We draw on scientists, clinicians and entrepreneurs with comprehensive experience and deep relationships.
Chris Adams, PhD, MBA
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Chris has more than 25 years’ experience in ensuring patient impact drives all aspects of the business side of orphan drug development, including business strategy, commercial planning, licensing and mergers and acquisitions.
Before co-founding Cydan in 2013, Chris was president of CMA Biotech Consulting, which primarily served development stage orphan drug companies. He also was chief business officer of FoldRx Pharmaceuticals Inc., where he played an instrumental role in the company being acquired by Pfizer in 2010. He also served as senior vice president of business development for ViaCell Inc., vice president of business development for Transkaryotic Therapies Inc., and director of business development for the pharmaceutical division of Ciba-Geigy Limited, in Basel, Switzerland. Chris also serves on the board of directors of Cydan II and Tiburio Therapeutics.
He holds a PhD in organic chemistry and a diploma in organic chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Zurich, and an MBA from INSEAD of Fontainebleau, France.
Sandip K. Agarwala
Managing Director, Longitude Capital
Mr. Agarwala is a Managing Director of Longitude Capital focused on investments in biotechnology and royalties. Prior to joining Longitude Capital in 2013, Mr. Agarwala was a Vice President with Auven Therapeutics, a life sciences private equity firm. Before joining Auven, he was a consultant in the healthcare practice at the Boston Consulting Group. Mr. Agarwala’s professional experience also includes Healthcare Royalty Partners, Paul Capital Partners and The Frankel Group, a boutique healthcare consulting firm. Mr. Agarwala holds an M.B.A. in Finance and Health Care Management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S.E. in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He leads CrownWheel Partners, Longitude Capital’s royalty and structured investment strategy, is a board member of Cydan, and is a board observer of Inozyme and Aptinyx.
Mette Kirstine Agger, MBA
Managing Partner, Lundbeckfond Ventures
Mette Kirstine was previously co-founder and CEO of 7TM Pharma A/S and has a broad international experience within biotech/life science covering business development and licensing, management and financing. Prior to founding 7TM Pharma, Mette was part of the management team of NeuroSearch A/S responsible for business development and licensing. She started her career as Patent Agent and has over the years co-founded several biotech companies. Mette has been appointed to numerous board positions both in private and public companies. Mette Kirstine Agger graduated as Biologist from the University of Copenhagen and has an MBA.
Mette is a board member of Cydan Development, Psioxus, scPharmaceuticals, Thesan Pharmaceuticals, Veloxis and Vtesse.
Barbara J. Dalton, PhD
Vice President of Venture Capital, Pfizer Venture Investments
Barbara Dalton joined Pfizer in 2007 to manage the Pfizer Ventures Investments team within Worldwide Business Development. She is responsible for growing their corporate venture activities, managing the corporation’s private equity portfolio, advising on structured equity transactions and driving novel transactions to achieve corporate objectives. Dr. Dalton has more than 20 years of corporate venture capital experience in the pharmaceutical industry supporting and managing teams involved in indirect and direct health care investments in more than 40 funds and over 100 companies in the U.S. and Europe. She has had direct investing responsibility for biotechnology therapeutic and platform companies, as well as some healthcare IT and service businesses. She is currently on the board of Cydan, Vtesse, Ixchelsis, The Accelerator Crop, Petra and Lodo and supports several other PVI portfolio companies as a board observer. Dr. Dalton began her pharmaceutical career as a research scientist in immunology at SmithKline and French Laboratories and joined their venture capital group, SR One, Limited in the early 1990’s. She was also a founding member and General Partner with EuclidSR Partners, a private venture capital firm, where SmithKline (now GSK) was a leading limited partner.
Dr. Dalton has also been supportive of the many regional and national organizations encouraging innovative startups in health care. She chaired the Philadelphia regional venture investors association, (fka the MAC Alliance), and has been a member of the National Venture Capital Association Board. She also supported the venture philanthropy efforts of the Institute for the Study of Ageing as a Board member. Currently she is the chair of the advisory board for the health care sector of the New York City Investment Fund and an advisor to the Dean of the Eberly College of Science, at Penn State where she received her undergraduate degree. She received a PhD in microbiology and immunology from The Medical College of Pennsylvania (now the Drexel University College of Medical School).
Joel S. Marcus, Board Observer
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
Joel S. Marcus has served as Chairman of Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ Board of Directors since May 2007, Chief Executive Officer since March 1997, President since February 2009 and a Director since the Company’s inception in 1994. Mr. Marcus co-founded Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. in 1994, Alexandria Venture Investments in 1996, and the annual Alexandria Summit in 2011.
Previously, Mr. Marcus was a partner at the law firm of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP, specializing in corporate finance and capital markets, venture capital and mergers and acquisitions. He also served as General Counsel and Secretary of Kirin-Amgen, Inc., a joint venture that financed the development of, and owned patents to, two multibillion dollar genetically engineered biopharmaceutical products. Mr. Marcus was formerly a practicing certified public accountant and tax manager with Arthur Young & Co. specializing in the financing and taxation of REITs.
Mr. Marcus serves on the Boards of the Accelerator Corporation, of which he was one of the original architects and co-founders, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), Intra-Cellular Therapies, Inc., Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and the Partnership for New York City. Mr. Marcus received the Ernst & Young 1999 Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Los Angeles – Real Estate).
Mr. Marcus received his undergraduate and JD degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Sara Nayeem, MD
Partner, New Enterprise Associates
Sara joined NEA’s healthcare team in 2009 and focuses on investments in biopharmaceutical companies. She serves on the boards of Mersana, Cydan, Vtesse and Therachon, and as a board observer for Loxo Oncology (LOXO), Ziarco, Clementia, Millendo, and NightstaRx. She previously served as a board observer for Tesaro (TSRO), Epizyme (EPZM), Omthera (acquired by AstraZeneca), and Zyngenia. She has also been involved in NEA’s investments in Prosensa (acquired by BioMarin), 3-V Biosciences, Edimer, XTuit, and Proteostasis.
Prior to joining NEA, Sara was an Associate with Merrill Lynch’s Global Healthcare Group, where she advised biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies on numerous mergers, acquisitions and financing transactions. Previously, she worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Morgan Stanley. She has conducted basic science research in mammalian cardiac development and clinical research in age-related macular degeneration.
Sara concurrently earned her MD (cum laude) and MBA from Yale University, where she was a Yale MBA Scholar. She received her AB (magna cum laude) in Biology from Harvard University.