Sirtris Founders Build New Venture Capital Fund, Keep Mum
The people who built Cambridge, MA-based Sirtris Pharmaceuticals on the idea of treating diseases of aging, and sold it to GlaxoSmithKline for more than $700 million two years ago, are apparently busy building a new venture capital fund.
Christoph Westphal, Michelle Dipp, and Rich Aldrich are listed as co-managers of Longwood Founders Fund, on a regulatory filing dated yesterday. The filing lists an office in Boston at the financial planning firm of JDJ Resources, as the venture capital fund’s address. The fund has raised $50.7 million so far, from 24 undisclosed investors. The news was first reported by Mass High Tech.
Dipp called to say she couldn’t comment at this point because Longwood is in the midst of ongoing fundraising, and is bound by an SEC mandated quiet period. But given their track records, whatever this fund aims to accomplish will certainly be of interest to the life sciences industry in Boston and beyond. Westphal currently has the dual role of CEO of Sirtris and senior vice president of Glaxo’s Center of Excellence in External Drug Discovery. Before that he co-founded Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Acceleron Pharma, and Concert Pharmaceuticals, and was a general partner at Polaris Venture Partners. Aldrich is a co-founder of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and a Boston hedge fund, RA Capital. Dipp, on her LinkedIn page, says that her Sirtris experience ended in 2009, and that she remains vice president and head of the Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery at Glaxo.