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Mathai Mammen, who until recently led research at Johnson & Johnson, will become the CEO of a privately held biotech company working to find treatments for diseases deemed undruggable.

Mammen, previously a candidate for the top job at Biogen, will take over as chairman, president, and CEO of FogPharma, a Cambridge, Mass., company that spun out of the lab of ​​Harvard University biologist Greg Verdine in 2015. The allure, Mammen said, was Fog’s proprietary approach to discovering medicines for biological targets that have long evaded pharmaceutical research — and the potential to develop, manufacture, and market them without selling out to a larger drugmaker.


“There are very few technology platforms that are legitimately broad and capable of producing important medicines,” Mammen said in an interview with STAT. “I think Fog has all the markings of being one of those rare few that one can make into a very substantial company in the future.”

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