Matt Blischak is the Chief Executive Officer of Finch Therapeutics. Matt has more than 20 years experience as an executive in the life sciences industry with a particular focus on high stakes patent litigation related to multiple blockbuster drugs. He has also been involved in significant licensing, acquisition, collaboration, and litigation settlement agreements over that time. Before joining Finch, Matt served at Roivant Sciences where he focused on the management and protection of intellectual property for the company and its subsidiaries. Matt directed patent enforcement on a global scale for Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Teva Pharmacueticals, and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals. His legal career began at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton.
Matt received a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Case-Western Reserve University, a masters degree in biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University, and a law degree from The American University Washington College of Law.
Lance Thibault, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Lance Thibault is the Chief Financial Officer of Finch Therapeutics. Lance currently serves as a Managing Director at Danforth Advisors, where he brings more than 30 years of experience in the life sciences industry to his work for Danforth clients. Prior to joining Danforth, he spent ten years as CFO leading a US public biotech company. He previously spent 12 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he was an integral member of the Transaction Advisory Services Global Capital Markets Group in London, England. Lance is a CPA and holds a BS in Accountancy from Bentley University.
Susan E. Graf is currently a Senior Advisor and Entrepreneur in Residence at Locust Walk Partners, LLC. Susan previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Akamara Therapeutics. Prior to Akamara, Susan was Chief Business Officer and Principal Financial Officer at Epizyme. Prior to Epizyme, she held the position of Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy for NPS Pharma before it was acquired by Shire in 2015. Prior to NPS Pharma, Susan spent nearly 18 years at Roche in a number of leadership and executive positions.
Susan has an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University, and a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from Purdue University.
Domenic Ferrante is Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of The Ferrante Group, an investment firm he founded in 2011. Previously, Domenic held various roles at Bain Capital, including serving as Managing Director for 12 years. Earlier in his career, he worked at Brentwood Associates and Morgan Stanley.
Domenic has a BA in economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Christian Lange is a Partner at Shumway Capital, overseeing the firm’s private and public research process, managing the investment analyst team, and leading the bulk of the firm’s private transactions. Prior to joining Shumway Capital, Christian was an associate at Bain Capital and before that, he was an associate consultant at Bain & Company.
Chris Shumway is the Managing Partner and founder of Shumway Capital. As the Managing Partner of Shumway Capital, Chris oversees the firm’s investments in a wide range of long-term, high-growth businesses. Prior to founding Shumway Capital, Chris served as a Senior Managing Director at Tiger Management. Chris serves on various non-profit boards and also has served as a Visiting Scholar teaching global investing at the University of Virginia.
Chris has a BS from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Jeffery Smisek is President of Flight Partners Capital, an investment firm he founded. Previously, Jeffery served as President and Chief Executive Officer of United Airlines Holdings (then United Continental Holdings), also serving as chairman of its board of directors. Prior to this, Jeffery held various roles at Continental Airlines, last serving as President and Chief Executive Officer until the company’s merger with United Airlines. Earlier in his career, Jeffery was a partner at Vinson & Elkins. Jeffery currently serves on the boards of directors of various private companies.
Jeffery has an AB from Princeton University and a JD from Harvard Law School.
Key milestones in the field & Finch’s history
First written accounts emerge from China of therapeutic applications of microbial therapies.
Ben Eiseman et al. publishes first report of four patients with pseudomembranous enterocolitis treated with microbiota transplantation.
Anna Schwan et al. publishes first report of C. difficile infection treated with microbiota transplantation.
Thomas Borody, founder of the Centre for Digestive Diseases in Australia, begins treating patients with microbiota transplantation and subsequently publishes 59 case reports describing the use of this novel approach for a variety of different conditions, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Borody goes on to carry out thousands of microbiota transplantations and his work will help catalyze microbiome research around the world.
Thomas Borody begins to evaluate the use of microbiota transplantation for children with autism, helping to spur further research exploring the role of the microbiome in autism.
The NIH launches the Human Microbiome Project to enable comprehensive characterization of the human microbiome and analysis of its role in human health and disease.
Thomas Borody files for patents covering stable, orally administered microbiome therapeutics, laying the groundwork for what will become Finch’s leading intellectual property portfolio.
Thomas Borody founds CIPAC, which later becomes Crestovo, to deliver a new generation of microbiome therapeutics for patients.
Alex Khoruts and Michael Sadowsky from the University of Minnesota file for patents that cover the preservation and oral delivery of complete microbiome communities, technology that Finch will later license and further develop to address conditions linked to microbiome disruption.
Eric Alm from MIT publishes one of the first reports of supervised machine learning applied to the human microbiome, laying the cornerstone for the future development of Finch’s machine-learning based platform.
A group of MIT graduate students start the nation’s first public stool bank, OpenBiome, after witnessing a family friend struggle to find a safe and effective treatment for recurrent C. difficile. OpenBiome’s founders will later start Finch to further scale their efforts to harness the therapeutic potential of the microbiome.
Els van Nood et al. publish first randomized controlled trial of microbiota transplantation for recurrent C. difficile. Results show a significant benefit compared to placebo, with the trial stopped early for benefit.
Finch Therapeutics is formed to harness the genomic revolution and machine learning to pioneer microbiome therapeutics.
Zain Kassam co-authors the publication of the first randomized controlled trial of microbiota transplantation for ulcerative colitis. This group and others demonstrate that microbiota transplantation has a significant benefit compared to placebo, paving the way for further research exploring the potential role of microbiome therapeutics in inflammatory bowel disease.
Christopher Staley et al. publish positive results from an open label, Phase 1 study of CP101 for recurrent C. difficile infection.
Jim Adams, Tom Borody and other researchers co-author an open label study of microbiota transplantation for children with autism and gastrointestinal symptoms. This group and others show improvements in gastrointestinal and behavioral symptoms following microbiota transplantation, laying the groundwork for further research exploring the potential role of the microbiome in autism.
Finch merges with Crestovo to form a leading microbiome therapeutics platform.
Finch reports positive topline data from its Phase 2 trial of CP101 for recurrent C. difficile, marking the first positive pivotal trial in the field with an orally administered microbiome product candidate.
Finch reports positive topline data from its Phase 2 open-label trial of CP101, adding to the growing body of evidence supporting CP101 for the prevention of recurrent C. difficile in adults.
Finch announces the difficult decision to discontinue its Phase 3 trial of CP101 in recurrent C. difficile infection and focus on realizing the value of its intellectual property estate and other assets.