Emil Kakkis
Novato, CA
Year Invested

Emil Kakkis has always been driven to solve difficult problems.

When he approached us, he was looking for an investor who would understand rare diseases the way he did. His vision was to build a mission-driven company to treat rare and ultra-rare genetic diseases—all the way from concept to globally-approved drugs.

The mutual trust between us was strong from the start. Emil demonstrated great leadership recruiting the team and hunting for drugs. Together we had to be opportunistic, and willing to go off-script and embrace a vision larger than “VC-101”-focused company building. We had to have the ability to support product acquisition, collaborations, and the additional investment that effort implied. Most small companies don’t have four clinical programs just three years after being founded. Ultragenyx did.

And in 2017—just six years in—Ultragenyx launched Mepsevii, a globally-approved therapy for Sly’s disease, an extremely severe and rare genetic disease that had remained untreated since it was first identified in 1972. 2018 saw the global approval of Crysvita for the rare bone disease X-linked hypophosphatemia.

It was a privilege for us to support Emil right from the beginning of the Ultragenyx story.

F-Prime was a great partner, they understood the vision we had at Ultragenyx, and helped us make it a reality.

— Emil Kakkis, CEO