Executive Vice President, Genentech Research and Early Development
Mike Varney, Ph.D. is the Executive Vice President and Head of Genentech Research and Early Development (gRED) and a member of the Roche Corporate Executive Committee. In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of gRED innovation, drug discovery, and development.
Mike brings decades of leadership and drug discovery innovation to gRED. In 1987, he was one of the original fifteen employees at Agouron, a biotech company based in San Diego that developed protein structure-based drug design as a new drug discovery approach. At Agouron, Mike led the Research efforts. While there, he and his team pioneered the process of protein structure-based drug design. From these efforts came Viracept, an HIV protease inhibitor and a number of anticancer agents including Xalkori, Inlyta and Rucaparib.
In 2005, Mike was recruited by Genentech to take the company beyond biologics and create a small molecule drug discovery capability. Within 10 years, the small molecule organization had produced >40% of gRED’s development portfolio including the marketed anticancer agents Erivedge and Cotellic.
Mike has a B.S. in Chemistry from UCLA, a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from CalTech and was an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow at Columbia.