One Partner Leaves While Another is Promoted at Intersouth Partners

Garheng Kong, a longtime general partner with Durham, N.C.-based Intersouth Partners, has left to join another firm in California (one he has not disclosed publicly just yet). Filling Kong’s shoes will be Rick Kent, who is being elevated to GP from his part-time post as a venture partner — a role he first took with Intersouth in 2008.

“We’re sad to see [Kong] go,” a firm spokeswoman said via email. But she added that Intersouth is “very excited that Rick [Kent] will be working full time with our portfolio. [H]is medical background, coupled with his extensive industry experience and his time spent as CEO of Serenex gives him a very unique perspective in working with growth-stage companies.”

Serenex, an Intersouth-backed drug discovery company founded in 2001, was acquired by Pfizer in 2008. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Kong joined Intersouth in 2000, when he was still in graduate school at Duke University, where he received his M.D., Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and MBA. Kong also holds B.S. degrees in chemical engineering and biological sciences from Stanford University.

Kong was focused on Intersouth’s life science portfolio and prior to joining the firm was a clinical scientist at Glaxo Wellcome. Among the deals he led for Intersouth were insulin delivery device maker Calibra Medical, which recently raised $9.5 million of an anticipated $25 million third round of funding. The company is also backed by Canaan Partners and Frazier Healthcare Partners, among others.

Kent received his M.D. from the University of California, San Diego, and received his undergraduate degree from U.C. Berkeley. Before joining Serenex, he served as the CEO of Ardent Pharmaceuticals, another venture-backed startup company.