Westlake Village BioPartners Names New Chief Operating Officer

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Peter Calvevley, COO at Westlake Village BioPartners
Provided by Westlake Village BioPartners

Westlake Village BioPartners, the two-year-old venture capital firm founded by former Amgen executives and focused on bioscience startups named Peter Calveley its chief operating officer on Wednesday.

A former executive at health care industry investment bank SVB Leerink, Calveley will lead the firm's daily operational functions and guide the company's portfolio of young life science startups, many of which started in 2018 through strategic business decisions.


"Where we're really making our efforts are to find the best, most promising technologies which have the potential to be used to develop therapeutics for patients and matching with scientific and business talent to drive those promising technologies forward," Calveley said. "A substantial amount of my role is ensuring that those companies are financed optimally, as well, as we consider financing and strategic options for all of our companies."

Prior to joining Westlake, Calveley had his hand in a number of bioscience startups while at the bioscience-focused SVB Leerink investment bank. He saw many of them through in-licensing, acquisitions and even initial public offerings.

Last year, Westlake launched two funds worth $500 million. The largest of the two will invest in 12 Series A startups, with an eye toward Southern California companies. The rest of the funds will go toward Series B or later-stage startups.

Already, Westlake has invested in at least three new companies — a gene therapy startup in San Diego and two L.A. companies including ACELYRIN, a biopharma startup focused on immunology.

The firm opened a 130,000-square-foot campus outfitted with a lab in Thousand Oaks near Amgen for many of its younger startups to work out of. Co-founding Managing Director Sean Harper told the L.A. Venture podcast that he was particularly interested in seeding companies — usually with about $1 million — that it could incubate and take through successful rounds of funding.

"We don't do devices, or diagnostics or digital health. It's all about getting medicines to patients," he told the podcast.

The firm is taking advantage of Southern California's growing biotech community. According to a recent report from Biocom, the nonprofit tracking life science companies across California, L.A. County brought in over $1.1 billion in government funding in 2019 — the most of any county in California.

"The reason why I initially got into the biotech industry was it's an industry which is unique in the fact that it can have an unbelievable impact on young people's lives," Calveley said.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

This Language App Is Using Social Media Influencers To Raise Its Profile

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

This Language App Is Using Social Media Influencers To Raise Its Profile
Photo courtesy of HeyPal

Katy Johnson, a reality TV star and globe-trotting travel blogger, has lately offered some advice to her more than 100,000 Instagram followers.

“I urge you to learn a new language,” the model has told her fans, noting how locals in the foreign countries she has visited appreciate the effort. “It’s essential to be able to connect with people as much as possible while I travel,” she wrote in another post last month. Johnson, a former contestant on the TV show “Joe Millionaire,” has repeatedly suggested one particular way to study a new language: HeyPal, a one-year-old language-learning app.

Read moreShow less

TikTok Parent ByteDance Eclipses $1B in Mobile Games Sales

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

TikTok Parent ByteDance Eclipses $1B in Mobile Games Sales
Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

TikTok parent company ByteDance’s big bet on mobile gaming is paying off.

The Chinese tech giant’s growing portfolio of mobile games has brought in more than $1 billion in revenue over the past 12 months, according to a report by data analytics company Sensor Tower, which examined player spending from Apple’s App Store and Google Play dating back to June 2021.

Read moreShow less

Netflix Turns To Asia To Boost Its Stalled Subscriber Growth

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Netflix Turns To Asia To Boost Its Stalled Subscriber Growth

Netflix will invest more in Asia in a bid to revive its sluggish subscriber growth, betting on the lone region where the company added customers during an otherwise disappointing first quarter.

Bloomberg reported Monday that the streaming giant will grow its investment in Asia despite plans to reign in spending overall across the company. That will include financing the production of local films and series for that market, Tony Zameczkowski, Netflix’s vice president of business development for Asia Pacific, told the news outlet.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending