In the U.S. alone, pharmaceuticals are a multi-billion dollar industry, with new discoveries coming on line seemingly every day. Dr. Scott Rocklage, with a PhD in Chemistry from MIT, has been on the cutting edge of drug discovery for the past 30 years. After a successful career as Chairman and CEO of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, which would later be acquired by Merck, Dr. Rocklage, in 2003, joined 5AM Ventures.
During his grad student days at MIT, Scott served as a research scientist in the lab of Dr. Richard Schrock, who went on to receive the 2005 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Working in Dr. Schrock’s lab built Scott’s enthusiasm for discovery, that difference between having a job and having a vocation. Scott’s fascination with science has him recalling his lab research days with fond memories.
It was at MIT, in the lab, where he learned from, “a fun group of fellow scientists and in a competitive atmosphere that brought out the best performance of each of the grad students.”
In the 1990s and early 2000s, Dr. Rocklage’s diligent work ethic and perseverance would be instrumental in guiding 3 drugs through the FDA approval process, often a long, arduous, frustrating experience. In addition, Dr. Rocklage has been involved in submitting multiple drugs into clinical trials with human participants, a critical step in the FDA approval process.
But, why not just hang it up after a 30 year successful career? With a natural enthusiasm for science and discovery, Dr. Rocklage, seeing the tremendous potential for new life saving drugs and enhancements to health care, joined small companies in a management role.
5AM Ventures, which Dr. Rocklage joined in 2003, is, as the name implies, a venture capital firm, specializing in budding Life Sciences companies.
By 2004, Dr. Rocklage was Managing Partner. More success followed: Among others, Relypsa was founded in 2007 and acquired in 2016 for over $1.5 billion; Novira was founded in 2009 and acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2015. Today, Scott Rocklage continues to follow his personal philosophy, “Stay with what you do well, you’ll play to your strengths.”