October 1, 2019
Apple Tree Partners Names Michael Ehlers as Chief Scientific Officer and Venture Partner
Leading Biopharmaceutical Executive Will Take Over Immediately as Chief Executive Officer of Limelight Bio
NEW YORK, Oct. 1, 2019 - Apple Tree Partners (ATP), a leading life sciences fund, announced today the appointment of Michael Ehlers, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer and Venture Partner, and as Chief Executive Officer of portfolio company Limelight Bio effective October 21, 2019. Ehlers will bring an intense focus on science and innovation, entrepreneurship, patient-centric clinical design and big-picture thinking to ATP.
“Dr. Ehlers brings great depth of sector and scientific expertise to our focus on building new companies and driving long-term value”, said ATP Managing Partner Seth Harrison, M.D. “As the biotechnology sector changes rapidly, the importance of having experienced and visionary leaders like Mike to lead companies through this complex landscape has never been greater.”
Dr. Ehlers will serve as Chief Executive Officer of ATP portfolio company Limelight Bio, an emerging biotech company developing novel gene therapies. Using a suite of proprietary technologies, Limelight is developing treatments for debilitating inherited diseases of the eye, brain, muscle, and liver, including treatments for diseases that cannot be addressed by current gene therapy methods.
Most recently, Dr. Ehlers was Executive Vice President and Head of Research & Development at Biogen, where he served on the executive committee and was responsible for setting a vision and overseeing more than $2 billion annually in R&D investment. During his time at Biogen, Dr. Ehlers significantly expanded and diversified Biogen’s clinical portfolio and boosted R&D productivity across the value chain. Previously, Dr. Ehlers was Senior Vice President & Head, BioTherapeutics R&D and the Chief Scientific Officer for Neuroscience & Pain at Pfizer. Prior to joining industry in 2010, Dr. Ehlers was the George Barth Geller Professor of Neurobiology and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Ehlers is the recipient of numerous awards and has authored more than 100 scientific papers. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and holds M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“I am thrilled to join the ATP team,” said Dr. Ehlers. “We are entering a new era of medicine, with breakthrough treatments on the horizon for some of humankind's most enduring diseases and devastating illnesses. ATP’s unique model follows the science, brings together the best teams, and deploys significant capital to create and build the next generation of innovative biotechnology companies. I look forward to advancing efforts to convert cutting-edge biology into breakthrough medicines for the benefit of patients.”
About Limelight Bio
Limelight Bio is a multi-platform, multi-disease focused biopharmaceutical company expanding the limits of gene therapy. Headquartered in Philadelphia and Cambridge, Limelight Bio’s proprietary technologies are designed to overcome key limitations of currently available viral-based treatments to address a wider range of diseases. Limelight Bio is financially supported by Apple Tree Partners, a leading life sciences venture capital firm. For more information, visit www. limelightbio.com.
About Apple Tree Partners
ATP is a leading life sciences fund with global presence and reach that is developing the next generation of transformative biotechnology companies. ATP brings together $2.5 billion in assets and available funding, one of the sector’s most highly selective funding methodologies, and a seasoned team of venture partners to create a proven hub-and-spoke model. ATP works with the world’s most innovative life scientists and provides the capital, expertise, and operational intelligence to build new companies and drive long-term value. For more information visit www.appletreepartners.com.