BOSTON , MASS., Jul 29, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) -- Polaris Partners today announced the hiring of biopharmaceutical executive Amy Schulman as a Venture Partner, based out of Boston. Schulman, who most recently served as General Counsel, EVP, and Business Unit Lead of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, will apply decades of experience to the Polaris healthcare portfolio. She will also assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of Arsia Therapeutics, an early stage Polaris-backed company co-founded by Dr. Robert Langer and Polaris Partner Alan Crane. 

"Amy is a highly respected and uniquely talented leader who brings a diverse and valuable skill set to our team and to our companies," said Terry McGuire, Founding Partner of Polaris. "Her proven success in building global businesses coupled with her energy and enthusiasm for the biotechnology space makes her an ideal partner. We are looking forward to her contribution." 

In addition to taking on the CEO role at Arsia, Schulman is expected to assume a number of Polaris company board seats and continue to serve on the board of Cambridge-based Alnylam ALNY -2.77% . At Arsia, she will work closely with Alan Crane who remains with the company as Chairman of the Board. 

"We are thrilled to welcome Amy to the Polaris and Arsia families," said Crane. "Her entrepreneurial spirit and deep understanding of the process for drug development and commercialization will serve us all well. She is a creative problem solver with acuity for execution, a highly valuable combination which we know she will employ across a myriad of opportunities with us." 

At Pfizer, Schulman had a variety of executive roles including leading the Nutrition business which was sold to Nestle for $11.85 billion and heading the Consumer business which comprised well-known brands including Advil, ChapStick and Emergen-C. She concurrently served as Pfizer General Counsel, managing a team of 700 legal professionals while overseeing IP, regulatory, transactional and litigation related matters. Schulman is currently a faculty member at Harvard Business School where she serves as a senior lecturer. She is also the recipient of numerous awards and accolades including Fortune's 50 Most Powerful Women in Business 2013, The American Lawyer's Top 50 Innovators 2013, and the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers Achievement Award from the American Bar Association in 2012. 

In choosing the next step in her professional career, Schulman continued to place an emphasis on substance and culture: 

"When I began connecting with the Polaris team, I was struck by the distinct personalities of the individuals and the way in which the partnership encourages different perspectives and points of view," said Schulman. "Clearly the partners respect one another and their portfolio companies. I was drawn to the firm's nurturing, long-term approach to innovation and company building and now I'm proud to join the Polaris team." 
About Amy Schulman 

Amy W. Schulman is an accomplished business leader, widely recognized for growing global businesses, demonstrating a commitment to people, and fostering inclusive workplace cultures. In July, 2014, she joined Polaris Partners as a Venture Partner and assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of Arsia Therapeutics, a Polaris-backed company. She also joined Harvard Business School's Faculty, as a Senior Lecturer. 

Prior to these roles, Schulman was responsible for leading Pfizer Inc.'s $4 billion Consumer Healthcare business, which operates in 90 countries and includes well-known brands such as Advil, Centrum, and Chapstick. She also served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Pfizer Inc. 
Before joining Pfizer, Schulman was a partner at DLA Piper, where she was a member of the Board and Executive Policy Committees, and built and led the international law firm's mass tort and class-action practice. 

Schulman has served as a visiting professor at Harvard and Yale Law Schools and has been a guest lecturer at Harvard Business School and Tsinghua University in Beijing, among others. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University, Schulman earned her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1989. She serves on the Board of Directors of The Brookings Institution and Wesleyan University. 
About Polaris Partners 

Founded in 1996, Polaris Partners has more than $3.5 billion in capital under management invested into a diverse portfolio of technology and healthcare companies throughout their lifecycles. From the earliest startup phases through the growth stages, Polaris Partners takes minority and majority positions alongside outstanding management teams to help grow industry leading companies. With offices in Boston, San Francisco and Dublin, Polaris partners with an unparalleled network of repeat CEOs, entrepreneurs, top scientists and emerging innovators who are positioned to make a significant impact in their fields and vastly improve the way in which we all live and work. The result: Hundreds of growing companies, thousands of jobs generated, and billions of dollars of value created. For more information, visit: .