Back to News

Renato Skerlj, PhD

Renato T. Skerlj, Ph.D. is an R&D executive/entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience and leadership in the discovery and development of small molecule drugs to treat cancer, infection, rare and neurodegenerative diseases. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Expansion Therapeutics. Before Expansion Therapeutics, he held positions at X4 Pharmaceuticals, LTI, Genzyme, AnorMED, Merck, and Johnson Matthey. He is an accomplished drug hunter with two approved drugs and three drugs currently in clinical development. Renato sold an option deal to Allergan in 2017, as part of the executive team at Lysosomal Therapeutics, on a preclinical Parkinsons’s disease asset resulting in significant returns ($100M upfront, $50M runway) to LTI shareholders. He founded and raised capital for X4 Pharmaceuticals and Noliva Therapeutics and utilized high throughput screens (HTS), phenotypic screens, fragment-based drug design (FBDD) and structure-based drug design (SBDD) for multiple programs at Genzyme/Sanofi resulting in 4 IND programs. He was also a member of executive team that grew a start-up into a successful midsize biotech resulting in the company acquisition in November 2006 for $585 million. He is the author of 69 publications and inventor of 52 patents. Renato received his BS.c with honors from the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand and his Ph.D., Synthetic Organic Chemistry, from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He was also a Postdoctoral Fellow with the University of Oxford, Oxford, England as well as Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.