David Borhani, Ph.D.

GinkGo Bioworks, Sr. Director, Business Development

Discipline-bridging biopharmaceutical industry 30-year veteran working to grow Ginkgo’s commercial opportunities in the pharmaceutical and government sectors. He has recently led teams to win some of Ginkgo’s largest government awards, among them a program to develop cell-free therapeutic protein synthesis (DARPA; $18M). During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was part of the Ginkgo team that secured an NIH RADx-ATP award to build an NGS-based testing platform ($40M), and a DFC loan to help Ginkgo expand into biosecurity ($1.1B). He won Ginkgo’s first Pharma contract (Lilly), and initiated and co-led the one with Novo Nordisk. Active in international outreach, he led Ginkgo’s expansion to Australia and facilitates ongoing work in Israel.

Previously, Borhani spearheaded external pharmaceutical collaborations at D.E. Shaw Research, applying supercomputer simulations to real-world drug discovery. One of the triumvirate who discovered DES-7114, an orally administered, highly selective small-molecule Kv1.3 voltage-gated ion channel antagonist licensed to Lilly ($60M upfront; milestone payments up to $475M; worldwide royalties). DES-7114 is being clinically developed for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

He led structural biology at BASF/Abbott Laboratories (now AbbVie). His team strengthened and protected marketed and clinical-stage drugs, and led or co-led small molecule, peptide, and antibody discovery, formulation, and technology projects in several therapeutic areas (immunology and oncology focus) to deliver 6 clinical candidates.

Postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University (Structural Biology); SB and PhD degrees in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.