joined safeguard

June, 2006


BioAdvance – Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer

Pluvita Corporation - Chief Executive Officer

Genovo, Inc. – Chief Operating Officer

Avigen, Inc. – Vice President, R&D

Gilead Sciences, Inc. – Virology Group Leader

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute – Research Fellow

board member (Current Partner Companies)

Dabo Health, Inc.

Good Start Genetics, Inc.

Medivo, Inc.

Propeller Health, Inc.

Quantia, Inc.

Syapse, Inc.

Trice Medical, Inc.

board member
(Alumni Partner Companies)

Advanced BioHealing, Inc. (Acquired by Shire, 2011)

Alverix, Inc. (Acquired by Becton, Dickinson, 2014)

Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, Inc. (Acquired by Eli Lilly, 2010)

Crescendo Bioscience, Inc. (Acquired by Myriad, 2014)


B.S. – Stanford University

M.D. – Washington University & Standford University



Gary J. Kurtzman, MD
Senior Vice President and Managing Director, HEALTHCARE

Informed by years of enhancing business and uncovering potential, Gary identifies, deploys capital in and supports emerging healthcare companies.

Gary has 25+ years of experience in operations and investments, leveraging his medical expertise to enable businesses to enhance their products and grow their services, as well as to discover new partnering potential in developing entrepreneurial companies.

Gary joined Safeguard in 2006, where he is responsible for identifying, deploying capital in and supporting emerging healthcare companies in diagnostics, medical devices and healthcare IT. He targets companies with solutions that address the high cost of medical care, and safer and more effective treatments. Gary is a board member of Safeguard partner companies Dabo Health, Good Start Genetics, Medivo, Propeller Health, Quantia, Syapse and Trice Medical.

Gary has realized value for companies through a series of successful IPOs, M&A and turnaround transactions—most recently Shire’s acquisition of Safeguard’s partner company Advanced BioHealing for $750 million, in cash, representing a 13x cash-on-cash return for Safeguard; and Eli Lilly’s acquisition of Safeguard’s partner company Avid Radiopharmaceuticals for $300 million, up front, with an additional $500 million payout dependent upon the achievement of future regulatory and commercial milestones, representing an initial 3x cash-on-cash return for Safeguard with the potential to realize up to 8x.

Gary joined Safeguard from BioAdvance, a state initiative committed to funding early-stage life sciences companies, where he served as Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer. Previously, he was Chief Executive Officer at Pluvita Corporation, a company developing biological and bioinformatic solutions for drug and diagnostic development. Gary also previously served as Chief Operating Officer at Genovo, Inc., a gene therapy start-up company. He was also employed as head of research & development by Avigen, Inc., an early-stage gene therapy company located in San Francisco.

Gary began his career with Gilead Sciences, Inc.—at the time, a pre-IPO biotechnology company—as virology group leader. A board-certified internist from Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO, with a hematology sub-specialty, Gary has authored more than 40 research articles, book chapters and reviews, and is credited as inventor on twelve issued United States patents. Presently, Gary serves on various academic and biomedical committees and board. Presently, Gary is a lecturer in the Health Care Systems Department at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he teaches entrepreneurship in life sciences.