InterWest Partners Announces First Investments with its Ninth Fund
InterWest Partners Announces First Investments with its Ninth Fund Nov 2005
Four Principals Promoted to Partners
Menlo Park, CA - November 3, 2005 — InterWest Partners (www.interwest.com), a leading diversified venture capital firm, today announced its initial investments in its ninth fund, IW IX, a $600 million fund focusing on early-stage life sciences and information technology companies. InterWest co-led a $32 million investment in Devax, a company developing a proprietary stent for coronary bifurcation lesions, and participated in a $23 million investment in TransOral Pharmaceuticals Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company that enhances the absorption of proven drug agents. With the ninth fund, the firm will continue to focus its information technology investments in the areas of technology enabled services, infrastructure systems and semiconductors, and component technologies. In the life sciences sector, the firm will concentrate on biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, and drug-device convergence.
"We are very pleased that these two companies are the first IW IX investments. Both reflect our strategy for the biotechnology and medical device component of our new fund, namely to invest in novel technologies with early proof-of-concept - in this case human clinical data - that are being developed in a financially efficient manner by seasoned management teams," said Dr. Arnold Oronsky, General Partner. "We hope our involvement contributes to the further success of each company."
In conjunction with announcing the first investments with their ninth fund, InterWest Partners has also promoted four Principals in the firm — Nina Kjellson, Ellen Koskinas, Doug Pepper and Victor Westerlind — to Partners. With these promotions, InterWest now has 16 investing partners with the firm.
"With active board involvement and broad industry contacts, Nina, Ellen, Doug and Victor have already proven they are instrumental in helping InterWest identify, validate and help build successful early-stage companies," said Flip Gianos, General Partner. "As we look at new investments with our ninth fund, these partners will play a critical role in our success."
Nina Kjellson, Life Sciences Principal, Advances to Partner
Nina Kjellson focuses primarily on investments in the biopharmaceutical area. Nina currently represents InterWest Partners on the Board of Nereus Pharmaceuticals, a drug development company advancing compounds derived from marine microorganisms, and is an observer on the boards of AkaRx, Inc., Inspiration Medical, ReVision Optics, KAI Pharmaceuticals, Kanisa Pharmaceuticals, Ophthonics, Inc., and MacuSight, Inc. Nina also played a primary role in InterWest's investment in Aspreva Pharmaceuticals, which completed its initial public offering in March 2005, and in Devax, Inc.
Prior to joining InterWest, Nina was an Investment Manager at Bay City Capital, a life sciences merchant bank, and a Research Associate at Oracle Partners, a health care focused hedge fund. Nina began her career conducting health policy and survey research with the Kaiser Family Foundation. She holds a degree in Human Biology from Stanford University.
Ellen Koskinas, Life Sciences Principal, Advances to Partner
Ellen Koskinas focuses on life sciences investing, with an emphasis on medical devices. She is a board member of Applied Spine Technologies, CardioMind and Neuronetics. She has also been an active observer on the boards of Corgentech, Epicor (acquired by St. Jude Medical), NeuroPace and Paracor Medical.
Prior to InterWest, Ellen was a Managing Director at a private equity partnership in San Francisco, where she spearheaded new investments in the life sciences sector. Previously, she held a number of key roles in marketing and business development at Guidant Corporation, where she built a new business in minimally invasive cardiac surgery and then led Guidant's acquisition of CardioThoracic Systems. Ellen has also served as an Engagement Manager for McKinsey & Company, managing projects for a broad range of pharmaceutical, health care delivery and medical device clients. At the outset of her career, she worked in Corporate Finance at Morgan Stanley in New York and London.
Ellen received her MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and her BA in Economics, with honors, from Harvard University.
Doug Pepper, Information Technology Principal, Advances to Partner
Doug Pepper focuses on enterprise applications and infrastructure, business services and digital media. At InterWest, he has led several investments including PAR3 Communications, Lombardi Software, INVIDI Technologies and Active Reasoning. In addition, Doug serves as a board observer at ePocrates and Platform Solutions.
Previously, Doug was a Business Development Manager at Amazon.com, helping launch Amazon's Auction and Z-Shops businesses. Prior to Amazon.com, Doug was a Financial Analyst in the Corporate Finance Department at Goldman Sachs in New York, working with such clients as Exodus, Sapient Corporation, EDS, ITT and Abbott Laboratories. In this role, Doug also spent time in Hong Kong, advising clients in China, India and Korea on their financial alternatives. Doug received his MBA from Stanford, and his BA from Dartmouth College.
Victor Westerlind, Information Technology Principal, Advances to Partner
Victor Westerlind focuses on information technology, with a specific concentration in the semiconductor and nanotechnology sectors. He is on the Board of Directors at AccelChip, T-RAM and Pivot3. Additionally, he serves as a board observer with Advanced Microelectronic Equipment Corp.
Prior to InterWest, Victor managed physical vapor deposition (PVD) products extending semiconductor technology to flat panel display manufacturing at Applied Materials. Previously, as a Process Engineer at startup Candescent Technology Corporation, he developed a new field emission display technology. Victor also worked as a member of the technical staff at Hughes Aircraft Company, working on a variety of projects from data systems to satellite communications.
Victor received his MBA from Harvard University, his MS EE from Stanford University and a BS EE from Cornell University.
About InterWest Partners
For more than 30 years, InterWest has partnered with exceptional entrepreneurs to build winning technology and life sciences companies. With more than 200 years of combined operating and investing experience, the firm’s investing team has raised $2.8B, completed more than 70 IPOs, and participated in nearly 60 upside acquisitions. As the firm invests InterWest X, a $650M fund, the InterWest team continues to believe that providing capital is just the beginning of a long-term collaboration with entrepreneurs to turn their vision into a thriving company.
The firm's past successful investments in life sciences include: AkaRx (acquired by Eisai), ArthroCare (ARTC), Aspreva Pharmaceuticals (ASPV; acquired by Galenica group, GALN), Cor Therapeutics (CORR; acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals, MLNM), Corixa Pharmaceuticals (CRXA; acquired by GlaxoSmithKline, GSK), Coulter Pharmaceuticals (CLTR; acquired by Corixa Pharmaceuticals, CRXA), Cubist Pharmaceuticals (CBST), Epicor Medical (acquired by St. Jude Medical, STJ), Inspire Pharmaceuticals (ISPH), IntraLase (ILSE; acquired by Advanced Medical Optics, EYE), LenSx Lasers (acquired by Alcon, ACL), Myogen (MYOG; acquired by Gilead, GILD), NovaCardia (acquired by Merck, MRK), Spinal Dynamics (acquired by Medtronic, MDT), TheraSense (THER; acquired by Abbott Labs, ABT) and Ventritex (VNTX; acquired by St. Jude Medical, STJ).
The firm's past successful investments in information technology include: CIENA (CIEN), Copper Mountain Networks (CMTN), Crystal Semiconductor (acquired by Cirrus Logic, CRUS), CubeTree (acquired by SuccessFactors, SFSF), Cyrix (CYRX; acquired by National Semiconductor, NSM), Edify (EDFY; acquired by Security First Technologies, SONE), Epocrates (EPOC), Kalpana (acquired by Cisco, CSCO), Lightera (acquired by CIENA), Lombardi Software (acquired by IBM), Network Computing Devices (NCDI), Open Silicon (acquired by Unicorn Investment Bank), PlaceWare (acquired by Microsoft, MSFT), Platform Solutions (acquired by IBM), Radius, Rendition (acquired by Micron Technology, MU), Sierra Logic (acquired by Emulex, ELX), SiTera (acquired by Vitesse, VTSS), Silicon Graphics (SGI), Stratacom (STRM; acquired by Cisco, CSCO) and Xilinx (XLNX).