A transatlantic leader in individualized neoantigen-targeted T cell therapies
Based in Cambridge, MA, BioNTech US serves as BioNTech’s North American headquarters and is an important part of our global effort to pioneer the development of next-generation immuno-oncology therapies. BioNTech US is a fully integrated subsidiary with a strong foundation in Europe and a focus on the development of novel neoantigen-targeted T cell therapies, complementing BioNTech’s highly innovative scientific approach and diversified pipeline of transformative cancer medicines. As a key research and clinical development hub, BioNTech US will enable BioNTech’s growing presence in the US.
BioNTech US leadership
Richard Gaynor is the President of BioNTech US and Chief of R&D. Previous to this position, he had been President of Research and Development at Neon Therapeutics since 2016. Previously, from 2013 until his departure in 2016, he held the position of Senior Vice President of Global Product Development and Medical Affairs at Lilly Oncology. Richard Gaynor began his career in academia, spending nine years on the faculty at UCLA School of Medicine, followed by 11 years on the faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, including time serving as the Chief of Hematology-Oncology and Director of the Simmons Cancer Center. He then moved to Eli Lilly, where he spent nearly 15 years overseeing a number of functions including oncology drug discovery and clinical development. He is the author of nearly 150 publications and participates on numerous advisory boards and committees including currently serving as a Director of Alkermes plc and Infinity Pharmaceuticals. Richard Gaynor holds an M.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. Following his residency in internal medicine there, he completed fellowship training in hematology-oncology at the UCLA School of Medicine.
Seth Harmon is the Vice President of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer of BioNTech US and has more than 15 years of experience working in finance and operations. Prior to BioNTech, he held a variety of positions at Neon Therapeutics, including Controller and VP of Finance and Accounting. At Neon, he helped the company successfully complete its $100 million initial public offering and oversaw the company’s integration with BioNTech. Prior to his role at Neon, he was the Corporate Controller at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc. Seth Harmon holds a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from Bowdoin College and a M.B.A and M.S. in Accounting from Northeastern University and obtained his certified public accountant license while working at Ernst and Young, LLP.
Kelledy Manson is the Vice President of Product Development of BioNTech US. Before joining BioNTech, Kelledy Manson was a founding employee of Neon Therapeutics in 2015. She brings nearly 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, having been involved in all aspects of development in addition to program leadership and program and alliance management. Prior to her role at Neon, Kelledy Manson held leadership roles at a number of companies including Epizyme, Adnexus, which was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb, Therion Biologics, TSI Corporation and Genzyme Transgenics. Kelledy Manson holds a B.S. in medical technology from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in biology from Worcester Polytechnical Institute.
Zach Taylor is the Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy and member of the leadership team at BioNTech US. Before joining BioNTech, Zach Taylor was a founding employee of Neon Therapeutics in 2015. He brings over 20 years of experience in biopharmaceuticals and healthcare industries to BioNTech across commercial, strategic planning and corporate development functions. Earlier in his career, Zach held positions of increasing responsibility at Parke-Davis (now Pfizer), Millennium Pharmaceuticals (now Takeda), and Philips Healthcare Research in The Netherlands. Zach Taylor has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and a BS in Applied and Engineering Physics from Cornell University.
Our origins – grounded in science
BioNTech US originated as Neon Therapeutics, which was acquired by BioNTech SE in 2020 to combine neoantigen expertise in the field of cancer medicine and immunology by leveraging the highly complementary capabilities and resources of the two companies. Neon was founded in 2015 by well-renowned scientific leaders, including a Nobel prize winner, with deep insights into the development of neoantigen therapies, focused on both vaccine and T cell capabilities. The merger of the two companies allowed BioNTech to further continue building its capabilities in the T cell receptor area and establish a stronger presence in engineered T cell therapies.