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Biotech Pioneer CRISPR taps the ex-Barclays Banker as CFO

David Parrot, a former Barclays executive, is bringing a number of takeaways from his more than two-decade experience in life sciences investment banking to his current post as CFO of Scribe Therapeutics. He is motivated in part by the conviction that capital is the lifeblood of the industry. “The capacity to access capital in all its forms is very, very crucial in biotech because you’re burning money to undertake research,” said Parrot, who joined the business in December after previously serving as managing director responsible for Barclays‘ West Coast life sciences and biotechnology investment.

Parrot intends to avoid classic biotech blunders such as not raising enough money to fund required research and initiatives, sometimes owing to a fear of dilution, or not raising it quickly enough. Scribe has both scientific star power and technology in the hot gene-editing part of the biotech business, which has piqued the interest of investors, huge pharmaceutical companies, the scientific community, and others.

Scribe, established in Alameda, California, promises to develop medicines that permanently cure the fundamental causes of disease by overcoming the limitations of current genome editing technology. Jennifer Doudna, a scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, co-founded the company and shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020 for pioneering work on CRISPR-Cas9, a method for editing DNA.

Even for a company with Scribe’s illustrious scientific history, however, the IPO financing market’s prospects have dimmed for the time being. While one of Parrot’s goals is to take the company public, he recognises that the situation is not ideal. As biotech IPOs have slowed to a trickle, many venture capitalists and startup leaders are formulating plans to save money while keeping their companies private for longer.

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