BIO Investor Forum Advisory Committee

  • Recommend
  • Tweet
  • Print
  • Email

Srini Akkaraju, MD, PhD
General Partner, Sofinnova Ventures

Srini Akkaraju has over 16 years of investment and operational experience in the life sciences sector. He joined Sofinnova in 2013 as a General Partner, and concentrates on biopharmaceutical investments. Srini’s board memberships have included Piramed (acquired by Roche), Eyetech Pharmaceuticals (EYET), Synageva BioPharma (GEVA), Seattle Genetics (SGEN), Intercept Pharmaceuticals, (ICPT), and Versartis.

Prior to joining Sofinnova, Srini was a Managing Director at New Leaf Venture Partners. Prior to NLVP, he was a co-founder and Managing Director at Panorama Capital. Before forming Panorama, he served as Partner of JP Morgan Partners. Prior to JP Morgan Partners, Srini held business and corporate development positions at Genentech. He received BA degrees in both Biochemistry and Computer Science from Rice University and MD and PhD degrees in Immunology from Stanford University School of Medicine.

John W. Chambers
Managing Director & Head of Healthcare Investment Banking, ROTH Capital Partners

John Chambers, a Managing Director and Head of Healthcare Investment Banking group, joined ROTH Capital Partners in December 2009. Chambers was formerly the head of Merriman Curhan Ford’s Heath Care and investment banking team. Prior to joining Merriman, Chambers was co-head of investment banking at Rodman & Renshaw. He has also held senior-level health care and biotechnology banking positions at SG Cowen, Lehman Brothers, UBS and Salomon Smith Barney. Chambers has executed a significant number of banking transactions, strategic transactions and restructurings across all health care sectors.

Chambers earned his MBA from Columbia Business School and his BS in mechanical engineering from Union College.

Francesco De Rubertis
Partner, Index Ventures

Francesco joined Index in 1998 to help form the firm's life sciences activity. Now based in London, life sciences investments include CellZome (acquired by GSK), Egalet (NASDAQ:EGLT), GenMab (CPH:GEN), GenSight Biologics, Micromet (acquired by Amgen), Molecular Partners, Minerva Biosciences, PanGenetics (acquired by Abbott), Parallele (acquired by Affymetrix), Profibrix (acquired by The Medicines Company) and Versartis. He is on the main board of the University of Geneva. Prior to joining Index, Francesco was a postdoctoral scientist at the Whitehead Institute of the MIT, in Cambridge.

David H. Donabedian, PhD
Vice President, Head of Venture Investments & Early Stage Collaborations, Abbvie

David Donabedian is Vice President and Head of Venture Investments & Early Stage Collaborations for AbbVie. David is responsible for leading a global team of investment professionals based in the US and Europe to identify and execute minority investments in biotech companies, licensing/acquiring pre-Phase 1 compounds and expanding academic partnerships. David currently serves on the Boards of AM Pharma, Avaxia, Kala, Virobay and the iBIO institute.

Prior to joining AbbVie, Dr. Donabedian was Senior Vice President, Locust Walk Partners, where he led strategic transactions and engagements for biotech and pharmaceutical companies. He has over 17 years of experience in the life sciences industry and has held a number of senior leadership roles related to business development, fundraising, strategy and research, including Vice President, Global New Deal Strategy & Development at GlaxoSmithKline’s Centre of Excellence for External Drug Discovery; Vice President of Business Development for Surface Logix; and Senior Manager in Accenture’s Strategic Services Consulting Group. Dr. Donabedian began his career as a research scientist with Dow Chemical and Boston Scientific.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from St. Anselm College, a Ph.D. in polymer chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Douglas Fambrough, PhD
CEO, Dicerna Pharmaceuticals 

Douglas Fambrough is a co-founder of Dicerna Pharmaceuticals and joined the company as CEO in May 2010. Prior to joining Dicerna, Dr. Fambrough spent over a decade as a biotechnology venture capitalist with Oxford Bioscience Partners, one of Dicerna’s investors. At Oxford, he specialized in financing innovative life science technology companies such as the first generation RNA interference company, Sirna Therapeutics (acquired by Merck). Among his other investments are high-throughput DNA sequencing pioneer Solexa (acquired by Illumina); Xencor, which engineers antibody Fc domains to enhance drug properties; Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, a developer of antibiotics against multi-drug resistant pathogens; and Solstice Neurosciences (acquired by US WorldMeds). Prior to Oxford, Dr. Fambrough was a genomic scientist at the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research (now known as the Broad Institute). Dr. Fambrough graduated from Cornell University and holds a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Todd Foley
Managing Director, MPM Capital

Todd Foley is a managing director in MPM Capital's Boston office. His currently active investments include: Celladon (NASDAQ: CLDN), Chiasma, Iconic Therapeutics, OSS, Proteon Therapeutics, Selexys Pharmaceuticals, and Valeritas Inc. He also manages MPM¹s longstanding strategic partnership with Novartis Pharmaceuticals, one of the first and most active VC-Pharma relationships. Prior to joining MPM in 1999, Mr. Foley worked in Business Development at Genentech and management consulting with Arthur D. Little. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from MIT and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Jean-Francois Formela
Partner, Atlas Ventures

Jean-François Formela is a partner in the life sciences group and focuses on new advances in biology and drug discovery technologies as well as novel therapeutics.

He serves on the boards of Annovation Biopharma, Ataxion, F-star and RaNA Therapeutics, which he co-founded. He is the chairman of Egalet (NASDAQ: EGLT) AND Spero Therapeutics.

Jean-François has been involved in the formation of companies such as Adnexus (acquired by BMS), ArQule (NASDAQ: ARQL), Arteaus Therapeutics (acquired by Eli Lilly), Cellzome (acquired by GSK), deCODE (NASDAQ: DCGN, acquired by Amgen), Exelixis (NASDAQ: EXEL), MorphoSys (Xetra: MOR.DE), NxStage (NASDAQ: NXTM), and SGX Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SGXP, acquired by Lilly). He was also an investor in Achillion (NASDAQ: ACHN), CoStim Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Novartis) and Horizon Pharma (NASDAQ: HZNP) as well as a board member of Biochem Pharma (NASDAQ: BCHE, acquired by Shire) and Novexel (acquired by AstraZeneca).

Jean-François joined Atlas Venture in 1993 to build the U.S. life sciences franchise. Prior to joining Atlas, Jean-François worked at Schering-Plough, where he directed U.S. Phase IV studies in all therapeutic areas. Before that, he was responsible for the marketing of Intron A, Schering-Plough’s alpha-interferon. As a medical doctor he practiced emergency medicine at Necker University Hospital in Paris.

Jean-François is a member of the Massachusetts General Hospital Research Advisory Council and a trustee of the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art. He received his MD from Paris University School of Medicine, and his MBA from Columbia University.

Ramnarain "Joe" Jaigobind
Head of Global Equity Markets, Aegis Capital

Mr. Jaigobind is the head of Aegis Capital’s Global Equity Capital Markets. Joe has raised in excess of $55 billion in capital markets through Leading, Co-Lead Manager, or as a Syndicate Member. Mr. Jaigobind started his career at Shearson Lehman Brothers in the Private Client Group and was, most recently, with Rodman & Renshaw, where he held the position of Head of Global Equity Capital Markets. Joe has also acted as Senior Vice President with Investec Ernst and was an Executive Managing Director at Maxim Group. He's been a Chairman’s Circle Member of the US-India Business Council and served as a Director of the Board of the US-Pakistan Business Council. Mr. Jaigobind was a member of the Susquehanna Investment Network based in Lewisburg and has previously served on the board of directors of Care Management International. Mr. Jaigobind is also a Trustee of the West Street Charitable Foundation.

Gail Maderis
President & CEO, BayBio

Gail Maderis is President & CEO of BayBio, the industry organization representing and supporting Northern California’s life science community. As a former biotech CEO, Ms. Maderis brings deep experience and commitment to supporting the industry through enterprise development, peer-to-peer experience sharing, advocacy and support of education and workforce development. From 2003 to 2009, Ms. Maderis served as President and CEO of Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held protein discovery and development company. At FivePrime, she successfully funded the company’s rapid growth through substantial private equity financings and corporate partnerships and took the company’s first novel cancer therapeutic from discovery into clinical trials. Prior to FivePrime, Ms. Maderis held senior executive positions at Genzyme Corporation, including founder and president of Genzyme Molecular Oncology (GZMO). Ms. Maderis practiced management and strategy consulting with Bain & Co. She currently serves on the boards of BayBio, NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NBY), a publicly-traded anti-infective company, Opexa Therapeutics (OPXA), a publicly-traded cellular immune-mediated disease company, the Mayor’s Biotech Advisory Council of San Francisco and the HBS Healthcare Initiative. She received a BS in business from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Graeme Martin, PhD
President & CEO, Takeda Ventures

Dr. Martin is President and CEO of Takeda Ventures, Inc, with day-to-day responsibility for operations. With more than 35 years R&D experience in multinational pharmaceutical and biotech companies, he has overseen a wide range of therapeutic discovery initiatives that have resulted in three IND submissions and the launch of Zomig® now marketed worldwide for the acute treatment of migraine. Dr Martin joined Takeda's Venture group in 2003, becoming President in 2005. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacology from the University of Bath, UK and his doctorate from University College, London, UK.

Oleg Nodelman
Founder and Managing Director, EcoR1 Capital Fund

Oleg Nodelman is the Founder and Managing Director of EcoR1 Capital Fund, a leading biotech focused investment fund. With 15 years of experience in investing and consulting, Mr. Nodelman has expertise in all aspects of investment management and deep roots in the biotech and scientific communities. Before founding EcoR1, Mr. Nodelman was a Portfolio Manager at BVF Partners, one of biotech’s first dedicated hedge funds. During his 11 years with BVF, Mr. Nodelman’s responsibilities spanned the entire investment process, from opportunity generation and due diligence to portfolio management and trading. Mr. Nodelman began his career in strategic consulting and organizational management at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman), where he worked with senior management from companies in a variety of industries to develop and implement long-term strategy and build shareholder value. Mr. Nodelman is active in the biotech community and sits on the board of Kindred Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ: KIN). He is also a member of the President’s Council at the Gladstone Institute. He has a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service with a concentration in Science and Technology from Georgetown University.

Deepa Pakianathan
General Partner, Delphi Ventures

Deepa is a Managing Member at Delphi Ventures and leads all of the firm’s biotechnology investment activities.

She currently serves on the boards of Alder Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ALDR), Alexza Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ALXA), Calithera Biosciences, ForSight:Vision5, Karyopharm Therapeutics (Nasdaq:KPTI), NeurAxon, and Oncomed Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:OMED).

Deepa previously served on the boards of Salmedix (acquired by Cephalon), Ilypsa (acquired by Amgen), PTC Therapeutics (Nasdaq:PTCT) and Relypsa(Nasdaq:RYLP). She also led the investments in Cardeas Pharma, KAI Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Amgen), and a PIPE investment in Seattle Genetics (Nasdaq:SGEN). Deepa joined Delphi in 2001 to build and lead the firm’s biotechnology investment practice which focuses on drug discovery and development platform technologies that have resulted in multiple novel drugs, including five that are commercially marketed.

Prior to joining Delphi, Deepa was a Vice President in the healthcare group at J.P. Morgan where she was involved in several large healthcare M&A transactions and led public offerings for biotechnology companies that raised over $9 billion. Prior to that, she was a biotechnology research analyst at Genesis Merchant Group. She worked as a postdoctoral scientist in the Immunology Department at Genentech Corporation from 1993 to 1997. She serves as Vice-Chair of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Board of Trustees.

Deepa received her Ph.D. and MS from Wake Forest University and her MSc and BSc from the University of Bombay.

Heather Preston, MD
Partner and Managing Director, TPG Biotech

Prior to joining TPG Biotech in May 2005, Dr. Preston spent two years at JP Morgan Partners where she focused on medical device and biotechnology venture capital investing. Prior to JP Morgan Partners, Dr. Preston was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with New Enterprise Associates. She also spent five years at McKinsey & Co. in New York, where she was a leader of their pharmaceutical and medical products consulting practice. She advised large pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies on critical strategic issues such as R&D portfolio prioritization, M&A opportunities, new technology acquisitions, new product launches and product growth strategies. Dr. Preston has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of London and a medical degree from the University of Oxford. Dr Preston completed a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular biology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University and trained in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and sub-specialized in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at UCSF. During her academic medical career, she was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, a Fulbright Cancer Research Scholarship, a Harlech Scholarship and a Science and Engineering Research Council Post-doctoral Fellowship Award

Dr. Preston co-founded Virobay Inc., a biotechnology company which is seeking to develop new therapies for the treatment of pain and auto-immune diseases. Dr. Preston currently serves on the boards of Albireo, Alder Biotherapeutics, Aptalis Pharma, Conventus Orthopaedics, Otonomy and Virobay. Previously she has served on the boards of Vibrynt, VLST and Elevation Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Sunovion in September 2012) and is responsible for overseeing TPG Biotech’s investment in Par Pharmaceuticals.

Rajeev Shah
Portfolio Manager, RA Capital Management

Rajeev Shah is a Partner at RA Capital Management, which has been investing in healthcare companies since 2002. Prior to joining RA Capital, Rajeev worked as a Senior Project Leader at Altus Pharmaceuticals, a spin-off company of Vertex Pharmaceuticals. At Altus, he assessed business processes and implemented system solutions for all science areas. Rajeev graduated from Cornell University, where he majored in Chemistry with a concentration in Economics. He is an active member of the Big Brothers of Massachusetts Bay program.

Asish K. Xavier, PhD 
Vice President, Venture Investments, J&J Development Corporation

Asish is based in the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in Silicon Valley, California. Asish focuses on venture investments in biotechnology and diagnostics. Asish joined Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation in 2004, and has invested in over a dozen biotech and diagnostics deals.

Asish previously worked in business development at BioRexis Pharmaceutical Corporation (King of Prussia, PA) which was acquired by Pfizer in 2007. While at BioRexis, he assisted the company in raising a $30 million round of financing. Asish has worked in business development at Structural GenomiX, Inc. (San Diego, CA), acquired by Eli Lilly in 2008, and was a project leader at Message Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Malvern, PA).

Asish received a Ph.D. from the University of Houston and a MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with honors. He received a Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India. Asish was a postdoctoral research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University.