London, UK, 21 January 2022 – It is with profound sadness that we share the news that David Leathers, a former Director and Special Partner of Abingworth, passed away peacefully on 17 January 2022 aged 79 years.
David joined Abingworth in 1987 and was a key driving force in shaping the business and building its reputation as a pioneer in life sciences venture capital.
In over 20 years spent with the firm, David was instrumental in investing in and supporting numerous emerging companies, including many that have gone on to great success, most notably Gilead Sciences and Idec Pharmaceuticals before its acquisition by Biogen.
David retired from Abingworth in 2010 however remained as a director on certain Abingworth boards until 2019. In his retirement, David enjoyed collecting art and spent significant time in his beautiful villa in Marrakesh, with his wife, Amanda, who he leaves behind alongside two sons and multiple grandchildren.
David began his career as a Chartered Account, qualifying in 1966 and staying in the profession until 1972 when he joined the investment division of N M Rothchild & Sons, later becoming a Director of Rothschild Asset Management in 1978. In this time, David was involved in setting up and managing Biotechnology Investments Limited, whose early-stage venture portfolio included Amgen, Genzyme and Immunex.
Tim Haines, Abingworth Chair & Managing Partner, commented: “We are deeply saddened to hear of David’s passing. He was a true pioneer of venture capital investment in the emerging life sciences industry, setting new standards to build and shape the industry as it grew over the years. We would like to pay tribute to David’s enormous contribution and long-lasting legacy to Abingworth. The thoughts of everyone at Abingworth are with his family and friends, to whom we would like to extend our deepest sympathies.”
Stephen Bunting, former Chair & Managing Partner, added: “It has been a privilege to have known and worked alongside David for over 30 years both at Rothchild’s and Abingworth. Aside from being a great business partner, he was very charismatic, fun to work with and everyone was always pleased to see him. He will be sorely missed by those in our industry and all his colleagues at Abingworth.”
Abingworth is a leading transatlantic life sciences investment firm. Abingworth helps transform cutting-edge science into novel medicines by providing capital and expertise to top calibre management teams building world-class companies. Since 1973, Abingworth has invested in over 175 life science companies, leading to 46 M&As and 70+ IPOs. Our therapeutic focused investments fall into three categories: seed and early-stage, development stage, and clinical co-development. Abingworth supports its portfolio companies with a team of experienced professionals at offices in London, Menlo Park (California), and Boston.
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