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Molly Harper, Chief Business Officer of Synlogic

‘’You cannot err enough on the side of over-communication. If you do, the worst that will happen is people might get annoyed. But if you err on the side of under-communication, then you can have this misalignment. Misalignment can breed mistrust, accidentally. So, that's the biggest thing is being really intentional about communication.’’
-Molly Harper

Molly Harper, Chief Business Officer of Synlogic, a biotechnology company that went public in 2017 through a reverse merger with Mirna Therapeutics raising an additional $40M after $100M in venture capital funding. Molly is also a member of the Board of Directors for Catalyst Pharmaceuticals and PreciseDX. Molly attended Wharton for her MBA, Healthcare Management, and Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University.

Key Takeaways:

1. Balancing Science and Business. Molly believes that in order to connect science and business and ensure commercial viability, it's important to have a deep understanding of the external environment, including clinical practice, patient requirements, FDA and payer perspectives, and macro trends. This requires staying up to date with both internal and external information and being able to adapt to changes in the industry. 2. Importance of company culture. Synlogic has a strong patient-centric culture, which has been central to the company's values since its inception. This culture was established by the CEO, who was originally the Chief Medical Officer, and has set forth a foundation of trust, respect, and solid relationships with the patient community. Molly highlights the importance of company culture when joining an organization and how Synlogic focus on patient-centeredness made a significant difference for them. 3. Effective communication. Molly believes that communication is crucial for maintaining a strong company culture and fostering trust within an organization. Synlogic places a strong emphasis on regular communication and coming together as a team to ensure alignment and avoid misalignment that can lead to mistrust.

Topics Covered:

From Deep Analytics to Leading Post IPO: Molly Harper, Chief Business Officer of Synlogic 0:00 What Synlogic focuses on 0:40 How Molly manages multiple drug development programs in a pipeline 2:36 Molly’s main role as a Chief Business Officer 3:52 How Molly Staying Up-to-Date with Internal and External Information in Drug Development 6:03 How the team focuses on its mission and how they retain their employees 8:05 Becoming a Board Member 9:02 Approaching Board Roles in the Biotech Industry 11:47 Balancing Learning and Demands in the Biotech Industry 13:35 Pitfalls to Avoid in Life Science Organizations 15:34 Impactful Career Advice in the Biotech Industry 17:25

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