February 16, 2012 Program
Guest speaker: Arthur Klausner
The lifescience venture capitalist Arthur Klausner moderated a panel discussion with VC&PE professionals on “Positioning for Optimal Exits”. The discussion focused on how to generate liquidity for both the stars as well as the sideways movers within VC/PE portfolios.
Members of the panel:
Noah Kroloff, Partner at NGN Capital
Noah J. Kroloff has twenty years of experience in healthcare, including senior operating roles. Prior to joining NGN Capital, Mr. Kroloff was an executive officer of i-STAT Corporation (Nasdaq: STAT), a medical device company where he served as Vice President for International Sales & Marketing and Corporate Development. He was actively involved in the sale of i-STAT to Abbott Laboratories for approximately $450 million. He also led the creation of a global alliance with Abbott and a $61 million alliance with Hewlett-Packard Medical Products Group, created i-STAT’s international distribution network and led licensing and deal-making activities. Prior to i-STAT, Mr. Kroloff was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co. where he advised leading pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies on R&D management, portfolio strategy, and alliance formation.
Avi Kometz, M.D., Partner at Ascent Biomedical Ventures
Avi Kometz is a partner at Ascent Biomedical Ventures (ABV), a NYC based venture capital firm investing in seed and early-stage biomedical technology companies developing medical devices, biopharmaceuticals, healthcare services, and information technology. He has over eighteen years experience in the healthcare industry, several of which have been focused in private and public investing. Prior to joining Ascent, Avi was the head of corporate development at a specialty pharmaceutical company that focused on pediatrics and spent several years in the Healthcare Practice at McKinsey & Company.
David Pegg, Principal Enhanced Equity Fund
David Pegg is a Principal at Enhanced Equity Fund (EEF). Prior to EEF, Mr. Pegg spent ten years at MVP Capital Partners. While at MVP, Mr. Pegg focused on lower-middle market buyouts and growth equity investments in healthcare, insurance services, building products and rotorcraft services. Before joining MVP, Mr. Pegg was an Analyst for J.P. Morgan Chase Private Bank. Mr. Pegg holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Villanova University School of Business.
Founded in 2005, EEF manages over $600 million of committed capital across two funds with the most recent raised in 2010. EEF specializes in working with smaller companies (typically less than $100 million in revenues) and take a creative approach to building value. EEF employs a flexible, but disciplined investment strategy focused on value creation through organizational development, organic growth and acquisitions, seeking to invest $10 to $50 million or more over the life of a portfolio company in a variety of flexible structures.
A seasoned life sciences venture capitalist, Klausner spent a total of 18 years at Domain Associates (1990-2004) and Pappas Ventures (2005-2009). During that time, he was involved in the investment in and subsequent nurturing of a variety of biotechnology, specialty pharmaceutical, and medical device companies. Klausner has been a board member at Santarus (IPO in 2004, Nasdaq: SNTS), X-Ceptor (acquired by Exelixis in 2004), Orexigen (IPO in 2007, Nasdaq: OREX), Altea Therapeutics, CeNeRx BioPharma, Gentis, and Syndax Pharmaceuticals, and a board observer at Peninsula Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2005), Cerexa (acquired by Forest Laboratories in 2007), and Optherion.
Among his other activities, he currently serves as Chief Business Officer and on the Board of Directors of Neurotez (a privately held biotherapeutics company focused on Alzheimer’s disease). He is on the Advisory Boards of Edge Therapeutics, Northeast Securities, and Fritsche Capital Group, and he is on the Life Science Investment Review Board for the New York University Innovation Venture Fund.
Klausner began his venture capital career after earning an M.B.A. at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. While attending business school, he completed summer internships emphasizing corporate planning and market research functions at ImClone Systems and Neurogen, two start up biopharmaceutical companies that subsequently went public. Previously, Klausner had spent six years at Bio/Technology magazine (now Nature Biotechnology), where as Senior Editor he researched and prepared over 200 articles concerning scientific and business aspects of applied biology. He has also performed consulting projects for the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, Arthur D. Little Decision Resources, and a range of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. His undergraduate degree in Biology is from Princeton University.
Isonea – Michael J. Thomas
ISonea – a medical device company whose ground breaking products are based on acoustic signal acquisition technology and advanced analysis capabilities. Its proprietary technology responds to an unmet need for accurate, low cost, easy-to-use devices to identify and quantify the presence of wheezes.
Michael J. Thomas became the new CEO of iSonea Ltd in June 2011. He has over 23 years of healthcare industry experience. He is the President and CEO of Appian Partners, a medical devices and healthcare services consulting firm. Earlier in his career, Thomas was President and CEO of Sleep Solutions, a VC-backed medical device manufacturer. He helped to raise over $50 million in VC funding for that company and launched a new industry in the $5B obstructive sleep apnea market.
Access Pharma – Jeff Davis
Access Pharmaceuticals – an emerging biopharmaceutical company specializing in products for cancer and supportive care. Access currently has one FDA-approved product, two products in Phase II clinical development, three products in preclinical development. Several of the company’s products are based on Access’ proprietary nanopolymer technologies which provide enhanced drug delivery options for both new and approved pharmaceutical active ingredients.
Jeffrey B. Davis has served as a Director, and President & CEO of Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since January 2008. Prior to Access, Mr. Davis held a variety of senior positions in the healthcare banking sector, including senior management positions in biotechnology companies. In April 1997, Mr. Davis co-founded SCO Financial Group LLC, and healthcare merchant bank, and was financial principal of SCO Securities LLC, a NASD-registered broker dealer. Prior to co-founding SCO, Mr. Davis served as senior vice president and chief financial officer of HemaSure, Inc., a publicly traded development stage healthcare technology company. Previously, Mr. Davis held various senior investment banking positions at Deutsche Bank AG and Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, both in the U.S. and Europe, and served in senior marketing and product management positions at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Philips Medical Systems North America. Mr. Davis served previously on the board of Bioenvision, Inc. and currently is a member of the board of directors of Access Pharmaceuticals and Uluru Corporation. Mr. Davis holds a BS in biomedical engineering from Boston University and an MBA degree from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.