Todd C. Zion, Ph.D. is the Co-founder, President, and CEO of Akston Biosciences Corporation, a leader in the field of insulin engineering. Since its founding in 2011, Akston has raised over $15 million in equity and grant financing to develop its novel platform of biologic therapeutics for ultra-long acting insulin therapy, oncology, and autoimmune Type 1 diabetes prevention. Its lead product candidate, an injectable therapeutic for preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes in people who are at high risk for developing Type 1 diabetes, is now ready for clinical trials.
Prior to starting Akston, Dr. Zion founded SmartCells, Inc. to develop SmartInsulin, the world’s first glucose-regulated insulin for treating diabetes. In December 2010, Merck and Co. acquired SmartCells and has since completed a Phase I clinical trial on its lead candidate demonstrating its safety and efficacy in Type 1 diabetic patients. Dr. Zion developed the SmartInsulin technology as part of his doctoral thesis work in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to enrolling at MIT, he worked as a polymer development engineer at Eastman Kodak. Todd graduated from Cornell University summa cum laude with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Zion is an Associate Director at MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service and also serves on a number of advisory boards including those of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Joslin Diabetes Center, and the MIT Chemical Engineering Visiting Committee. He is also active in his community serving as the head of Devereux School and a board member of Dollars for Scholars, both of which are located in Marblehead on the north shore of Massachusetts.