EQRx Announces Formation of Mission Advisory Board

  • Mission advisory board to provide strategic input to advance EQRx’s mission of remaking medicine

  • World leaders in pharmaceutical R&D, clinical medicine and patient advocacy include Otis Webb Brawley, M.D., Sandra J. Horning, M.D., Mace Rothenberg, M.D., Richard L. Schilsky, M.D., Ellen V. Sigal, Ph.D., Gail Wilensky, Ph.D. and Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.

EQRx, a company committed to developing and delivering important new medicines at radically lower prices, today announced the formation of its mission advisory board. Members of the mission advisory board will help guide the Company’s vision and mission-critical activities focused on bringing more affordable medicines to the people who need them globally.

Inaugural members include:

  • Otis Webb Brawley, M.D., Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Oncology and Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University and former chief medical and scientific officer at the American Cancer Society;
  • Sandra J. Horning, M.D., former executive vice president, chief medical officer and global head of product development at Genentech Roche, and an emerita professor, Stanford University;
  • Mace Rothenberg, M.D., former chief medical officer of Pfizer;
  • Richard L. Schilsky, M.D., former chief medical officer and executive vice president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and professor emeritus, University of Chicago;
  • Ellen V. Sigal, Ph.D., chairperson and founder of Friends of Cancer Research;
  • Gail R. Wilensky, Ph.D., economist and senior fellow at Project HOPE; and
  • Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., former director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and former president of global R&D at Sanofi.

“We are extremely fortunate to have this distinguished group of international healthcare leaders join us in our mission of improving patient access to and significantly reducing costs of great, innovative medicines,” said Melanie Nallicheri, president and chief operating officer of EQRx. “Our mission advisory board brings world-leading expertise across key aspects of our business and lends credence to our efforts to build a world-class and new type of pharmaceutical company. We look forward to working closely with this group as we continue to execute on our strategic corporate objectives.”

“These deeply experienced individuals bring unparalleled expertise in drug development and treatment practice and we are excited they see that our vision is both doable and an important step forward for the future of healthcare,” added Alexis Borisy, chairman and chief executive officer of EQRx. “This group will be a critical piece of our work to reestablish trust and transparency between drug developers and the people who need more cost-effective medicines around the world.”

Otis W. Brawley, M.D., MACP, FRCP(L), FASCO, FACE
Dr. Otis Webb Brawley is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Oncology and Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University. He is an authority on cancer screening and prevention and leads a broad interdisciplinary research effort focused on cancer health disparities at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. His work focuses on how to close racial, economic and social inequalities in the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer.

Dr. Brawley was chief medical and scientific officer of the American Cancer Society from 2007 to 2018. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London), a fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and one of the few physicians to be named a Master of the American College of Physicians. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Brawley previously served as director of the Georgia Cancer Center at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and served as professor of hematology, oncology, medicine and epidemiology at Emory University.

Among numerous awards, he was a Georgia Cancer Coalition Scholar and received the Key to St. Bernard Parish and the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Meritorious Service Medal for his work as a PHS commissioned officer in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He is also a recipient of the Department of Defense Uniformed Services University Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to military medical education and the American Medical Association Distinguished Service Award.

Sandra J. Horning, M.D., FACP, FASCO
Dr. Sandra J. Horning is an academic and industry veteran and served as the chief medical officer and global head of product development at Genentech Roche until her retirement in 2019. During her 10-year career at Roche and Genentech, she helped bring 15 new medicines to patients in disease areas including cancer, multiple sclerosis, influenza and blindness.

Prior to her career at Genentech Roche, Dr. Horning spent 25 years as a practicing oncologist, investigator and tenured professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, where she held several leadership positions and remains a professor of medicine emerita. From 2005 to 2006, she served as president of ASCO. She has authored more than 300 publications and served on the editorial boards of several peer-reviewed medical journals, including Journal of Clinical Oncology and Clinical Cancer Research. She is a former member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee and chair of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Lymphoma Committee.

She has served on the editorial boards of several peer-reviewed medical journals, including Journal of Clinical Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, Clinical Lymphoma, Leukemia & Lymphoma, the Annals of Internal Medicine and the American Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Horning was recognized as the 2020 Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Woman of the Year. She was also selected as the 2017 recipient of the Duane Roth Memorial Award, an honor dedicated to leaders in healthcare, whose work has overcome numerous scientific obstacles to create new paradigms in research and treatment. Dr. Horning currently serves on the board of directors of Gilead Sciences, Moderna and Olema Oncology, as well as EQRx, where she is also a co-founder.

Mace Rothenberg, M.D., FACP, FASCO
Dr. Mace Rothenberg brings deep experience in clinical development strategy and execution, having guided 11 cancer medications to FDA approval during his 10 years as head of clinical development and chief development officer for oncology at Pfizer. He subsequently served as chief medical officer of Pfizer, leading the Company’s worldwide medical and safety organization until his retirement from Pfizer in 2021.

Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Rothenberg was professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University and Ingram Professor of Cancer Research at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Dr. Rothenberg serves on the board of directors for Aulos Bioscience, Tango Therapeutics and Surrozen, as well as the Board of Overseers for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, the Alumni Board of Governors of the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the Board of Visitors for Basic Sciences at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Dr. Rothenberg is the recipient of the first Craig Saxton Lifetime Achievement Award from Pfizer, the Lane W. Adams Quality of Life Award from the American Cancer Society and the Statesman Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Dr. Rothenberg received his BA magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978 and his M.D. from the New York University School of Medicine in 1982. He completed his post-graduate training in internal medicine at Vanderbilt University and in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Richard L. Schilsky, M.D., FACP, FSCT, FASCO
Dr. Richard L. Schilsky is a highly respected leader in the field of clinical oncology and served as the former chief medical officer and executive vice president of ASCO and as ASCO president from 2008-2009.

Dr. Schilsky specializes in new drug development and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, and previously served as the chief of hematology/oncology in the department of medicine and deputy director of the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Schilsky spent the majority of his career at the University of Chicago, where he joined the faculty in 1984, subsequently rising to the rank of professor of medicine and serving in many roles, including associate dean for clinical research in the biological sciences division and director of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center.

 From 1995 to 2010, Dr. Schilsky served as chair of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), a national cooperative clinical research group funded by the NCI. He has extensive experience working with both the NCI and the FDA, having served as a member and chair of the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors, as a member of the NCI Clinical and Translational Research Committee, and as a member and chair of the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee of the FDA. Dr. Schilsky has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed publications and has served on the editorial boards of many cancer journals, including the Journal of Clinical Oncology. He presently serves on the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ellen V. Sigal, Ph.D.
Dr. Ellen V. Sigal is the chairperson and founder of Friends of Cancer Research (Friends), a think tank and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. Friends drives collaboration among partners from every healthcare sector to power advances in science, policy and regulation that speed life-saving treatments to patients.

Dr. Sigal holds leadership positions with a broad range of cancer advocacy and public policy organizations. She serves as chair of the inaugural board of directors of the Reagan-Udall Foundation and serves on the board of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, where she chairs its Governance Committee. Dr. Sigal also serves on the advisory board of the COVID-19 Evidence Accelerator – a partnership between the Reagan-Udall Foundation and Friends of Cancer Research with participation from the FDA. In 2010, Dr. Sigal was appointed to a six-year term on the Board of Governors of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) as a representative of patients and health consumers. Additionally, in 2016 Dr. Sigal was named to Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel, to the Parker Institute for Immunotherapy Advisory Group and joined the inaugural board of advisors for the George Washington University’s Milken Institute of Public Health.

Dr. Sigal also holds leadership positions with a broad range of cancer advocacy and academic health centers including the MD Anderson Cancer Center External Advisory Board. For her efforts on behalf of cancer research advocacy, Dr. Sigal received the 1998 American Association for Cancer Research National Leadership Award, the 1999 Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center National Leadership Award and the 2002 American Society of Clinical Oncology Special Recognition Award.

Gail R. Wilensky, Ph.D.
Dr. Gail R. Wilensky is an economist and a senior fellow at Project HOPE, an international health foundation. Her focus has been on strategies to reform healthcare, with particular emphasis in recent years on Medicare, comparative effectiveness research and military health care.

Dr. Wilensky serves as a trustee of the Combined Benefits Fund of the United Mine Workers of America and the National Opinion Research Center and is on the board of directors of the Geisinger Health System Foundation and of Project HOPE. She is also on the council of directors of the Henry Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine after serving on the board of regents for the Uniformed Services University for 12 years. She has served as president of the Defense Health Board, a federal advisory board to the Secretary of Defense; was a commissioner on the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health; and co-chaired the Department of Defense Task Force on the Future of Military Health Care. Dr. Wilensky was the administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (now called CMS) from 1990 to 1992 and the chair of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) from 1997 to 2001.

Dr. Wilensky is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), now the National Academy of Medicine, and served two terms on its governing council. She recently served as co-chair of the IOM Committee on Governance and Financing of Graduate Medical Education. She is a former chair of the board of directors of AcademyHealth, a former trustee of the American Heart Association and a current or former director of numerous other nonprofit organizations. She is also a director on several corporate boards.

Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.
Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni is a world-renowned radiologist and physician-scientist. He served as the 15th director of the NIH from 2002 to 2008. In 2009, Dr. Zerhouni was appointed one of the first presidential U.S. science envoys by President Obama and served as a senior fellow of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Following his tenure at the NIH, Dr. Zerhouni served as president of global research and development at Sanofi until his retirement in 2018. Dr. Zerhouni’s academic career was spent at the Johns Hopkins University and Hospital, where he was professor and chair of radiology and biomedical engineering and executive vice dean from 1996 to 2002. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. Among his many awards is the Medal of the Légion d’honneur of the French National Order.

Dr. Zerhouni has authored over 200 publications, holds eight patents and has founded or co-founded five startup companies. He serves on a number of nonprofit boards, including the Lasker Foundation and the Foundation for NIH. He most recently served on the board of Research!America.

About EQRx
EQRx is committed to catalyzing a market-based solution to one of society’s biggest healthcare challenges by developing important new medicines and offering them at lower prices. Through strategic partnerships with stakeholders from across the healthcare system and cutting-edge science and technology, the Company aims to provide high-quality, patent-protected medicines more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever before. EQRx is a purpose-built disruptor at scale, remaking medicine to bend the cost curve in drug pricing. To learn more, visit www.eqrx.com and follow us on social media: Twitter: @EQRxIncLinkedIn, Instagram: @eqrxinc.

EQRx™ and Remaking Medicine™ are trademarks of EQRx, Inc.

Media Contact:
Meggan Buckwell