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 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 .
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.
We have done this before, over and over. At Norwest Venture Partners, Medical Innovation Partners and here at Alignment Ventures. We have had investments in companies we have run or coinvested in 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.
Michael has previously been a life science venture capitalist (Norwest Venture Partners, Medical Innovation Partners) as well as a senior executive in a number of life science companies. He was the CEO of TomegaVax, which demonstrated long-term effector memory T-cell responses in primates, until acquisition by Vir Biotechnology in 2016. Vir is now a $4 BB + public company. Michael started his career as 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. Continuing education has included graduate work in Proteomics, Genomics and Immunology.
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. Duffy holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in History from Harvard.
Rachel is currently the CEO of NeuraMedica, Inc., commercializing a system of bioresorbable polymer clips and applier to close the dura of the spine during Neurosurgery and Orthopedic Surgery in a fraction of the time it currently takes. FDA 510(k) clearance and product launch is expected in 2021. Rachel is a career medical device specialist with 21 years of biomedical engineering experience and has held biomedical engineering positions at Illumina, Intuitive Surgical, Aurora Bioscience (acq, Vertex), Acumed and Quanum Medical Concepts before co-founding NeuraMedica as the CEO. She has extensive experience in orthopedics, neurosurgery, dentistry, bioabsorbable polymers, mechanical design and all phases of product development. Rachel holds a BS in biomedical engineering from the University of California, San Diego, and has been a Phase II Reviewer for the National Science Foundation for SBIR and STTR grants. Rachel is also a member of the Diné (Navajo) Nation and enjoys mentoring and supporting other female and Native engineers and entrepreneurs.
Marc is the CEO of Facile Therapeutics, bringing a small molecule drug de-risked for human safety, and licensed 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.
Hasan is the CEO of RJH Biosciences. He is also a Professor at the University of Alberta in the Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering and he holds joint appointments with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences. Hasan has also worked in industry at Genetics Institute (acq., Wyeth) and he is skilled in Drug Delivery, RNAi, Biomaterials, Polymer Science, and Cancer Research. Hasan did his PhD at the University of Toronto and holds dual BSc degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Biology from Brown University.
Gopika Nair is the CEO of Endocrine Biotherapeutics, a new spin-out from the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), working on early-stage drug discovery of next-generation therapeutics that would enhance pancreatic endocrine cell health and offer new solutions to treat Diabetes. Gopika has over 14 years of experience in the Diabetes and Stem Cell Biology fields. While at UCSF, she was the lead inventor of the technology to generate islet cells from pluripotent stem cells which was featured as the top ten breakthroughs of 2019 by both California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Her interest has always been piqued by the applicability of stem cells to model and treat human disease. Gopika received her PhD in Endocrinology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and did her undergraduate work in Biotechnology at the Vellore Institute of Technology, India.
Vadim is the Co-Founder and CEO at ImmunoMind, pioneering AI-driven drug development with single-cell precision. They bring immunology and AI together to democratize precision medicine and provide a comprehensive landscape of the immune system with an unprecedented level of resolution. Vadim is an ex-researcher and serial entrepreneur who always focused on bringing the synergy between diverse knowledge domains. Previously he worked as Co-Founder and Director of AI at TensorPad, Founder and Head of a Research Group of Immunoinformatics and Machine Learning, Lead Bioinformatics Researcher at the top bioinformatics laboratories in Eastern Europe. Vadim received the PhD in Physics and Mathematics from HSE University in Moscow.
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.
Ky has worked at Salesforce and is currently on staff at Pinpoint Science, a company developing a 30-second quantitative, sensitive and specific test for SARS-CoVid-2. He assists Alignment Ventures with financial and economic modeling as well as market research and general due diligence. Ky holds a BA degree in Economics from Reed College.
TomegaVax Michael, CEO. Merged with Vir Biotechnology (www.virbio.com), San Francisco, CA 9/16. Vir is now a $4 BB+ Public company.
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.
OmnEcoil Instruments www.omnecoil.com Portland, OR. Duffy, CEO. Devices to allow the imaging and biopsy of prostate under MRI guidance in one procedure.
Endocrine Biotherapeutics San Francisco, CA. UCSF spinout of Matthias Hebrok lab. Gopika, CEO. Fundamental advances in pancreatic stem cell differentiation and development of human cellular models led to hits in Insulinotropics. Validated in human embryonic stem cells, human islet cells studies next.
RJH Biosciences www.rjhbiosciences.com Edmonton, Alberta. U. of Alberta spin-off from Uludag Lab. Hasan, CEO. RJH has developed delivery systems for nucleic acids and is currently engaged in R&D projects for therapeutic development in blood cancers, immunotherapy and COVD-19.
Immunmind www.immunumind.io Berkeley, CA. Commercializing an AI platform for precision drug discovery and single cell analysis using software tools that have helped Stanford, UCSF, MIT, King's College London and more than 24,000 users worldwide gain clinical insights from immune cell data.
Alignment Ventures is affiliated with Dorset Capital www.dorsetcapllc.com and we actively collaborate and consider co-investments with this firm.