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Why Making the Jump from Pharma to Biotech Can be a Life Changing Experience

In less than two years, Orchard Therapeutics has changed from a small, relatively unknown UK biotech specializing in gene therapy into a billion euro company listed on the Nasdaq. This is in no small part due to the skills and experience of Mark Rothera, its CEO and President, who joined the company in 2017.

Orchard Therapeutics is the sixth biotech company that Rothera has helped build up into a successful business, although his first as CEO. He has specialized in the rare disease space, and has helped get several therapies to market including the first treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare degenerative muscular disease, at his last company PTC Therapeutics.

After spending several years working in big pharma at GlaxoWellcome, he made the jump to biotech because he felt the draw of the more entrepreneurial atmosphere in this field. Like a lot of people working in the space he has experienced the highs and the lows of the business, but he believes it gives him the opportunity to make a bigger impact than if he had stayed in pharma.

What inspired you to get into biotech in the first place?

I think the first six-seven years of my career with Glaxo were very formative, but there was something in me that I think was very much about making a bigger impact and building something in a more entrepreneurial way.

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