Mark W. Meester earned his degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985. Mark began his career at Arthur Young (Ernst and Young) as an auditor. As auditor, Mark had the privilege of working with a number of high tech and biotech companies in the Madison area. In 1985, he went to work at Agracetus, a Madison based plant genetics company as the Accounting Manager. During his 12 year tenure, his role grew to Vice President of Finance and Administration as the company grew from approximately 30 employees to about 125 employees. In 1996, Agracetus sold the plant genetics side of their business to Monsanto in early 1997 for $150M and merged the remaining human DNA vaccine assets of the business into Oxford Biosciences, a UK based biotech company in early. The merged entity was renamed PowderJect Vaccines-Madison. Mark worked for PowderJect from 1997 to 2002. During that time, PowderJect went public on the London Stock Exchange and eventually became the sixth largest vaccine company in the world through the acquisition of a traditional influenza vaccine company. PowderJect was later acquired by Chiron for approximately $878 million.
In 2003, Mark became the Director of Finance at MirusBio and worked there until January of 2005. In January of 2005, Mark moved to Atlanta to become the Vice President of Accounting and Administration of a privately held pharmaceutical company called Pharmasset. Pharmasset was a development stage company with 35 employees with research and development programs in the therapeutic areas of HIV, HBV and HCV. Pharmasset relocated to Princeton, NJ later that year retaining 15 of the 35 employees. The senior management team built Pharmasset into a world class company over the next 7 years. Pharmasset went public on NASDAQ in 2007 at a 178 million dollar market capitalization. During his tenure, the company worked its way through two drug candidate failures and eventually developed a successful drug candidate for the treatment of HCV. In January of 2012, Gilead, a Foster City, CA based biotechnology company focused on the treatment of HIV and HBV, purchased Pharmasset for $11 billion dollars. Pharmasset’s HCV drug candidate was approved by the FDA in December of 2013 and was launched by Gilead.
Since the buyout, Mark started Meester Capital, LLC and Meester Capital Real Estate, LLC with his family and is the managing member of both entities. Meester Capital and Meester Capital Real Estate LLC invest in a diversified portfolio consisting of startup companies, equities, fixed income instruments and real estate projects.