Name: Steven Russell
New title: Chief medical officer, Beta Bionics
Previous title: Associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School
Beta Bionics has strengthened its C-suite ahead of the commercial launch of its iLet Bionic Pancreas system. Steven Russell has joined the company as chief medical officer, completing a new leadership team that began taking shape with the appointment of Sean Saint as CEO last year. The changes come as Beta Bionics works to secure U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance for its pocket-sized, wearable autonomous insulin dosing device, iLet.
Russell joined Massachusetts General Hospital in 2001 and has held the role of attending physician for most of his time at the organization. In parallel, Russell worked from 2006 at Harvard Medical School, where he spent the past five years as associate professor of medicine. Russell has kept his Harvard faculty appointment and will work at MGH Diabetes Associates part time.
The rest of Russell’s working life will focus on Beta Bionics, a company he previously collaborated with as study director for iLet clinical trials. Russell explained the thinking behind his move to industry in a statement to disclose his appointment.
“Until the completion of the pivotal trial, I felt I was able to bring the most value to the project as an academic physician, providing advice and executing clinical trials,” Russell said. “Now that the pivotal trial is complete, I think my contributions will be most impactful by providing medical leadership within Beta Bionics as we work to obtain FDA clearance and prepare for the launch of the iLet.”
Beta Bionics, which previously lacked a CMO, designed iLet to free people with diabetes from the need to set insulin regimen parameters. After entering their body weight, users leave the device to titrate and infuse insulin. The device outperformed a standard of care control arm that included people using hybrid closed loop systems in its pivotal trial. The device is the subject of a pending 510(k) submission.