner at MPM Capital. He also co-founded Warp Drive Bio (acquired by Revolution Medicines in 2018) while at Third Rock Ventures. Prior to that, Chris was a Partner at Flagship Pioneering (f.k.a. Flagship Ventures) focusing on life science investments and driving turnarounds of portfolio companies. Before joining Flagship, he oversaw efforts spanning business development, strategy, and sales and marketing at Novartis AG.

Chris has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences & Technology, an M.S. in Management from Stanford University, and an M.S. and B.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University. Chris serves as a member of the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Discovery Council and as a member of the board of trustees for the International Vaccine Institute (IVI).

KEVIN WEBSTER Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Kevin is Frontier Medicines’ Chief Scientific Officer bringing deep expertise in drug discovery and clinical development linked with a passion for bringing novel medicines to patients. Prior to joining Frontier Medicines, Kevin was Sr. Vice President of Cancer Biology at eFFECTOR Therapeutics, where he pioneered the discovery and development of a new class of oncology drugs known as selective translation regulators advancing multiple novel targets into clinical development. Prior to eFFECTOR, Kevin was Vice President of Oncology Research at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, where he built and led the oncology discovery organization in Waltham, MA. As a member of the global oncology leadership team, he developed the science strategy for oncology and progressed over 12 programs into preclinical and clinical development with 4 programs achieving clinical proof of concept and 1 is now a marketed drug. During his tenure with AstraZeneca he was accountable for building a new drug discovery organization in the US, as well as spearheading the creation of novel partnerships with academia and biotech organizations. Before AstraZeneca, Kevin served as a member of the oncology drug discovery leadership team at Bristol Myers Squibb where he led the cell cycle and apoptosis research areas and delivered multiple discovery research projects from inception through early clinical development.

Kevin completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Bristol Myers Squibb. Kevin holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, where he studied protein-RNA interactions and translational regulation and a B.S. in Biochemistry from Stony Brook University.

JOHANNES HERMANN, Ph.D.

Chief Technology Officer

Johannes Hermann is Frontier Medicines’ Chief Technology Officer, and is a technology and data science expert with a passion to accelerate drug discovery. In previous roles, Johannes was the global Head for Data Science at Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Technology. Prior to this, as the head of the Machine Learning and Advanced Analytics department at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, he oversaw AI initiatives across the pharmaceutical value chain from R&D to production and commercialization. He started his career working in the drug discovery setting at Roche as a data scientist and drug developer.

Johannes holds a Ph.D. in quantum & molecular mechanics from the University of Düsseldorf, Germany. He also conducted postgraduate work at the University Bristol/UK investigating enzyme mechanisms. As a postdoc at the University of California, San Francisco, Johannes developed computational techniques annotating enzymes of unknown function. Johannes has published in top peer-reviewed journals, including Nature.

JIM WINKLER, Ph.D.

Head of Degrader Technologies

Jim Winkler is Frontier Medicines’ Head of Degrader Technologies and has spent nearly 40 years in the field of drug discovery and development, with expertise spanning target validation and early drug discovery through to translational medicine and clinical development. Previously, Jim was the Chief Scientific Officer of Arvinas, where he led the development of its targeted protein degradation technology and built a growing preclinical pipeline of degraders.

Jim has served as VP of Discovery Biology and Translational Biology at Array Therapeutics, where he oversaw 16 compounds from drug discovery into clinical development. Several of these compounds have progressed to become marketed drugs and others have delivered successful phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials. Jim has also served as VP of Discovery and Translational Biology at Forma Therapeutics. He began his scientific career in big pharma, including J&J, GSK and SmithKline Beecham.

Jim did his postdoctoral training at SmithKline Beecham and received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and his A.B. in Biochemistry from Princeton University.

Board of Directors

LUKE EVNIN, Ph.D.
MPM Capital

OTHMAN LARAKI
Independent Member

JANWILLEM NAESENS
DROIA Oncology Ventures

CHRIS VARMA, Ph.D.
Frontier Medicines

CAMERON WHEELER, Ph.D.
Deerfield Management

 

Investors