Anja König was last year promoted to global head of Novartis Venture Fund (NVF), the corporate venturing unit of Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company Novartis, following the retirement of Reinhard Ambros.
Ambros had spent the 12 years as global head of NVF and was part of 2017’s GCV Powerlist. König had, as managing director of NVF, been named as part of Global Corporate Venturing’s Rising Stars list for 2017 before stepping into the top role.
A graduate of Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Cornell, König was an associate partner at management consultancy firm McKinsey for six years from 2000, where she worked with healthcare, pharmaceutical and biotech firms on both sides of the Atlantic, before joining NVF in 2006.
König’s current portfolio features biotech Bicycle Therapeutics, which raised $32m in a 2014 round that included corporate venturing peer SR One; UK-based anti-fungal drug developer F2G, which received $60m in June 2016; and Forendo Pharma, which secured $12.8m in 2014.
König has also overseen several successful exits for Novartis, including Covagen and Heptares via M&A and Nabriva and Qurient via IPOs.
But outside of maintaining its strong investments and exit pipeline, König’s focus has been on the team and hired Michal Silverberg in November 2017.