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Third Rock Ventures expands, strengthens team

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Third Rock Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on building healthcare companies, 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, entrepreneur-in-residence. Steven Paul, M.D., former president of the Lilly Research Laboratories of Eli Lilly 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., CEO of Alnylam, has joined the firm as a venture partner, participating 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.”

Having helped Genzyme launch rare disease therapies around the world, 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, Geraghty served as senior vice president of North America strategy and business development at Sanofi. Previously, he spent 20 years at Genzyme, most recently as senior vice president and an officer. His roles included president of Genzyme Europe and general manager of Genzyme’s cardiovascular business.

Prior to joining Alnylam in 2002, Maraganore served as an officer and a member of the management team at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. As senior vice president, strategic product development for Millennium, he was responsible for the company’s product franchises in oncology, cardiovascular, inflammation and metabolic diseases.

As venture partner, Lynch will focus on guiding the strategic vision and business development efforts for Third Rock and its portfolio companies. He has more than 25 years of experience in management positions in the biotech and pharma industries. He currently serves as executive chairman of Blueprint Medicines and is on the board of directors for bluebird bio and Ember Therapeutics. He spent nearly five years at ImClone Systems as CEO and CFO. As CEO, he led ImClone through a significant turnaround, helping to restore the company’s reputation and secure FDA approval of Erbitux, a novel cancer treatment.

With 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, he spent 17 years at Eli Lilly in several key leadership roles, including vice president of neuroscience (CNS) research and group vice president of discovery research. In his most recent role, he was responsible for the company’s overall R&D efforts, resulting in a pipeline of approximately 70 new molecular entities.

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