MENLO PARK, CA and BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Sep 7, 2016) - Lightstone Ventures (LSV) today announced the appointment of Susan M. Molineaux, Ph.D. as Scientific Advisor. In this role, she will assist the LSV biotechnology team with deal sourcing and due diligence. Dr. Molineaux also continues to serve as the President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and as a Member of the Board of Directors of Calithera Biosciences (NASDAQ: CALA), and as a Member of the Boards of Directors of Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN) and Theravance Biopharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: TBPH).
Prior to co-founding Calithera in 2010, Dr. Molineaux co-founded Proteolix, Inc. and served at various times as either Chief Scientific Officer or CEO from 2003 until the Company was acquired by Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in November 2009 for up to $851 million. Under Dr. Molineaux's leadership, Proteolix developed the proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib (Kyprolis®), which was approved in 2012 for the treatment of advanced multiple myeloma. From 1994 to 2003, Dr. Molineaux held scientific leadership positions at Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Praelux, Inc. and Praecis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Molineaux began her career at Merck & Co., Inc., where she was a scientist in the Immunology group.
"Susan has established an exceptional career in the biopharma industry, building her reputation first as a talented translational biologist and moving quickly into senior leadership roles," said LSV General Partner Jean M. George. "The Lightstone team has had the good fortune to work with Susan for more than 12 years, beginning as early investors in Proteolix. Susan was instrumental in forming the company and developing Kyprolis, which we believe will become part of the standard of care for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. After the acquisition of Proteolix, we were enthusiastic to invest in Susan's next company, Calithera. With her extensive experience, network and impressive track record in drug development, the Lightstone team is thrilled to have her expertise and guidance as we continue to build our portfolio."
The LSV biopharmaceutical portfolio currently includes Nimbus Therapeutics, LLC; Alexo Therapeutics, Inc.; Ra Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Flex Pharma, Inc. and Catabasis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In May 2016, Gilead Sciences, Inc. acquired Nimbus Apollo, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nimbus Therapeutics, in a deal valued up to $1.2 billion. LSV has also invested in Claret Medical, Inc.; Earlens Corporation; Cala Heath, Inc. and Foundry Innovation & Research 1, Ltd. ("FIRE1") in the medical device sector.
"Over the last decade, I have had the pleasure of welcoming Lightstone team members to the boards of my companies, where I have seen firsthand the value of bringing their deep operations experience to portfolio management," said Dr. Molineaux. "This is a team that shares my passion for building drug development companies with the potential to bring new therapeutics from inception to patients. I am delighted to join LSV."
Dr. Molineaux is also a Member of the Board of Directors of We Teach Science, a San Francisco Bay Area mentoring program for students in math and science, and served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the California Life Sciences Association until March 2016. Dr. Molineaux holds a B.S. in Biology from Smith College and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Johns Hopkins University, and she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University.
About Lightstone Ventures
Lightstone Ventures (LSV) was founded in 2012 by the General Partners of the life science teams at Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) and Morgenthaler Ventures to invest in early-stage breakthrough medical device and biopharmaceutical companies that have the potential to change medicine. Members of the Lightstone team have been involved in several of the largest, venture-backed life science exits over the last decade. The firm now has offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.lightstonevc.com.