A member of the top 100 from the Global Corporate Venturing Powerlist
Janis Naeve, managing director of Amgen Ventures, has headed the corporate venturing group since 2005, a year after it was formed under the leadership of Jay Hagan with $100m.
Parent company Amgen said it had always appreciated the importance of funding early-stage innovation as it was founded in 1980 by venture capitalists and scientists.
Naeve says on the website: “At Amgen Ventures, we unlock value by making investments that match promising early innovations with more than 30 years of biotechnology experience.”
Her own experience does not reach back quite so far – following her PhD and post-doctoral fellowship in neurobiology in California, she worked on business development at Aurora Biosciences and X-Ceptor Therapeutics from 1997 to 2004 before joining Amgen in March 2005.
Amgen Ventures looks for investments that can help its parent’s strategic areas of focus in oncology, cardiovascular, inflammation, bone health, nephrology, metabolic disorders, neuroscience, and discovery research and technology.
Its portfolio companies include deals last year for Precision BioSciences, Tizona Therapeutics, Acerta Pharma. Other spinouts, startups and equity investments include Acylin Therapeutics, Celimmune, Flexus, Kezar Life Sciences , NextCode, Relypsa, Adheron, Imago BioSciences, MiRagen, Opsona, Ra Pharma, Surface Oncology, Sutro and Ziarco, as well as Ardelyx, Atara and Epizyme, which have floated on stock markets.
Amgen Ventures’ limited partnership commitments to VC firms last year involved Redmile Group and VenBio, while others over the years have included Atlas Fund IX, Decheng (Bay City), Orbimed Israel and Rothschild.