Dr. Olivier Valdenaire
Olivier has been collaborating with the Endeavour Vision team since March 2006, and joined the group as a Venture Partner in June 2007 in the Biotech investment practice. He is responsible for all new Biotech investments of the firm. Prior to his entry into the venture capitalist community, Olivier was an entrepreneur. He first met the Endeavour Vision team through the financing of his company Axovan – this company became a successful investment of the team.
Olivier is a trained biologist with a background in mathematics and physics. He graduated from the “Ecole des Mines de Paris” (non-specialised executive engineers), and then obtained a PhD in Neurobiology from Paris (XI) University after having worked on the dopaminergic system, both in a CNRS laboratory and at the Collège de France. He was thereafter recruited as a researcher in the cardiovascular department of Hoffmann-La Roche (Basel), where during a period of five years, he familiarised himself with drug development, whilst at the same time, becoming a specialist of the endothelin system. After having contributed to more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, he decided to put on hold his scientific career and in 2000, co-founded Axovan AG together with Dr Thomas Giller, a former Roche colleague.
Axovan discovered and developed small chemical molecules active on G protein-coupled receptors. In almost four years of existence, the company raised CHF 38m from venture capital, recruited 60 employees, constituted a promising pipeline of preclinical projects, and successfully conducted a Phase II study with an in-licensed endothelin antagonist (clazosentan against subarachnoid haemorrhage delayed vasospasm). Olivier served as CEO until the company was acquired by Actelion AG in 2003.
Olivier is CEO of Lumavita and Flamentera, a small company dedicated to celiac disease that he has recently co-founded.
Before joining the Endeavour Vision team on a full-time basis, Olivier was sharing his time between real estate activities and biotech / pharmaceutical consulting. He also privately made a number of investments in start-ups. Olivier lives in Basel and is interested in literature and history.