CILA Therapeutics





Area of Expertise

Product Development

Immediately Qualified to Serve

Nominating and Governance

Previous Board Experience

Nonprofit, Private

Safia Rizvi is a distinguished business executive, entrepreneur, and scientist with over two decades of leadership in the life sciences and healthcare sector. Her career is defined by a pursuit of innovation with purpose and a commitment to making effective therapies accessible worldwide.

As CEO of CILA Therapeutics, Safia is driving the development of novel therapies for chronic lung diseases like COPD and Cystic Fibrosis, alongside a platform for improved RNA delivery directly to the lungs. Under her leadership, CILA has evolved from concept to a clinical trial-ready pipeline, prioritizing therapies for orphan diseases such as Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia.

Prior to CILA, Safia held pivotal executive positions at innovative biotechnology organizations, including Chief Operating Officer of CARAVAN BIOLOGIX and Managing Director of the Blue Group. Her strategic insights and operational expertise helped advanced cell therapy platforms and provided invaluable advice to CEOs and leadership teams.

Safia has broad experience across multiple disease areas and therapeutic modalities, spanning traditional Pills, Biologics, Vaccines, and Cell & Gene therapies. With diverse and extensive experience as a scientist and business leader at large and mid-cap multinationals (GlaxosmithKline, Astra Zeneca) as well as small innovative startups (CARAVAN), she brings a distinct perspective on strategic challenges of organizations. She has effectively navigated global and local regulatory frameworks and market dynamics in the US, EU, and Asia, and offers invaluable insight to corporation seeking global expansion and tangible growth.

Safia’s academic credentials include an MBA from Wharton School, a Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of Oklahoma, and a comprehensive “Board Room Ready” program at George Washington University. Her research contributions, reflected in numerous publications and over 25 patents. Amongst her various recognitions are American Heart Association Fellowship, American Red Cross Award, and E&Y’s Businesswoman of Distinction award.

Active in both for-profit and non-profit sectors, Safia serves on the boards of “Kermode Biotechnologies,” a vaccine company, and “eLIT,” a nonprofit she co-founded in 2001 to support education for economically challenged women. Her diverse and extensive experiences have shaped her into a business leader capable of driving impactful change globally, making