Health Care VC Thomas, McNerney Moving San Francisco Office to San Diego

2/22/11Follow @bvbigelow

Thomas, McNerney and Partners plans to relocate its West Coast office from San Francisco to San Diego later this year, according to partner Pratik Shah, who left San Diego-based Kalypsys in 2004 to join the health care venture capital firm. The timing depends on finding the right office space, Shah told me by telephone this afternoon.

The move adds a prominent venture capital firm with a broad investment focus in the life sciences to a community that has been searching for ways to reinvigorate its hometown venture capital resources. Thomas, McNerney, which also has offices in Minneapolis, MN, and Stamford, CT, says it has about $600 million invested in companies “under management” and continues to make investments from a $375 million fund that closed five years ago. The firm invests in both biotechnology and medical technology companies, from seed stage startups to public life science companies in established markets.

“They’re coming in here at a time when some of the older, more established (venture capital) firms haven’t been raising more money and haven’t been investing much,” Biocom CEO Joe Panetta told The San Diego Union-Tribune, which broke the story earlier today.

Joining Shah, who leads the firm’s West Coast investment practice, is Larry Fritz, an entrepreneur-in-residence who previously co-founded and operated San Diego’s Idun Pharmaceuticals and Conforma Therapeutics, as well as South San Francisco-based Athena Neurosciences.

“He’s a longtime San Diego biotech entrepreneur who’s been involved in founding and running a string of successful startups,” Shah said. “He’ll help in evaluating new opportunities, building companies, and in other ways.”

Jason Brown, who joined Thomas, McNerney’s East Coast office in 2007, after spending four years as a member of the investment team at San Diego’s Forward Ventures, also is expected to join Shah in San Diego sometime next year.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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