MENLO PARK, Calif., May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sofinnova Ventures, a Menlo Park investment firm, today announced a senior team addition and key promotion. Srinivas Akkaraju, M.D., Ph.D. has joined the firm as General Partner and Anand Mehra, M.D., has been promoted to General Partner.
A long-term investor in the life science sector, Dr. Akkaraju will actively invest in biopharmaceutical companies from the firm's current fund, Sofinnova Venture Partners VIII. He was most recently a Managing Director at New Leaf Venture Partners. Dr. Akkaraju's board memberships have included Piramed (acquired by Roche), Eyetech Pharmaceuticals (EYET), Synageva BioPharma (GEVA), Seattle Genetics (SGEN) and Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT). Previously, Dr. Akkaraju was a co-founder and Managing Director at Panorama Capital. Before forming Panorama, he served as Partner of J.P. Morgan Partners. Prior to J.P. Morgan Partners, Dr. Akkaraju held business and corporate development positions at Genentech. Dr. Akkaraju received B.A. degrees in both Biochemistry and Computer Science from Rice University and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees in Immunology from Stanford University School of Medicine.
Dr. Mehra, who joined Sofinnova as a Principal in 2007 and was later promoted to Partner, has now been promoted to General Partner. He led Sofinnova's investment in Vicept Therapeutics (Acquired: Allergan), and served as Sofinnova's most recent board member at NextWave Pharmaceuticals (Acquired: Pfizer). He also played a role in the firm's investments in Hyperion (HPTX) and Amarin (AMRN). Currently, Dr. Mehra is a director of Aerie Pharmaceuticals and Marinus Pharmaceuticals, and led the firm's recent investment in Aclaris.
"We are pleased to have the opportunity to both attract proven talent and recognize excellent work within our team. We have known Srini for many years, as a colleague and an investor. His outstanding track record in private and public companies, coupled with a deep background in clinical drug development, make him a valued addition to our team," commented Jim Healy, M.D., Ph.D., General Partner at Sofinnova Ventures.
"Anand has been a contributing member of this team since the day he joined us," continued Healy. "His analytical skills, critical thinking and deep network of relationships have helped us make great investment decisions and driven value for our management teams and limited partners. As General Partners, Srini and Anand will help us continue to build our portfolio of industry-leading biotech companies."
"I have great respect for the Sofinnova Ventures team, and I'm excited to be joining this partnership," said Akkaraju. "Sofinnova has emerged as one of the key leaders in life sciences investing, developing an exceptional portfolio and delivering excellent results for their investors. I am looking forward to contributing to the firm's continued success."
In the past year, three Sofinnova portfolio companies have completed IPOs (Durata, Nasdaq: DRTX; Hyperion, Nasdaq: HPTX and Kalobios, Nasdaq: KBIO). The firm has also made public investments in Amarin (AMRN) and TESARO (TSRO). Recent portfolio acquisitions include SARcode (Shire), NextWave (Pfizer), IntelliKine (Takeda), Vicept (Allergan), Preglem (Gedeon Richter) and Movetis (Shire).
About Sofinnova Ventures
Sofinnova Ventures has over 40 years of experience building healthcare companies into market leaders. With $1.4 billion in committed capital, the firm applies capital and expertise to take companies from inception to exit. Sofinnova closed its life science-focused $440M fund, SVP VIII, in late 2011. The firm's investment team of M.Ds. and Ph.Ds. has significant scientific, operational and strategic experience, and specializes in financing later stage clinical products and growth companies. Our team partners with entrepreneurs to address patients' unmet medical needs. Recent portfolio company exits and IPOs include Preglem, Movetis, Vicept, NextWave, Hyperion (IPO) and Durata (IPO). Sofinnova Ventures has offices in Menlo Park and La Jolla, California, and Dublin, Ireland. For more information, please visit www.sofinnova.com.
VP, Investor Relations & Marketing
SOURCE Sofinnova Ventures