Niranjan Y. Sardesai was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Inovio in January 2012. He served as the Company’s Senior Vice President of Research and Development following the June 2009 merger with VGX Pharmaceuticals, at which company he held the same position. Dr. Sardesai joined VGX Pharmaceuticals in 2006 where he helped formulate the company’s product development and growth strategies and reorganized the company into a DNA vaccine and immunotherapies company. Across VGX and Inovio, Dr. Sardesai drove multiple M&A and licensing transactions to consolidate key technologies, establish the corporate footprint, and develop its immunotherapies platform and product pipeline. He led the strategic out-licensing of Inovio’s pipeline products to secure major licensing deals with big pharma companies. He has raised over $130 MM in non-dilutive grants and contract funding from government and non-government organizations and served as Principal Investigator on multi-institutional programs developing Inovio’s oncology and infectious disease products. Under his leadership, Inovio’s development stage products have been recognized by several pharmaceutical industry awards for innovation and the potential to address significant unmet needs.
Dr. Sardesai was previously the founder and President of NVision Consulting Inc., a firm providing strategic counsel to entrepreneurial life sciences companies. He served as Director of Research and Development at Fujirebio Diagnostics, Inc., where he oversaw the expansion of the company’s oncology portfolio. Products developed under his leadership include groundbreaking new tests for mesothelioma (MESOMARK™), bladder cancer and a multi-marker test for ovarian cancer.
Dr. Sardesai received a PhD in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and an MBA (entrepreneurship and finance) from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the recipient of the Shils-Zeidman Award in Entrepreneurship. He was awarded fellowships at the Scripps Research Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Sardesai received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. He has authored over 100+ peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters with particular contributions in vaccines and immunotherapies, oncology, and medical devices; presented at over 120+ invited lectures and presentations, and filed several patents. Dr. Sardesai was recently recognized by Pharmavoice magazine as one of the top 100 most influential and inspirational leaders from across the life sciences and healthcare industry (2015).