Synthetic Genomics names new CEO

La Jolla’s Synthetic Genomics Inc., a developer of synthetic biology technologies, has named biotech executive Oliver Fetzer as its new chief executive.

Founding CEO J. Craig Venter will remain active with the company as executive chairman and co-chief scientist with Fetzer, the company said in a statement Monday.

Fetzer comes to the company from Cerulean Pharma, which is developing nanoparticle-based cancer therapies. He will lead all three of SGI’s units; SGI-DNA, Synthetic Genomics Vaccines, and Genovia Bio.

One of SGI’s most prominent recent ventures is a deal with Lung Biotechnology to create humanized pig organs for transplantation.

SGI is also developing algae for various uses, including a deal with Archer Daniels Midland to commercialize Omega-3 DHA from algae. Research has shown this compound may improve brain, heart and eye health.


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