Accelerating Breakthrough Discoveries into Medicines

Christopher Shaffer

Christopher L. Shaffer, PhD

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Chris is Senior Director, Scientific Entrepreneur, EPIU, at Biogen. He holds a BS in chemistry (high honors) from The College of William & Mary, and a MS and PhD (honors) in medicinal chemistry from the University of Kansas.  

Immediately following graduate school, Chris joined the Department of Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism (PDM) at Pfizer, Inc. as a biotransformation lab head working on CNS projects from preclinical development through POC.  Four years later, Chris became a PDM lab head in CNS Discovery where he worked for nine years.  In addition to PDM project representative roles on numerous CNS projects, Chris was the Research Project Leader (RPL) for the AMPAR PAM program, whose clinical candidate (PF-04958242 or BIIB104) is currently in Ph2, as well as for other programs from pre-HTS through Ph2.  In August 2014, Chris formally joined the Neuroscience and Pain Research Unit (NPRU) as a Portfolio Lead within the NeuroOpportunities Group, which served as the interface between the NPRU internal portfolio and external opportunities both corporate and academic; he was the RPL for both the MedGenesis GDNF-CED program for PD (Ph2a) and an exploratory preclinical neuro-oncology program. 

In April 2018, Chris joined Biogen’s External Portfolio Innovation Unit (EPIU) as a Senior Director – Scientific Entrepreneur, where he is responsible for identifying, evaluating, securing and leading external deals that either augment the internal pre-LD through POC portfolio or enable access to differentiated technologies that enhance internal innovation.  The position represents Biogen in global interactions with industry, academia, non-profits and/or other for-profits that foster highly productive partnership via actively contributing to scientific collaboration. 

Over his career, Chris has led many neuroscience-centric interdisciplinary efforts such as translational neuropharmacology, accurately projecting the human pharmacokinetics and neuropharmacokinetics of small molecules to optimize their clinical dosing regimens, and strategically implementing novel drug-delivery methodology into select brain-disease programs.  Chris has co-authored 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts, speaks regularly in diverse external forums, and is a member of the American Chemical Society and its Medicinal Chemistry Division.