Ex-Pfizer exec Geno Germano joins nanoparticle startup Elucida Oncology as CEO

After walking away from a long career in Big Pharma last year — only to bail from his startup of choice only 10 months later — ex-Pfizer exec Geno Germano is back on the move.

Geno Germano

The respected biopharma chief has joined New York-based Elucida Oncology, a tiny Cornell spinout working on some fascinating nanoparticle tech with applications in cancer. At Elucida, Germano will serve as president and CEO — the first full-time post he’s taken up since his abbreviated stint at Intrexon, the flashy synthetic bio startup he exited from last November.

Before his stretch at the startup, Germano had been head of the global pharma business at Pfizer when he was suddenly the odd man out in a planned merger with Allergan (which ultimately never happened). At Pfizer, he cultivated a $14 billion operation and oversaw a portfolio of drugs spanning several therapeutics areas. He also worked at the top of Pfizer’s oncology and specialty care business units and directed the integration of industry giant Wyeth after the massive $68 billion acquisition.

Wyeth appears to have a connection to this new gig of Germano’s. After all, Elucida’s executive chairman is Robert Essner, who was chairman and CEO of Wyeth before its merger with Pfizer in 2009.

Robert Essner

“Geno’s considerable experience in the pharmaceutical industry makes him an invaluable addition to the Elucida team. The background and stature he brings to this pivotal role will, without question, help our company fulfil its goal of becoming a leader in the world of precision medicine oncology,” Essner said in a statement.

At Elucida, Germano is joining an effort to use ultra-small nanoparticals called C-dots for cancer diagnosis and treatment. It’s hoped that these tiny particles will aid in precision medicine, targeting and penetrating cancer cells to deliver a range of cancer-killing drugs, with the promise of unused particles and the drugs they carry safely leaving the body through the renal system.

“My career is predicated on a commitment to meaningful change and Elucida affords the opportunity to explore the world of precision oncology and, perhaps, push the boundaries of its diagnostic and therapeutic applications. I am excited to join this dynamic team,” Gernano said.

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