Dr. Powell is a General Partner at Sofinnova Ventures, Inc. He joined Sofinnova in 1997 as a member of the life science investment team and has focused on clinical-stage product companies, particularly in the oncology and neurology areas. Dr. Powell has 32 years of experience, including 15 years of R&D before venture. Dr. Powell has been involved in more than 50 clinical programs, and is the author of 90 publications and books, including a 1,000-page treatise on vaccine design. He was the initial venture investor of: Actelion (ATLN), Intermune (ITMN), Orexigen (OREX), Seattle Genetics (SGEN), Threshold (THLD), and Trius (TSRX) and other public and private companies such as Intellikine (sold to Millennium-Takeda), Mirna and Labrys Biologics (sold to Teva).
Mike was the first person in the biotech industry to be honored by the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists as an AAPS Fellow. He has also served on the journal editorial boards of Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Journal of Controlled Release. He has been the Board President of the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, as well as advisor to the Institute for One World Health, IAVI (International AIDS Vaccine Initiative), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Mike is also Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Kansas, one of the top US pharmacy schools. Before joining Sofinnova, he was group leader of drug delivery at Genentech. During his tenure there, he and colleagues spun off VaxGen, an AIDS vaccine company. Prior to Genentech, he helped start Cytel as the Director of Product Development. Before this he was Senior Scientist and Project Team Leader at Syntex Research.
Mike received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Toronto and carried out postdoctoral studies in bio-organic chemistry at the University of California as a National Science and Engineering Research Council Scholar. Mike and his wife Tana live in San Francisco, and they enjoy flying, skiing, diving and flyfishing.