Alain Couder Joins Sofinnova Ventures

Former COO of Agilent and CEO of Packard Bell NEC Will Leverage Operational

Experience With Established and Start-up Companies to the Benefit

of Sofinnova's IT Portfolio Companies

Jun 23, 2004, 01:00 ET from Sofinnova Ventures

    SAN FRANCISCO, June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Sofinnova Ventures, a San Francisco
 venture firm investing in early-stage life science and information technology
 companies, announced today that Alain Couder has joined the firm as an IT
 venture advisor.  In his role, Couder will take board positions at Sofinnova
 portfolio companies Corrente (formerly OpenReach), Atomz and Vitra, and source
 investment opportunities in the software and computer systems sectors.
     "Alain has an impressive, well-rounded operational background that he will
 draw upon to generally advise and scale our portfolio companies now that the
 market is picking up again," commented Eric Buatois, managing director of
 Sofinnova Ventures. "On a more specific level, he has a solid understanding of
 the technology needs of large companies, as well as their decision-making
 processes. His insight and guidance will help some of our IT companies to
 further strengthen their relationships with their customers, and potentially,
 to shorten their sales cycles."
     Most recently, Couder has been an entrepreneur, as chief executive officer
 of Confluent Software, a web services management company for the enterprise
 that was acquired by Oblix in February 2004. He was also CEO of IP Dynamics, a
 security solutions company. Prior to this, Couder was chief operations officer
 for Agilent Technologies, where he was responsible for all the operations and
 management processes of the $10 billion company. As chairman and CEO of
 Packard Bell NEC, he led the turnaround of the company, improving net
 profitability by over $500 million in one year. Additionally, Couder was COO
 of the $4 billion French computer company Groupe Bull, and an executive with
 Hewlett-Packard and IBM.
     "I'm delighted to join the extended Sofinnova Ventures team -- a smart and
 enjoyable group of managing directors and portfolio company executives," said
 Couder. "This is an intriguing opportunity for me. I began my career in
 technical research roles in systems, software and networking. From there I
 took on operations roles in large and small companies. In the venture arena, I
 will continue to gain a broader view of both technology and industry."
     Couder currently sits on the boards of Solid Technology and Acterna. He
 received a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Ecole Superieure
 d'Electricite, Paris.
     About Sofinnova Ventures
     San Francisco-based Sofinnova Ventures was founded in 1974. The firm
 emphasizes a diversified investment strategy through financing seed and
 early-stage companies in the life science and information technology sectors.
 Historically, Sofinnova has been associated with leading companies such as
 Biogen, Collagen, Genentech, Printronix, Tandem Computers and Tandon. More
 recently, Sofinnova invested in Actelion, Aviron, Element-14 (Broadcom),
 InterMune, Millennium Pharmaceuticals,, Premisys, Seattle Genetics
 and Tumbleweed Communications. Sofinnova Ventures has $600 million under
 management. For more information, visit

SOURCE Sofinnova Ventures