Third Rock Ventures announced several appointments and role changes. The VC firm appointed James Geraghty to the role of entrepreneur-in-residence while Steven Paul, M.D., will be increasing his capacity as a venture partner. Daniel Lynch was named venture partner to support the commercial and business development of existing portfolio companies while John Maraganore, Ph.D., has joined as a venture partner.
Third Rock Ventures, LLC, a venture capital firm focused on building healthcare companies, today announced that it has expanded and strengthened its team with several appointments and role changes. These additions allow Third Rock to continue to support the launch of new companies focused on disruptive areas of science and medicine, the maturation and development of its current portfolio companies, and the overall strategy and direction of the firm.
To aid in the development of new companies, Third Rock appointed James Geraghty, a 20-year veteran of Genzyme Corporation, to the role of entrepreneur-in-residence, and Steven Paul, M.D., the former president of the Lilly Research Laboratories of Eli Lilly and Company and director of the Helen & Robert Appel Institute for Alzheimer’s Research at Weill Cornell Medical College, is increasing his capacity as a venture partner. Daniel Lynch, former CEO of ImClone Systems, who joined Third Rock in 2011 as an entrepreneur-in-residence, has been named venture partner to support the commercial and business development of existing portfolio companies. John Maraganore, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Alnylam, has joined the firm as a venture partner, where he will participate in a limited capacity focusing on guiding strategy for Third Rock and its portfolio companies.
“With the recent close of Fund III, we are excited to welcome these proven industry stars to our team,” said Robert Tepper, M.D., partner at Third Rock Ventures. “These leaders have demonstrated – through decades of experience – their ability to integrate science and business. The depth of their expertise across commercial, business development, R&D, drug discovery and product development will be invaluable to Third Rock as we focus on translating scientific innovation into exceptional companies that make a difference for patients.”
New Additions to the Team
Having helped Genzyme launch rare disease therapies around the world, Mr. Geraghty will assist the firm in creating companies focused on rare genetic diseases and support existing portfolio companies in related spaces. Prior to joining Third Rock, Mr. Geraghty served as senior vice president, North America strategy and business development, at Sanofi. Before Sanofi, Mr. Geraghty spent 20 years at Genzyme Corporation, most recently as senior vice president and an officer. While at Genzyme, his roles include president of Genzyme Europe and general manager of Genzyme’s cardiovascular business.
“During the last 20 years, I have had the opportunity to participate in the development and commercialization of important new medicines that transformed patient care,” said Mr. Geraghty. “Third Rock’s hands-on approach to launching, building and supporting exceptional companies is uniquely aligned with my desire to contribute to shaping the next generation of great companies.”
Prior to joining Alnylam in 2002, Dr. Maraganore served as an officer and a member of the management team at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. As senior vice president, strategic product development for Millennium, Dr. Maraganore was responsible for the company’s product franchises in oncology, cardiovascular, inflammation and metabolic diseases.
Role Changes within the Team
As venture partner, Mr. Lynch will focus on guiding the strategic vision and business development efforts for Third Rock and its portfolio companies. Mr. Lynch has more than 25 years of experience serving in management positions in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. He currently serves as executive chairman of Blueprint Medicines and is on the board of directors for bluebird bio and Ember Therapeutics. Mr. Lynch spent nearly five years at ImClone Systems, serving as chief executive officer and chief financial officer. As CEO, he led ImClone through a significant turnaround, helping to restore the company’s reputation and to secure FDA approval of ERBITUX® (Cetuximab), a novel cancer treatment.
With Dr. Paul’s increased time commitment, he will play a more significant role in the ideation and development of new companies, serving in key management roles as appropriate. Prior to his appointment at Weill Cornell, Dr. Paul spent 17 years at Eli Lilly, during which time he held several key leadership roles, including vice president of neuroscience (CNS) research and group vice president of discovery research (all therapeutic areas). In his most recent role, he was responsible for the company’s overall research and development efforts – helping to expand Lilly’s R&D efforts in oncology and biotechnology – resulting in a pipeline of approximately 70 new molecular entities.
“The ongoing commitment from Dan and Steve and their intention to spend more time collaborating with Third Rock are testaments to the team we have assembled,” said Kevin Starr, partner at Third Rock. “We recognize that people are our most valued asset, and we rely on the experience, passion and dedication of our team to build these innovative healthcare companies.”
“Having worked with Third Rock since 2010, I respect and appreciate the firm’s approach to creating companies around disruptive areas of science and medicine,” said Dr. Paul. “With this additional time commitment, I look forward to not just launching companies, but to helping our portfolio companies grow, advance pipelines to the clinic and launch meaningful new products for patients.”
About Third Rock Ventures
Third Rock Ventures is a leading healthcare venture firm focused on investing and launching companies that make a difference in people’s lives. The Third Rock team has a unique vision for ideating and building transformative healthcare companies. Working closely with our strategic partners and entrepreneurs, Third Rock has an extensive track record for managing the value creation path to deliver exceptional performance. For more information, please visit the firm’s website at www.thirdrockventures.com.
Current Third Rock Portfolio Companies
Ablexis, Afferent Pharmaceuticals, Agios Pharmaceuticals, Alcresta, Allena Pharmaceuticals, Alnara Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Eli Lilly & Co. in 2010), bluebird bio, Blueprint Medicines, Cibiem, Constellation Pharmaceuticals, CytomX Therapeutics, DC Devices, Edimer Pharmaceuticals, Eleven Biotherapeutics, Ember Therapeutics, Foundation Medicine, Global Blood Therapeutics, Igenica, Jounce Therapeutics, Kala Pharmaceuticals, Lotus Tissue Repair (acquired by Shire plc in 2013), MyoKardia, NinePoint Medical, PanOptica Pharmaceuticals, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, SAGE Therapeutics, Seventh Sense Biosystems, Taris Biomedical, Topica Pharmaceuticals, Warp Drive Bio and Zafgen.