26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Carole Nuechterlein, Roche Venture Fund

Carole Nuechterlein has headed the Roche Venture Fund, the corporate venturing unit of Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company Roche, since 2001, but even after a significant time at the top of the unit, she has said her challenges remain “exits and finding the diamonds in the rough”.

That challenge became a little easier last year after its portfolio company Allakos, a US-based antibody developer, raised about $128m in its initial public offering (IPO) in July. Founded in 2012, Allakos is working on a treatment called AK002 that will address eosinophil and mast cell-related diseases. Eosinophil disorder causes cells that are responsible for releasing toxins to be overproduced, leading to an inflammation of tissue.

In February last year, Roche also agreed to acquire cancer research technology provider and portfolio company, cancer research technology provider Flatiron Health, paying $1.9bn for the remainder of the company’s shares. Roche already owned a 12.6% stake in Flatiron, meaning the acquisition valued the company at about $2.15bn.

Founded in 2012, Flatiron has developed electronic health record software configured for oncology research, as well as technology that can manage and develop cancer research data. It works with over 265 community cancer clinics and it offers access to more than two million active patient records to its users.

Nuechterlein manages Roche’s Sfr500m ($530m) evergreen venture fund, which means it can reinvest in new deals the proceeds from exited portfolio companies, and so the sale of Flatiron could potentially boost its investment activity.

In 2017, Roche agreed to acquire US-based healthcare analytics provider Viewics for an undisclosed amount in November and Austria-based diabetes management technology developer MySugr for about €74m ($84m) in June. Aileron Therapeutics, a US-based cancer treatment developer, filed to raise up to $69m in its IPO in June.

AveXis, a US-based gene therapy technology developer, raised $95m for its initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq in February 2016. AveXis is working on gene therapy treatments for rare and life-threatening neurological genetic diseases. Its lead product candidate, AVXS-101, is in phase 1 clinical trials for spinal muscular atrophy, the leading genetic cause of infant death.

Roche’s recent deals have included a $38.7m series D round for US-based medical device company MacuLogix in March this year. Last year, it was involved in a $59m series A round for US-based drug delivery platform developer Entrada Therapeutics, a €21.3m series B round for Spain-based orphan disease drug developer Minoryx Therapeutics, a $20m series C round for US-based biomolecular technology developer Biodesy, a $30m venture round for US-based endocrine disease drug developer Millendo Therapeutics and a $85m series C round for US-based vaccine developer SutroVax.

Before venturing at Roche, Nuechterlein worked in the company as an attorney for 10 years. She joined Roche from SangStat in Fremont, California, where she was general counsel. She began her career working at law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in its mergers and acquisitions group. From there, she worked at Syntex/Roche in Palo Alto, California, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, research collaborations and licensing deals.