Mr. David Johnson is a biopharmaceutical business leader with more than 25 years of experience in drug development. He is currently Chief Executive Officer and founder of Solve Therapeutics, a venture-backed start-up focusing on developing next-generation mAb-based oncology therapeutics. In late 2021, the company closed a $126 million Series A financing.
Prior to founding Solve Therapeutics, Mr. Johnson served as Chief Executive Officer at VelosBio, which Merck acquired for $2.75 billion in late 2020. Before VelosBio, Mr. Johnson was Chief Executive Officer at Acerta Pharma, where he led the company through a critical phase of growth from early to late-stage clinical development. Mr. Johnson and his leadership team ultimately led the acquisition of Acerta by AstraZeneca in a deal valued at $7 billion.
Prior to Acerta, Mr. Johnson held roles of increasing responsibility with Calistoga (acquired by GILD), Gloucester (acquired by CELG), MLMN (acquired by TAK), Immunex (acquired by AMGN), and Roche. He has raised over $700 million in biopharma capital and delivered transactions valued at over $10 billion.
In addition to Aura’s Board, Mr. Johnson serves on the Board of Directors of Palleon Pharmaceuticals and Lengo Therapeutics (recently acquired by BPMC). He also serves as Lead Director of Zentalis Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing small molecule therapeutics targeting fundamental biological pathways of cancer.