Board of Directors
Mark Fishman, MD
Dr. Fishman is currently Professor in the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology and Chief of the Pathways Service in Medicine at the MGH. Previously, he served for 13 years as the founding President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, appointed in 2002 to devise and implement a new global strategy for Novartis' drug discovery effort. During his tenure, NIBR discovered and brought through successful early clinical trials 90 new medicines in more than 120 indications, including regenerative medicines for disorders of aging. Before joining Novartis, Dr. Fishman was Chief of Cardiology and founding Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School where his laboratory discovered many of the genes that drive formation of vertebrate organs, doing so thorough one of the first large scale genetic screens in the zebrafish. He completed his internal medicine residency, chief residency and cardiology training at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Fishman graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Yale College in the US in 1972, and with an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1976. He has been honored with many awards and distinguished lectureships, is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, serves on the council of the National Academy of Medicine and, and is the author of over 200 publications and the textbook, “Medicine”.
Robert Millman, JD
Robert serves as the CEO and co-founder of Semma Therapeutics. Prior to founding Semma, Robert founded and led CoStim Pharmaceuticals as its first President, a company focused on cancer immunotherapy, and ultimately directed its sale to Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Prior to his role as a start-up CEO, Robert was a Managing Director at MPM Capital where he helped form and served as the start-up IP Counsel or President of several MPM portfolio companies including Epizyme, iPierian, and Verastem. Prior to joining MPM, Robert was Chief IP Counsel at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Chief IP Counsel at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the Chief IP Counsel at Celera Genomics, and Patent Counsel at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Earlier in his career, Robert was an associate at Morrison and Foerster LLP and a patent agent/specialist at Sterne, Kessler Goldstein and Fox, LLP. Robert received his J.D. degree from the Washington College of Law at The American University, an M.S. degree in Genetics from Washington State University and a B.S. degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, Riverside.
Todd Foley, M.B.A.
Todd Foley joined MPM’s Boston office in 1999 and was promoted to partner in 2007. He has focused primarily on biotech investments and currently serves on the boards of Chiasma, Iconic, OSS, Rhythm, Selexys and Valeritas. Todd also manages MPM’s strategic investment relationship with Novartis, which MPM believes has been one of the industry’s longest standing and most prolific collaborations between venture capital investors and pharma, having committed $200 million to thirteen companies in the biotech and healthcare IT space under a variety of creative joint equity/strategic deal structures.
Jim Scopa, J.D., M.B.A.
Jim Scopa, J.D., joined MPM as a Managing Director in the San Francisco office in 2005. Since joining the firm, Jim has led investments in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics. He has served on the boards of Peplin (sold to LEO Pharmaceuticals), iPierian (sold to Bristol Myers Squibb), True North Therapeutics, Conatus, and Solasia among MPM’s therapeutics companies. Within the device and diagnostic sectors, Jim led the spinout of TriVascular, Inc. from Boston Scientific and serves on the board. TriVascular is a pioneer in innovative technology to treat aortic aneurysms. He has also served on the boards of Astute Medical and Nevro.
Prior to joining MPM, Jim spent 18 years in health care investment banking advising numerous emerging growth companies on public and private financings as well as mergers and acquisitions. Jim spent the bulk of his career at Alex. Brown and Sons, and following its acquisition by Deutsche Bank, served as Global Co-Head of Health Care Investment Banking from 1999 to 2002. From 2002 – 2005, Jim joined a number of his former colleagues at Thomas Weisel Partners where he served as Co-Head of Health Care Investment Banking and as a member of the Investment Committee for the firm’s dedicated health care venture fund.
Stephen Knight, M.D.
Stephen Knight joined F-Prime Capital in 2003 where he serves as President and Managing Partner. Dr. Knight has worked in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries for over twenty years. Dr. Knight currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Forum Pharmaceuticals (formerly EnVivo Pharmaceuticals) and serves on the board of directors of Innovent Biologics, Inc., Proteostasis Therapeutics, Iora Health, Blueprint Medicines, Pulmocide and Optegra Global Ltd. Dr. Knight previously served on the boards of several private and public health care companies including FoldRx (acquired by Pfizer), Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IRWD), NextWave Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer), and Respivert, Ltd (acquired by J&J).
Prior to joining F-Prime, Dr. Knight was president and chief operating officer for EPIX. Before joining EPIX, Dr. Knight worked at Arthur D. Little Inc., specializing in mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical industry and performed research at AT&T Bell Laboratories, the National Institutes of Health, and Yale University. He holds an M.D. from the Yale University School of Medicine, an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Organization and Management and received a B.S. in biology from Columbia University, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
Mitchell H. Finer, Ph.D.
Mitchell H. Finer Ph.D. (Mitch) joined MPM Capital as Managing Director mid-2015 and is a member of the board of directors of MPM portfolio company Semma Therapeutics. Since joining MPM, he has founded Oncorus Inc, focused on the development of Oncolytic herpes viruses for the treatment of GBM and other malignancies, where he serves as CEO and CSO. He recently joined the board of MPM portfolio company TCR2. For three decades, Mitch has focused on drug development utilizing the novel platforms of cell and gene therapy, cancer immunotherapy and regenerative medicine, working to to develop products from conception through phase III clinical programs is the US and Europe. Prior to MPM, Mitch served as CSO of bluebird bio, where he was responsible for strategic build of bluebird’s gene-modified adult hematopoietic stem cell therapy business and led the strategic development and partnering of BLUE’s CART and genome engineering programs. Prior to bluebird bio, Mitch has served as CEO of Intracel Corporation and Genteric Inc, and as VP Research for Cell Genesys and the Gencell division of Aventis Pharma (now Sanofi) and SVP of Development at Novacell (now Viacyte). Mitch also successfully co-founded retinal disease gene therapy company Avalanche Biotechnologies (now Adverum Biotechnologies) where he now serves as a member of the Board of Directors. Mitch received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Harvard University and a B.S. in Biochemistry and Microbiology from the University of California at Berkeley. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT.
William A. Sahlman
William Sahlman is the Dimitri V. d'Arbeloff - Class of 1955 Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. His research focuses on the investment and financing decisions made in entrepreneurial ventures at all stages in their development. Mr. Sahlman has written numerous articles and two textbooks on topics including entrepreneurial management, venture capital, private equity, deal structuring, incentives, commercializing science, and the role of entrepreneurship in the global economy. From 1990 to 1991, he was chairman of the Harvard University Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility. From 2009 to 2015, he was chairman of the Advisory Committee for Harvard Stem Cell Science. In April 2011, the National Venture Capital Association gave Mr. Sahlman The American Spirit Award, which was created in 1999 "to recognize individuals who have shown outstanding leadership by applying business skills, knowledge, expertise and resources to make a meaningful contribution to society." Mr. Sahlman received an A.B. degree in Economics from Princeton University (1972), an M.B.A. from Harvard University (1975), and a Ph.D. in Business Economics (1982), also from Harvard.
Dr. Doug Melton
Doug Melton, PhD, is the Scientific Founder of Semma Therapeutics and a Board Observer. Dr. Melton is the Xander University Professor at Harvard and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He is Co-Chair of the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. The scientific basis and motivation for Semma was created in Doug’s lab and he teamed up with Robert Millman to found the company. Doug graduated with a B.S. in biology from the University of Illinois then went to Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar where he earned a B.A. in History and Philosophy of Science and a Ph.D., under Sir John Gurdon, in Molecular Biology at Trinity College, Cambridge University and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His numerous prizes and awards include the Lounsberry Medal from the National Academy of Sciences and the Joslin Medal. Doug is a founder of Gilead Sciences and Curis. In recognition of his research and advocacy for stem cell research he was chosen as the Scientific American Policy Leader of the Year in 2007 and has twice been named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.
David Neustaedter, Ph.D.
Dave is a Board Observer for Semma. As Vice President of Venture Capital at Medtronic, Dave works closely with Medtronic’s leadership and business development teams regarding minority investments. He has lead a large number of investments and has served as a Director or Observer on over 15 Boards including superDimension, Medina, Setpoint, PQ Bypass, MD Revolution and numerous undisclosed companies. Prior to Medtronic, Dave served in similar roles at Covidien and Stryker. While at Covidien, he also led a process to develop a white space growth strategy for the company. Earlier in his career, Dave was a healthcare-focused strategy consultant, supporting clients on decisions regarding internal product development and acquisition opportunities across the medical device, diagnostic and biopharmaceutical industries. He received a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of British Columbia, and an MBA from Yale.