One of biotech's top R&D chiefs makes the leap to the VC crowd at NEA

Elliot Sigal

Elliott Sigal has opened the next chapter of his career. The former R&D chief at Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY), who helped squire a number of blockbuster programs through the clinic, is joining David Mott as a venture partner at New Enterprise Associates.

Bristol-Myers' R&D group had its setbacks, particularly in 2012, but during Sigal's tenure at the top of the research arm he guided an amazing 14 drugs to an approval, including Abilify, Erbitux and Onglyza. Those were all part of Bristol-Myers' "string of pearls," which earned the company a rep as one of the leaders in innovation in the field. Few other R&D chiefs--including a number who had much larger budgets to work with--even came close.

Now Sigal, who left Bristol-Myers last year in preparation for a personal career makeover, will use his knowledge of drug development to help guide NEA's investments. And it's a job that is likely to take him to many places, in search of a wide variety of new technologies.

NEA has been working with a $2.6 billion fund raised in 2012. Since then ex-MedImmune CEO Mott has been pursuing a high-profile role as NEA's top biotech investors, a role he once described to us as one that covered "all stages of development, all geographies, all disciplines." In 2013 NEA was counted as one of the top Silicon Valley venture firms to benefit from the surge in venture-backed IPOs.

Sigal "brings extraordinary insights in key areas such as the use of genetic information to develop precision therapeutics, state of the art clinical and regulatory strategy, and extensive relationships across pharma, biotech and academia," Mott said in a statement. "His therapeutic expertise also spans everything from oncology and infectious disease through metabolic and cardiovascular disease."

- here's the release

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