San Diego’s Connect Names Pharma Executive Greg McKee as CEO

3/4/14Follow @bvbigelow

Connect, San Diego’s nonprofit program that supports technology innovation and entrepreneurship, today named Greg McKee, a healthcare and financial industry executive, as CEO. He is the fourth leader at Connect, an organization founded in 1985 to help innovators start and build new biotech and technology companies.

McKee, 50, succeeds the late Duane Roth, who led Connect for nearly seven years. Roth died Aug. 3 from a head injury he sustained while bicycling in the Cuyamaca Mountains east of San Diego.

Like Roth, McKee has spent most of his career in the life sciences industry. In a statement released this afternoon, Connect says McKee was a co-founder of Global Bio-Link, a specialty pharmaceutical company that worked to commercialize new drugs in markets outside the United States.

McKee’s LinkedIn history shows he’s been working more recently as the founder and chairman of GMcK Ventures, a La Jolla investment and advisory company focused on healthcare and technology innovation—and as a managing director at STS Capital Partners, an international investment banking firm in La Jolla.

Greg McKee

Greg McKee

Before starting Global Bio-Link in 2012 with former executives of Genzyme’s international division, McKee served as the chairman and CEO of Akela Pharma and its predecessor company, Nventa Biopharmaceuticals. Akela officially ceased operations last year. Previously, McKee held roles as the head of corporate development at Valentis, and in senior management roles with Genzyme Corporation in the U.S. and Asia. He lived and worked in Singapore and Japan for nine years and speaks fluent Japanese.

ViaCyte CEO Paul Laikind, who is currently chairman of the Connect Foundation, said in the statement from Connect: “Finding a strong, visionary new leader for the organization after Duane Roth’s tragic accident was a challenge. With the appointment of Greg McKee as Connect’s CEO I believe that challenge has been met. I look forward to … Next Page »

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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