Biotech CEO David W. Martin Joins Stem Cell Agency Board

For immediate release 
Contact: Kevin McCormack at 415-361-2903 or

September 19, 2017 Oakland, CA –  David W. Martin, M.D., the Chair and CEO of AvidBiotics Corp., a biotech company in South San Francisco, has been appointed to the governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

California State Treasurer John Chiang made the appointment saying Dr. Martin has had a “very distinguished career in both academics and the biotech industry: One of his early successes was the discovery by his lab at UCSF of the biochemical mechanisms responsible for the immune deficiencies caused by the genetic loss of key components in a child’s immune system. As a result, he was part of the National Institute of Health team providing guidance for the first successful human gene therapy treating adenosine deaminase deficiency, a severe immune system disease which requires a child to live in a bubble since their immune systems are virtually non-functional.”
Dr. Martin said he is delighted to be joining the CIRM Board: “I feel privileged and enthused to be able to participate in overseeing the continued acceleration of CIRM’s translation of stem cell research into health benefits.”

Dr. Martin brings with him years of experience in both the biotech and medical field. He is the co-founder of AvidBiotics which uses specially engineered proteins to target and kill bacterial infections. Prior to that he has been Senior Vice-president of Research & Development (R&D) at Genentech, Executive Vice-president of R&D at DuPont Merck, and President of Chiron Therapeutics. He has served as Chairman of the Board of BayBio and is a senior fellow of the California Council of Science and Technology. Before joining Genentech in 1982, he was Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Francisco and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He attended M.I.T. and received his M.D. and clinical training from Duke University.

“Fortuitously, I’ve been in the right place at the right time more than once as a physician-scientist, in both academe and industry; hopefully those experiences and perspectives may be of benefit to CIRM,” Dr. Martin said. 

“Having someone with Dr. Martin’s experience and expertise join us on the CIRM Board can only enhance our ability to live up to our mission of accelerating stem cell treatments to patients with unmet medical needs,” says Jonathan Thomas, Ph.D., J.D., Chair of the CIRM Board. “We are delighted to have him on board.”
 Dr. Martin fills the seat represented by an executive of a California life science commercial entity.

About CIRM

At CIRM, we never forget that we were created by the people of California to accelerate stem cell treatments to patients with unmet medical needs, and act with a sense of urgency to succeed in that mission.

To meet this challenge, our team of highly trained and experienced professionals actively partners with both academia and industry in a hands-on, entrepreneurial environment to fast track the development of today’s most promising stem cell technologies.

With $3 billion in funding and approximately 300 active stem cell programs in our portfolio, CIRM is the world’s largest institution dedicated to helping people by bringing the future of cellular medicine closer to reality.

For more information go to