Bill Rutter, Synergenics

Bill Rutter is Chairman and Founder of Synergenics, LLC, which owns and controls a portfolio of Biotechnology companies at various stages of development.

In his academic career, Bill joined UCSF as head of the newly formed department of Biochemistry and Biophysics in 1968, and played a key role in developing UCSF into a major scientific institution.  In research, he is particularly known for the discovery of the enzymes involved in the expression of DNA (RNA polymerases); the first cloning of the insulin gene; the cloning of Hepatitis B virus (HBV), and formation of a Hepatitis B virus-like particle which provided the basis for a safe and protective vaccine.  

With two colleagues, Bill founded Chiron in 1981, a pioneering Biotech firm that developed (with Merck), the first recombinant vaccine (against HBV),  a process for manufacturing insulin from yeast (Novo-Nordisk),  Chiron alsowas the first to clone theAIDS (HIV) virus, and also the discovery, cloning and sequencing of the Hepatitis C (HCV)virus,  and developed quantitative diagnostic tests for the HIV, HBV, and HCV viruses, thus providing the means for eliminating blood contaminated with these viruses. This was a major contribution to public health worldwide.  Chironalso developed and promulgated the concept of"viral load"  as the basis for determining disease status, and also the basis for developing and evaluating antivirals, and other treatment protocols for these and other diseases. Ciba-Geigy, a major pharmaceutical company acquired 49% interest in Chiron in 1996, in exchange for their Diagnostic business (thus making Chiron a major Diagnostic company), half of theChiron-CibaGeigy vaccine business (thus making Chiron a major vaccine manufacturer), and substantial cash.  Later Ciba-Geigy merged with Sandoz to form Novartis. Bill resigned from the chairmanship of Chiron in 1999, and the Chiron Board in 2003.   Novartis purchased the remainder of Chiron in 2006.

Prior to Chiron, Bill was a consultant to Abbott Laboratories for ~ 20 years, and a member of the Amgen Scientific advisory board.   Bill’s board memberships includeNovartis 1995-1999, Sangamo Biosciences (1999-2005), Cytokinetics (1999-2005), Nugen (2002-2005), Oscient pharmaceuticals (1999-2005), Epitomics (2003-2012), Eureka Genomics (2012-present), Apexigen (2012-present), Boston Biomedical Institute (2012-present) and One Globe, and Cellworks (2013-present).  

He is a member of The National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received numerous awards for his contributions to science and the biotechnology industry.