Christoph Lengauer, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer; Partner, Third Rock Ventures
Christoph Lengauer is a partner at Third Rock Ventures, where he has been instrumental in several of Third Rock’s Discovery projects and launched companies. Christoph was part of the founding advising team for Relay Therapeutics and currently also serves as the interim chief scientific officer of Celsius Therapeutics.
Christoph studied human genetics in Salzburg, Austria, and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. He holds an MBA with a focus on medical services management from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Christoph holds an adjunct associate professor position at the Johns Hopkins University and at Harvard University. He has received numerous awards, including the Boveri Award in Cancer Genetics, the Benjamin Baker Scholar award, Novartis Oncology’s President’s Award for Top Innovator and has been elected to membership in the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars.
Christoph has a proven record in cancer drug discovery, including contributing to the discovery and development of four FDA-approved medicines and three drugs with breakthrough therapy status. Prior to joining Third Rock, Christoph was chief scientific officer and chief drug hunter at Blueprint Medicines. He joined Blueprint Medicines from Sanofi, where he was vice president and global head of oncology drug discovery and preclinical development. Before joining Sanofi, he was executive director and senior unit head of oncology discovery at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. Christoph contributed to the approval of several novel cancer drugs that now save patients’ lives (Odomzo – Smo inhibitor approved for basal cell carcinoma; Kisqali – CDK4/6 inhibitor approved for HR+/HER2- metastatic breast cancer; Jevtana – cytotoxic approved for hormone refractory metastatic prostate cancer; Zaltrap – VEGF trap approved for metastatic CRC). Prior to Novartis, Christoph was an associate professor at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was involved in the identification of several cancer driver genes including BRAF and PIK3CA. As part of his research, Christoph discovered that all cancers are genetically unstable, which explains the molecular heterogeneity of cancer and why cancers develop resistance to cancer drugs. He has authored more than 100 scientific articles published in top-tier scientific journals, including Cell, Nature and Science.
Over the last three years, Christoph built several life science accelerators that provide both high-end consulting and hands-on operational support to startups and young European biotechs so they can more easily succeed in becoming strong companies and introduce their products to the U.S. and global markets.
Back in Austria and Germany, Christoph helped asylum seekers escape deportation. He visited them in detention jails and focused his legal support on Kurds from Iraq, Roma and victims of torture.
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