Transformative Insight into Healthcare

Posted by | October 22, 2015

Tonight, members of our team along with members of the Greater Philadelphia area business community will gather together to honor those individuals and companies transforming the health care industry.

Our very own Gary J. Kurtzman, MD is being honored with the ‘Individual Innovator of the Year’ award.

Gary has led a distinguished 30+ year career in advancing innovation in healthcare and in turn has become a dominant rainmaker for entrepreneurs in the Greater Philadelphia area. Marrying his deep medical expertise with his extensive entrepreneurial background, Gary offers transformative insight into healthcare innovation focusing on breakthrough technologies and solutions that lower costs and deliver safer, more effective results for patients.

During his tenure at Safeguard, Gary has built an impressive track record of financing and growing a portfolio of outstanding innovative healthcare companies. As a result, Gary has advanced Safeguard’s healthcare enterprise to receive national recognition. He possesses a keen ability to target promising healthcare entrepreneurs, and in turn, provide them with real-life expertise and guidance, transforming their early- and growth-stage companies into high-traction market leaders.

Gary has been critical to spawning successful exits and acquisitions for a number of Safeguard’s healthcare partner companies. His success stories include:

  • Advance BioHealing—regenerative medicine—acquired by Shire Pharmaceuticals in 2011 for $270 million, in cash, representing a 13x cash-on-cash return for Safeguard;
  • Alverix—point of care diagnostics—acquired by Becton Dickinson in 2014 for $40 million, representing a 2x cash-on-cash return for Safeguard;
  • Avid Radiopharmaceuticals—molecular diagnostics—acquired by Eli Lilly in 2010 for $300 million, up front, with an additional $500 million payout dependent upon the achievement of future regulatory and commercial milestones, representing a minimum 3x cash-on-cash for Safeguard;
  • Crescendo Bioscience—molecular diagnostics—acquired by Myriad Genetics in 2014 for $270 million, in cash, representing a 4x cash-on-cash return for Safeguard; and
  • NuPathe—specialty pharmaceuticals—IPO’d in 2010 and was acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals in 2014.

Today, Gary is a board member of Safeguard’s partner companies Good Start Genetics, Medivo, meQuilibrium, Propeller Health, Syapse and Trice Medical. In addition, he is part of the brain trust that developed the Health Care Innovation Collaborative, which serves as a multi-institutional structure that will distinguish the Greater Philadelphia region and help it become the global leader in health care innovation.

In addition, for nine years, Gary has taught healthcare entrepreneurship in the Health Care Systems Department at Wharton. As a professor, Gary has dedicated his energy to sharing insights and expertise with the next generation of entrepreneurs—identifying, enlightening and mentoring tomorrow’s healthcare leaders. In turn, Gary has reached more than 500 students and has given rise to a number of business plan competition winners, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and startups including Warby Parker, Gamma Basics, Velano Vascular, OneDocWay, Allazo Health and Speso Health.

Gary is a board-certified internist with a hematology sub-specialty who has written more than 40 research articles, book chapters and reviews, and is the credited inventor on 12 U.S. patents.

He has also been the CEO and COO of start-up life science companies. Gary’s early career included seminal work in gene therapy at the National Institutes of Health, Avigen and Genovo. His research provided the foundation for a number of next-generation gene therapy companies including Spark Therapeutics, Dimension Therapeutics and Voyager Therapeutics. Later, he served as Managing Director and COO of BioAdvance where he was critical to the creation of BioAdvance Ventures, which resulted in seed financing of an impressive roster of 20+ innovative early-stage life sciences companies.

On behalf of our entire team, congratulations Gary!! This is a well-deserved recognition.

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