Nicholas Galakatos, PhD
Dr. Nicholas Galakatos is a founder and Managing Director of Clarus, a global healthcare investment firm. He has been a venture capital investor since 1992, initially at Venrock Associates and then at MPM Capital where he was General Partner. From 1997-2000 Nick was Vice President, New Business and a member of the Management Team at Millennium Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Takeda). He was a founder of Millennium Predictive Medicine and TransForm Pharmaceuticals, where he also was the Chairman and founding CEO. Nick entered the venture capital business after being Head of Molecular Biology Research at Ciba (presently Novartis). He holds a B.A degree in chemistry from Reed College, a Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from MIT, and performed postdoctoral studies in molecular biology at Harvard Medical School. Nick is a member of the Board of Directors of Catabasis (CATB), Nanostring (NSTG), and Ophthotech (OPHT). Previously, he was the Chairman of TransForm (acquired by J&J) and Hypnion (acquired by Lilly), the Lead Director at Affymax (AFFY), and a Director of Aveo (AVEO), Caliper (CALP; acquired by Perkin-Elmer), Critical Therapeutics (CRTX), Link Medicine (acquired by AstraZeneca), Syrrx (acquired by Takeda), Millennium Predictive Medicine (acquired by Millennium), Millennium BioTherapeutics (acquired by Millennium), Portola (PTLA), and Taligen (acquired by Alexion). Nick is a member of the Director’s Council of the Koch Institute at MIT, and the Genetics Advisory Council at Harvard Medical School.
Manos Perros, PhD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Greg Norden is the Managing Director of G9 Capital Group, LLC, which invests in early stage ventures and provides corporate finance advisory services. From 1989 to 2010, Mr Norden held various senior positions with Wyeth/American Home Products, most recently as Wyeth’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to this role, Mr Norden was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Prior to his affiliation with Wyeth, Mr Norden served as Audit Manager of Arthur Andersen & Co. Mr Norden serves on the Board of Directors of NanoString, a provider of life science tools for translational research and molecular diagnostic products, Royalty Pharma, a leader in the acquisition of revenue-producing intellectual property, Univision, the leading media company serving Hispanic America, and Zoetis, the leading animal health company. Mr Norden is a former director of Welch Allyn, where he served until 2015, Lumara Health, where he served until 2014, and Human Genome Sciences, where he served until 2012.
Andy J. Staples
Andy Staples is the Head of Deal Finance at AstraZeneca, having responsibility for all of the financial analysis, structuring and support for mergers and acquisitions, divestments, in- and out-licensing and strategic equity investments. During a long career at AstraZeneca, he has been involved with all stages of the pharmaceutical value chain from early stage development, through product approval and launch, to patent expiry and post LOE rationalization. Andy has also spent a lot of time working with AstraZeneca Biotech partners structuring and completing multiple deals including the acquisition of Novexel and its portfolio of novel antibiotics. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and previously worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers before joining AstraZeneca.
James Topper, MD, PhD
Jamie is a Managing General Partner of Frazier Healthcare Partner’s Life Sciences team. He joined Frazier in 2003 and opened Frazier’s Menlo Park office in the same year. Throughout his 10 years as a General Partner, Jamie has invested across 21 companies encompassing a broad spectrum of Life Science and Biopharmaceutical companies. Jamie has led and served as a board member for many of Frazier’s successful life sciences investments, including Calistoga Pharmaceuticals (co-founder, sold to Gilead), Rempex (sold to The Medicines Company), Incline (co-founder, sold to The Medicines Company), Alnara (sold to Lilly), Portola (co-founder, NASDAQ: PTLA), Cotherix (sold to Actelion), and Threshold (NASDAQ: THLD). He currently represents Frazier on the boards of Alcresta, Allena Pharmaceuticals, Anaptys Biotech, Millendo Therapeutics (formerly Atterocor), ProNai Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DNAI), and Merganser Biotech. Prior to joining Frazier, Jamie served as head of the cardiovascular research and development franchise at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and ran Millennium San Francisco (formerly COR Therapeutics). Before the merger of COR and Millennium, he served as the Vice President of Biology at COR and was responsible for all research activities. He served on the faculties of Stanford Medical School and Harvard Medical School prior to joining COR. Jamie received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Biophysics from Stanford University School of Medicine and holds a B.S. from the University of Michigan. He did his postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and is board certified in both disciplines. He has authored over 50 publications and was the recipient of a Howard Hughes Scholars Award while on the faculty at Stanford University. In 2011 Jamie was named to the Midas List of leading venture capitalists, and in 2013 was recognized by Forbes as one of the top 10 healthcare investors.
Thomas Dyrberg, M.D, DMSC
Thomas Dyrberg, M.D., DMSc serves as Managing Partner of Novo Ventures, Novo Holdings A/S. He previously held research positions at the Hagedorn Research Institute in Gentofte, Denmark and at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and has worked for Novo Nordisk A/S in health care discovery and clinical drug development. He currently serves on the board of directors of several biotechnology companies, including Galera Therapeutics, Inc., Ophthotech Inc. and Nuvelution Pharma, Inc. Dr. Dyrberg received his M.D. degree from the University of Copenhagen in 1981 and his Doctor of Medical Science (D.M.Sc.) degree, also from the University of Copenhagen, in 1986.
Heather Behanna, PhD
Heather joined Sofinnova as a Principal in 2017. She focuses on biopharmaceutical investments. Prior to joining Sofinnova, Heather was a Senior Vice President and biotechnology sell-side analyst at Wedbush Securities, preceded by a role as associate at JMP Securities. Before joining Wall Street, Heather worked in early stage drug discovery at the Astellas Research Institute, focused on immunologic and neurologic disease areas. She was also Adjunct Professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, focused on planning lectures and mentoring students on various topics of drug discovery. Heather received her PhD in Chemistry from Northwestern University, MS in Organic Chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science and her BS from Tufts University.
Heather Preston, MD
Heather Preston is a Firm Partner and Managing Director of 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 currently serves on the board of directors of Albireo, Inc. (ALBO); Alder BioPharmaceuticals (ALDR); Otonomy, Inc. (OTIC); Unchained Labs, Avalyn Pharmaceuticals, Azura Opthalmics and Entasis Therapeutics, Inc. She has previously served on multiple private boards including the boards of Aptalis Pharma (acquired by Forest Labs in 2014), and Elevation Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Sunovion in 2012). She was responsible for TPG Biotech’s investment in Par Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Endo in 2015). 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 also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Saint Luke’s School and the Harlech Scholarship Foundation.
Rob Hopfner, RPh, PhD, MBA
Rob Hopfner, RPh, PhD, MBA, is a Managing Partner at Pivotal bioVentures. Rob is currently on the boards of Iterum Therapeutics, Oculis, and Sutrovax and was formerly either a board member or board observer on Aciex Therapeutics (sold to Nicox S.A.), Civitas Therapeutics (sold to Acorda Therapeutics), Cydan, Dermira (NASDAQ: DERM), Hyperion Therapeutics (sold to Horizon Pharma), Imara Pharmaceuticals, NextWave Pharmaceuticals (sold to Pfizer), Pharmakea Therapeutics, and Vtesse (sold to Sucampo Pharmaceuticals). Other investments where Rob played a significant role included Kezar Life Sciences, Madrigal Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MDGL), Menlo Therapeutics, Merus BV (NASDAQ: MRUS) and Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: TTPH).
Rob was previously a Managing Director at Bay City Capital and prior to that worked in business development and investment roles at DuPont Pharmaceuticals and at Ag-West Biotech, respectively. Rob holds a PhD in Pharmacology and a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Saskatchewan, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He completed his post-doctoral work at Harvard Medical School. Rob won numerous awards during his research career and he published several articles in top medical journals based on his work.