jessica ballinger headshot

Jessica Ballinger

President and CEO | Member of the Board

Jessica Ballinger is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Lyndra Therapeutics. She became CEO in 2023, succeeding Dr. Patricia Hurter, a current member of the Board of Directors and chair of the board's Science and Technology committee. Ms. Ballinger is a senior biotech and pharmaceutical executive who has demonstrated a proven ability to identify and deliver on patient needs throughout her 25+ year career, contributing to the development and commercialization of more than 15 leading-edge patient therapies. Armed with a strong network and organizational skills, she is excellent at establishing operating infrastructures and is a trusted advisor and consummate leader who identifies, nurtures and coaches talent to achieve extraordinary results. She joined Lyndra in 2016, was promoted to COO in 2018, added the role of President in 2021 and was promoted to CEO in 2023.

Over the past five years, Ms. Ballinger has been a key partner in ensuring Lyndra’s success and growth to where it is today: raising $380M to date through a combination of equity financing, partnerships and grants; on the cusp of its first pivotal trial; and building infrastructure and organization toward commercialization. Specifically, she has been instrumental in securing and managing the company’s collaborations with strategic partners (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, AbbVie, Gilead, National Institutes of Health), securing and managing company financing activities and investor relations, and managing the Board of Directors operations and governance matters, as well as building the company operations and infrastructure.

Prior to Lyndra, Ms. Ballinger held leadership positions at both Biogen and Pfizer in which she was responsible for patient-centered technical development organizations accountable to develop and scale-up high-quality, highly innovative, globally approved combination products in critical therapeutic areas such as hemophilia, central nervous system conditions, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, ophthalmology and sexual health. Her organizations delivered on accelerated product development timelines, including reducing capital investments required and lowering the cost of goods in the product pipelines of both companies.

She is well known for leading the transformation or creation of new organizations and initiatives focused on company culture and business outcomes. A respected leader, she co-created the inaugural Biogen Alzheimer’s Patient and Caregiver Employee Resource Network (ERN), co-led the inaugural Biogen Women’s Innovation Network and co-led the inaugural Pfizer European Women’s ERN. She was appointed to the inaugural Chief of Staff position supporting the Pfizer European R&D and site leader during her time at Pfizer’s Sandwich, UK site. She received the honorable Pfizer R&D Achievement Award twice in her tenure at Pfizer, recognizing her strong leadership and business impact.

Ms. Ballinger is an active volunteer in fundraising and leadership roles, working with the Northeastern University Biotechnology Industrial Advisory Board and previously with the Oasis Domestic Abuse Service and Melanoma Education Foundation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Illinois – Champaign/Urbana. An amateur photographer, she loves cycling, running and hiking, and lives in Watertown, Mass, with her husband and two sons.

Member Highlight

I come from a town of 700 people just east of St. Louis. True middle America. Picture the cornfields of southern Illinois: a hardworking, blue collar town—those are my roots. I come from a retired military family, barely making ends meet, often on welfare, but always—always—committed to doing whatever it took to help others.

I am the first in my family to go to college, and finished a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry at the University of Illinois in only 3 years. As an undergrad, I was fortunate to be both a teaching assistant in the biochemistry labs and a research assistant in a lab focused on studying multiple sclerosis. Both of those experiences led me to the biotechnology industry, a place where I could continue working in a lab environment, continue learning new things and help change people’s lives for the better.

I’ve been in the industry ever since. When Amy asked me to help build this company, I couldn’t wait to join the team. I knew I was about to be a part of something special. This was an opportunity to build a unique company with a unique mission: to change how people take medicine.

At Lyndra, everyone is necessary. Everyone is expected to work hard, to step outside their comfort zones, and ultimately, to make a difference. Building a team where people from different backgrounds can come together to do what they do best—that’s not just corporate-speak at Lyndra. It’s critical to what we do.

For instance, coming from a career where I was often the only woman at the table, it’s wonderful to be in a community that is mostly female. Everyone can bring their best self to work every day without being asked to change. Lyndra is the first team I have been a part of where being your authentic self is 100% expected. In fact, it’s the only way to succeed.

I am fortunate to have had a life and career full of hardship, success, change, diversity, mentorship, empowerment and advocacy. I believe it’s with focus, grit, determination and the appreciation we have for each other we will succeed in our mission to provide better medicine.