Jim Tananbaum; The Healthcare Investing Guru

Jim Tananbaum is the founder and CEO of Foresite Capital Management. He is an investor with close to three decades of experience in the healthcare sector. The venture capitalist firm invests in healthcare companies with innovative products and services. Foresite invests in later stages of financing. It was the lead investor in Tarsa Therapeutics, Allergen Research Corporation, and Sequenta. Its portfolio companies are involved in diverse categories of healthcare including diagnostics, medical devices, biotechnology, and genomics. The firm has been responsible for the growth of some of the top companies in the sector over the past few years.

In an article on Biz Journals, Tananbaum attended Yale University where he earned degrees in Math and Computer Science. He went on to join the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he graduated with a Master’s degree in Information Theory. He earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1991. Jim co-founded GelTex with George Whitesides after completing school. He served as the CEO of the company for two years and then took up a role as a board member. GelTex was a manufacturer of non-systemic drugs namely Renzela and Cholestagel. Tananbaum remained with the company until 1997 when Genzyme acquired it for $1.6 billion.

Jim became a partner at Sierra Ventures in 1993. He led investments in several healthcare companies including Healtheon and Novamed. Jim co-founded Theravance in 1997. He was its CEO for three years. Tananbaum launched Prospect Venture Partners in 2001. He held the role of the managing director. The firm was a venture capital group that invested in Series-A rounds in healthcare companies. He stayed with the company until 2010 when he founded Foresite Capital Management.

According to INC42, Jim has invested in numerous healthcare companies including Jazz Pharmaceuticals, AmeriGroup, and Amira Pharmaceuticals over the course of his investment career. Tananbaum is recognized as one of the most successful investors in healthcare companies. He was named on the Midas List by Forbes Magazine because of the success that he had achieved in his healthcare investments. Jim Tananbaum was recognized as one of the top 100 investors to watch for a third consecutive year. He was a member of the board of the Yale School of Engineering and the Harvard-MIT HST program.

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