Slate of Accomplished Leaders Poised to Accelerate Growth of AI-Driven Precision Medicine Startup
TYSONS, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Zephyr AI, Inc. (“Zephyr AI”), a high-growth healthcare technology company committed to radically reshaping traditional approaches to drug discovery and precision medicine has announced additions to its Board of Directors. The announcement follows the Company’s recent successful completion of an $18.5 million seed funding round led by Lerner Group Investments LLC and M-Cor Holdings.
Zephyr AI’s Board of Directors includes internationally renowned business and technology leaders with wide ranging expertise across the health care landscape. Joining the Board as members are Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., Chief Investment Officer of Red Cell Partners, former President and CEO of TIAA, and former Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve System and David L. Morgan II, President and Chief Executive Officer of Zephyr AI. In addition, representatives of the investors in the Company’s recent financing round with Board observation rights are Dr. Allen Y. Chao, founder and former Chief Executive Officer of Watson Pharmaceuticals, Michael L. Cohen, Vice President of Investments at Lerner Enterprises, and Josh Lobel, CEO and CIO of M-Cor Holdings.
Current Board Member Dr. Sol J. Barer commented, “I am thrilled to welcome the new members to the Zephyr AI Board. Grant and David have strategically assembled a world-class group of leaders to guide Zephyr through their next phase of evolution and growth. I believe the team today is uniquely positioned to transform the way the biopharmaceutical industry approaches drug discovery, development, and precision analytics.”
Zephyr AI CEO David L. Morgan II said, “The leadership team at Zephyr is fortunate to have this exceptional group as partners, mentors, and advocates. Their deep and unparalleled expertise will be invaluable to us as we grow our business and pursue our mission to build tools and products to support improved delivery for providers and better outcomes for patients while lowering the total cost of care.”
Dr. Ferguson and Mr. Morgan join the world class Board of Directors comprised of:
Dr. Sol J. Barer, PhD is a founder and former Chairman, President, COO, and CEO of Celgene. Dr. Barer currently serves as Board Chair for Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA.TA), NexImmune (NEXI), and Centrexion Therapeutics. He is also lead director for ContraFect Corp. (CFRX) and a member of the Board of Directors for 3DBio Therapeutics. Dr. Barer is also the Founding Chair of the Hackensack Meridian Health Center for Discovery & Innovation and is a co-founder of Barer & Son Capital, an investment fund focused on capitalizing early-stage breakthrough biotechnology companies. Dr. Barer received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University and his B.S. in chemistry from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.
Dr. Yisroel Brumer, PhD is a co-founder and the President of Red Cell Partners and a co-founder and the founding CEO of Zephyr AI. He joined Red Cell following an extensive career of executive leadership in the Department of Defense (DoD) culminating as Acting Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE). Reporting directly to the Secretary of Defense, he led the annual program review process that built the five-year defense program totaling over $3.5 trillion. Dr. Brumer also led CAPE’s oversight of all major investment programs, emphasizing analyses of alternatives, investment strategies, and programmatic tradeoffs. He led the SecDef-directed studies on high-stakes issues known as Strategic Portfolio Reviews that drove the strategic direction of the Department for the last decade. He was a member of DoD’s most senior decision bodies, including the Nuclear Weapons Council, the Missile Defense Executive Board, and the Deputy Secretary’s Management Action Group, among many others. Yisroel holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics and a M.Sc. in Chemistry from Harvard University and has published several works on the physics of complex systems and the application of mathematics and computation to biology and cancer.
Dr. John “Jack” W. Rowe, MD is the Julius B. Richmond Professor of Health Policy and Aging at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Previously, from 2000 until late 2006, Dr. Rowe served as Chairman and CEO of Aetna, Inc., one of the nation’s leading health care and related benefits organizations. Before his tenure at Aetna, from 1998 to 2000, Dr. Rowe served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Mount Sinai NYU Health, one of the nation’s largest academic health care organizations. From 1988 to 1998, prior to the Mount Sinai-NYU Health merger, Dr. Rowe was President of the Mount Sinai Hospital and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Before joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Rowe was a Professor of Medicine and the founding Director of the Division on Aging at the Harvard Medical School, as well as Chief of Gerontology at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital. Currently, Dr. Rowe leads the MacArthur Foundation’s Network on An Aging Society.
Kenneth A. Samet is the MedStar Health President and Chief Executive Officer and responsible for a $7.4 billion not-for-profit, healthcare delivery system. With more than 35 years of experience in healthcare administration, Mr. Samet provides strategic oversight and management for MedStar Health—the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. Prior to becoming MedStar Health’s president and chief executive officer in January of 2008, Mr. Samet served as president and chief operating officer of MedStar Health from 2003-2008; and as the system’s first chief operating officer since MedStar Health’s inception in 1998. Mr. Samet has dedicated his career to health care. He received his master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan in 1982. Mr. Samet served as president of MedStar Washington Hospital Center, one of the nation’s largest tertiary care hospitals, in the District of Columbia from 1990 to 2000. From the mid-1980s to 1990, Mr. Samet held a variety of leadership positions with the Medlantic Healthcare Group, which merged with Helix Health in 1998 to create MedStar Health.
Grant Verstandig is the CEO and a Founding Partner at Red Cell Partners and an accomplished entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. Mr. Verstandig founded Rally Health, a consumer-centric digital health company acquired by UnitedHealth Group in one of the largest digital health exits in history, and co-founded Epirus, an AI-enabled power management company focused on directed energy defense applications. Mr. Verstandig has backed numerous technology-led companies from their earliest stages through their successful transition into the public markets, including Applied Molecular Transport (AMTI), Cortexyme (CRTX), Lucira Health (LHDX), and NexImmune (NEXI), where he serves on the Board of Directors. A respected technologist as well as practitioner, Mr. Verstandig advises several public and civic institutions, including the National Security Agency where he serves as senior advisor on advanced analytics, technology, and artificial intelligence.
Additions to the Board of Directors:
Dr. Roger W. Ferguson Jr, JD, PhD is the Chief Investment Officer at Red Cell Partners and the Steven A Tananbaum Distinguished Fellow for International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of TIAA and the former Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. Previously, Dr. Ferguson was head of financial services for Swiss Re, Chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corporation, and a member of the company’s executive committee. From 1984 to 1997, he was an Associate and Partner at McKinsey & Company. He began his career as an attorney at the New York City office of Davis Polk & Wardwell. Mr. Ferguson currently serves on the boards of Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL), Blend Labs, Inc. (BLND), Corning (GLW), International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF), as well as several private companies including Klarna, Europe’s most valuable privately-owned FinTech company, Red Cell Partners, and several non-profits including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Smithsonian Institution. Mr. Ferguson served on President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness as well as its predecessor, the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and he co-chaired the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on the Long-Run Macro-Economic Effects of the Aging U.S. Population. Mr. Ferguson holds a B.A., J.D., and a Ph.D. in economics, all from Harvard University.
Mr. David L. Morgan II is the President and CEO of Zephyr AI and an operating partner at Red Cell. Prior to joining Zephyr he served as a Senior Vice President for Eurofins Scientific Group running a portfolio of diagnostic, biopharma, and biotechnology companies. He remains a board member of Eurofins Transplant Genomics, Viacor BioPharma Services, and Viacor Eurofins Clinical Diagnostics. Prior to Viracor, Mr. Morgan was President and CEO of VantagePoint Holdings, Inc., a private equity-backed group of diagnostic companies that were sold to Sonic Healthcare. Mr. Morgan has held senior executive positions at Cogent Healthcare, Beacon Bay Holdings, and Laboratory Corporation of America. Mr. Morgan began his career with US LABS, Inc., where he held several management positions culminating as Vice President of Operations when the company was sold to LabCorp in 2006. Following the acquisition by LabCorp, Mr. Morgan remained with the company as both Vice President and Senior Vice President. Mr. Morgan was responsible for integrating LabCorp’s many Oncology and Anatomic Pathology companies into its Oncology Division, which later became known as Integrated Oncology. Prior to his career in healthcare, Mr. Morgan was a 10-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps and remained in the Marine Corps Reserve until retiring as Colonel in 2020. He holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree from Central Michigan University.
Investors with Board Observation Rights:
Dr. Allen Y. Chao, PhD is the co-founder and former Chairman and Chief Executive Office of Watson Pharmaceuticals, known today as Actavis Generics, a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceuticals (TEVA.TA). Currently, he is the chairman and managing partner of Newport Healthcare Advisors and a trustee of the university of California, Irvine. In his twenty-five-year career at Watson, Dr. Chao grew the firm, via internal R&D, strategic M&A, and myriad licensing and acquisitions of pharmaceutical products, companies, and technologies, into the third largest supplier of generic pharmaceuticals in the US. Dr. Chao and his family were formative in the establishment of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and the H.H. Chao Comprehensive Digestive Disease Center at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center and The Chao Center for Industrial Pharmacy at Purdue University. Dr. Chao serves as a Board Member at Tanvex Biologics, Ansun BioPharma, Arbor Pharmaceuticals, and Mithra Biotechnology. Dr. Chao hold a B.S. degree in Pharmacy from Taipei Medical College, and M.S. in Pharmaceutics from Western Virginia University, a Ph.D in Industrial and Physical Pharmacy from Purdue University, and an honorary D.Sc degree from Purdue University in recognition of his leadership and vision for the production and marketing of pharmaceutical products.
Michael L. Cohen
Michael L. Cohen is Vice President of Investments at Lerner Enterprises. Prior to Lerner, Michael worked at the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Blue Atlantic Capital. Michael holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business.
Josh Lobel is the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of M-Cor Holdings and a co-founder of Red Cell Partners. Mr. Lobel serves on the Board of Red Cell Partners and was an early investor in and Board member of Red 6 and SkyHarbour Group. He is the Founder and former Co-Managing Partner of Archer Capital Management, an alternative investment manager that compounded top quartile returns over a 15-year period. Prior to that, Mr. Lobel was an early investment professional at Redwood Capital Management and began his career in the M&A and private equity groups of Morgan Stanley & Co. Mr. Lobel serves on the Board of Directors at Cedars-Sinai where he is the Chairman of the Investment Committee and a member of the Executive Committee. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation and the Advisory Board for the Center for Global Risk and Security at RAND. Mr. Lobel holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.
ABOUT ZEPHYR AI
Zephyr AI is a high-growth healthcare technology company committed to radically reshaping traditional approaches to drug discovery and precision medicine. Through partnerships and proprietary data, Zephyr AI is curating the world’s most comprehensive healthcare dataset and marrying it with cutting-edge artificial intelligence algorithms to generate novel, translatable insights to build tools and products that support both patients and providers and fuel ongoing research. At Zephyr AI, our mission-focused team of world-class software engineers and biologists leverage big data and cutting-edge technology to derive transformational insights and build enduring partnerships that will revolutionize the treatment of cancer, diabetes, and other diseases. Visit us at zephyrai.bio and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
ABOUT RED CELL PARTNERS
Red Cell Partners is an incubation firm building rapidly-scalable technology-led companies that are bringing revolutionary advancements to market in healthcare and national security. United by a shared sense of duty and deep belief in the power of innovation, Red Cell is developing powerful tools and solutions to address our Nation’s most pressing problems. Visit us at redcellpartners.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Head of Marketing, Zephyr AI