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Erika Smith

Erika Smith

CEO, ReNetX Bio
erika smith

Erika Smith has over 30 years of life-science industry experience launching, investing in, and successfully exiting life-science and technology companies.

Currently, Erika is the CEO and Board Member of ReNetX Bio, a venture funded biotech company, with a pipeline of indications in neurology and ophthalmology with assets licensed from Yale University and a major biotech company. Through Erika’s leadership, the company has raised $35M of financing and built an executive team and scientific advisory board to advance from preclinical activities to an active IND and through Phase 1/2 clinical studies. The company successfully navigated process development and manufacturing scale up production of complex protein, toxicology testing, biomarker and assay development, Fast Track Designation from FDA, patient engagement, and clinical operations.

As an investor, she served as the inaugural director the Blavatnik Fund at Yale, launched the Johnson & Johnson investment fund in partnership with the Center for Innovative Technology and was a Venture Advisor to Epidarex Ventures, a transatlantic life-science venture firm. In these roles, she led investment advisory boards with top-tier investment firms including H.I.G. Ventures, Atlas, Orbimed and Canaan for the evaluation of early-stage deals. Erika has held board representation across a portfolio of +15 companies, led deal sourcing, due diligence, investment closeout across technology, diagnostics, devices and therapeutics. These early-stage investments enabled successful exits including medSage (acq: Philips Healthcare), Isoplexis (NASDAQ: ISO), and Biorez ($250M Acq NYSE: CNMD)

She is a recognized thought leader with extensive network holding numerous awards including:

“Industry Superstar”, “Entrepreneur of the Year,” Entrepreneurial Innovation & Leadership Winner , Power 25, New Haven Biz, 2021 | Tech 25, New Haven Biz, 2021 and co-author of playbook “Empowering Women Entrepreneurs” sponsored by JPMorgan Chase; and TEDx speaker. She is the Vice Chair and on the Executive Committee of Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the world’s largest trade association representing >1,000 biotech companies globally to advance the industry through direct engagement with FDA leadership, capital formation and drug payor policies.

Early in her career she has held executive roles ranging from New Ventures/M&A (Philips Healthcare - previously Respironics), leading quality assurance/regulatory affairs (Hyperion) and manufacturing scale up (IVAX). Erika received a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in International Business from Vanderbilt University.