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Investor Spotlight: June S. Almenoff, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we proudly celebrate the remarkable contributions of women across generations, recognizing their profound influence on every aspect of society. This is a time to uplift and celebrate the achievements, talents, and expertise that women bring to the forefront, shaping industries and businesses worldwide, including those within Duke University, Duke Capital Partners, and the world of venture capital.

Dr. June Almenoff

At Duke Capital Partners, we are privileged to work alongside exceptional women leaders who inspire us daily. Our ecosystem thrives thanks to the countless female founders, collaborators, and investors who contribute their expertise and foresight. Among these innovative individuals, Dr. June Almenoff, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P., shines brightly. Her commitment to integrating medicine, science, and business strategy has not only transformed patient care but also created significant value in numerous endeavors.

Following undergraduate studies in biochemistry from Smith College, June broke ground as the first woman to enroll in the M.D.-Ph.D. program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She went on to complete her internal medicine residency and infectious disease fellowship training at Stanford University Medical Center and began her career as a clinician-scientist on the faculty of Duke University School of Medicine, where she continues to serve as Consulting Professor today.

With over two decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, June has held numerous senior executive roles. Notably, she served as the President and Chief Medical Officer of Furiex Pharmaceuticals, overseeing its acquisition for $1.2B by Actavis plc (now Allergan). Under her leadership, Furiex developed Viberzi®, a novel treatment for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) which is now FDA approved. Prior to her tenure at Furiex, June spent 12 years at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), where she had positions of progressively greater responsibility. Among her achievements at GSK, she takes particular pride “in having led initiatives for data analytics that identify and manage risks for both early-stage development programs and marketed drugs—a contribution now widely embraced by both industry peers and regulatory bodies.”

Leveraging all this expertise across translational medicine, clinical stage and post approval R&D, business development, and commercial strategy, June passionately continues to support novel technology development in emerging companies. Currently she serves as Chief Medical Officer at RedHill Biopharma Inc and is on the investment advisory board at Harrington Discovery Institute. Throughout her career, June has served as advisor/board director for various public and private biopharma firms, including Brainstorm Therapeutics, Tenax, RDD Pharma, and TiGenix.

Five years ago, June joined DCP and she continues to affirm her appreciation for “the broad scope of technologies and first-rate innovation that comes through the DCP start-up pipeline.” June brings a unique lens and approach to her investment thesis. When evaluating investment opportunities in small/private companies, she prioritizes management quality, ability to execute, and addressing unmet medical needs. In biopharma, she focuses on competitive advantages, regulatory clarity, and fundraising potential. June combines industry knowledge with experience to assess attractiveness to investors and exit likelihood. June serves on the board of DCP portfolio company InSoma Bio and says, “It has been a true privilege to work with brilliant scientists who are translating their technologies into innovation that may transform patients’ lives.”

As June reflects on her rich career spanning patient care, research, and biopharma business, she shared how she, “feels fortunate for the opportunities that have allowed me to take on many exciting roles.” When asked about advice she might give to a junior colleague, June emphasizes the importance of lifelong learning and industry immersion. She underscores the value of cultivating a network and fostering genuine connections with like-minded individuals, which lead to meaningful friendships, collaborations, and ventures.