Brian Halak, Ph.D. has been creating, investing into, and leading early-stage life science companies for over 20 years. He recently joined the Engineering Entrepreneurship Program.
As a part of Domain Associates since 2001, and a Partner since 2006, Brian has invested in over a dozen companies, several of which he helped create and run. He and partner Eckard Weber, licensed assets from a Japanese pharmaceutical company to create Tobira Therapeutics, which was eventually acquired by Allergan in 2016, for up to $1.7 billion. Brian also established and directed Domain’s prior initiatives in China including its collaboration with Beijing Elite to create new medical device companies in China based on technology licensed from US and European markets. One such company, Elite Neurovascular, was successfully sold to Terumo Corporation in 2017. Additionally, Brian joined with two scientific founders at Johns Hopkins University to create WindMIL Therapeutics, which is developing a novel cell therapy to treat a variety of cancers. Brian served as President and CEO of WindMIL from 2015 to early 2019, during which time he raised $43.5MM in two rounds of financing. Most recently, Brian formed Nobias Therapeutics alongside co-founders from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to develop drugs to treat rare pediatric disease. He remains CEO of Nobias Therapeutics. Other investments where Brian has served on the Board of Directors include: Esprit Pharma (acquired by Allergan), Dicerna Therapeutics (Nasdaq: DRNA), Alimera Sciences (Nasdaq: ALIM), and Vanda Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: VNDA).
Prior to Domain, Brian was an associate with Advanced Technology Ventures where he participated in the firm’s investments in Plexxikon, Percardia and Emphasys. Before that, he was a consultant at the Wilkerson Group, where he developed strategy for pharmaceutical and medical device companies.
Brian received his B.S.E. in bioengineering from University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. in immunology from Thomas Jefferson University. He is currently a member of the Advisory Board for the Department of Bioengineering of the University of Pennsylvania, and an advisor to Elm Street Ventures, an early-stage venture fund with close ties to Yale University.
Brian was a 4-year letter winner on the men’s soccer team while at Penn as an undergraduate and received multiple team, Philadelphia Soccer Seven, and Ivy League honors. He maintains his connection to the game today by coaching at the high school level. His love of soccer is matched only by his love of skiing (and simply being) in the mountains of Utah. Brian and his wife, Mary, reside in Wayne, PA. They have two daughters: Grace and Lauren.