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Clarus Ventures Hires Former Merck President Ed Scolnick and Broad Institute Scientist Finny Kuruvilla

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Clarus Ventures, LLC ("Clarus Ventures"), a leading life sciences venture capital firm, announced today the hiring of Edward Scolnick, M.D., as a Venture Partner and Finny Kuruvilla, M.D., Ph.D., as a Principal in the Firm's Cambridge, Mass. office.

"Both Drs. Scolnick and Kuruvilla have clinical backgrounds rooted in their deep understanding of science and technology," said Nick Galakatos, Ph.D., a Managing Director for Clarus. "Their addition to our Clarus team will further enhance our ability to identify and build companies with highly innovative products that address significant unmet medical needs."

Dr. Edward Scolnick joins Clarus Ventures as a Venture Partner, exclusive to the firm, from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard where he is Director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research. In this capacity he oversees the leading effort in the world to identify the genetic basis of schizophrenia and bipolar illness and to find innovative medicines to treat these illnesses. Prior to the Broad, Dr. Scolnick was President of the Merck Research Labs where over a 17-year period he oversaw the discovery, development and approval of over 16 new medicines across several disease indications. He joined Merck from the National Institutes of Health where for 15 years seminal discoveries were made on the nature of cancer-causing genes in humans.

Dr. Scolnick received his bachelor's degree in biochemical sciences from Harvard University and his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He was a Senior Staff Fellow at both the National Heart Institute and National Cancer Institute. He was later Head of the Genetics Section in the Viral Leukemia & Lymphoma Branch, Chief of the Laboratory of Tumor Virus Genetics and Head of the Molecular Virology Section, LTVG, at the National Cancer Institute.

"Few physician scientists are as accomplished and have made such a fundamental impact in the pharmaceutical industry as Ed Scolnick," said Dr. Galakatos. "His deep understanding of medicine and unprecedented record of success in drug development will greatly assist us in selecting the most promising young companies to invest in."

Dr. Finny Kuruvilla joins Clarus Ventures from the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT where he led a collaborative effort with Affymetrix (NASDAQ: AFFX) in medical genetics. This work resulted in the development of novel tools that allow the massively parallel interrogation of clinical DNA samples. This system is presently being used globally to study billions of genotypes in academic and industrial settings. Prior to joining the Broad, Dr. Kuruvilla's research focused on the elucidation of the mechanism of action of rapamycin. In addition to his scientific achievements, Dr. Kuruvilla has been a practicing physician and cared for adult and pediatric patients suffering from a variety of hematologic, oncologic and autoimmune disorders at the Brigham & Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital Boston, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Kuruvilla received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Caltech, his master's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, his Ph.D. in chemistry and chemical biology from Harvard University and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency at the Brigham & Women's Hospital and his fellowship in transfusion medicine at Harvard Medical School.

"With his very strong scientific and clinical background, Finny will strengthen our team in translational medicine and help identify the next generation of innovative companies for Clarus to invest in," said Dr. Galakatos.

About Clarus Ventures

Clarus Ventures is a life sciences venture capital firm founded by a team of accomplished investment professionals with extensive and complementary industry backgrounds which have enabled them to establish a long history of success in creating value. Their deep relationships with world thought leaders and decision makers allow this team to identify unique investment opportunities and shepherd them to maturity. Clarus augments its core expertise of investing in biopharmaceuticals and medical technology companies with the deep and diverse expertise of the team in research and development, commercialization, business development and operations management at the global level. Clarus is based in Cambridge, Mass. and San Francisco, Calif. and presently manages over $1.2 billion across two life-sciences dedicated funds.

For additional information on Clarus Ventures, please visit


    Nicholas Galakatos, Ph.D., Clarus Ventures, Tel.: 617-949-2223
    Tony Russo, Russo Partners, Tel.: 212-845-4251

SOURCE Clarus Ventures, LLC
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