ROCKVILLE AND BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, September 30, 2014 – BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), a regional private-public partnership focusing on commercializing market-relevant biohealth innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Central Maryland, announced today that venture capitalist, Tania Fernandez, Ph.D., has joined the BHI team as a strategic advisor. Dr. Fernandez will be a member of the management team for a new BioHealth Gap Fund, which will provide up to $50 million in seed and early-stage equity investments to therapeutics, medical device, diagnostics, and health IT companies in Maryland. Additional BioHealth Gap Fund management team members include Richard Bendis, Ram Aiyar, Todd Chappell, and Ken Malone, who each bring domain knowledge and industry access to the fund.
"Dr. Fernandez has ten years of experience as a venture capitalist in the life sciences/biotechnology industry. Her work in Silicon Valley, along with her research experience at the National Cancer Institute, makes her a tremendous asset to the BHI team," said Richard Bendis, BHI President & CEO. "Dr. Fernandez brings a West Coast investment perspective, and she will have an active role in helping to manage the BioHealth Gap Fund. She will also support our BHI Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and clients: helping our startups to grow and raise strategic funding."
Dr. Fernandez previously was a venture capitalist with Burrill & Company, a $1.5 billion fund with a portfolio of 103 companies in the biotechnology/life science industry. Dr. Fernandez has over sixteen years of industry experience with the ability to successfully identify and assess promising scientific technologies/products and business models for venture investments across the sectors of therapeutics, diagnostics, next-generation sequencing and healthcare delivery. She has led and managed investments through both operational and Board positions. Roche acquired her lead investment, Bioimagene, for $100 million within two years of investment. Dr. Fernandez plays an active role in training and mentoring entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and provides strategic advisory services to companies that range from startups to revenue-driven companies.
BHI's BioHealth Gap Fund is anticipated to be a $50 million fund that will invest in disruptive companies throughout Central Maryland looking to close the gap between seed and early-stage financing. The fund will focus on therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, and health IT companies, and provide seed and early-stage equity investments along with follow-on capital for growth to help companies exit successfully.
"It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with BHI and to help manage the new BioHealth Gap Fund," said Dr. Fernandez. "The potential to serve a pressing need in the current life sciences funding landscape in Maryland is tremendous, and I am delighted to be a part of it."
About BioHealth Innovation, Inc.
BioHealth Innovation, Inc., is a regional innovation intermediary focused on commercializing market-relevant bio-health innovations and increasing access to early-stage funding in Maryland.