“Bringing Altitude into our Series B financing was one of my best decisions as CEO. Dave Maki brought amazing expertise and support, especially in the area of Intellectual Property. He contributed in setting strategic direction for our IP estate, helped us solve difficult problems with the Patent Office, and assisted in diligence with potential partners. A true value-add investor.”
- Keith Leonard, CEO Kythera Biopharma
Dave Maki | Managing Partner
Mr. Maki has been associated with life science companies for the past 39 years. Prior to co-founding Altitude Life Science Ventures, Mr. Maki served as a Partner with Perennial Ventures from 2001 until 2003. From 2000 to 2001, Mr. Maki served as Vice President of Tredegar Investments where he was responsible for the sourcing and management of investments in early stage life science companies, and where he served on the Board of Directors for several life science companies. From 1987 to 1999, Mr. Maki served as a Partner at the intellectual property firm of Seed and Berry (now Seed IP Law), where he focused on strategic planning for healthcare companies, particularly in relation to R&D programs, competitive analysis, and corporate collaborations and licensing transactions with large pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies and universities. During his 17-year tenure, Mr. Maki served as the firm’s Managing Partner for 3 years and Financial Partner for 5 years. Under his leadership as Senior Partner in the Biotechnology Group, the firm built the client base to represent over 60 healthcare companies. During his career, Mr. Maki has served as a Director for a diverse set of life sciences companies and has managed a number of other healthcare investments. Mr. Maki currently serves as a Director on the Board of Iris Medicine and Interdict Bio, and previously served on the Board of Effector Therapeutics, Omniome and as Chairman of the Board of the Infectious Disease Research Institute. Mr. Maki’s areas of expertise include intellectual property, technology assessment, competitive analysis and corporate partnering.
James MacDonald | Venture Partner
Mr. MacDonald has been associated with life sciences companies for over 13 years. Mr. MacDonald co-founded Sana Biotechnology, Inc. and served as Sana’s Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary from 2018 to August, 2022, where he was responsible for all legal matters and government affairs, including Sana’s private financings, initial public offering, intellectual property matters, mergers and acquisitions, strategic transactions, employment matters, and securities, corporate governance and compliance matters. Prior to Sana, Mr. MacDonald served as Senior Vice President and Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Juno Therapeutics, Inc. from 2014 to 2018, where he was responsible for all worldwide intellectual property matters through Juno’s private financings, initial public offering, and eventual acquisition by Celgene Corp. in 2018, including intellectual property strategy, development, transactions, litigation, and counseling. From March 2009 to March 2014, Mr. MacDonald held both legal and business roles at Tessera, Inc. and Tessera Intellectual Property Corp. (subsidiaries of Xperi Corporation) (collectively, Tessera), which are semiconductor technology and intellectual property licensing companies, and most recently served as Executive Vice President of Intellectual Property & Business Development, where he was responsible for business development, patent portfolio development and acquisitions, licensing, and litigation. Prior to Tessera, Mr. MacDonald held senior roles at BigBand Networks, Inc. (later acquired by ARRIS Group), a provider of platforms for broadband multimedia services, and Tumbleweed Communications Corp. (later acquired by Axway Inc.), a secure internet communication solutions company, practiced law at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC, and was a research and development engineer at The Procter & Gamble Company. Mr. MacDonald received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School and his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University.
Kristen Wong | Vice President
Kristen joined Altitude Life Science Ventures in 2015. Prior to Altitude, she worked at Bayer HealthCare where she was responsible for high level project management activities for the commercialization of two pipeline drugs with expenditures totaling more than $150M. These activities included a high priority project to collect and analyze issues pertaining to the commercial manufacturing process and to ensure follow-through and close-out of critical activities. Disciplined adherence to these tight timelines, communication with cross-functional teams, and resolution of complex issues were of upmost importance to ensure that these drug products remained within company timelines for FDA submission and licensure. Kristen has also held roles as a Conformance Investigator and Process Development Scientist. She holds a MBA from University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School and undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Biology from Stanford University. Her specific areas of interest include minimally invasive medical devices, nanorobotics, and the application of artificial intelligence to the healthcare arena. She is also a registered patent agent (USPTO Registration No. 79,212).