Robert Connelly

Robert Connelly

Venture Partner

Robert joined as Venture Partner with Flagship Ventures in 2013 and focuses on providing strategic counsel and support to portfolio companies. He is also the CEO of Pronutria, a pioneer in protein-based therapeutic nutrients and founded within Flagship's VentureLabs innovation foundry. He has 30+ years of experience starting, financing, building and managing companies in the life sciences, food and beverage, and nutrition industries. He is the former CEO of Domantis, Pulmatrix, and WikiCell Designs.

Robert began his career with the Medical Diagnostics Division of Abbott Laboratories, spending 11+ years in sales, marketing and management positions. After leaving Abbott, he spent six years with BioVeris, (formerly IGEN International; acquired by Roche) in the roles of SVP of Sales and Marketing and General Manager of IGEN’s Life Sciences unit. Robert led IGEN’s efforts to develop, market and license novel detection technologies utilized in medical diagnostics and drug discovery, and had a central role in IGEN’s financing activities.

In 2000, Robert became the founding CEO and first employee of Domantis, a private UK-based biotechnology company founded by world-renowned scientist entrepreneurs Ian Tomlinson and Greg Winter. Domantis created a novel fully-human antibody fragment platform, growing into a 75-person organization with operations in the UK and USA, 13 novel therapeutic programs, and seven therapeutic partnerships before selling the company to Glaxo SmithKline for $454 million in cash, the largest all-cash valuation paid for a preclinical biotechnology company.

In 2007, Robert was appointed CEO of Pulmatrix, a private pharmaceutical company developing inhaled drugs for respiratory diseases. In 2012, he co-founded WikiCell Designs with Pulmatrix Founder David Edwards to develop deliciously edible forms of packaging that enclose food or drinks in ways similar to how nature protects foods such as grapes, oranges, or coconuts.

Robert has raised over $135 million in venture capital financing for his companies, closed numerous transactions including license, platform technology, drug discovery, co-development, government and foundation funding, and M&A partnerships and has launched many innovative products during his career.