Ivor Royston

Ivor Royston’s career as a biomedical researcher, cancer specialist, serial entrepreneur, and venture capitalist is closely tied to the origins and growth of the life sciences industry in San Diego. As an assistant professor of medicine at U.C. San Diego, Royston and a colleague, biochemist Howard Birndorf, co-founded San Diego’s first biotechnology startup, Hybritech, in 1978. Royston was a co-founder of Idec Pharmaceuticals, now known as Biogen-Idec; he founded the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and served as its president from 1990 to 2000. In 1993, Royston co-founded the San Diego VC firm Forward Ventures. He has been involved in many successful life sciences startups, including Applied Molecular Evolution (acquired by Eli Lilly); Corixa (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline); Morphotek (acquired by Eisai), Sequana Therapeutics (acquired by Celera); TargeGen (acquired by Sanofi-Aventis), and Triangle Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Gilead).

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