Armen Shanafelt brings over 24 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and diagnostic businesses to Lilly Ventures. Previous to joining Lilly Ventures, Armen was CSO responsible for the generation of the early biotherapeutic pipeline for Eli Lilly and Company, spanning the therapeutic areas of oncology, endocrine, and neuroscience. During his 7 years with Lilly, the biotherapeutic group delivered over 20 molecules into clinic development.
Armen received his B.S. Degree in Chemistry and Physics from Pacific Lutheran University, and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He completed his postdoctoral work at DNAX Research Institute, where he studied the structure-function relationships of cytokines and their receptors. He since has held leadership positions of increasing responsibility first with the Biotechnology Unit of Bayer Corporation, where he was directly responsible for bringing engineered proteins into the clinic for the treatment of autoimmune disease, cancer, and HIV, and then as Research Fellow and Director of Research at Roche Diagnostic Corporation, where he was responsible for the identification and development of novel diagnostic technologies and its application. He is an inventor on multiple patents, including engineered biotherapeutics and diagnostic technologies, and has authored publications ranging from the physical characterization of model polymers to the strategic application of protein optimization to therapeutic protein development.
Armen currently serves as a director on the boards of Aeglea BioTherapeutics, Aileron Therapeutics, Protagonist Therapeutics, Surface Oncology, Sutro Biopharma and Symic Biomedical. He is a Kauffman Fellow (Class 14).