Robert Nelsen is a co-founder and a managing director of ARCH Venture Partners. He joined ARCH at its founding and played a significant role in the creation, early sourcing, financing and development of more than 100 companies, including over 30 which have reached valuations exceeding $1 billion.
Robert is focused on generating new ideas for disruptive technologies or business models, and partnering with founding management teams and entrepreneurs to execute on these visions by advancing novel platform technologies with the overarching goal of improving health care and outcomes. Some of his notable early-stage investments include Illumina, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Juno Therapeutics (sold to Celgene for $11.9 billion in 2018) and GRAIL (announced in 2020 a sale to Illumina for $8 billion plus a future revenue share). Other investments over the years have included prominent biotechnology and life sciences companies such as Array BioPharma (sold to Pfizer for $11.4 billion), Receptos (sold to Celgene for $7.2 billion), Sage Therapeutics, Denali Therapeutics, Karuna Therapeutics, Lyell Immunopharma, Vir Biotechnology, Editas Medicine, Agios Pharmaceuticals, Ikaria, deCODE Genetics (sold to Amgen), 10x Genomics and Semma Therapeutics (sold to Vertex Pharmaceuticals), among others.
Robert is a director of Vir Biotechnology, GRAIL, Sana Biotechnology, National Resilience, Lyell Immunopharma, Karuna Therapeutics, Beam Therapeutics and Denali Therapeutics, and serves as chairman of Hua Medicine, among others. He previously served as a trustee of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, the Institute of Systems Biology and was a director of the National Venture Capital Association.
Robert holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from the University of Puget Sound with majors in economics and biology.