Ex-Novartis Chief Joins uBiome to Help Launch Discovery and Development Business

September 21, 2018
  • Company expanding into drug discovery, development and commercialization
  • Ubiome also announced it has raised $83 million in Series C financing


uBiome announced on 9/21/18 that the company will leverage its deep knowledge of the microbiome and expand upon its current portfolio of commercially available microbiome tests into drug discovery, development, and commercialization. In conjunction with its expansion into therapeutics, the company has appointed Joseph Jimenez, the former CEO of Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, to its board of directors, and opened its new therapeutics headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, both to support the Company’s new drug discovery and development efforts.

“Since uBiome’s founding in 2012, we have gained incredible insights into the human microbiome through successful commercialization of our existing products, SmartGut™, SmartJane™, and Explorer™, as well as new products under development. Using proprietary machine learning and other computational techniques, we have mined our database to discover new therapeutic targets, with an initial focus on oncology, autoimmune disorders, obesity, and metabolic disorders. Our expansion into therapeutics does not involve sale of customer data, but rather a focus on intellectual property derived from our deep microbiome database,” said Jessica Richman, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of uBiome. “Joe Jimenez brings an indisputable record of success in pharmaceutical drug discovery and development. He will further advance the success of uBiome’s mission to transform research into useful products based on the microbiome.”

Mr. Jimenez brings to uBiome decades of leadership experience, including at one of the world’s most prestigious healthcare companies. At Novartis, Mr. Jimenez focused on leading global businesses, while divesting non-core divisions. Under his leadership, the innovation pipeline was rejuvenated, and the company navigated the patent expirations of their two largest products. Mr. Jimenez has a track record of business leadership at several world-class companies, including Clorox, ConAgra, and H.J. Heinz. In addition to the board of directors of uBiome, he presently serves on the boards of Proctor & Gamble and General Motors. Additionally, he served on the board of directors of the Colgate-Palmolive Company from 2009 to 2015, and of AstraZeneca PLC, from 2002 to 2007.

Additionally the company announced that it has raised 83 million in series C financing.  Jessica Richman, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of uBiome said, “This financing allows us to expand our product portfolio, increase our focus on patent assets, and further raise our clinical profile, especially as we begin to focus on commercialization of drug discovery and development of our patent assets.”

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