SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Accelerator Life Science Partners (“ALSP”), a leading early-stage life science accelerator and investment firm, today announced that it has strengthened its executive leadership team with the promotion of Alice Chen, Ph.D., to executive vice president and the addition of Ronald Howell as Senior Advisor. This expansion enables the firm to better serve a broader, more diverse range of scientific founders and entrepreneurs in the life science community.
Dr. Chen has more than 15 years of research, drug development, and executive management experience. She joined ALSP as a Principal in 2013 to support ALSP portfolio company operations and to provide executive oversight over a broad range of preclinical development activities across the ALSP portfolio.
Mr. Howell most recently served as President and CEO of Washington Research Foundation (WRF), where he led the expansion of WRF from primarily an intellectual property management organization into one of the largest private foundations in the State of Washington. Mr. Howell developed an impressive track record of success supporting and investing in early-stage university innovations.
"We are delighted to announce Alice's well-deserved promotion and to add Ron, a dear friend with whom I've had the honor to work closely with for more than 14 years at WRF Capital as an ALSP senior advisor. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that there is unequal access to therapeutic treatments across underserved communities and a lack of financial commitment to invest in life science technologies and companies developed and led by diverse teams," says Thong Q. Le, Senior Managing Director, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Accelerator Life Science Partners. "While record amounts of capital have flowed into biotech-focused investment vehicles, I believe that as an industry we can do a better job of enhancing and incorporating diversity at all levels. ALSP and our portfolio companies will benefit from the professional experiences and diverse perspectives that both Alice and Ron will bring to our company-building activities as we work to develop the next generation of transformative biotechnology companies."
About Alice Chen, Ph.D.
Dr. Chen is an experienced life sciences operating executive and investment professional. In her role at ALSP, Alice has been actively involved in sourcing and evaluating emerging biotechnology investment opportunities and has played an instrumental role in the formation and oversight of several Accelerator portfolio companies, including Acylin Therapeutics (asset acquisition by a global pharmaceutical company), Petra Pharma (acquired by a global pharmaceutical company), Nemean Pharma, Rodeo Therapeutics (acquired by Amgen Inc.) and Magnolia Neurosciences. Prior to joining ALSP, Dr. Chen served as a scientific consultant and drug development project leader for several venture-backed biotechnology companies. She also served as Director of Technologies at Qwell Pharmaceuticals, a venture-backed biotechnology company developing novel, small-molecule drugs focused on cancer and inflammation. Dr. Chen received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from U.C. Berkeley. She served as an Engineering Fellow at Merck & Company and is a graduate of the Kauffman Fellows Program (Class 19). Dr. Chen currently serves on the board of Life Science Washington, the life science trade association for the State of Washington, and on the governing boards of several technology review committees in the U.S. and abroad.
About Ron Howell
Ron Howell recently retired from the Washington Research Foundation (WRF), a non-profit organization founded in 1981 to support research and scholarship in Washington state, with a focus on life sciences and enabling technologies. Mr. Howell was instrumental in developing a number of innovative grant-making programs to support breakthrough, early-stage research developed within Washington state’s institutions. In 1994, Mr. Howell established the WRF's venture investment arm, WRF Capital, which has become a critical investment partner for numerous university spinouts in Washington State. Under Mr. Howell's leadership, WRF earned more than $445 million in licensing revenue for the University of Washington (UW), provided more than $113 million in grants to nonprofit research institutions in Washington State, and invested more than $90 million in 112 technology focused startup companies. WRF Capital continues to be an active investor in supporting early-stage life science investment opportunities in the Pacific Northwest.
About Accelerator Life Science Partners
Accelerator Life Science Partners (ALSP) is an investment firm that catalyzes the development and commercialization of breakthrough biotechnology innovations by providing the complete business, scientific, and financial toolkit necessary for accelerating the establishment and operation of early-stage biotechnology companies. ALSP’s portfolio companies are backed by some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies and comprise industry-leading, transformative companies, including Lodo Therapeutics (acquired by Zymergen), Lydian Neurosciences, Magnolia Neurosciences, Petra Pharma (acquired by a global pharmaceutical company), and Rodeo Therapeutics (acquired by Amgen Inc.). ALSP is a minority-owned firm that seeks to promote diversity and inclusion in the healthcare industry. For more information, please visit www.acceleratorlsp.com.