Rick Wagner is the founder, President and CEO of X-Chem, Inc., a company formed in 2009 to develop a new platform in the field of DNA encoded libraries of small molecules. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of X-Rx, Inc., a spin-out company from X-Chem, that is developing a class of autotaxin inhibitors to treat fibrosis. In addition, he is Executive Chairman of X-BODY Biosciences, a privately held company that develops therapeutic antibodies and T cell receptors.
Prior to these endeavors, Rick was CEO for SRU Biosystems. Earlier, he was Executive VP of Research at Praecis Pharmaceuticals, where he was an inventor of the first generation DNA encoded library technology. In 2006, he negotiated a collaboration based on the technology with GlaxoSmithKline that led to the acquisition of Praecis by GSK in 2007.
Prior to Praecis, Rick was Senior VP of Research at Phylos, a company he helped to start in 1997 based on mRNA display technology from the work of Jack Szostak and Richard Roberts at Mass General Hospital. The Phylos technology was acquired by Adnexus and, subsequently, was sold to Bristol Myers Squibb.
Rick previously worked at Gilead Sciences, Inc., CA (1989-1997) where his last position was Director, Cell Biology, and he was a member of Gilead's management team. While at Gilead, he was a leading expert on the development of antisense therapeutics and their cellular delivery.
Rick received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Trinity College, Hartford, CT in 1983. He later received his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1988 at Brown University. Rick was an NCI post-doctoral fellow at the Wistar Institute/Univ. Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (1987-1989) where he trained in molecular and cellular biology.
Outside of science, business, and family, Rick’s passions are in flyfishing and astronomy.
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