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RiverVest Venture Partners Opens Office in San Diego

St. Louis-based RiverVest Venture Partners, a life sciences investment firm, said Thursday it had opened an office in San Diego led by newly installed managing director Nancy Hong.

Hong, a former principal at BioMed Ventures specializing in therapeutics and medical devices, has a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley. She also worked at Forward Ventures, advising biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

RiverVest, which has offices in St. Louis and Cleveland, made 10 investments in San Diego companies over the past decade, including Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Otonomy and Lumena Pharmaceuticals. Six of those have been acquired and one has had a public offering, RiverVest said.

Hong is joined in San Diego by managing director Niall O’Donnell, who spent five years as an immunologist for Johnson & Johnson here before joining RiverVest. He came to RiverVest in 2006 and has split his time between San Diego and St. Louis, company spokeswoman said.

RiverVest has $290 million in assets under management. It has funded 34 companies, with 20 exits or public offerings.

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