Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures (SGBV) is an important component of Sanofi’s broader global strategy to invigorate external innovation and research that will ultimately lead to new products. SGBV has leveraged the venture capital investment expertise and platform of its predecessor fund, Genzyme Ventures, with a recently-expanded mandate to invest across the more expansive footprint of Sanofi.
Originally established in 2001 as Genzyme Ventures, SGBV invests directly in private early-stage companies with promising new products based on breakthrough science.
Today, SGBV is a $100 million fund with a portfolio of direct equity investments in a variety of promising private life-science companies.
The mission of SGBV is to invest directly in private early-stage biotech companies with promising new products based on breakthrough science. As a strategic fund, investments are made to develop and forge relationships that could lead to future strategic collaborations and product opportunities. We seek investments that align with Sanofi’s current and future areas of business interest and will be championed by our research, development and division management teams.
In addition to financing, we provide our portfolio companies with guidance and advice by leveraging Sanofi’s established expertise in science, preclinical and clinical development, regulatory, manufacturing, commercialization, and more. In return, we expect an ongoing window into the company's progress and future products, through advisory committee membership, technical update meetings, board observer or director positions and a defined path to participation in potential partnering discussions.
All investment decisions are made by a small committee of senior Sanofi executives.
Our portfolio companies are varied in their focus but united in one important way: a commitment to innovative science and translational development that could change the future of medicine.
Bernard Davitian has extensive experience in the life sciences and biotech industry, marked by a number of closed transactions involving financings and M&A. His track record includes, among others, the successful IPO of Transgene on the NASDAQ and Euronext in 1998 ($100 million raised) and the sale of Fovea Pharmaceuticals to Sanofi in 2009 in a €370 million cash transaction.
Bernard joined Sanofi in 2010 as Vice President, Deputy of Global Head, Corporate Licenses and was promoted to Vice President, BD Licensing and Structured Investments in 2012, a role that includes the management of SGBV. Prior to his joining Sanofi, Bernard was EVP & CFO of Fovea Pharmaceuticals, CEO of Neurotech, and EVP & CFO of Transgene. Bernard began his career in the biotech sector by serving in various capacities at Institut Mérieux (now Sanofi Pasteur), including Corporate CFO.
In addition to his SGBV-related Boards of Directors responsibilities, which include Esperance Pharmaceuticals and Kahr Medical, Bernard also represents Sanofi on the Board of Directors of Warp Drive Bio.
Prior Sanofi role:
- Vice President, Deputy of Global Head, Corporate Licenses
- MSc in Management, Graduate School of Business of Lyon (EM Lyon, France)
- CPA (France)
- Wharton School of Business, Executive MBA (AMP program)
Dr. Alan Walts previously headed up Genzyme Ventures’ investing activities and currently serves as a Senior Advisor to SGBV. His Genzyme Ventures role was a natural transition after several years in corporate business development, where he led strategic analyses and transactional activities related to Genzyme’s flagship rare disease business and was directly responsible for negotiating transactions with Cambridge Antibody Technology, Pharming, Synpac, Novazyme, and Dyax, and the spinout of Peptimmune.
Alan is currently a member of the Boards of Directors of 4s3 Bioscience and Proteostasis, and is the Board observer of KaloBios.
Prior Genzyme roles:
- Managing Director, Genzyme Ventures
- Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Genzyme
- President and General Manager, Genzyme Pharmaceuticals
- Program Director, Surgical Products, Genzyme
- Vice President, R&D, Genzyme
- Harvard Business School Executive Management PMD program
- Postdoctoral Studies, Biochemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Eric Olson is a Director on the Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures team and was previously a Senior Associate of Genzyme Ventures. Prior to joining Genzyme Ventures, Eric was a Business Development Manager in Genzyme’s Corporate Development group, where he evaluated and led numerous business development opportunities spanning several therapeutics areas and stages of development. Prior to joining Genzyme, Eric was an investment banker at Benedetto, Gartland & Co., a boutique that specialized in raising private equity for select private equity sponsors and corporations. Eric began his career as a Research Assistant at the Yale University School of Medicine, where he published several papers in peer-reviewed journals.
Eric is currently an observer to the Boards of Directors of Fate Therapeutics and GlycoMimetics.
Prior Genzyme roles:
- Senior Associate, Genzyme Ventures
- Business Development Manager, Corporate Development, Genzyme
- M.B.A., Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia
- M.S., Cellular and Molecular Biology, New York University
- B.A., Zoology, Connecticut College
Partnering with Genzyme
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