Jim Tananbaum’s choice to name his company Foresite Capital was no coincidence. With a B.S. and a B.S.E.E. from Yale University, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, Jim is afforded with the intelligence and foresight to make business decisions that have time and again proven the worth of his education.
Before even graduating from medical school, Jim had already founded his first pharmaceutical company called GelTex Pharmaceuticals. Under Jim’s ownership, Geltex introduced two new drugs into the pharmaceutical market that currently make $1 billion in revenue, in spite of the less than $80 million it took GelTex to introduce the drugs. GelTex was founded in January of 1991, and Jim remained the CEO of the company until Genzyme bought it in 1992. After the purchase, Jim became a board member and remained as such until 1997. Jim also co-founded another company called Theravance, Inc in 1997. Theravance prompted a spinoff called Theravance Biopharma, Inc. He remained with Theravance until 2000.
However, Jim’s business expertise extends further into the financial arena. Jim Tananbaum is also deep-rooted in the United States’ biggest investing markets. He has investing experience from early on in his career, as Jim Tananbaum retained a partner position at Sierra Ventures from 1993 to 1997. Jim continued to found successful companies, and contributed his investing experience to his company-founding experience to co-found Prospect Venture Partners II and Prospect Venture Partners III in 2001. Jim stayed at Prospect Venture Partners as the Managing Director until 2010, when he left to yet again found a substantially successful company. Foresite Capital Management, a healthcare equity growth firm, is where Jim has worked since its founding. Foresite Capital is a San Francisco-based company, but also has an office in New York. Again using his prior education and experience to his advantage, many of the investments Jim has led at Foresite Capital have been in successful pharmaceutical companies. Amira Pharmaceuticals and Jazz Pharmaceuticals are among the companies in which Jim has invested. Jim has recently been named to the Forbes Midas List of the US Top 100 Investors, on which he is currently ranked #52.