BIO Investor Forum - Opening Plenary Session

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It Takes a Village: The New Pharma-VC Model for Biotech Investing

Tuesday, October 9th, 12:00pm-1:25pm, Twin Peaks, N/S

High-profile funding collaborations between pharmaceutical companies and traditional venture capital funds have made headlines in recent months, pooling resources and expertise in an attempt to source and develop the most successful drugs. What factors are driving this new model of biotech investing from both the VC and pharma standpoints, and how are these deals structured? What does this trend mean for emerging biotech companies and the assets they are developing?


  • Alan F. Eisenberg, EVP, Emerging Companies & Business Development, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)


  • Francesco De Rubertis, Partner, Index Ventures
  • Jonathan MacQuitty, PhD, Partner, Abingworth, LP 
  • Brian McVeigh, CPA, CMA, CLP, MBA, Vice President, WWBD Transactions & Investment Management, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals

Who's Who

Francesco De Rubertis
Partner, Index Ventures

Francesco is a Partner in the firm's life science practice which he helped create in 1997. He has served on the board of directors of numerous companies. The list of companies that Index has been involved with from very early stages include; Genmab (GEN DC), PanGenetics (sold to Abbott ABT US), Addex (ADXN SW), Parallele (sold to Affymetrix), Bioxell (sold to Cosmo COPN SW), Aegerion (AEGR US), Cellzome and Molecular Partners. Prior to joining Index, Francesco was involved in post-doctoral research in Genetics at the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is also the author of several publications in international scientific journals. Francesco has a BA in Genetics and Microbiology from the University of Pavia and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Geneva. He is a CFA charterholder and is also a member of the Strategic Board of the University of Geneva.

Alan F. Eisenberg
EVP, Emerging Companies & Business Development, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)

Alan F. Eisenberg serves as Executive Vice President for Emerging Companies & Business Development at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). In this role, Eisenberg manages and directs BIO’s services and advocacy efforts for BIO’s 650+ emerging companies, which comprise approximately 90% of BIO’s membership.  This includes tax, capital formation, financial services, and selected health policy development and advocacy, BIO’s global portfolio of investor and partnering events, industry research and analysis, and BIO’s affinity purchasing program enrolling over 2,000 companies. 

Previously at BIO, Eisenberg served in other senior leadership roles, including responsibilities for BIO’s communications function, as well as state government relations, Board operations, and BIO’s political action committee.

From 2001 through 2004, Eisenberg served as Health and Economics Policy Advisor to BIO CEO Jim Greenwood during his tenure in Congress. In this role, Eisenberg was extensively involved in the enactment of several public laws including the Medical Device User Fee and Modernization Act (P.L. 107-250), the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (P.L. 107-109), as well as key provisions of the Medicare Modernization Act (P.L.108-173).  

Prior to that, Eisenberg briefly served on the staff of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Public Health Subcommittee as Health Policy Advisor and also was a legislative assistant for Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ).

Before coming to Washington, Eisenberg spent four years with Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI, as a research economist and finance manager in manufacturing. As an economist, Eisenberg was responsible for conducting and overseeing the development of analyses relating to a variety of energy, regulatory and tax matters.

Eisenberg holds a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government), a Master of Science in Finance degree from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Union College. He is married to Shalla Ross, and they have two daughters, Michayla and Isabella.

Jonathan MacQuitty, PhD
Partner, Abingworth, LP

Jonathan has headed Abingworth’s West Coast office since May 1999. Abingworth is a leading trans-Atlantic life science venture capital investor with three offices and over $1.3 billion under management. Abingworth has invested in over 120 companies over the last 25 years, the majority having been acquired or gone public.

In 1988, following positions at Genentech and Genencor, Jonathan co-founded GenPharm International where he was CEO from inception until 1997 when its US operations were acquired by Medarex. GenPharm’s European operations were spun out as Pharming BV (listed on Euronext).

Jonathan has an MA in Chemistry from Oxford, a doctorate in Chemistry from University of Sussex, and an MBA from Stanford. He has served on the Board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization ("BIO") and the Boards of private companies such as Acorda (now NASDAQ), Dicerna, Guava (acquired), Gynesonics, Hydra, Labcyte, Myelos (acquired), ParAllele (acquired), Personalis, Quantum Dot (acquired), SFJ Pharma, Sosei (now listed in Tokyo), and Sunesis (now NASDAQ). 

Brian McVeigh, CPA, CMA, CLP, MBA
Vice President, WWBD Transactions & Investment Management, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals

Brian McVeigh is the Vice President of Worldwide Business Development Transactions and Investment Management at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). In this capacity he leads a global team of Business Development professionals responsible for GSK’s business development deals including in-licenses, out-licenses, research collaborations, co-development and co-promotion arrangements, joint ventures, product acquisitions, newco startups, equity investments, and M&A deals. He also has responsibility for managing GSK’s portfolio of equity investments in R&D collaboration partners and GSK’s portfolio of LP investments in venture capital funds.

Brian has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility within the R&D Finance, Marketing, Corporate, and Worldwide Business Development organizations throughout his 20 year career with GSK. Brian has extensive business development experience having successfully led a broad range of business development transactions including the acquisitions of Domantis, Praecis, Sirtris, and Genelabs, and the in-licensing of ambrisentan (Volibris®). Brian is a member of GSK’s Business Development Executive Committee, Transactions Leadership Team, and the Technology Investment Board. He serves on the Board of Directors of the SB1 Federal Credit Union and on the LP Advisory Committee of the Longwood Founders Fund and the Hatteras Venture Partners III Fund and IV Fund. He is based at GSK’s R&D Headquarters in Upper Merion, PA.

Brian holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Accounting and Finance from LaSalle University, an MBA with a Concentration in Finance from Villanova University, a Post MBA Certificate in Pharmaceutical Marketing from Saint Joseph's University, and a CPD from the Wharton Business School. He is a member of the Licensing Executives Society and is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and a Certified Licensing Professional.