InterWest Partners, a venture capital firm focused on both the IT and life sciences sectors, has closed its tenth fund with $650 million in capital commitments. The firm also has promoted Chris Ehrlich, Nina Kjellson and Doug Pepper to general partner.
InterWest Partners, a leading diversified venture capital firm, today announced the closing of InterWest Partners X, a $650 million fund dedicated to emerging life sciences and information technology investments. The firm now has raised more than $2.8 billion. In conjunction with the fund closing, InterWest also announced today that Chris Ehrlich, Nina Kjellson and Doug Pepper have been promoted to general partner.
“For 29 years InterWest has been making successful investments by combining the deep domain experience of our investment team with the vision of outstanding entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Arnold L. Oronsky, general partner at InterWest. “We take pride in our collaborative approach to working with portfolio companies to develop important life sciences and IT products that produce thriving businesses. We are also gratified and very proud to have gained the trust and confidence of our limited partners, who include many blue chip, industry-leading investors. Most of this tenth fund comes from return investors but we are also very pleased to welcome a select group of new limited partners.”
InterWest will target its new fund towards life sciences and information technology investments, with the goal of investing in approximately 25-30 new companies in each sector. Investments will focus primarily on early-stage companies in the
In IT, InterWest will continue investing in areas of time-proven expertise, including: software, computing and communications infrastructure, and semiconductors. InterWest is also helping to shape several emerging IT markets, including: software as a service (SaaS), consumer Internet, online advertising, and mobility. In life sciences, InterWest will continue its decades-long track record of successfully investing in core therapeutic areas, including cardiology, oncology/immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology, neurology, and orthopedics. InterWest has also been noted for its leadership role in establishing neuromodulation and pain/analgesia as areas for investment. InterWest's new initiatives in the life sciences market include: consumer-driven healthcare, drug-device convergence and personalized medicine.
“As we look ahead to our 30th anniversary in 2009, we are excited to welcome a third generation of InterWest investors into greater leadership roles within the firm and the industry,” said Oronsky. “With the closing of this fund, we are pleased to announce that we have promoted Chris Ehrlich, Nina Kjellson and Doug Pepper to general partner, in recognition of their investing performance as well as their contributions to the firm as a whole.”
InterWest's team now includes ten general partners: Berry Cash, Chris Ehrlich, Philip Gianos, Stephen Holmes, Nina Kjellson, Dr. Gil Kliman, Dr. Arnold Oronsky, Doug Pepper, Tom Rosch and Michael Sweeney. The team also includes four partners: Bruce Cleveland, Dr. Linda Grais, Ellen Koskinas, and Khaled Nasr. Executives-in-residence and consultants include: Dr. James Campbell, Drew Hoffmann, Dr. Susan Knox, Ron Nash, and Gordon Saul.
About the New General Partners
Chris Ehrlich has been a member of InterWest's life sciences team since 2000, with a particular interest in specialty pharmaceuticals, regenerative medicine, drug-device convergence and pain management. He currently serves on the boards of BioMimetic Pharmaceuticals (NASD: BMTI), Carbylan BioSurgery, Follica, KAI Pharmaceuticals, Solace Pharmaceuticals, QuatRx Pharmaceuticals, Transcept Pharmaceuticals, and Xenon Pharmaceuticals. Ehrlich was a co-founder of AlgoRx Pharmaceuticals (now Anesiva, NASD: ANSV), which is developing novel compounds to treat acute and chronic pain.
Nina Kjellson has been part of InterWest's life sciences team since 2002, focusing primarily on investments in biopharmaceuticals. She is a board member of Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Primera Diagnostics, Sequel, Inc. and Trius Therapeutics. Kjellson played a primary role in InterWest's investment in Aspreva Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Galenica) and led InterWest's investment in NovaCardia (acquired by Merck).
Doug Pepper has been with InterWest's IT group since 2000, investing in technology-enabled services, digital media and consumer Internet companies. Pepper has led several investments for InterWest including Achates Power, Brand.net, INVIDI, Marketo, OfferPal Media and Varolii. He also co-led InterWest's investment in Lombardi. Pepper has played a defining role in InterWest's investment activities in the online advertising and lead generation spaces.
For complete bios about each member of the InterWest team, visit: www.interwest.com/interwest-team/
About InterWest Partners
InterWest Partners (www.interwest.com), founded in 1979, is a leading diversified venture capital firm focused on building long-term relationships with entrepreneurs and portfolio companies. Currently investing its tenth fund, IW X, a $650 million fund, InterWest has raised more than $2.8 billion of capital since inception. InterWest has 14 investing partners in Menlo Park, CA and Dallas, TX, who bring together deep domain knowledge in life sciences and information technology.
The firm's investments in information technology include: CIENA (CIEN), Copper Mountain Networks (CMTN), Crystal Semiconductor (acquired by Cirrus Logic, CRUS), Cyrix (CYRX; acquired by National Semiconductor (NSM), Lightera (acquired by CIENA), PlaceWare (acquired by Microsoft, MSFT), SiTera (acquired by Vitesse, VTSS), Silicon Graphics (SGI), Stratacom (STRM; acquired by Cisco, CSCO) and Xilinx (XLNX).
The firm's investments in life sciences include: ArthroCare (ARTC), Aspreva Pharmaceuticals Corporation (ASPV, acquired by Galenica group, SWX:GALN), Cor Therapeutics (CORR; acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals, MLNM), Corixa (CRXA; acquired by GlaxoSmithKlein, GSK), Coulter Pharmaceutical (CLTR; acquired by Corixa Pharmaceuticals, CRXA), Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST), Epicor Medical (acquired by St. Jude Medical, STJ), Inspire Pharmaceuticals (ISPH), IntraLase (ILSE), Myogen (MYOG), Spinal Dynamics (acquired by Medtronic, MDT), TheraSense (THER; acquired by Abbott Labs, ABT) and Ventritex (VNTX; acquired by St. Jude Medical, STJ).