Sofinnova Taps Biotech Star Maha Katabi To Head Canadian Office

Private equity firm Sofinnova scored a recent coup with their recruitment of Maha Katabi as partner. With their intention to open a new office in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Katabi will head up their efforts to work more closely with biotech companies on the east coast, in Europe and in Canada.

Katabi attended McGill University, where she received a bachelor of science in biology before moving on to completing her PhD in pharmacology. Earning the title of ‘doctor’ didn’t stop Katabi from merging her interest in finance with her prior education in the sciences. In 2011, she received her designation as Chartered Financial Advisor for just that reason.

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She is a biopharmaceutical industry expert with over eighteen years investment experience ranging from venture capital to public equities portfolio management. Her early career began with Canadian venture capital firm T2C2 Capital Bio where she oversaw several investments in start-ups and university spin-offs. From there, she occupied leadership positions with investment firms Ventures West Management and Sectoral Asset Management before founding her own firm, Oxalis Capital, in 2018.

Oxalis Capital maintains offices in both Montreal and Brussels and, according to the firm’s LinkedIn page, focuses on investing with companies who are “ready to demonstrate the clinical benefit of their discoveries.” Bio-entrepreneur Jean Combalbert, CEO of EPICS Therapeutics, was named as the firm’s investment partner.

“We believe Maha is an exceptional investor with a track record of successful public offerings and acquisitions,” says Jim Healy, M.D., and General Partner of Sofinnova. “We are fortunate to have her join our team. Her experience will contribute a seasoned perspective which we deem will add tremendous value in expanding our investing capabilities.”

While the majority of her career is within the sphere of investment, Katabi did a brief stint as vice president of finance and business development with biotech business Chronogen. As a portfolio company of T2C2, she made the jump to management and gained valuable experience from the other side of the equation.

Of her new position with the investment firm, Katabi said that she was pleased to be part of the team: “I have had the pleasure of working with Sofinnova numerous times over the years. We have recently co-invested in Ascendis, and Apellis, and I am thrilled to join such a great team with a long history of impactful investments in therapeutics.”

Founded in 1974, Sofinnova is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical investment firm with over $1.8 billion in assets under management. It funds across all stages of business development and is an active partner with its portfolio companies – offering guidance on everything from drug development, to regulatory processes, and company building and IPOs.