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Dr. McKearn has three decades of drug development and investing experience in life sciences. Dr. McKearn has been with RiverVest® since 2008 and focuses primarily on early stage biotechnology investments.
Prior to RiverVest, Dr. McKearn was president and CEO of Kalypsys. From 1987 to 2003, Dr. McKearn held increasingly responsible positions at Searle/Pharmacia, including Senior VP of Research. He helped establish the groundwork for studies that led to the commercialization of several major products, including DayPro, Arthrotec, and Celebrex, one of the leading pharmaceuticals to treat arthritis. Prior to 1987, Dr. McKearn was a senior scientist at E.i. DuPont de Nemours and Company, a member of the Basel Institute for Immunology in Basel, Switzerland, and a research associate in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Washington University in St. Louis.
“The RiverVest team is unique in several ways. RiverVest is highly collaborative, experienced, and thoughtful in its work with portfolio companies and its investors. This ‘personality’ is one of the key reasons the firm creates and builds value.”
Dr. McKearn serves on the boards of Allakos, OncoResponse, Good Therapeutics, Arch Oncology and Adarza Biosystems. He previously served on the boards of IDM Pharma (acquired by Takeda), Epimmune, Kalypsys, Keel Pharmaceuticals, Lumena Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Shire), Otonomy and ZS Pharma (acquired by Astra Zeneca).
Dr. McKearn has co-authored more than 70 published, peer-reviewed scientific papers, and holds more than 50 patents and numerous patent applications, primarily in the areas of cancer treatment and inflammatory disease.
Dr. McKearn holds a PhD in Immunology from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Northern Illinois University.