Cibus Appoints Co-Founder Rory Riggs as Chief Executive Officer

Cibus announced the appointment of Rory Riggs, co-founder, and Chairman of Cibus, to serve as Chief Executive Officer. He will succeed Peter Beetham, PhD, also a Cibus co-founder, who has been appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of the 20-year-old company.

“Since our founding, Rory has been an important strategic partner in the success of Cibus and we are pleased that he is deepening his involvement in the company’s growth as CEO,” said Dr. Beetham. “With the recent progress toward a European approval of Cibus’ proprietary precision gene-editing technology, as well as other recent Cibus commercial announcements, this management shift is an important step in scaling Cibus to address the enormous opportunities that exist in the global agriculture solutions market.”

Rory Riggs

“Cibus’ Rapid Trait Development System technology is set to play a leading role in the global drive to make farming more efficient and sustainable. The tremendous technological breakthroughs in gene editing by our scientists and others, have placed agriculture at a major point of inflection in the use of environmentally sound biological solutions to address both farming sustainability and agriculture’s impact on climate change,” said Riggs.

“Cibus’ focus is productivity improvements in the major row crops: canola, rice, soybean, wheat, and corn. These crops are grown annually on billions of acres of land. Addressing the use of chemicals and the impact of climate change on these major global crops is critical to achieving virtually every sustainable development and climate goal. I am excited to work more closely with the team at Cibus in this enormous opportunity to make Cibus a global leader in the transformation of agriculture.”

Riggs has an extensive record of executive leadership and innovation in the healthcare and biotechnology fields. He is a co-founder, former Chairman and director of Royalty Pharma, the largest acquirer of pharmaceutical royalties and leading funder of innovation in the life sciences. In addition, he has co-founded and served on the board of several important biotechnology companies including Sugen and Fibrogen.

Previously, Riggs served as President and director of Biomatrix, Inc. from 1996 until its sale to Sanofi/Genzyme. During his tenure, he led the development and global commercial launch of an important new category for the treatment of osteoarthritis: viscosupplementation; and the leading product in the category: Synvisc®. Mr. Riggs also served as CEO of RF&P Corp., an investment company owned by the Virginia Retirement System until its sale to Lazard. He is a Director of Intra-cellular Therapies, Inc; Stage Zero Life Sciences, and a co-founder and Partner of Scientia Ventures LLC, a leading venture investor in Cibus. He was formerly a Managing Director at PaineWebber, Inc.

Riggs is also a pioneer in the field of systems data and the developer of a new information system called FIS® (Functional Information System) for the functional mapping of systems data in biology and economics. This technology is covered by several patents of which one is with Dr. Beetham and Greg Gocal, PhD, Cibus’ Chief Scientific Officer. FIS is currently the basis for two investment and research analytics companies: Syntax LLC and Locus Analytics LLC.

“The addition of Rory to our executive team is a major step in accomplishing our goal of redefining and reshaping the agricultural crop protection business,” said Dr. Gocal, co-founder, Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President at Cibus. “The continued technological breakthroughs in genomics and gene editing have created a generational moment in one of the most exciting scientific periods of our lifetime and we look forward to making significant contributions to improve farming through biology.”

Riggs received his BA from Middlebury College and his MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.