The rest of the 50 (in alphabetical order): Christopher O’Donnell, executive director of external sciences and innovation, principal, Pfizer Ventures

Barbara Dalton, senior managing partner at pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s corporate venturing unit, Pfizer Ventures, said in her nomination of Christopher O’Donnell: “Chris joined the team last year – and has successfully hit the ground running as a new venture investor.

“He brings to the job 20 years Pfizer medicinal chemistry experience encompassing small molecules and antibody conjugates. He is definitely on the fast track to a successful venture career.”

O’Donnell is responsible for identifying, evaluating, making and managing equity investments aligned with the future directions of Pfizer, this being his first corporate venture capital (CVC) position.

He said: “In my previous roles, I led large teams of researches and part of my job was to help evaluate and help with diligence for our partnering and VC group. I was considering a career change and after interviewing with a number of new biotech companies I found myself wanting to be involved in more than one of them at a time. Pfizer Ventures allows me to do this through my work as a board member on companies.”

Since joining Pfizer Ventures, O’Donnell has led the unit’s investments in immunotherapy developer Kymera and neurological disease medicine developer Arkuda, serving as a board director for both companies. He said: “My biggest success was leading the series A investment in Arkuda and working with the CEO, Gerhard Koenig, to build the syndicate.”

He is also a director for epigenetic cancer therapy developer Storm Therapeutics and organic biomolecule-based medicine developer Adapsyn and a board observer for biotechnology developers Strata, Bioatla, Petra, Morphic and Mitokinin.

Before joining Pfizer Ventures, O’Donnell had spent 20 years in the corporate’s research and development unit, leading teams to discovery medicines for cancer and neuroscience. He started his career in the neuroscience medicinal chemistry group where he was involved in delivering numerous clinical candidates.

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.