Life often has an interesting way of leading us to moments that change our lives, which is the case for Dr. Ted Love.
Although biotechnology wasn’t his initial pursuit, Dr. Love majored in molecular biology at Haverford College, attending Yale Medical School and completing residency and a cardiology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.
In addition, after seeing one of his mentors get recruited from head of cardiology at Harvard to be head of research and development at Bristol Myers Squibb, Dr. Love was inspired to pivot, which led to him working at Genentech — Forbes reports.
“I basically decided that Genentech was…the Harvard of biotechnology; it was the place with the most sophisticated science,” Dr. Love recalled, according to Forbes.“[Of course] I knew nothing about getting drugs approved or designing clinical studies. But I thought, you know, I can learn all that stuff.”
Dr. Love’s built experience as a skilled drug developer at Genentech led him to lead as senior vice president of development at Theravance and CEO of Nuvelo, Inc. In the latter role, he took the biopharmaceutical company public, and it merged with ARCA Biopharma, Inc. in 2009, the outlet notes.
The extensive timeline of executive roles resulted in him joining Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc (GBT), which worked to develop a drug to cure sickle cell disease, as president and CEO.
“Dr. Love explained that GBT was trying to develop a molecule which would bind to and modify the abnormal hemoglobin in enough red blood cells to turn sickle cell disease into sickle cell trait…And the challenge was to make a very specific molecule that would only bind to hemoglobin and not all the other proteins in the body – causing unintended toxicity, or adverse reactions,” the outlet wrote.
After almost a decade of synthesizing thousands of molecules and testing them in animals, GBT’s drug Oxbryta® became FDA-approved and was brought to the market in 2019.
By 2022, GBT created GBT021601 (GBT601), which Dr. Love claimed was 15 times better than Oxbryta®. In that same year, offers to acquire GBT started rolling in. While there were several bidders, such as Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer acquired GBT for $5.4 billion in all cash in August 2022, according to the outlet.
Following the acquisition, Dr. Love exited GBT and retired. However, the outlet shares that he remains active in the sickle cell community while serving on the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Royalty Pharma and Structure Therapeutics boards. Additionally, Dr. Love serves as a mentor for upcoming CEOs.