Sofinnova appoints Italian partner Seghezzi

French venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners has appointed Italian national, Graziano Seghezzi, formerly of Index Ventures, as a partner in the firm’s life sciences team.

Paris-based venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners has appointed Graziano Seghezzi, formerly of Index Ventures, as a partner.

Seghezzi, 37, spent three years with Index Ventures in Geneva, where he focused on biotechnology and biopharmaceutical investments.

Seghezzi: brings life science team members to four

While at Index Ventures, Seghezzi was a board member of portfolio companies Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, a US specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on cardiovascular disease; and Hamilton Pharmaceuticals, a Washington, DC-based central nervous system specialty pharmaceutical business.

Seghezzi also worked on Index Ventures’ investment in pain management drug manufacturer AlgoRx Pharmaceuticals, which merged with Nasdaq-listed Corgentech earlier this year.

Seghezzi has previously worked for Sofinnova Partners, having spent a year-and-a-half representing the company in Milan looking for new investment opportunities in Italian drug discovery and development prior to joining Index Ventures.

Last December, Sofinnova Partners promoted investment manager Rafaèle Tordjman to partner in the life sciences team. Her promotion followed that of Jean Schmitt, who was made managing partner in March 2005.

According to a spokesperson for Sofinnova Partners, Seghezzi’s appointment brings the life sciences team to four, with three partners working in the IT department. Schmitt and managing partner and CFO Monique Saunier bring the number of investment professionals at the firm to nine.

Founded in 1972, Sofinnova Partners has €900 million ($1.15 billion) under management and is currently investing from its €385 million Sofinnova Capital V fund, which closed in February 2005. The firm also has a sister company, Sofinnova Ventures, based in San Francisco.