TiE Boston recognizes Purnanand Sarma, Ph.D. President & CEO of Immunome, as 2020 Lifetime Achievement Awardee

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Dr. Sarma to be honored at the 2020 TiE Boston Gala, Keynote Fireside Chat with Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CMD of Biocon

TiE Boston, a not-for-profit dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, announced that the recipient of its 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award would be Purnanand Sarma, President and CEO of Immunome, Inc. The award will be presented at this year's annual gala to be held virtually on Dec 18th at 7pm EST. The theme of the 2020 Gala is “A Whole New World” and will feature a virtual fireside chat with Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CMD of Biocon.

TiE Boston President, Anu Chitrapu, shared, “Dr, Sarma’s achievements are extraordinary in any time period, but in this COVID era, his phenomenal achievements in Health Sciences make his contributions invaluable! TiE Boston is honored to recognize him with the Lifetime Achievement Award!”

“I am deeply honored to receive this prestigious award and thank TiE Boston, an incredible organization fostering innovation, growth and the development of next generation entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Sarma. “I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with an amazing group of individuals in an extremely fulfilling TiE Boston ecosystem.”

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be conferred upon Dr. Sarma in recognition of his extraordinary journey and his invaluable contribution in the fields of science, business and entrepreneurship. Past awardees have included Venkat Srinivasan, Amar Sawhney, Mukesh Chatter, Jit Saxena, Desh Deshpande, Anil Singhal and Anant Agarwal.

2018 TiE Boston Lifetime Achievement Awardee and serial entrepreneur, Dr. Amar Sawhney, shared, “Sarma has shown an incredible breadth of talent from key roles in larger pharma, to entrepreneurial roles at Taris, and now taking on incredible challenges that we are all facing with COVID19 and running a public emerging biotech. His contributions span many disease states with meaningful advances. He has been incredibly generous with his time in mentoring efforts. All these exemplify the TiE Lifetime achievement Award. We are proud to have Sarma in our community.”

Dr. Purnanand Sarma serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Immunome, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company utilizing a proprietary human memory B cell platform to discover and develop first-in-class antibody therapeutics, with a focus on oncology and infectious diseases including COVID-19. Sarma has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry across multiple R&D platforms and led the development of therapeutics in companies ranging from venture-backed biotechnology start-ups to large cap pharmaceutical companies. He was most recently the President & CEO of Taris Biomedical, based in Lexington, MA, which he built into a leader in therapeutic urology, and was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in December 2019. Earlier at Taris Biomedical, in addition to raising more than $100M in equity capital, he also sold one of Taris’ products to Allergan in a deal worth up to $587M. Prior to Taris, Sarma held leadership positions at Cephalon Corporation, Nektar Therapeutics and Glaxo SmithKline. Dr. Sarma received a PhD in Pharmaceutics from the University of Minnesota, and a B.Pharm degree from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India.

Sarma recently joined Immunome as its President, CEO and Board Member. Under his leadership, the company completed its initial public offering in October 2020. Immunome’s proprietary technology leverages immune response from patients who successfully learned to fight off the disease, specifically by probing their highly-educated memory B-cells, to discover novel therapeutic antibodies, and their targets. The company is currently focused on developing drugs to treat cancer, and infectious diseases, including COVID-19. In July 2020, the United States Department of Defense awarded a $13.3 million contract to Immunome for the development of a novel biosynthetic convalescent plasma (BCP) as a potential new approach to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

TiE Boston Executive Director, Simone LaPray, shared, “Dr. Sarma has been a long time charter member and contributor to TiE Boston. In his busy schedule, he would still find time to foster the next generation of entrepreneurs at TiE Boston - from mentoring our companies in ScaleUp, attending our angel investor meetings and even dedicating a Saturday morning in Kendall Square to work with high school youth in our TiE Young Entrepreneurs program.”

The “2020 President’s Award” goes to Nikhil Bhojwani, Managing Director of Recon Strategy, for his work in the fight against the pandemic. As a result of his HBR article, co-written with Dr. Atul Gawande, the Assurance Testing Alliance was formed. With his continued involvement, the COVID testing platform set up by CIC-Health, is based on the blueprint outlined in the article and has resulted in hundreds of thousands of tests done across multiple states and hundreds of organizations.

This year's TiE Boston Gala will also host a virtual keynote fireside chat with special guest, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon, Asia’s leading biopharmaceuticals enterprise. Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is a pioneering biotech entrepreneur, a healthcare visionary, a global influencer and a passionate philanthropist. She is a pioneer of India’s biotech industry and founder of Biocon. Ms. Mazumdar-Shaw is the proud recipient of two of India's highest civilian honours, the Padma Shri (1989) and the Padma Bhushan (2005). She was also honoured with the Order of Australia, Australia’s Highest Civilian Honour in January 2020. In 2016, she was conferred with the highest French distinction - Knight of the Legion of Honour. She has been named as the winner of EY World Entrepreneur of the Year™ 2020 Award, which is a testimony to her entrepreneurial journey of over four decades. She has been elected as a full-term member of the Board of Trustees of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, and also serves as a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), USA.

About TiE Boston:

TiE Boston connects tomorrow's founders with today's entrepreneurs, executives and venture capitalists. Founded in 1997 by entrepreneurs who immigrated from the Indus region, TiE Boston champions inclusion in innovation by blending the fundamentals of entrepreneurship with traditional Indian values that place importance on community, mentorship, and long-term relationships.

TiE Boston is one of the region's largest and oldest organizations supporting the Massachusetts entrepreneurial ecosystem, focused on supporting entrepreneurs throughout their lifecycle — from ideation to creation, through growth, wealth creation and ultimately, support of future founders.

The TiE Boston community encompasses students, founders, experienced entrepreneurs, angel investors, and venture capitalists. Its programs foster trusted, long-term relationships between its participants — span education, mentoring, networking, and funding.

For more information about TiE Boston, visit https://www.tieboston.org/.

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Simone LaPray
TiE Boston
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