26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Søren Møller, managing partner, Novo Seeds

Søren Møller joined Denmark-based pharmaceutical firm Novo in 2011 as managing investment director of its early-stage corporate venture capital (CVC) arm, Novo Seeds.

Novo is the fully-owned shareholding subsidiary of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, a foundation founded in 1923 with corporate interests. Apart from Novo Seeds, Novo also has a venture capital to development stage fund dubbed Novo Ventures overseen by managing partners Thomas Dyrberg and Scott Beardsley.

Novo Seeds focuses on life sciences technology developers, and Moller said in an in-house interview that the unit incubates and backs entrepreneurs through pre-seed grants or equity investments.

He said: “Pre-seed grants are awarded to early-stage, highly differentiated academic research projects with promising commercial potential. We work closely with project sponsors to help them develop and sharpen their plan and grow.

“We believe in challenging companies and their plans as much as possible. We drive company creation to the point where a startup is ready for a significant investment and we continue to build value in the syndicate through to exit.

“The most promising early-stage biotech companies are developed and financed through our equity investments. We place great emphasis on working closely with other venture funds to syndicate our startups.

“In addition to providing capital, we use our commercial expertise to provide projects and companies with the managerial and strategic support to steer them through the critical startup phase. Management is key, and we are currently establishing an Entrepreneur in Residence programme with the goal of having strong management competencies available to the biotech startups in which we invest.

“Through this hands-on approach, our aim is to transform innovative science into products that address unmet healthcare needs and improve the quality of life for the patient.”

Before joining Novo Seeds, Møller was a global manager of bioinformatics at biotechnology producer Novozymes. Prior to that, he was vice-president of research and development at RNA research firm Exiqon, which went public and was eventually acquired by medical diagnostics technology provider Qiagen in 2016.

Møller had also held stints as head of lead identification for cancer drug development at BioImage and research scientist at Novo Nordisk.

He served on the board of directors of cancer treatment developer EpiTherapeutics, which was sold to biopharmaceutical company Gilead, in May 2015, giving exit to Novo.

Møller currently sits on the boards of portfolio companies including digital health technology producer Amra, synthetic biology company Biosyntia, tissue regeneration device developer Reapplix and NorthSea Therapeutics, a developer of treatments for liver, metabolic, inflammatory and fibrotic diseases.

Since 2008, Møller has been a board member of Dansk Biotek, which is an industry association of biotechnology in Denmark, and DVCA (Danish Venture Capital Association).

Møller earned a master of science degree and his PhD in molecular biology from the Technical University of Denmark. He also has academic training as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, having taken a course on marketing innovative technologies at Harvard Business School.

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