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Finance to Functional Genomics, One Large-scale Step

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When you look at John Fowler’s 18 years of financial experience, the obvious question seems to be, Why join Large Scale Biology? Instead, the real question for the company’s new president is, What took so long?

Though Fowler’s experience is all Wall Street, “I’ve actually worked with Large Scale for about 10 years,” he says. He raised money for the long-term client back in ’94, was lead manager of Large Scale’s IPO in 2000, and has been an advisor on M&A activity as well.

That doesn’t mean that his prior experience lends itself effortlessly to taking the helm of the proteomics and functional genomics company. “Since 1979, one way or another I’ve been involved in the financial community,” Fowler, 44, says. “I just reached the point where I’m ready for a totally different challenge.” He believes his role at LSBC will be trifold: setting company strategy, overseeing the financial side (“including relations with the Street”), and corporate development.

It’s the development and commercialization that he sees as most important for him to delve into. He sees it as a good time to work on alliances and partnerships. “Right now the science is far enough along that the opportunity is there to do transactions that can deliver a lot to the shareholders,” he says.

“It’s not just one of those magic-bullet companies. [It] has so many different platforms and … technologies,” he adds, “that have applicability to other companies.”

To that end, Fowler will stay for the time being at his home base in New York — he’s already in conversations with pharmas in the area about possible relationships with LSBC. Once his kids finish the school year, he plans to move to Maryland or California, where the company has its main facilities.

— Meredith Salisbury

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