Scholar Rock CEO Nagesh Mahanthappa Wins New England Venture Capital Association’s 2014 NEVY Award for “Rising Star Entrepreneur” in Healthcare
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 15, 2014
– Scholar Rock, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics for targeting the disease microenvironment, announced today that its Chief Executive Officer, Nagesh Mahanthappa, PhD, has been awarded the “Rising Star Entrepreneur” NEVY award from the New England Venture Capital Association in the category of Health Care. The Rising Star Entrepreneur award recognizes an up-and-coming business leader who is rapidly scaling a game-changing new company and has received a Seed or Series A financing within the past year. Dr. Mahanthappa was among awardees honored last night at the 2014 NEVY Awards event hosted by the New England Venture Capital Association in Boston, Massachusetts.
In selecting Dr. Mahanthappa for the Rising Star Entrepreneur award, the NEVY judges particularly recognized his accomplishment in building Scholar Rock based on key discoveries in growth factor biology by its scientific founders, Dr. Timothy Springer and Dr. Leonard Zon. Dr. Mahanthappa’s achievements also include establishing a drug discovery partnership with Johnson & Johnson Innovation in January 2014 to develop novel biologics for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer based on Scholar Rock’s proprietary technology.
"This award reflects the focus, passion and dedication of Nagesh as an outstanding biotechnology entrepreneur who has positioned Scholar Rock to develop transformative new medicines to benefit patients,” said Amir Nashat, PhD, General Partner at Polaris Venture Partners and Chairman of the Board of Scholar Rock. “Scholar Rock is a prime example of Nagesh’s unique combination of entrepreneurial skills as a leader who has a deep understanding of science as well as talent as a visionary and big thinker who can launch strong and vital biotech companies, as he has done with Scholar Rock, Avila, Alnylam and other companies developing breakthrough medicines.”
Dr. Mahanthappa is a biotechnology entrepreneur with over 20 years of industry experience in roles spanning discovery research through early clinical development, as well as operations and strategy. Prior to Scholar Rock, Dr. Mahanthappa was a founding employee and VP, Corporate Development at Avila Therapeutics, Inc. (acquired by Celgene Corporation in 2012). He was previously a founding employee of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, the first biotech established to discover RNA interference therapeutics and rose to VP, Scientific & Strategic Development. Earlier professional roles include business development at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and discovery research at Ontogeny (now Curis, Inc.) and Cambridge NeuroScience. He was also a founder of TwistDx, a DNA diagnostics company acquired by Inverness Medical Innovations (now Alere, Inc.) in 2010. Dr. Mahanthappa received his Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the California Institute of Technology, and post-doctoral training at the E.K. Shriver Center for Mental Retardation (then affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital) and Harvard Medical School. He received his MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Management at Babson College.
About the NEVY Awards
Through the NEVY Awards, the New England Venture Capital Association brings together more than 700 venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to recognize the greatest accomplishments in New England’s technology and healthcare private companies over the past year. The NEVYs celebrate the people who are hard at work building the next generation of companies that matter.
About Scholar Rock
Scholar Rock, LLC, together with its wholly-owned operating subsidiary, Scholar Rock, Inc., is a biotechnology company discovering and developing a new class of biologic medicines, called niche activators, which target disease-causing proteins in the tissue microenvironment to achieve therapeutic effects fundamentally at the source of disease. The company's proprietary technology has a unique capability for discovering and developing niche activators to be highly selective in targeting specific protein growth factors and opens a new therapeutic approach to address challenging diseases. Scholar Rock's founders and scientific advisors are leaders in elucidating new insights related to molecular mechanisms of growth factor signaling. The company's niche activators have a wide range of disease applications including autoimmune diseases, fibrosis, and diseases of musculoskeletal systems.
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