By: Bruce V. Bigelow
Date: April 7, 2016
Xconomy San Diego – RiverVest Venture Partners has stayed mostly under the radar as a small-but-active investor in San Diego life sciences startups for the past 10 years or so.
After making investments in San Diego’s Cabrellis Pharmaceuticals and Conforma Therapeutics, the St. Louis, MO-based firm recruited Niall O’Donnell in 2006 to oversee the firm’s deals in San Diego.
O’Donnell, who was a Kauffman fellow and immunologist from Johnson & Johnson’s San Diego pharmaceutical R&D facility at the time, said his first deal came with the firm’s 2007 investment in Excaliard Pharmaceuticals, a Carlsbad, CA-based spinout from Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IONS). Pfizer acquired Excaliard four years later at an undisclosed price.