Mohr Davidow Ventures, a Menlo Park, Calif. firm, has hired two biotech experts to help it make prudent investments in personalized healthcare companies. Essentially, they will look for startups that apply technology to give patients more control over their medical experiences, and to cut costs for care providers and drug developers.Daniel Riskin — who actually worked as a surgeon before entering industry — and Phyllis Whiteley both have firsthand experience at biotechnology companies. Riskin, named entrepreneur in residence, served as president of Interventional Dynamics, a medical tech research company. Whiteley, now executive in residence at MDV, cofounded therapeutics provider Anaphore, and has since worked pharmaceutical companies Perlegen Sciences and F. Hoffman-La Roche.
While Riskin will be primarily responsible for selecting promising startups and products, Whiteley will work with existing portfolio companies to advance their business models.
Healthcare is just one of several areas of focus for MDV, which also funds operations in the cleantech and information technology spaces. Its growing interest in personalized medicine follows current trends, which will favor new diagnostic tools, genomic efforts and health products designed for consumer use. Right now, its health portfolio includes Artemis Health and Adamas Pharmaceuticals.