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Former Sanofi CEO Viehbacher takes health investment role

Willlead the Bertarelli family's $2bn Gurnet Point Capital fund

Chris Viehbacher Sanofi Gurnet Point Capital Waypoint CapitalChris Viehbacher has added another job to his portfolio of roles since being ousted as Sanofi's chief executive last year.

His latest position is as managing partner of a $2bn healthcare investment fund, where he will lead its global healthcare investment strategy.

Gurnet Point Capital is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and owned by the Bertarelli family's Waypoint Capital investment arm.

Waypoint chairman Ernesto Bertarelli said: "Chris is an industry leader with significant experience in acquiring companies, business development and licensing. In combination, this makes him the ideal person to lead Gurnet Point Capital and to drive our distinctive value-creating investment approach.”

Bertarelli is a Swiss entrepreneur and former CEO of biotech company Serono whose family wealth is estimated at nearly $15bn.

He added: “We have considerable capital to invest, but to succeed in the healthcare market requires more than money; it requires the experience, ability and relationships to create successful partnerships; the development and regulatory competency; and the know-how to create value from individual molecules, devices or technologies. Chris has these qualities in abundance.”

Viehbacher (pictured above) takes over at Gurnet Point Capital from Fereydoun Firouz who will move to chairman and CEO-designate of Waypoint's new global group of allergy-immunotherapy operating companies Ares Allergy Holdco.

Viehbacher said: “From the moment I first met Ernesto to discuss his vision for GPC, I knew we shared an outlook for an approach to investment that combines capital with know-how, and takes a global approach to seeking the best and most exciting opportunities.

“Science is progressing at an accelerating pace and the next few years will see a number of more transformative treatments, devices and technologies coming to market. I know Gurnet Point Capital will be at the heart of bringing those to patients, and I look forward to working with Ernesto and his team to make this happen."

Viebacher will take up his new role on July 1 and brings to it more than 25 years of healthcare experience, most notably as chief executive of Sanofi, where he served for six years until an apparent falling out with senior board members prompted his departure last year.

His new role at Gurnet Point Capital adds to a portfolio career that also includes a boardroom role at Boston-based biotech start-up PureTech.

Article by
Dominic Tyer

23rd June 2015

From: Research, Sales

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