Constellation Pharma recruits its former BD chief to take the helm as CEO

Jigar Raythatha

Constellation Pharmaceuticals has lured back its former BD chief to take the helm.

Jigar Raythatha, the first executive recruited at a booming Jounce, is now moving up from his role as chief business officer to become the CEO at Cambridge, MA-based Constellation, where he also led the BD team for a 4-year stint.

Keith Dionne

Constellation has had its ups and downs. Former CEO Keith Dionne — who left in 2016 and is now an entrepreneur-in-residence growing up new companies at Third Rock — scrapped a buyout option deal with Genentech in 2015. The big Roche subsidiary had tried to cherry pick assets from the biotech’s epigenetics pipeline, Dionne told me at the time, rather than follow through with a buyout. And Dionne notably celebrated the breakup with a series of party Tweets.

Constellation is still an early-stage development company, even though it was launched nine years ago out of Third Rock. But Raythatha seems intent on moving forward.

“I am pleased to return to Constellation at a time when the company is poised for breakout success,” said Raythatha in a prepared statement. “The team has done a fantastic job driving multiple clinical programs through Phase 1, and I look forward to working with everyone here to build on this progress and translate the company’s stellar science into meaningful outcomes for cancer patients.”

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