A few months into his new role at Attralus, ex-Purdue chief Mark Timney leads the biotech to a $116M round
Months after Bay Area startup Attralus tapped Mark Timney to its helm, the ex-Purdue Pharma chief has led the company to a $116 million Series B round — and with it, activist investor Alex Denner is joining the board.
Timney says he’ll use the funds to push Attralus’ pan-amyloid removal therapies for systemic amyloidosis into the clinic, as well as what he claims is the first amyloidosis-specific diagnostic imaging agent.
Systemic amyloidosis refers to a group of rare diseases caused by the accumulation of toxic amyloid deposits — clumps of abnormal proteins — in tissues and organs. The two most common forms are immunoglobulin light-chain (AL) amyloidosis and transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR). Attralus’ first candidate, AT-03, is designed to bind to amyloid deposits, while stimulating the immune system to remove them.
“Attralus offers unique value by developing amyloidosis therapies capable of broadly removing existing amyloid deposits, going beyond current treatments that slow progression but do not remove amyloid from organs,” said Graham Walmsley and Arsani William of Logos Capital, which led the Series B round.
Janus Henderson Investors, Redmile Group, Samsara BioCapital, Sarissa Capital Management, Surveyor Capital, Vivo Capital and founding investor venBio Partners also chipped in.
Attralus gave no indication of when it’s expected to reach the clinic, and the company wasn’t available for an interview as of press time.
Timney took the reins from co-founder Spencer Guthrie back in May, who still remains on board as COO. In July, the company welcomed Jake Bauer, MyoKardia’s former chief business officer, to the board of directors. And on Wednesday, it was revealed that Denner — the Carl Icahn protégé known for forcing out old CEOs and spurring new buyouts — is taking a seat on the board as well.
The founding partner of Sarissa Capital Management was recently behind an activist attack at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, which ultimately got him a spot on the board. Ironwood successfully kept Denner off the board for two years before finally caving in November. In May, Denner joined Alkermes, as chief executive Richard Pops faced pressure to “refresh” the board of directors.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Denner to our board of directors, as we accelerate development of our pipeline and continue to grow our business,” said Corey Goodman, chairman of Attralus’ board.
Timney previously served as CEO of Purdue during some of the worst years of the opioid epidemic. He’s been named in dozens of lawsuits against the OxyContin maker, and was accused of directing sales reps to promote the drug’s “abuse-deterrent properties” despite knowledge that those anti-abuse properties were unlikely to work, according to the AP. Last week, Purdue was dissolved as a result of a bankruptcy settlement, and the Sackler family and its owners were absolved from liability.
Timney jumped over to The Medicines Company in 2018, and snagged an $84 million windfall in 2019 after leading the company to a $9.7 billion Novartis buyout.