Versant Ventures Strengthens Biotechnology Investment Team in North America and Europe

SAN FRANCISCO & VANCOUVER, British Columbia & BASEL, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With a continued emphasis on a global approach to investing, Versant Ventures, an innovative healthcare investment firm, made key announcements today regarding its team. Dr. Tom Woiwode becomes Managing Director, and Drs. Guido Magni, Gianni Gromo, and Jerel Davis have been named Partners. The announcements come concurrent with the closing of the firm's latest $305 million fund -- Versant Venture Capital V L.P.

"These appointments serve to strengthen our capabilities to invest in and support the most promising therapeutic companies across multiple phases of drug development," said Brad Bolzon, Versant Managing Director. "Our team has a balanced blend of proven entrepreneurs and seasoned industry veterans in both North America and Europe. This should allow us to build a diversified global portfolio with both transformational early start-ups as well as later stage biotech companies with strong growth potential."

Dr. Woiwode has been with Versant for over a decade in roles as both an investor and an entrepreneur in several successful portfolio companies, many of which have gone public or have merged with major global pharmaceutical companies. These include Amira Pharmaceuticals, Flexion Therapeutics, and most recently Okairos, where he served as COO until its acquisition by GSK. As a Managing Director based in Basel, Woiwode will continue to lead investments in both the US and Europe, and will work with entrepreneurs and academics to build companies from the seed stage.

With distinguished careers in the pharmaceutical industry, both Drs. Magni and Gromo bring significant translational science and drug development expertise to the Versant investment team. Based in Basel, Switzerland, Magni and Gromo have been instrumental in the creation of the firm's emerging portfolio of European biotech companies, including Okairos, Gensight, Anokion, Piqur, Crispr Therapeutics, AAVLife, Mosaic and Therachon.

Dr. Jerel Davis joined Versant in 2011 and has played a key role in launching a number of portfolio companies including Quanticel Pharmaceuticals, Crispr Therapeutics, Inception Sciences, Blueline Bioscience as well as Northern Biologics – the latest Versant-backed biotech company which was formally announced today. Dr. Davis will lead investments in Canada and the US, working out of the firm's recently established office in Vancouver, British Columbia.

About Versant Ventures

Versant Ventures is a leading healthcare investment firm committed to helping exceptional entrepreneurs build the next generation of great healthcare companies. The firm invests across the healthcare sector and at all stages of company development, with an emphasis on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics. With $1.9 billion under management and offices in North America and Europe, Versant has built a team with deep investment, operating, and scientific expertise that enables a hands-on approach to company building. Since the firm's founding in 1999, nearly 40 Versant companies have achieved successful acquisitions or IPOs. For more information, please visit www.versantventures.com.

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