January 9, 2023

The Best is Yet to Come

John Leonard, M.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Intellia Therapeutics

Each year that passes, I continue to be amazed by Intellia’s growth. Since joining the company in 2014, I’ve been able to see firsthand that the progress we’ve made is the result of really hard work from a group of very talented people. In 2022, Intellia was second to present interim clinical data suggesting we can successfully edit genes inside the human body using CRISPR. We were only second because in 2021, we already were the first company to demonstrate that.

Sure, you may be thinking, “What took so long?” What I can say is it’s not how fast you start — it’s the race you run. I’ve always been a fan of Aesop’s Fables story, The Tortoise & The Hare. The progress Intellia has made over the past few years reminds me of that. We still have a long road ahead of us, but we’ve always had a long-term strategy and been deliberate in our approach. With that, I believe we’ve laid the foundation for a promising future.

“…we have built an amazing culture here, and that’s what makes working at Intellia so special.”

Our People Are Driving the Future of Medicine

One aspect of the company that has evolved in parallel to our scientific achievements is our culture. Today, we have more than 600 employees. Naturally with such rapid growth, there was concern Intellia’s culture would become diluted by a growing number of new employees joining from other companies or academic institutions — but it has been the complete opposite.

I frequently attend team meetings across the organization, and there’s a level of enthusiasm and energy in the room (or on camera) that you can’t ignore. Most importantly, I see our colleagues sharing each other’s successes and inspiring one another to reach for even greater heights. To me, that has been particularly rewarding.

Intellia has assembled a wonderful group of people who have vast, invaluable experiences. There is a sense of urgency, pride and passion that is simply refreshing. Bringing people together with different backgrounds and perspectives and fusing it into something that works is not easy. But we have built an amazing culture here, and that’s what makes working at Intellia so special.

New Year, Same Tradition

As we enter another new and promising year, I remain committed to my tradition of personally meeting with every new employee who joins the company (of course, these meetings have become slightly larger in recent years). One theme that remains constant in those interactions is sharing the meaning of our core values: One, Explore, Disrupt and Deliver. I always end with Deliver.

When I went to medical school, I quickly learned what it meant to be at the limits of the pharmacopeia – when there is nothing to offer a patient. At the end of the day, our goal is all about making a meaningful difference in someone’s life to reduce those limits. In each passing year, we believe we are moving closer to that goal.