Welcome to Alignment Ventures, LLC


About Us

Alignment Ventures, LLC

Alignment Ventures is a seed-stage venture firm with heavy operational emphasis focused on the life sciences. We spin companies out of University technology and serve as interim CEOs until sufficient risk reduction tasks are achieved to raise a Series A.  We will also take  turnaround and interim management roles in a micro cap public company, fix the things that have been holding them back and then finance with risk reducing milestones in mind.  We are life science executives with over 100 years of experience starting, building, financing and exiting from biotech, medical device, health care IT and life science tools companies, both as CEOs and as life science venture capitalists. If it saves lives and can make a big difference clinically,  we're interested.

Comprehensive Approach

We start with a development in science or engineering that solves a critical unmet medical need. We form a newco, (or manage a turnaround)  and serve as an interim management team, with one of us taking the lead as the interim CEO.  We invest our own capital and raise non-dilutive funds while managing the many risk reducing tasks that need to be performed to get our seedlings  to the point where they can raise a Series A financing.   This involves technology licensing, IP strategy, recruitment of an industry-experienced VPR&D, design and execution of risk reducing experiments that establish commercial proof of concept, setting strategy, writing the business plan and financial models, market research, competitor analysis, financing strategy, recruiting the right long-term CEO with decades of operational experience in the appropriate niche.  Then we raise the next financing, back out and do it again.

Not Our First Rodeo

We have done this before, over and over.  At Norwest Venture Partners, Medical Innovation Partners, Mill City Ventures and here at Alignment Ventures.  We have had investments in companies we have run or coinvested with Avalon, Kleiner, ARCH,  Mayfield, Brentwood, Interwest, MDS Health Ventures, Ventures West and Lombard, Odier and Cie, to name a few.  This is hard stuff.  And you rarely get it right the first time through.  Don't go it alone.

Our Team


Michael Tippie, General Partner


Michael is currently the CEO of Lipidomics.  He has previously been a life science venture capitalist (Norwest Venture Partners, Medical Innovation Partners), a senior executive in early stage life science companies (TomegaVax, CNS Response, Avior Therapeutics, LifeSpan BioSciences, StressGen Biotechnologies, Tacora) and a research chemist in the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry (Syntex and Syva Research). Michael has done strategic alliances with many pharma companies, as well as raising over $500 MM in equity capital, including two IPO’s to date. Michael holds an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT, an MS in Chemistry from the University of Washington as well as a BA in Chemistry from Reed College.


Duffy DuFresne, General Partner

Duffy is currently the CEO of OmnEcoil, developing medical devices to image and biopsy the prostate under MRI guidance. He is an experienced biotech and medical device  startup CEO with a strong background in deal negotiation, business startups, raising financing, international business, organizational development, marketing/sales, R&D program management, and corporate strategy. CEO stints:  Ischemix, Pacgen Biopharmaceuticals, Zelos Therapeutics, Conjuchem, Anika Therapeutics.  Duffy has raised ca. $200 MM in private and public financings for these firms and in several instances built these companies from an early startup phase to a successful exit point. Multinational roles: Managing Director Boots Pharmaceutical Ltd. Nottingham, U.K., General Manager Baxter Baxter Travenol Labs Inc., Director of International OMNIS Surgical, Division Manager Japan Tavenol Ltd. (Baxter, Japan) Tokyo Japan.


Len Brandt, General Partner

As General Partner at Norwest Ventures, Len  led the fund’s investment activity for ten years in all areas of healthcare. He was Partner and Co-founder of Embro Vascular, the dominant device technology for least invasive harvesting of saphenous veins for heart bypass surgery marketed by Boston Scientific, Guidant, and Macquet. Along side the founders of Home Diagnostics, Inc., the team successfully engineered a company turn-around that led to its sale to Nipro, Inc and a return to founders of almost $100MM. Additionally, Mr. Brandt was Founder and CEO of CNS Response, a big data translational database guiding medication selection in psychiatry. At CNS he defined the vision and core offering, was primary inventor on several patents leveraging off of the initial application, and organized all financings including reverse merge into public company with associated PIPE financing. Currently, he is involved with several young ventures including Applied Biology and Sun BioPharma.


Marc Navre, PhD, General Partner

Marc  is the CEO of Facile Therapeutics, a virtual biotech firm bringing a small molecule drug de-risked for human safety, and license from Stanford, into a proof-of-concept trial to demonstrate it can be used to prevent recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection. Marc has over 25 years of experience in biotech and big pharma building small molecule and biologics discovery teams. While VP of Biology & Pharmacology at Ardelyx, Inc., his team built a platform for identifying non-systemic drug candidates, and he was a co-inventor of Tenapanor/Ibsrela, Ardelyx’s GI-restricted drug that blocks water absorption from the GI tract, and was recently approved by the FDA for IBS-C. He was also SVP of Research at Achaogen, and VP of Biology at Takeda San Diego, where he was a part of the team that discovered and developed the now launched drug Alogliptin/Nesina for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.  Marc did his PhD at the University of California at Berkeley and undergraduate work at Stanford University.


Fergus Coakley, MD, Advisor

Dr. Coakley is the Chairman of Daignostic Radiology at Oregon Health Sciences University.  He is also the Founder of OmnEcoil, an Alignment Ventures portfolio company.  He joined OHSU in August 2012 from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where he was a professor in residence in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging in the UCSF School of Medicine. He was also chief of the Abdominal Imaging Section and vice chair for Clinical Services in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. He holds a concurrent honorary appointment as a professor in residence in the Department of Urology.  Dr. Coakley received his medical degree in 1988 from the School of Medicine, University College Cork, Ireland. His postgraduate training is diverse and includes an internship at Mercy Hospital in Cork, medical residency at Mater and St. Vincent’s Hospitals in Dublin, and radiology residency at Leicester teaching Hospitals in Leicester, England. Dr. Coakley was a fellow in body imaging at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center before joining UCSF in 1997.


Kyran DesMaris, Associate

Ky graduated from Reed College, Spring, 2019.  He has worked at Salesforce and Lipidomics, Inc.  Ky assists Alignment Ventures with financial and economic modelling as well as market research.


Portfolio Companies And Affiliations

TomegaVax  Michael, CEO. Life long effector memory T-cell responses demonstrated in 500 monkeys in several infectious disease.  Merged with Vir Biotechnology (www.virbio.com), San Francisco,CA 9/16.  $600 MM Series A 10/17.  IPO 10/19 @ $2.4 BB valuation. 

Neuramedica  www.neuramedica.us  Oregon City, OR.  Rachel Drellinger, CEO. Bioresorbable polymer clips to close the dura of the spine during Neurosurgery. Additional applications in OB/GYN and General Surgery.

Lipidomics  www.lipidomx.com Corvallis, OR.  Michael, CEO.  Lipids applied topically as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals to normalize the skin barrier in eczema and other inflammatory skin diseases.

OmnEcoil Instruments  www.omnecoil.com  Portland, OR.  Duffy, CEO.  Devices to allow the imaging and biopsy of prostate under MRI guidance in one procedure.

Alignment Ventures is affiliated with Dorset Capital www.dorsetcapllc.com  and we actively collaborate and consider co-investments with this firm.


Contact, Alignment Ventures, LLC

Contact Us Today

3240 Bryan Street, Reno, Nevada 89503, United States

(415) 559-2092 See us during the JPM Life Sciences week January 13-17 at the Biotech Showcase or RESI