Octant Bio Appoints Industry Veteran Mark Murcko as Strategic Advisor and Board Member

Murcko brings over 30 years of chemistry development in biotech experience to the synthetic biology startup

EMERYVILLE, CA. OCTOBER 14, 2021— Today, Octant, a therapeutics company integrating novel high-throughput experimental technologies with computation to solve complex challenges in drug discovery, announced the appointment of Mark Murcko as Strategic Advisor and Board Member. Murcko brings over three decades of industry experience, having been at the center of many transformational biotech efforts, most recently as founding CSO and Board Member of Dewpoint Therapeutics. Murcko is working closely with the company to scale Octant to its next phase of growth and further develop its chemistry platform.

“We have been working with Mark for over a year as a Board Member and are thrilled to share that he’s now working with us day-to-day,” said Sri Kosuri, CEO of Octant. “Mark’s unique experience and expertise will help us scale Octant, not only in helping guide our research and development, but also as a drug discovery business. We’re excited to have him working with us even more closely.”

Octant was founded with a vision to transform the treatment of  complex diseases using high-throughput multiplexed biology and chemistry. Octant focuses on building molecules with complex target profiles that modulate multiple receptors, cellular pathways, and mutations. After opening its lab in 2019, Octant has built a team of top interdisciplinary talent, built a high-throughput chemistry and synthetic biology platform, expanded its computational platform, and has established multiple therapeutic programs, with multiple lead series showing efficacy in pre-clinical models.

“It has been a pleasure serving on the Octant Board and seeing the progress the company has made in a short period of time,” said Murcko. “I share Sri and Ramsey’s vision and am excited to work with the founders in this expanded new role while we scale Octant from a startup to a drug company.”

Murcko is a Senior Lecturer at M.I.T. and co-founder and Board Member at Relay Therapeutics (NASDAQ:RLAY) and Board member and founding CSO at Dewpoint Therapeutics. Until November 2011, Mark was chief technology officer and chair of the scientific advisory board of Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Mark has contributed to nine approved medicines for glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis-C, and Cystic Fibrosis, as well as numerous additional first-in-class drug candidates for cancer, influenza, and inflammation/immunology.

Mark also serves on Octant’s SAB, where he joins other SAB members:

  • Charles Zuker - Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, and of Neuroscience, Columbia University Medical Center; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Cofounder,  Aurora Biosciences, Kallyope, & Senomyx.
  • Debbie Marks - Associate Professor of Systems Biology, Harvard University; Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School; Associate Member, Broad Institute.
  • Hosea Nelson - Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology.
  • Vijay Pande – General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz;  Former Henry Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Structural Biology and of Computer Science at Stanford University; Cofounder, Globavir BioSciences & Folding@home.

About Octant Bio

Octant is a therapeutics company building drugs to navigate the complexity of human diseases. Octant engineers drugs with novel mechanisms of actions guided by massive datasets in engineered human cells that unlock insights between genomes, biochemical function, and disease phenotypes. The Octant platform uses synthetic biology, high throughput multiplexed assays, synthetic chemistry, and computation to engineer and interrogate drugs, proteins, and signaling pathways at unprecedented scales. For more information visit www.octant.bio.


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