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InterWest Partners Celebrates 30th Anniversary

5/6/2009 10:16:42 AM

MENLO PARK, CA--(Marketwire - May 06, 2009) - InterWest Partners, a leading diversified venture capital firm, is celebrating its 30th anniversary by announcing the first four investments from its tenth fund, InterWest X. The first investments include lead participation in a $15 million Series B financing for Exalt Communications, a leading provider of high performance licensed and license-exempt microwave radio systems for wireless backhaul applications. InterWest X's first investments also include the following three life science companies, all co-led by InterWest: a $7.1 million Series A for Eiger BioPharmaceuticals -- a start-up biotechnology company that InterWest helped to form -- which is developing antiviral therapies; a $36 million Series A for Lycera, which is developing novel small-molecule pharmaceuticals to treat autoimmune diseases; and a $20 million Series B in Autonomic Technologies Inc. which is developing a small, implantable medical device to treat severe headache. Together, the investments demonstrate InterWest's ongoing commitment to supporting outstanding life sciences and IT entrepreneurs and fostering the growth of new companies.

"Since 1979, the foundation of InterWest's success has remained consistent: we seek to build winning companies by combining our deep domain experience with the vision of exceptional entrepreneurs," said Dr. Arnold L. Oronsky, general partner at InterWest. "As both investors and partners, our aim is to continue working collaboratively with our portfolio companies to build thriving businesses that produce products and services that change the way we live and work. We are very pleased to begin investing our tenth fund with these promising companies."

Since raising $33.7 million for its first fund in 1979, InterWest has raised more than $2.8 billion of capital and played a formative role in the success of more than 200 companies. InterWest X, a $650 million fund, is expected to invest in a total of approximately 30-40 new life sciences and IT companies. Investments will focus primarily on early-stage companies in the United States, with select investments in later-stage opportunities and abroad.

"As InterWest celebrates its 30th anniversary, we believe we have the talent and the strategy to ensure another 30 years of success," said Oronsky. "I am particularly heartened to know that we have a multi-generational team of partners, with strong investment performance records, who are poised to build on InterWest's past success. In addition, we have three decades of experience navigating varied market conditions and will rely on this experience to manage through the current downturn and continue to deliver value."

InterWest's team includes ten general partners: Berry Cash, Chris Ehrlich, Philip Gianos, Stephen Holmes, Nina Kjellson, Dr. Gil Kliman, Dr. Arnold Oronsky, Doug Pepper, Tom Rosch and Michael Sweeney. The team also includes three partners: Bruce Cleveland, Dr. Linda Grais, and Khaled Nasr. Consultants and executives-in-residence include: Dr. James Campbell, Charline Gauthier, Drew Hoffmann, Dr. Susan Knox, Ron Nash, and Gordon Saul.

InterWest is also pleased to add a new principal to its investing team, Dr. Doug Fisher. Fisher will focus on biopharmaceutical and diagnostics investments. Prior to joining InterWest, he was a vice president at New Leaf Venture Partners. Earlier he was part of The Boston Consulting Group's Health Care Practice Area, consulting for leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Fisher received an A.B. in economics and a B.S. in biology from Stanford University where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He has an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an M.B.A. from Wharton where he graduated with honors as a Palmer Scholar and a Siebel Scholar.

About InterWest Partners

InterWest Partners (, founded in 1979, is a leading diversified venture capital firm focused on building long-term relationships with entrepreneurs and portfolio companies. Currently investing its tenth fund, InterWest X, a $650 million fund, InterWest has raised more than $2.8 billion of capital since inception. InterWest has a total of 13 partners and general partners in Menlo Park, CA and Dallas, TX, who bring together deep domain knowledge in life sciences and information technology.

The firm's past successful investments in life sciences include: ArthroCare, Aspreva Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Galenica group), Cor Therapeutics (acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals), Corixa Pharmaceuticals (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline), Coulter Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Corixa Pharmaceuticals), Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Epicor Medical (acquired by St. Jude Medical), Inspire Pharmaceuticals, IntraLase (acquired by Advanced Medical Optics), Myogen (acquired by Gilead), NovaCardia (acquired by Merck) Spinal Dynamics (acquired by Medtronic), TheraSense (acquired by Abbott Labs) and Ventritex (acquired by St. Jude Medical).

The firm's past successful investments in information technology include: CIENA, Copper Mountain Networks, Crystal Semiconductor (acquired by Cirrus Logic), Cyrix (acquired by National Semiconductor), Lightera (acquired by CIENA), PlaceWare (acquired by Microsoft), SiTera (acquired by Vitesse), Silicon Graphics, Stratacom (acquired by Cisco) and Xilinx.


Eliot Dobris
Tel: 415 902-1241
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