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Frazier Healthcare Partners Adds Two Senior R&D Leaders to Life Sciences Team

MENLO PARK, Calif.–()–Frazier Healthcare Partners announced the addition of Don Frail, Ph.D. and Michael Varney, Ph.D. as Senior Advisors on the Life Sciences team. They are senior R&D leaders with over 30 years of drug development experience.

Dr. Frail is a biologist/pharmacologist and a leader of pharmaceutical research and external science divisions. He spent over 30 years in drug discovery research and development at Allergan, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Pharmacia, Wyeth, and Abbott. Most recently, Dr. Frail was SVP of R&D at Allergan where he led an organization responsible for research and preclinical functions, clinical pharmacology, and the scientific arm of business development, while also co-leading the governance of the pre-POC clinical development portfolio.

Dr. Frail has been involved in the entry of over 25 compounds into clinical development across multiple therapeutic areas. He has also been involved in more than 25 business development deals since 2015, including sizeable compound and company acquisitions, licensing partnerships, option deals, build to buys, and outlicenses. He created unique drug repositioning units at AstraZeneca and Pfizer, and groundbreaking partnership models for drug development with the National Institutes of Health and the Medical Research Council UK.

Dr. Varney is a highly experienced drug discoverer and biotech leader. He most recently served as EVP and Head of Genentech’s Research and Early Development (gRED) and was a member of the Roche Corporate Executive Committee in Basel. Dr. Varney was responsible for all aspects of gRED innovation, drug discovery and development, and grew a diversity of drug platform types that includes personalized therapeutic vaccines and cellular therapies. Under his leadership, gRED teams also discovered and developed many successful medicines that had meaningful positive impacts for patients.

Prior to Genentech, Dr. Varney was one of the original fifteen employees at Agouron Pharmaceuticals. He built a team that developed protein-structure based design, a novel approach to drug discovery that is utilized globally by drug discovery teams today. His leadership resulted in the discovery of a number of currently marketed anti-cancer agents.

“We are thrilled to have R&D leaders and industry pioneers such as Don and Mike join us,” said Patrick Heron, Managing Partner at Frazier Life Sciences. “They have incredible breadth of experience, and are highly successful drug developers. We believe they will make significant contributions in helping us create, identify and evaluate new therapies that will address key unmet needs.”

About Frazier Healthcare Partners

Founded in 1991, Frazier Healthcare Partners is a leading provider of growth and venture capital to healthcare companies. With nearly $4.8 billion total capital raised, Frazier has invested in over 200 companies, with investment types ranging from company creation and venture capital to buyouts of profitable lower-middle market companies. The firm’s Growth Buyout team invests in healthcare and pharmaceutical services, medical products and related sectors. The Life Sciences team invests in therapeutics and related areas that are addressing unmet medical needs through innovation. Frazier has offices in Seattle, WA, and Menlo Park, CA, and invests broadly across the U.S., Canada and Europe.

For more information about Frazier Healthcare Partners, visit the company’s website at


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