As Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Foresite Capital, Jim Tananbaum has been very successful investing in startup companies in the field of healthcare. Over the course of his professional career, he has developed the skills and knowledge to identify companies which have very promising products and services in which he will invest his business assets as well as give access to his networks and the information that he and his team have.
Before he founded Foresite Capital, Jim Tananbaum founded his own biotechnology company, GelTex Pharmaceuticals. He was able to get two drugs approved by the FDA and onto the market for a remarkably efficient $80 million investment. He sold this company in 1998 for $1.6 billion. One of the drugs he created, Renagel, today earns over $1 billion a year. He was also a co-founder of Theravance, Inc. which, along with its spin-off Theravance Biopharma, Inc. is now worth about $3.2 billion.
Most of Jim Tananbaum’s workdays are spent in meetings with members of his team as well as phone calls. He splits his time between getting updates on the current portfolio of companies his firm has invested in, investigating new healthcare companies, and networking with other leaders in the healthcare industry. The times he is away from the office is most fruitfully spent with his family but he also continues to network with other healthcare and investing professionals as well as spending time eating dinner with friends.
There are still a large number of unmet needs in the healthcare industry, despite the staggering advances over the last 20 years. Jim Tananbaum has said that soon most people will have their blood, saliva, and/or tissue sampled and sequenced in order to help them prevent diseases they are susceptible to as well as establishing individualized treatments for them when they do occur. Deep learning has already established itself in a number of industries, he says, and employing this in the healthcare industry will revolutionize how people are treated and cured of serious medical conditions as time goes on.