Bob Nelsen woos John Maraganore to his first VC post after retiring from Alnylam
After almost two decades of primarily being known as Alnylam’s CEO, John Maraganore is getting a new, prominent title.
Maraganore is among a slate of new venture partners at ARCH Venture, joining alongside ex-FDA official Luciana Borio, Jake Bauer (previously at MyoKardia), Axel Bouchon (former head of Leaps by Bayer) and Sabah Oney (of Alector fame).
The move was hardly surprising. Maraganore has made it clear that his retirement, which is scheduled for the end of the year, signaled a shift into a new phase of his career where, instead of hands-on parenting, he wanted to be like a “grandfather” to the next generation of biotech startups, imparting hard-earned wisdom about the treacherous journey from the lab to market — one he personally shepherded Alnylam and its RNAi science through.
While the biotech vet has been deeply embedded in Boston’s VC scene in a variety of roles, he will now be doing it without the distraction of what he called a 24/7 day job.
Just days after announcing his departure, he quickly jumped on the board at Beam Therapeutics, which he called a “true innovator” in gene editing. That was quickly followed by a similar role with “gene coding” company SalioGen. Signing on, Maraganore told the CEO: “I am here to share my scars with you.”
And you can imagine there will be more to come.
He had similarly high praises for ARCH, a longtime backer of Beam, praising its “deep involvement in helping companies harness breakthrough technologies to have a direct positive impact on people’s lives.”
Armed with its largest fund yet — of $1.85 billion — the Bob Nelsen-led VC firm has plenty of cash to build any kind of company they like, with mental health, cell therapy and gene editing being high on the priority list.