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avatar for Paul Laikind

Paul Laikind

ViaCyte
President and CEO
San Diego
I have been starting and managing biotechnology companies for 27 years. I co-founded Gensia Pharmaceuticals in 1986. Gensia built a pipeline of small molecule, biopharmaceutical products for the treatment of cardiovascular, neurological and inflammatory disease. I served as Vice President of Corporate/Business Development, and as a member of the board of directors. Gensia went public in 1991 and grew rapidly. I was part of the team that later restructured the company to focus on specialty pharmaceuticals. This restructuring included an acquisition of Rakepoll Holdings to form Gensia Sicor. Gensia Sicor was subsequently purchased by Teva for over $3 billion. 

While at Gensia I co-founded a second company, Viagene, to commercialize gene therapy technology that I and my co-founders had been pursuing while at UCSD. I helped develop the initial technology, was responsible for bringing the initial team together and secured the venture capital financing . I participated at the board level and regularly conferred with management regarding strategic direction. The Company subsequently went public and was later acquired by Chiron.

During the restructuring of Gensia we we spun the proprietary R&D team into a wholly owned subsidiary called Metabasis. In 1999 I engineered a management buyout that resulted in independence for Metabasis. I served as chairman, president and CEO. Metabasis discovered and moved five products into clinical development. The main focus was on metabolic disease but product candidates for liver disease were also advanced. Metabasis was acquired by Ligand Pharmaceuticals in 2009.

After Metabasis I spent two years in the not-for-profit sector helping to establish translational capabilities at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute where I was Chief Business Officer and Senior VP.

In 2012 I joined ViaCyte Inc., a leading regenerative medicine company, as President and CEO.

Specialties:Corporate Management (CEO, Board of Directors)
Financing emerging companies
Business Development (strategic partnerships, out and in-licensing)


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