Biotech vet Astley-Sparke joins venture game as Forbion partner

As the CEO of BioVex, Philip Astley-Sparke executed a blockbuster deal to sell the company to Amgen for up to a billion dollars. And as one of his biggest investors at BioVex, a 2009 Fierce 15 company, Forbion Capital Partners had every reason to celebrate his success.

Now Astley-Sparke and Forbion are going on to the next chapter in their relationship. He's signed on to become a venture partner in the thriving Boston biotech hub, with an eye to eventually taking command of another development company. 

"It's a little bit incestuous," Astley-Sparke tells me with a laugh. "We know one another pretty well."

Well enough for Forbion to trust Astley-Sparke to contribute his expertise as an adviser to some of the biotech companies in the venture group's portfolio. Sander Slootweg, the managing partner at the European venture player, expects the CEO-in-waiting to add to Forbion's growing profile in the U.S. 

"He has extensive expertise in developing biotechnology companies from the research stage to pre-launch, as well as experience in commercial planning, including setting up commercial scale manufacturing," Slootweg noted in their release. "He has overseen multiple major private and public fundraisings and has considerable M&A and change management experience. His hands on operational experience will complement our investment team's skill base and will be indispensable for identifying new investment opportunities, particularly in the US, as well as advising Forbion's portfolio companies."

He's also the kind of individual some up-and-coming biotech companies might like to get to know. -- John Carroll, Editor-in-Chief. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.