As MicroCHIPS Inc. prepares to leave the laboratory and enter clinical development, the company is bringing in a new CEO to replace outgoing co-founder John Santini.
The Bedford, Mass.-based drug delivery systems developer tapped Ajit Gill, the former CEO of Auspex Pharmaceuticals and Nektar Therapeutics, for its corner office. In addition to his duties as president and CEO, Gill will also sit on the company’s board of directors.
Santini, a former graduate assistant of MIT legend Robert Langer, founded MicroCHIPS along with Langer and MIT colleague Michael Cima in 1999. He led the firm for 11 years, through several funding rounds, including a recent nearly $16.5 million raise that took the total to $70 million.
Santini moves on to front On Demand Therapeutics Inc., a San Francisco-based MicroCHIPS spinout that’s still in stealth mode. Santini told the Boston Globe in January that part of MicroCHIP’s recent funding round was going towards developing On Demand, which is focused on delivering drugs to the eye.
MicroCHIPS says it’s moving closer to clinical trials on two of its products this year. The first is an implant for continuous glucose monitoring for people with diabetes; the second is an implantable device designed to deliver “an anabolic bone-building therapy for severe osteoporosis,” according to a press release.