Advent bolsters life sciences team(3)

London-based Advent Venture Partners has expanded its life sciences team with the recruitment of two new partners – both former biotech entrepreneurs.

Advent Venture Partners has recruited two biotech entrepreneurs, Don Drakeman and Rudi Pauwels, as partners to bolster its life sciences team.

Drakeman, who will be based in New Jersey in the US, has co-founded two multi-billion dollar biotech companies: Medarex and Genmab. Under his leadership, Medarex, which develops human antibody therapies and treatments for cancer, spun off Genmad, which completed one of Europe’s biggest biotech initial public offerings to date.

Pauwels, who will be based in Lausanne, Switzerland, has founded several European biotech companies including Tibotec, Virco and Galapagos. Tibotec and Virco develop breakthrough drugs for HIV/AIDS and other therapeutic diseases while Galapagos develops drugs for bone and joint diseases. Pauwels is also a visiting scientist at the Swiss Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – one of Europe’s leading research centres.

Founded in 1981, Advent Venture Partners has more than £500 million (€740 million, $1 billion) under management. The firm recently hired Dr Richard Mason, a former senior vice-president at Cambridge Antibody Technology, as its biotech executive-in-residence.

The firm floated Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics, which develops gene-based therapies for orphan diseases, on Euronext Amsterdam in June – raising €50 million – having initially invested in the €22 million financing round in July 2006.