Philip Tagari switches Amgen’s discovery lab for insitro’s machine learning tools; CEO Joaquin Duato to chair J&J’s board

Philip Tagari

In February, Philip Tagari will take a few days of retirement and then immediately return to industry. He won’t be leading the therapeutics discovery unit for a large biopharma, though.

He’ll trade in his Amgen hat for chief scientist at a machine learning startup that has reeled in hundreds of millions in capital to lay the groundwork for a much-hyped new model of drug discovery that aims to speed up the time to new clinical assets.

At insitro, the 24-year Amgen veteran will address what he calls the “intractable challenges” of drug R&D. His mandate, per CEO Daphne Koller in this week’s appointment announcement, is to hunt for “new targets and design therapeutic molecules.”

“The challenge was for Amgen and me, an established biopharma, is to build that airplane while you’re flying the current airplane,” Tagari said in…
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