Atlas Venture, one of Boston’s most active venture capital firms, today announced the addition of Jason Rhodes as a partner in its life sciences investment group.
Rhodes was most recently the president and chief financial officer at biopharma company Epizyme. Epizyme develops clinical stage solutions for the care and prevention of certain genetically defined cancers, with two programs in the clinical testing phase. Under Rhodes’ leadership, Epizyme grew from a private, non-equity backed research-stage product platform to a publicly-traded company that has been valued at $1 billion (its current market cap is $894.01 million).
Additionally, Rhodes has a fair amount of experience in venture capital; he helped found Fidelity Biosciences, the firm’s investment division focused on biopharmaceutical companies, medical technology, and healthcare IT.
Rhodes is no stranger to the Boston biotech community as well. “I have been in biopharma for my entire career, and I spent the past 16 years within a half a mile of Kendall Square,” he said.
“I’ve known the Atlas guys for a long time,” he said of the move, “I think they are very talented and smart people who have a very good strategy that has been successful.”
Atlas Venture is an early stage investment firm in Cambridge that has been very active over the last few years, backing both technology startups and fast growing biotech companies. In a time when you hear a lot of Boston-based companies complaining about how difficult it is to pry investment funding from many of the better known investment firms, Atlas has developed a strategy of being a bit more liberal in providing funds to help early-stage companies get off the ground. That plan could start to pay some big dividends as some of its investments, such as DataXu, AngelList, Veracode, and Bit9, are looking like they could be big wins for the firm.
Atlas’s life sciences portfolio is one of its most active divisions, which should continue with the addition of Rhodes, who said that he is excited to add his experience to help local biotech and life sciences companies launch and grow.