We draw on scientists and entrepreneurs with comprehensive experience and deep relationships.
Chris Adams, PhD, MBA
Founder CEO, Cydan
Chris has more than 20 years’ experience in ensuring patient impact drives all aspects of the business side of orphan drug development, including business strategy, commercial planning, licensing and mergers and acquisitions.
Before co-founding Cydan in 2013, Chris was president of CMA Biotech Consulting, which primarily served development stage orphan drug companies. He also was chief business officer of FoldRx Pharmaceuticals Inc., where he played an instrumental role in the company being acquired by Pfizer in 2010. He also served as senior vice president of business development for ViaCell Inc., vice president of business development for Transkaryotic Therapies Inc., and director of business development for the pharmaceutical division of Ciba-Geigy Limited, in Basel, Switzerland. Chris also serves on the board of directors of Cydan NewCo, Tiburio Therapeutics, which launched in 2019.
He holds a PhD in organic chemistry and a diploma in organic chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Zurich, and an MBA from INSEAD of Fontainebleau, France.
Sandip K. Agarwala
Managing Director, Longitude Capital
Sandip is a managing director of Longitude Capital focused on investments in biotechnology and royalties. Prior to joining Longitude Capital in 2013, Mr. Agarwala was a vice president with Auven Therapeutics, a life sciences private equity firm. Before joining Auven, he was a consultant in the healthcare practice at the Boston Consulting Group. Sandip’s professional experience also includes Healthcare Royalty Partners, Paul Capital Partners and The Frankel Group, a boutique healthcare consulting firm. Sandip holds an M.B.A. in finance and health care management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S.E. in systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He leads CrownWheel Partners, Longitude Capital’s royalty and structured investment strategy, is a board member for Cydan, and is a board observer of Inozyme and Aptinyx.
Mette Kirstine Agger, MBA
Managing Partner, Lundbeckfond Ventures
Mette was previously co-founder and CEO of 7TM Pharma A/S and has a broad international experience within biotech/life science covering business development and licensing, management and financing. Prior to founding 7TM Pharma, Mette was part of the management team of NeuroSearch A/S responsible for business development and licensing. She started her career as patent agent and has over the years co-founded several biotech companies. Mette has been appointed to numerous board positions both in private and public companies. She graduated as a biologist from the University of Copenhagen and has an MBA.
Mette is a board member of Cydan Development, Psioxus, scPharmaceuticals, Thesan Pharmaceuticals, Veloxis and Vtesse.
Abraham N. Ceesay
Chief Executive Officer
Abraham has over 17 years of experience in leading biopharmaceutical companies and commercializing innovative therapeutic products. Prior to joining Tiburio, he served as chief operating officer at scPharmaceuticals where he developed and led all operational and commercial aspects of the company. He was integral in raising more than $140 million in private and public capital as well as closing the company’s initial public offering. Prior to joining scPharmaceuticals, he served as vice president, sales, marketing, and commercial operations at Keryx Biopharmaceuticals and spent four years at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals as vice president of marketing. He also held responsibility for the management of the U.S. P&L, leadership of the Linzess® brand team and co-promotion collaboration with Forest Laboratories/Allergan. Previously, Abraham was at Genzyme/Sanofi, initially as a field sales specialist and ultimately as the director, Renal Global Marketing, in which capacity he led the global launch of Renvela® and held global marketing responsibility for the company’s renal franchise (Renagel®, Renvela®, Hectorol®).
Abraham serves on the Board of Advisors for Life Science Cares and the Board of Directors for Food for Free. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College, and a Master of Business Administration from Suffolk University’s Sawyer School of Management.
Joel S. Marcus, Board Observer
Chairman, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
Joel has served as chairman of Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ board of directors since May 2007, chief executive officer since March 1997, president since February 2009 and a director since the company’s inception in 1994. He co-founded Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. in 1994, Alexandria Venture Investments in 1996, and the annual Alexandria Summit in 2011.
Previously, Joel was a partner at the law firm of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP, specializing in corporate finance and capital markets, venture capital and mergers and acquisitions. He also served as general counsel and secretary of Kirin-Amgen, Inc., a joint venture that financed the development of, and owned patents to, two multibillion-dollar genetically engineered biopharmaceutical products. Joel was formerly a practicing certified public accountant and tax manager with Arthur Young & Co. specializing in the financing and taxation of REITs.
He serves on the boards of the Accelerator Corporation, of which he was one of the original architects and co-founders, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), Intra-Cellular Therapies, Inc., Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) and the Partnership for New York City. He received the Ernst & Young 1999 Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Los Angeles – Real Estate).
Joel received his undergraduate and JD degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles.
David M. Mott, Chairman
General Partner, New Enterprise Associates
David joined New Enterprise Associates in September 2008 as a General Partner primarily focused on biopharmaceutical investments. He leads NEA’s healthcare investing practice which typically comprises 30% to 40% of each fund, or roughly $750 million to $1 billion of healthcare venture investments every three to four years. The firm invests across all stages and geographies and is a leading investor across all healthcare sectors.
Prior to joining NEA, David was president and chief executive officer of MedImmune, subsidiary of AstraZeneca Plc, and executive vice president of AstraZeneca. David joined MedImmune in 1992 and served in roles of increasing responsibility including chief operating officer, chief financial officer, president and from 2000 – 2008 chief executive officer as the company grew from a venture-backed startup (founded in 1988) into one of the top five biotechnology companies in the world. Ultimately, he led the sale of MedImmune to AstraZeneca in June 2007 for $15.6 billion. In 2002, David founded MedImmune Ventures and chaired its investment committee through his departure from MedImmune. At the time of his departure in July 2008, MedImmune had annual revenues in excess of $1.5 billion, annual R&D in excess of $650 million and approximately 3,000 employees.
Prior to joining MedImmune, David was a vice president in Health Care Investment Banking at Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co., Inc. where he focused on public and private equity and debt financings as well as mergers and acquisitions. He received a bachelor of arts degree in economics and government from Dartmouth College.
David is currently chairman of 3-V Biosciences, Ardelyx, Cydan, Mersana, Prosensa, TESARO, and Zyngenia and is a director of Adaptimmune, Edimer Pharmaceuticals, and Epizyme. He has previously been a director of MedImmune, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Ambit Pharmaceuticals, Omthera Pharmaceuticals, Rib-X Pharmaceuticals and Conceptis.
Sara Nayeem, MD
Partner, New Enterprise Associates
Sara joined NEA’s healthcare team in 2009 and focuses on investments in biopharmaceutical companies. She serves on the boards of Mersana, Cydan, Vtesse and Therachon, and as a board observer for Loxo Oncology (LOXO), Ziarco, Clementia, Millendo, and NightstaRx. She previously served as a board observer for Tesaro (TSRO), Epizyme (EPZM), Omthera (acquired by AstraZeneca), and Zyngenia. She has also been involved in NEA’s investments in Prosensa (acquired by BioMarin), 3-V Biosciences, Edimer, XTuit, and Proteostasis.
Prior to joining NEA, Sara was an associate with Merrill Lynch’s Global Healthcare Group, where she advised biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies on numerous mergers, acquisitions and financing transactions. Previously, she worked as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley. She has conducted basic science research in mammalian cardiac development and clinical research in age-related macular degeneration.
Sara concurrently earned her MD (cum laude) and MBA from Yale University, where she was a Yale MBA Scholar. She received her AB (magna cum laude) in biology from Harvard University.