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Morgenthaler Names Dr. Nassim Usman Biotech Entrepreneur-in-Residence

10/19/2005 5:09:24 PM

MENLO PARK, Calif., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Morgenthaler Ventures today announced that Nassim Usman, Ph.D has become an entrepreneur-in-residence focusing on investment opportunities in biotechnology.

"The Morgenthaler Ventures' Life Science team has depth of experience, an impressive track record and a great approach to building value," says Dr. Usman. "It's a pleasure to be working with them."

Dr. Usman has a distinguished record of biotech managerial and scientific leadership at a variety of biotech companies, both in the U.S. and abroad. Most recently he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Sirna Therapeutics, Inc. where he was in charge of business and corporate development, manufacturing, quality and purchasing. Prior to that he had been Chief Scientific Officer at Sirna as well as at Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Usman has also served on the Boards of Directors of Archemix Corp. (Cambridge, MA) and atugen AG (Berlin, Germany), as well as the Scientific Advisory Board of Noxxon Pharma AG (Berlin, Germany). He received his B.Sc. (1982). and Ph.D (1987) degrees in chemistry from McGill University, has authored more than 70 scientific articles and 30 patents, and is fluent in German.

"Nassim has virtually done it all in an incredibly short period of time," says Ralph "Chris" Christoffersen, general partner at Morgenthaler Ventures and formerly CEO at Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals. "We believe Nassim is on his way to becoming one of the recognized leaders of the next generation of biotech entrepreneurs, and we're delighted to have him affiliated with Morgenthaler."

About Morgenthaler Ventures (

Founded in 1968, Morgenthaler is a leading, national venture-capital firm with offices in Menlo Park, CA (headquarters); Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Boulder, CO; and Princeton, NJ; and with an investment focus on life sciences and information technology. Morgenthaler's biotech investments, past and present, include such companies as Athena Neurosciences, Bayhill Therapeutics, GlobeImmune, Morphotek, Replidyne, Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, Sequana Therapeutics, Threshold Pharmaceuticals, and Vical. Morgenthaler has a total of $2 billion under management. Its most recent fund, capitalized at $850 million, was raised in July of 2001. The firm has funded more than 200 companies over its 37-year history.

Morgenthaler Ventures

CONTACT: Nassim Usman, Ph.D, of Morgenthaler Ventures, +1-303-417-1608, ; or Media, Tom Gibson, +1-216-881-9376, , for Morgenthaler Ventures

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