SmithKline VC Succeded by Gavin –

WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. – Peter Sears, a co-founder of SmithKline Beecham’s venture subsidiary, S.R. One Ltd., will retire in late May as the firm’s president.

Mr. Sears, a 36-year veteran of the company, will end his day-to-day involvement with S.R. One but will continue to represent the firm on the board of four of its portfolio companies, including Gryphon Sciences and Bearsden Bio, Inc., Mr. Sears said.

Brenda Gavin, vice-president of the firm, will replace her former boss, who had been instrumental in helping S.R. One grow from a $50 million evergreen fund in the mid-1980s to a $100 million vehicle in 1991.

Mr. Sears co-founded S.R.One in 1985 with former SmithKline Beecham Chief Executive Henry Wendt. The venture firm has invested more than $250 million in biotechnical and early-stage pharmaceutical companies since its inception.

Mr. Sears was responsible for investments that include Amgen, Sepracor, Oxford GlyoSciences, Alere Medical Inc. and Solution Point Inc. As of December 1998, S.R. One had $146 million in outstanding capital invested in companies.

Mr. Sears said he would remain busy during his retirement, citing plans to expand his involvement in various organizations and educational institutions. He will remain a co-chairperson for the Japan-America Society of Greater Philadelphia and continue teaching at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.