Third Rock Ventures Appoints Industry Veteran Keith Dionne, Ph.D., as Entrepreneur-in-Residence

BOSTON, Sep 21, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Third Rock Ventures, LLC, a venture capital firm focused on building life sciences companies, today announced that Keith E. Dionne, Ph.D., has joined Third Rock as an entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR). As an EIR, Dr. Dionne will provide strategic input on new and existing portfolio companies with a particular focus on rare genetic diseases and novel biologics.

"Having had the pleasure of working with Keith years ago and knowing firsthand his broad capabilities, I am delighted to welcome him to Third Rock," said Mark Levin, partner of Third Rock Ventures. "We have been fortunate to add tremendous expertise and depth over the last several months to our EIR team and believe these extraordinary industry leaders are essential to building great companies."

Dr. Dionne is an industry veteran with 20 years of experience leading U.S. and international biotechnology companies. Prior to joining Third Rock, Dr. Dionne served as CEO at Surface Logix, Inc. Before that, he was the president and CEO of Alantos Pharmaceuticals, leading the company's acquisition by Amgen for more than $300 million in July 2007. Prior to joining Alantos, Dr. Dionne was with Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he held positions of increasing responsibility, concluding his seven-year tenure as both vice president of research and development strategy and vice president and general manager, technology business. Before his tenure with Millennium, Dr. Dionne served as head of pre-clinical research & development, implants at ALZA Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Dionne was one of four original scientists at CytoTherapeutics, Inc., a cell transplantation company. He has served as an adjunct professor in the Biomedical Department at Brown University. Dr. Dionne received both his Ph.D. in chemical engineering and his M.S. in the program for technology policy from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"Third Rock has created groundbreaking companies formed around cutting edge approaches to a diverse range of diseases and disorders, and I look forward to sharing my experience with the team and contributing to the success of current and future portfolio companies," said Dr. Dionne. "It is exciting to join a group of unique, inspiring thinkers and leaders who truly want to make a difference for patients. I am honored to be a part of that effort."

About Third Rock Ventures

Third Rock Ventures is a venture capital firm founded in 2007 with the mission to launch transformative life sciences companies. With more than $800 million and two funds under management, the firm is focused on working with passionate entrepreneurs to build exceptional companies working in areas of disruptive science that will make a difference in the lives of patients. The firm has assembled a team with deep expertise and a proven track record of building respected and successful life sciences companies. With decades of complementary, cross-functional operational and leadership experience, the Third Rock team actively engages with its portfolio companies to provide hands-on strategy and experience to successfully launch companies with the best vision, science, operations, people and culture. With offices in Boston, MA and San Francisco, CA, Third Rock is well positioned geographically to closely collaborate with its portfolio companies to achieve their goals. To learn more about Third Rock and its portfolio companies, please visit .

Current Third Rock Portfolio Companies

Ablexis, Afferent Pharmaceuticals, Agios Pharmaceuticals, Alnara Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Eli Lilly & Co. in 2010), bluebird bio, Blueprint Medicines, Constellation Pharmaceuticals, CytomX Therapeutics, DC Devices, Edimer Pharmaceuticals, Eleven Biotherapeutics, Foundation Medicine, Kala Pharmaceuticals, Lotus Tissue Repair, Nine Point Medical, PanOptica Pharmaceuticals, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Seventh Sense Biosystems, Taris Biomedical and Zafgen.