Senior Managing Partner & CEO, Flagship Pioneering


Executive Partner, Flagship Pioneering

David R. Epstein serves as the Chairman of Axcella Health and is Executive Partner at Flagship Pioneering. Most recently he served as Chief Executive Officer of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, a Division of Novartis AG, from 2010 to mid 2016. From 2001 - 2010, Mr. Epstein started and led, Novartis' Oncology and Molecular Diagnostic units. Under his leadership the Oncology business grew to number two in the world. He has more than 25 years of extensive drug development, deal making, commercialization and people leadership experience on a global scale. Mr. Epstein’s teams led the development and commercialization of over 30 new molecular entities including major breakthroughs such as Glivec, Tasigna, Gilenya, Cosentyx and Entresto. He currently serves on the boards of directors of International Flavors and Fragrances, Inc. (NYSE: IFF), Evelo Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: EVLO) and of Rubius Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: RUBY), as Executive Chairman.

Early in his career, he was an Associate in the Strategy Practice of the consulting firm Booz, Allen and Hamilton. Mr. Epstein has been an Independent Director of International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. since January 2016 and of Evelo Biosciences since April 2017. He was recently named by Fierce Biotech to be among "The 25 most influential in biopharma."

Mr. Epstein holds a B.S. Degree in Pharmacy with high honors from Rutgers University College of Pharmacy (1984) and an M.B.A. in Finance and Marketing from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business (1987).