About Us

Board of Directors

Nicholas Galakatos, PhD | Chairman
Manos Perros, PhD | President and CEO  | Director
Greg Norden | Director
Andy Staples | Director
James Topper, MD, PhD | Director
Tracy Saxton, PhD, MBA| Director
Heather Behanna, PhD | Director
Heather Preston, MD | Director

 

Nicholas Galakatos, PhD | Chairman
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

Dr. Manos Perros is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Entasis Therapeutics. Prior to founding Entasis, Manos was Vice President and Head of AstraZeneca’s Infection Research and Early Development organization for more than four years, and also served as Site Head for AstraZeneca’s Boston R&D research center in Waltham, MA. A chemist by training, Manos conducted his Ph.D. work in Belgium, France and Germany, and was an Associate in the Biophysics department at Yale from 1993-1995. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Manos served as Director of the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases in Singapore, and prior to that, as Vice-President and Chief Scientific Officer, Antivirals, at Pfizer. Manos has overseen a wide range of therapeutic areas, but his greatest contributions have been in the field of anti-infectives, where he is a distinguished and widely published scientist, having led research projects against HIV, Hepatitis C, influenza and fungal pathogens. Manos is a co-inventor of the first-in-class HIV treatment maraviroc (Celsentri/Selzentry) on which he worked from inception until the product’s launch. This medicine earned numerous accolades, including the 2008 Prix Galien USA. For his contributions to the discovery and development of maraviroc, Manos received the PhRMA Discoverer’s Award in 2010.

Greg Norden | Director
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 | Director
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 | Director
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, DMSCDirector

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.

Tracy Saxton, PhD, MBADirector

Tracy Saxton is a Founder and Managing Partner at Pivotal bioVenture Partners Pivotal’s $300M inaugural fund closed in January 2017, its investment strategy is centered on identifying companies from discovery to early clinical development with the potential to deliver transformative therapies. Dr. Saxton also serves on the Board of Directors of SutroVax Inc and Iterum Therapeutics.  Prior to founding Pivotal, Tracy held investment roles with the Roche Venture Fund (RVF) and SV Life Sciences Advisers (SVLSA), where she focused on biopharmaceutical investments. Dr. Saxton previously held positions at Tularik (acquired by Amgen) and Threshold Pharmaceuticals. She began her career as a drug discovery scientist and moved to leadership roles in Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Development and Project Management.  Dr. Saxton earned her PhD in Medical Genetics from the University of Toronto, her MBA from Columbia University and was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund fellow at University of California, San Francisco. She is also a Kauffman Fellow.

Heather Behanna, PhDDirector

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, MDDirector

Heather Preston is a 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, and Genoa Pharmaceuticals.  She previously served on the boards of Aptalis Pharma (acquired by Forest Labs in 2014), Conventus, Vibrynt, VLST and Elevation Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Sunovion in 2012) and is
responsible for overseeing TPG Biotech’s investment in Par Pharmaceuticals.  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.