Brook Byers to Receive Personalized Medicine Coalition Award for Leadership
Washington, DC - October 29, 2009 — Brook Byers, a managing partner in the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), has been chosen to receive the 2009 Leadership in Personalized Medicine Award from the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) for his visionary activities in personalized medicine to change healthcare and improve the lives of patients.
“In selecting Brook Byers to receive this award, the PMC Board noted how deep and wide are his advocacy for, investment in and commitment to personalized medicine, activities that extend not only to the KCPB portfolio of personalized medicine companies but indeed to the entire community of molecular diagnostic companies,” said Edward Abrahams, executive director of the Personalized Medicine Coalition.
The PMC Award recognizes an individual whose contributions in science, business, and/or policy have helped advance the frontiers of personalized medicine. Previous recipients of the award include former Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, Dr. Elizabeth G. Nabel, Director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Ralph Synderman, Chancellor Emeritus of Duke University and founder of Proventys, Inc., and Dr. Janet Woodcock, Director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
Raju Kucherlapati, Ph.D., the Paul C. Cabot Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, who nominated Mr. Byers for the award, said that his contributions have been key to the emergence of personalized medicine.
“It is my firm belief that for personalized medicine to become a reality, business must embrace the concept and take steps to invest in new business models,” he said. “Brook Byers has been a leader in this effort. He is a tireless promoter of personalized medicine and has single handedly impacted personalized medicine in a positive way.”
Mr. Byers, a venture capital investor since 1972, has helped launch and build seven personalized medicine companies: CardioDx (cardiovascular disease diagnostics); Crescendo (arthritis diagnostics); Genomic Health (breast and colon cancer diagnostics); Nodality (leukemia diagnostics); Pacific Biosciences (next generation sequencing); Tethys (diabetes disease diagnostics) and XDx (transplantation and immune system diagnostics). He serves on the boards of all seven companies.
“Brook is a true visionary. As a result, he has been willing to accept risks that others simply aren’t willing to accept. More often than not, he’s right,” said Mickey S. Urdea, Ph.D., CEO and Chairman, Tethys Bioscience Inc. Added Pierre Cassigneul, CEO of XDx and PMC Board member, “Brook’s leadership and commitment are making a real difference for patients every day.”
M. Kathleen Behrens, Ph.D., a general partner with RS & Co. Venture Partners IV and a member of the Friends of the Personalized Medicine Coalition, will present the award to Mr. Byers at a luncheon in his honor, at which Mr. Byers will give a talk on his vision of the future of personalized medicine. The luncheon takes place at the fifth annual Harvard conference by Partners Healthcare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine and Harvard Business School, called ''Personalized Medicine: The Time is Now,'' at Harvard Medical School. More information about the conference is available at www.personalizedmedicineconference.org
Mr. Byers has been closely involved with more than 50 new technology based ventures, over half of which have become public companies. He formed the first Life Sciences practice group in the venture capital profession in 1984 and led KPCB to become a premier venture capital firm in the medical, healthcare, and biotechnology sectors. KPCB has invested in and helped build over 110 Life Sciences companies which have developed hundreds of products to treat major underserved medical needs for millions of patients.
He was the founding President and then Chairman of four biotechnology companies which were incubated in KPCB's offices and went on to become public companies with an aggregate market value over $8 billion. In addition the companies named previously, he is on the board of Five Prime Therapeutics, and OptiMedica, among others. He was formerly a Director of Idec Pharmaceuticals (Chairman), Athena Neurosciences (Chairman), Signal Pharmaceuticals, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Hybritech (Chairman), Genprobe and others. The companies he has backed have pioneered the medical use of molecular biology, monoclonal antibodies, personalized medicine, molecular diagnostics and genomics.
Mr. Byers was President and a Director of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists. He is a Board member of the University of California at San Francisco Medical Foundation, the New Schools Foundation, Stanford’s Bio-X Advisory Council and the Stanford Eye Council. He was Co-Chair of the five year, $1.4 billion, UCSF Capital Campaign. In 2007, he was awarded the “UCSF Medal” as their honorary degree equivalent. In 2008, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2009, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Venture Capital Association.
He was formerly a Director of the Entrepreneurs Foundation, the California Healthcare Institute, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council, That Many May See (UCSF) Vision Research Foundation (Chairman), and the Georgia Tech Advisory Board. He was a founder of TechNet and of the Coalition for 21st Century Medicine.
Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Brook graduated in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech and received an MBA from Stanford.
Elizabeth Schwinn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Personalized Medicine Coalition
About the Personalized Medicine Coalition
The Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), representing a broad spectrum of academic, industrial, patient, provider, and payer communities, seeks to advance the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine concepts and products for the benefit of patients. For more information on the Personalized Medicine Coalition, please visit www.PersonalizedMedicineCoalition.org.