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By Malorye Branca

February 10, 2003 | Even the most jaded venture capitalist would have to sit up and take notice of the Infinity Pharmaceuticals advisory board. Indeed, industry insiders jokingly refer to this august group as the "mother of all advisory boards." Add to that package directors including Frank Moss (chairman of Bowstreet), Arnold Levine (former president of Rockefeller University), and Steven Holtzman (president/CEO, and former chief business officer at Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc.), and one begins to understand how Infinity secured $70 million in financing last summer.

Among the founders and advisors:

Richard Klausner: The former director of the National Cancer Institute, Klausner is a world-class cell biologist and was special advisor to the National Academy of Sciences and Liaison on Anti-Terrorism to the President (of the United States), before becoming Executive Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's global health program in 2002.

Eric Lander: Director, Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research, and professor of biology at MIT. Lander directs the most prolific genome center in the United States, playing a key leadership role in the completion of the human and mouse genome projects.

Stuart Schreiber: A Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, Morris Loeb Professor at Harvard University, founder and co-director of the Harvard ICCB, and co-director of Harvard's Bauer Center for Genomics Research. Schreiber is also a founder and editor of the journal Chemistry & Biology, published by Cell Press.

Matthew Shair: A professor of chemistry in Harvard's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Shair was a postdoctoral student in Schreiber's lab and helped pioneer diversity-oriented synthesis.


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