Venture capitalists are gamblers. They invest in the future by funding small startups. These startups all have products that can change the course of the global economy. Venture capitalists never know if these startup companies could eventually become a Google, Snap or Facebook, but there is always high hopes and lots of money available to make that happen. Some of the most lucrative investment opportunities these days is in healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. No one knows that better than Dr. Scott Rocklage. Rocklage is 5AM Ventures managing partner. Rocklage has held that position since 2004. Scott has more than 30 years experience in healthcare. He holds a PH.D. in Chemistry from MIT and an undergrad degree in chemistry from the University of California Berkeley. Rocklage has 30 patents, and he was partially responsible for getting the FDA to approve three U.S. new drug applications. Those drugs are Teslascan®, Cubicin®, and Omniscan™.
Scott Rocklage is the former Board Chairman of Relypsa, Kinestral, and Novira, and he currently sits on the board of Rennovia and Cidara. He was Executive Chairman of Ilypsa, Miikana, and Semprus before those companies were acquired by Amgen, EntreMed and Teleflex. Dr. Scott is a director of MDS Proteomics Inc., and he is a member of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council board. Rocklage also sits on the Whitehead Institute board. His list of pharmaceutical accomplishments is a long one. He is recognized for the research and development work he’s done at Nycomed and Catalytica.
Venture capitalists like Scott Rocklage have positive track records. Kirsten Green, at Forerunner Ventures, made a name and a fortune for herself when she bet on the Dollar Shave Club and Jet.com. Rocklage and his team stay away from retail companies. The 5AM portfolio is an impressive list of pharma and therapeutic companies. Those sectors are producing big returns for venture capitalists, and Scott Rocklage is no exception.
Rocklage likes to talk about the 5AM portfolio which includes companies like Ambrx, Aprea Pharmaceuticals, ENVOY Therapeutics, Cidara Therapeutics, Biodesy, IKARIA Critical Care, Alexza Pharmaceuticals, and DVS Sciences. Those companies are on track to produce better-than-expected performances in 2017.
There are few concerns about the pending healthcare act, but Andrew Rocklage thinks the changes won’t impact his portfolio much. Scott says when all the smoke clears, the 5AM portfolio will be stronger than ever.