The Gelesis team includes proven entrepreneurs and leaders in obesity & metabolism, healthcare and commercialization


Yishai Zohar

Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Gelesis
A seasoned entrepreneur, Mr. Zohar has over 25 years’ experience in the development of industry innovating companies. Mr. Zohar is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer and a Board of Directors member of Gelesis Inc., a Boston-based biotechnology company developing a proprietary hydrogel platform designed to leverage mechanobiology along the GI tract to potentially alter the course of chronic diseases including obesity, NAFLD/NASH and inflammatory bowel disease. Zohar led the company from formation and initial discovery as a co-inventor and shepherded the company and product through clinical studies and a landmark FDA clearance of lead product PLENITY™ as an aid for weight management. PLENITY is the first and only FDA-regulated aid for weight management cleared for use by all adults with excess weight (BMI between 25-40 kg/m2) with or without the presence of comorbidities, in conjunction with diet and exercise. Prior to founding Gelesis, Mr. Zohar was a Co-Founder of PureTech Health (PRTC.L), a biopharma company developing groundbreaking therapeutics that target the Brain-Immune-Gut axis. In his role at PureTech he led the obesity/GI initiative which engaged leading experts to look at a broad landscape of technologies and approaches. This initiative led to the formation of Gelesis. Zohar has a degree in Business Administration from the College of Management Academic Studies (COMAS) in Tel Aviv and was an air force pilot ranked Captain in the Israeli Defense Forces.

Elon Boms

Managing Director & Founder, LaunchCapital

With a passion for working with industry disruptors and teams that have a strong business development focus, Elon has been involved in over 150 deals across a wide range of industries and geographies. His portfolio performance includes the sale of 20 companies since 2010 with an IRR that places LaunchCapital in the top 10% of venture funds worldwide. He holds an MBA from Yale School of Management and a BA in Economics from the George Washington University.

Paul Fonteyne

Chairman of Boehringer Ingelheim USA

Paul Fonteyne most recently served as President and CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim USA and was a board member of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Industry Association until March 2018. From 2009 to 2011, Mr. Fonteyne served as Senior Corporate Vice President, Prescription Medicines Marketing at Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH. From 2003 to 2008, he served as Executive Vice President, Head of Marketing and Sales, Prescription Medicines at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. During his time at Boehringer Ingelheim, Mr. Fonteyne orchestrated a significant increase in the Company’s topline sales and growth of its human pharmaceuticals portfolio. Most significantly, Mr. Fonteyne was instrumental in several launches from the Company’s type 2 diabetes portfolio. Prior to his work at Boehringer Ingelheim, Mr. Fonteyne served as Regional Vice President, Sales and as Vice President, Marketing at Merck & Co., Inc. and held various leadership roles with Abbott Laboratories, Inc. Mr. Fonteyne received his MBA from Carnegie-Mellon University and his MS in Chemical Engineering from the Polytechnic School at the University of Brussels.

Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D.

Paul C. Cabot Professor of Genetics and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School
Raju was a founder and formerly a Board member of Abgenix (acquired by Amgen), and Millennium Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Takeda), and is currently the Paul C. Cabot Professor of Genetics and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and was the first Scientific Director of the Harvard-Partners Center for Genetics and Genomics. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Kucherlapati’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School is involved in cloning and characterization of human disease genes with a focus on human syndromes with a significant cardiovascular involvement, use of genetic/genomic approaches to understand the biology of cancer and the generation and characterization of genetically modified mouse models for cancer and other human disorders. He served on the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine and was Editor in Chief of the journal Genomics.

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