Robert W. Overell, PhD
President and CEO
Robert Overell is Founder, President and CEO of PhaseRx, a privately-held RNA therapeutics company developing breakthrough mRNA drugs to treat orphan liver disease. Prior to starting PhaseRx, Robert was a General Partner with Frazier Healthcare Ventures, where he participated in raising over $600M of venture capital and invested over $60M in early-stage biotechnology companies. His venture experience spans the spectrum of investment risks and stages, from seed to late stage investing. He was a key figure in the founding and/or growth of several venture-backed companies, including Array Biopharma (NASDAQ:ARRY), and XenoPort (NASDAQ:XNPT).
His investments included therapeutics, tools, reagents, instrumentation, bioinformatics and service businesses. Prior to Frazier, Dr. Overell helped found the Immunex gene therapy spinout Targeted Genetics, where he directed the development of novel gene delivery vehicles. Dr. Overell joined Immunex in 1984, where he built and led research and development programs in cell and molecular biology. At Immunex, he led the development, manufacturing and clinical affairs for the first HIV gene therapy trial in the world, which was approved by the FDA and RAC in 1991.
He was trained as a cell and molecular biologist and has published numerous publications and patents, including a landmark paper on cell transformation in Nature in 1983. He obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the Institute of Cancer Research, University of London, UK, and his BS in Biological Sciences from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He has served on numerous corporate boards, including SkeleTech, Array Biopharma (NASDAQ:ARRY), FastTrack, Chimerix (NASDAQ: CMRX), Quantum Dot, Inpharos, Gene Machines, and XenoPort (NASDAQ:XNPT). He also serves on the board and is the immediate past Chairman of YouthCare (www.youthcare.org