Jim is Principal Investigator on the Wyss Institute Brain Targeting Program. In this role, Jim works with internal and external colleagues to identify and pursue new approaches to transport drugs and diagnostics through the blood brain barrier (BBB) to the CNS. With the BBB-on-Chip team, he has initiated and launched projects, which he now oversees, to identify new molecular targets and compounds for BBB transport. His current priorities include developing improved antibody shuttles to transport drugs into the brain, expanding the Wyss portfolio of brain targeting approaches through internal and external collaborations, and developing improved models, therapeutics and diagnostics for Alzheimer’s and other CNS diseases.
Jim worked for seven years in licensing, acquisitions, portfolio management and strategic initiatives at Abbott Laboratories (now Abbvie). There, he received the Abbott President’s Award for his role in initiating, championing and executing the 2001 acquisition of the blockbuster anti-TNF antibody Humira® and the fully human antibody platform in Abbott’s acquisition of BASF Pharmaceuticals. Humira is now the top-selling drug worldwide, with annual sales projected to exceed $20 billion in 2019. Jim formed and led Abbott’s Antibody Strategy Team through a series of licensing and acquisition transactions to expand Abbott’s biologics discovery technology platform and pipeline. He subsequently co-chaired the Portfolio Management Committee, initiating and overseeing a new targets and new projects process that led to the launch of ten new inflammation and oncology discovery projects. After leaving Abbott, he was CEO and co-founder of two biotech startups, BioAssets Development and 121 Bio. BioAssets Development, a company developing antibody-based anti-inflammatory therapies for treatment of pain in patients with disk herniation and sciatica, was acquired by Cephalon in 2010. 121 Bio, an immune-oncology focused company using single domain antibodies for imaging and therapy, was acquired by Agenus, a public biopharmaceutical company, in 2016. He recently served as VP of Corporate Development and Strategy at Agenus, where he oversaw partnering and funding strategy, portfolio management processes, and strategic alignment across functions.
Jim obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard Medical School, where he conducted research in molecular genetics and antibody formation in the lab of Dr. Frederick Alt. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale University.