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Flagship Ventures Appoints Agricultural Industry Leader Robert Berendes as Venture Partner

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., August 25, 2014-- Flagship Ventures, a leading venture capital and venture creation firm focused on innovations in healthcare and sustainability, today announced the appointment of Dr. Robert Berendes as a Venture Partner. Dr. Berendes, who most recently was a member of the executive team at Syngenta, will provide strategic counsel and support to the Flagship team. Through board and advisory roles, he will engage with portfolio companies focused on innovations that address sustainability in the energy, water, and agriculture/nutrition sectors.

"Robert has unparalleled, strategic leadership experience in the agricultural industry and his involvement will be instrumental to the success of many of our ventures," said Dr. Noubar Afeyan, Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Flagship Ventures. "We are excited to have Robert on the Flagship team and pleased he will be contributing to our next wave of transformative ventures."

"What attracted me to Flagship Ventures was the team's depth of experience, track record and unique process for creating and investing in disruptive companies," said Dr. Berendes. "I look forward to expanding upon Flagship's growing sustainability practice by working with the team to identify and develop the next innovations in agriculture."

Dr. Berendes is co-owner and partner at a-connect, a global consulting firm and talent pool headquartered in Switzerland. Previously, he was head of business development and a member of the executive committee at Syngenta. In addition, he was responsible for Syngenta's research and development on an interim basis. Prior to that, he headed the diverse field crops unit, and from 2002 to 2005, was head of the strategy, planning and M&A department at Syngenta. Before joining Syngenta he was a partner at McKinsey & Company, co-heading the firm's European Chemical Practice. He started his career as a process engineer at Procter & Gamble. Dr. Berendes has a degree in chemistry from the University of Cologne and a doctorate in biophysics from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry/Technical University of Munich.

About Flagship Ventures

Realizing entrepreneurial innovation is the mission of Flagship Ventures. The firm operates through two synergistic units: VentureLabs™, Flagship's innovation foundry which invents and launches transformative companies, and Venture Capital, which finances and develops innovative, early-stage companies. Founded in 2000, and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Flagship Ventures manages over $900 million in capital and has founded 27 ventures while investing in another 45. The firm is active in three principal business sectors: therapeutics, health technologies and sustainability. Flagship's portfolio ventures include: Accuri Cytometers (acquired by Becton Dickinson), Adnexus (acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb), Acceleron (XLRN), Agios (AGIO), BIND Therapeutics (BIND), Concert Pharmaceuticals (CNCE), Eleven Biotherapeutics (EBIO), Hypnion (acquired by Eli Lilly), Morphotek (acquired by Eisai), Receptos (RCPT), T2 Biosystems (TTOO) and Tetraphase (TTPH). Additional notable portfolio companies include: Affinnova, Joule Unlimited, and Moderna Therapeutics. For more information, please visit

For Flagship Ventures: Emily Rossi
Ruder Finn

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