Dr. Patricia Hurter

CEO | Member of the Board

Patricia Hurter, Ph.D., is the CEO of Lyndra Therapeutics and a member of the Lyndra Board of Directors. She became CEO in 2019, succeeding Amy Schulman, the executive chair of the board and a Lyndra co-founder. Named as one of FiercePharma’s “Fiercest Women in Life Sciences,” Dr. Hurter is a leader who executes aggressively, creating momentum for organizational change and growth via clearly articulated vision and strategies.

In her role as CEO, Dr. Hurter has led Lyndra into a period of rapid growth, with the company closing a Series C round, more than doubling its headcount, opening a GMP manufacturing facility, and preparing for pivotal trials for its lead asset oral weekly risperidone (LYN-005) at the same time as it is advancing several new assets into the clinic. Before joining Lyndra, Dr. Hurter was senior vice president of pharmaceutical and preclinical sciences at Vertex Pharmaceuticals where she played a leadership role in the development and commercialization of five transformative therapies; established an internal GMP manufacturing facility; and pioneered the first-of-its-kind fully continuous drug product manufacturing line. Prior to joining Vertex, Dr. Hurter was director of formulation design and characterization at Merck.

A frequent speaker at key healthcare leadership conferences, Dr. Hurter is also a regular contributor to many scientific publications and serves on the Board of Directors of biotech company Synlogic, Inc. A champion of DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion), Dr. Hurter has helped build mentorship programs and volunteers with organizations such as the Posse Foundation and WEST (Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology) that support students of diverse backgrounds pursuing college degrees and science careers. She also often speaks to support and networking groups for women and underserved populations in STEM.

Dr. Hurter holds a Doctorate in chemical engineering from MIT, a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University and a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. An avid equestrian, she is a competitive show jumper and splits her time between Massachusetts, Virginia and Florida with her family, their horses and dogs.

Member Highlight

When I was a teenager, it was difficult to pursue my interest in science—not because I wasn’t enthusiastic (I was) or lacked the ability (I didn’t), but because in South Africa at the time, girls generally weren’t taught science. It sounds almost unbelievable now, but in order to learn topics more advanced than eighth grade biology, I had to change schools, and even then, the level of instruction for girls was usually sub-par. Still, I stuck with it. I’m a problem solver by nature, so I suppose I was driven by a need to find answers. I wanted to understand why things work the way they do and luckily, I had my dad, who was a mechanical engineer, to help fill in the gaps in the curriculum.

I came to the US for graduate school and after earning my PhD from MIT, launched a career that turned out to be characterized by that same kind of quest, always looking for the next challenge, always seeking out the next answer that could, hopefully, have a positive impact. One of the most recent highlights was my work on Trikafta, a drug that has proven to be a game changer for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, at Vertex. After that success, I considered retiring to be able to spend more time with my horses, but that didn’t last long. Lyndra, quite simply, drew me in.

At Lyndra, there’s the challenge of developing the first-ever ultra-long-acting, sustained release oral therapy. That’s a complex, multi-faceted problem, and even though solving it won’t be easy, we are poised to have a real and dramatic impact on lives around the world. In addition, the company is comprised of dedicated people who have the most extraordinary level of engagement and involvement I’ve ever encountered. When an unusual challenge is put in the hands of exceptional people, the work becomes energizing—and irresistible.

Throughout my life, I’ve been willing to take risks and explore new ideas. Years ago, when I changed schools to pursue a science education, I began learning how important it is to be resilient, and those lessons still ring true today. Every now and then, we still run into issues that seem especially problematic but at Lyndra, we strive to bend, not break. That means there’s usually a period of time when we’re all burrowed in, working on an answer. Then, within 24 hours or so, solutions start emerging. It’s that passion for problem solving and the knowledge that we’re doing it to save lives that inspires me, and the company, to keep pushing forward every day.