SV Health Investors welcomes six new Venture Partners to the Biotech team

in SV News

  • SV welcomes Soraya Bekkali, Susan Hill, Ray Jupp, Jane Osbourn, Anne Prener and Neil Weir as Venture Partners
  • Strengthens the SV Biotech team as their first biotech focused fund, SV7 Impact Medicine Fund (IMF) closed at $265m

Boston, MA & London, UK (September 18, 2020) – SV, a leading transatlantic healthcare venture capital and growth equity firm, today announces the addition of six new Venture Partners who join the SV Biotech team.

To support the creation and growth of biotech companies, SV draw on the wealth of expertise provided by both their investment professionals, as well as an extensive network of healthcare industry veterans with diversified and complementing experiences. SV continue to expand this network by welcoming six new Venture Partners to the Biotech team.

Soraya Bekkali, Susan Hill, Ray Jupp, Jane Osbourn, Anne Prener and Neil Weir lend their vast healthcare leadership and entrepreneurial experience to the SV Biotech investment team and portfolio. Each have unique and valuable experience having joined SV from a variety of scientific disciplines, leadership roles and companies ranging across large pharma, academia, start-ups and later stage biotechs.

As SV Venture Partners, the six will draw on their experiences to provide advice and support to the SV biotech team for diligence activities, deal making, investment opportunity evaluation and company creation. Additionally, they directly support SV portfolio companies by sitting on company boards, helping to recruit excellent teams and serving as executives.

“SV are delighted to welcome six new Venture Partners to the SV family,” Houman Ashrafian, Managing Partner in the SV Biotech team, “We are excited to work side by side with them all and benefit from their extensive experience as we build and support the next generation of SV biotech companies with the potential to change the practice of medicine.”

Soraya Bekkali

Soraya is currently the CEO of Cellinta Ltd, an SV portfolio company.

Soraya is a board-certified MD graduated from Paris University specialised in Clinical Pharmacology and Biostatistics with 20 years of experience in Drug Development with a focus on gene therapy. Prior to joining SV, Soraya was CEO and director of the board of Gyroscope Therapeutics, a UK based company developing genetically defined therapies for ocular diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. Whilst at Gyroscope she led the organisation towards clinical stage, Series B and finally to the merger with US based Orbit Medical commercializing surgical device for subretinal drug delivery.

Read more here.

Susan Hill

Susan is currently the CEO of Mestag Therapeutics, an SV portfolio company.

Susan has 20 years’ experience in biotech, operating in UK, Europe and US. Prior to joining SV and Mestag, Susan served as Chief Business Officer of clinical retinal gene therapy company Gyroscope Therapeutics, , a UK based company developing genetically defined therapies for ocular diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, a role in which she focused on the company’s $62m Series B round, business development and the integration of the Orbit Biomedical business, providing Gyroscope with unique delivery technology and its US base. Susan was the founding Chief Executive Officer of Orbit Biomedical (Philadelphia, US), securing a $12m Series A to commercialize technology acquired from Janssen.

Read more here.

Ray Jupp

Ray is currently the CSO of Enara Bio, an SV portfolio company.

Ray has over 20 years’ experience of immunology research in pharmaceutical companies. Prior to joining SV as a Venture Partner, Ray was the founding CSO of Trex Bio, an SV portfolio company focused on tissue Tregs. Prior to his move into Biotech, Ray was head of the Immunology/Inflammation Therapeutic Area at UCB having joined in 2012. In this role he drove multiple compounds into development and through Phase 1 and 2.

Read more here.

Jane Osbourn

Jane is currently Chief Scientific Officer for Alchemab Therapeutics, an SV portfolio company.

Jane is an expert in antibody engineering and was an early employee of Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT), which became MedImmune, the biologics arm of AstraZeneca. Here, she contributed to the development of phage display technology, authored many key publications and patents and contributed to the discovery and development of a number of antibody therapies including Humira and Durvalumab. In 2019 she was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours for services to drug discovery, development and biotechnology, and was also awarded the 2019 Scrip Lifetime Achievement Award for contribution to the pharma industry.

Read more here.

Anne Prener

Anne Prener is currently President and CEO of Imbria, an SV portfolio company and was previously CEO of Cellinta, also an SV portfolio company.

Anne has more than 25 years of experience in leading companies and teams within biotechnology across several therapeutic areas with a special focus on rare diseases and gene therapy. Previously, Anne served as president and CEO of Freeline Ltd., a liver-directed gene therapy company, where she scaled the company from preclinical stage to a fully integrated biotechnology organisation. Prior to joining Freeline, Anne served as the CEO of Gyroscope Therapeutics, a UK based company developing genetically defined therapies for ocular diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and as Vice President, clinical research haematology and Global Therapeutic Area Head of haematology at Baxalta. Earlier in her career, Anne held several positions of increasing responsibility at Novo Nordisk, most recently serving as SVP, haemophilia R&D portfolio where she was instrumental in building the haemophilia franchise to a portfolio of several late stage and commercial products.

Read more here.

Neil Weir

Neil Weir is currently CEO of Sitryx, an SV portfolio company.

Prior to Sitryx, Neil was SVP, Discovery, at UCB overseeing an integrated portfolio of small molecule and antibody projects in immunology, bone disease and neurology. Prior to UCB, Neil was Head of Research at Celltech. Neil and his teams transitioned 33 novel biological and chemical entities into development in immunology, oncology, bone and neurology including the marketed medicines Cimzia, Besponsa and Romosozumab. Neil was an inventor of Cimzia® and dual signalling domain chimeric receptors now known as second generation CAR-Ts. Neil served as chair of the board of Beryllium BioSciences in Boston prior to its acquisition by UCB and as a non-exec member of the boards of the RNA Medicines company (Boston) and Ondek (Perth WA).

Read more here.

About SV Health Investors

SV Health Investors is a leading healthcare fund manager committed to investing in tomorrow’s healthcare breakthroughs. SV invests across stages, geographic regions, and sectors, with expertise spanning biotechnology, dementia, healthcare growth, healthcare technology and public equities. With approximately $2.2B in assets under management and a truly transatlantic presence with offices in Boston and London, SV has built an extensive network of talented investment professionals and experienced industry veterans. Since its founding in 1993, SV has invested in more than 175 companies with more than 75 of these having achieved successful acquisitions or IPOs.

Historically, SV managed funds have been diversified across the three sectors. However, the firm’s seventh vintage of core funds is separated into three distinct vehicles; the SV7 Impact Medicine Fund forms and funds early-stage biotechnology companies developing precision medicines, the Growth Fund accelerates growth-stage healthcare services, medical products and digital health companies and the Medtech Convergence Fund specialises in novel medical device and remote-monitoring technologies.

Alongside their core funds, SV manages the Dementia Discovery Fund, focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics for dementia, and the International Biotechnology Trust plc, a publicly-traded investment trust.