Advance Awards Technology & Entrepreneurship Winner 2021
Dr Arjun Goyal is a venture capitalist in personalised medicine, motivated to create and invest in companies that translate groundbreaking science into innovative medicines across oncology and genetic diseases to impact patients globally. As Co-Founder and Managing Director of Vida Ventures, Dr Goyal leads the US-based life sciences venture capital firm with over $1.7 billion. Coming from a family of doctors, Australian-born Dr Goyal anticipated a life in clinical medicine. But when his education took him to the University of Oxford to participate in malaria vaccine development for the Wellcome Trust Centre for HumanGenetics, a light went off in his mind. He says the exposure to research fascinated him, understanding the power of holding in a test tube a new cure or the next new therapy for controlling a disease. Dr Goyal realised that a career in biotech venture capital and company creation would ultimately allow him to have a broader impact on patients. He insists that for him it is ‘still about the medicine’, and as a physician, scientist and entrepreneur, continues to provide invaluable counsel to portfolio companies shepherding early science from bench to bedside.
Dr Goyal has coupled a keen eye for spotting promising innovation with commercial success, joining industry pioneer Arie Belldegrun, and fellow Harvard Business School alum Stefan Vitorovic, to co-found and launch Vida Ventures in 2017. Vida Ventures recently secured $825 million for its third and largest life sciences fund. The company has selectively made 31 investments globally in companies translating groundbreaking science into medicines that have the potential to impact countless patients with limited or no treatment options. Dr Goyal is personally invested in developing the next generation of life science leaders both in the US and in Australia. He developed Vida’s fellowship program and was invited to join Harvard Business School’s Venture Capital Partner Program, a program that brings together prominent managers to mentor students interested in pursuing a career in venture capital. Dr Goyal is also very active in the Australian biotech community and has helped facilitate US biotech companies to run their clinical trials there. Most recently, Dr. Goyal’s counsel to the Government of Victoria has supported efforts for mRNA Victoria. His experience, track record and network provide incredible opportunities for learning, education and exposure to biomedical innovation around the globe.
“I am motivated to create and invest in companies that translate groundbreaking science into innovative medicines in the fields of oncology and genetic diseases which can impact patients globally. I strive for these companies to be the leaders in their fields globally. We are living through a golden age in medicine where we can now develop treatments to previously intractable diseases with both increasing precision and intent to cure and I motivated to drive this as the biotech industry comes of age.”