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Houman Ashrafian

SV Health Investors

Houman joined SV in 2016 as a Venture Partner, was promoted to Managing Partner in 2018 and became a Scientific Advisor in 2023 following his appointment to Sanofi as Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development. He has founded and serves on the board of seven SV companies; Alchemab, Catamaran Bio, Enara Bio, Mestag, Sitryx, TrexBio and Zarodex. Houman serves on the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) Investment Committee and as a Director of Karus Therapeutics and Imbria.

Previously, Houman co-founded the services company Cardiac Report in 2003, as well as Heart Metabolics in 2008. Heart Metabolics successfully repositioned perhexiline, as a treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Perhexiline is now in advanced clinical trials and has orphan drug designation. He went on to become Vice President and head of the Clinical Science Group at UCB Pharma.

Outside of SV, following completion of his cardiology training, Houman was appointed as an Honorary Consultant Cardiologist in 2011 at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. He is Visiting Professor and head of Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Oxford. Additionally, Houman is co-founder and Chairman of Weatherden, a boutique clinical development company. Houman completed his undergraduate degree at University of Cambridge; followed by BM BCh, DPhil at University of Oxford.

Selected Publications

  1. Chronic activation of γ2 AMPK induces obesity and reduces β cell function. Cell Metabolism (2016), 23(5), 821-836.
  2. Metabolic phenotype-microRNA data fusion analysis of the systemic consequences of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. International Journal of Obesity (2015), 39(7), 1126-1134.
  3. Citric acid cycle intermediates in cardioprotection. Circulation. Cardiovascular Genetics (2014), 7(5), 711-719.
  4. A role for cytosolic fumarate hydratase in urea cycle metabolism and renal neoplasia. Cell Reports (2013), 3(5), 1440-1448.
  5. Fumarate is cardioprotective via activation of the Nrf2 antioxidant pathway. Cell Metabolism (2012), 15(3), 361-371.