That was fast: Ex-FDA commissioner goes back to biotech investing

Scott Gottlieb
Scott Gottlieb spent 10 years at New Enterprise Associates before taking the FDA hot seat in 2017. (FDA)

Less than two months after stepping down as FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb has slipped right back into his old ways, becoming "special partner" at his former life science venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA).

Gottlieb, who has taken a while to shake off the job (he’s been talking drug pricing, e-cigarettes regulation and the opioid crisis on a regular basis since his departure, despite no longer being his remit), heads back to NEA, where he spent around a decade before becoming the modernizing FDA commissioner in 2017.

That tenure came to an end in April when he decided the travel to work was too great, although he did strenuously deny that he was heading for the exit to several media outlets at the start of the year.

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Still, he managed to be one of the least controversial picks out of President Donald Trump’s White House while also being one of the few to step down with their reputation intact.

After two years of overseeing therapies come through the regulatory barrier and last year green-lighting the most new drug approvals ever from the FDA, he will now help NEA funnel increasingly large sums into earlier-stage biotechs in the hopes they can be knocking on the FDA’s path someday, with Gottlieb’s knowledge of its workings sure to help pave the way.

RELATED: Scott Gottlieb reflects on his tenure before joining the club of ex-FDA chiefs

“Throughout his prior 10-year tenure at NEA, Scott’s broad expertise was a tremendous asset for our healthcare practice and portfolio companies,” said David Mott, general partner and head of healthcare investing at NEA.

“We are proud of his contributions to advancing innovation and increasing the quality of patient care as head of the FDA, and we’re thrilled to have him re-join NEA, this time as a full-time investing partner. Scott will be based in our Chevy Chase, Maryland, office and will be an active investor across the full spectrum of our healthcare activities, with a particular emphasis on biopharma and healthcare services. Scott is an invaluable resource for our entrepreneurs and our investing team as we work together to advance new products and services to better serve patients.”

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