Vertex Ventures HC has named George Golumbeski and Faheem Hasnain as executive advisers. The appointments position the VC fund to benefit from the input of industry veterans who, respectively, turned Celgene into one of the most active deal-makers in biotech and ran companies including Receptos.
Golumbeski parted ways with Celgene, where he worked as executive vice president of business development, in 2018 after a nine-year spell at the company. Today, Golumbeski spreads himself across multiple organizations, serving as a venture partner at Arch and sitting on the board of directors at companies including Aura Biosciences and MorphoSys.
In 2018, Golumbeski joined the board at BlackThorn Therapeutics. The following year, BlackThorn received investment from Vertex Ventures and added its managing director Lori Hu to the board.
Now, Hu and Golumbeski are working together at Vertex Ventures, a San Francisco-based VC shop that is anchored by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings. Vertex Ventures disclosed Golumbeski’s appointment alongside news that it has hired Hasnain as executive adviser.
"Faheem and George bring industry-leading experience in the evaluation and management of early-stage biotech companies with an unparalleled eye for operational excellence and needle-moving innovation," Hu said in a statement. "We welcome them to the Vertex Ventures HC team as Executive Advisors where they will be an invaluable resource to our investment evaluation processes as well as to our portfolio companies.”
Hasnain is the chairman of the board at Aspen Neuroscience, Gossamer Bio and Mirati Therapeutics, but made his name earlier in his career. After holding positions at Biogen and Bristol Myers Squibb, Hasnain led Facet Biotech to a $722 million acquisition by Abbott. After that, Hasnain took over as CEO of Receptos and guided the biotech to a $7.2 billion takeover by Golumbeski’s Celgene.
Golumbeski and Hasnain, the only executive advisers at Vertex Ventures, join a VC shop that has seen some of its investments pay off in recent years. Vertex Ventures was an investor in Visterra, which was acquired by Otsuka for $430 million, and has exited a medtech investment, too.