Bayer trims 2 top execs, shrinks management board; SpringWorks boosts size of IPO
→ After welcoming J&J dealmaker Marianne De Backer to their team as BD chief a little more than a week ago, Bayer announced that it will be reducing the size of the company’s board of management. Hartmut Klusik and Kemal Malik will be hitting the exit and the company doesn’t plan on retaining those positions — taking the board from seven to five members.
According to the company, as of January 1, 2020, the board of management will consist of chairman Werner Baumann, CFO Wolfgang Nickl and division presidents Liam Condon (Crop Science), Stefan Oelrich (Pharmaceuticals) and Heiko Schipper (Consumer Health).
→Bain-backed Pfizer spinout SpringWorks Therapeutics is raising the proposed deal size for its upcoming IPO after disclosing in August its intention to reap a large windfall of $115 million to add to $228 million from previous financings, including a $125 million B round in April. The biotech now plans to offer 9 million shares at a price range of $16 to $18 to raise $153 million. SpringWorks had previously intended to offer 7.4 million shares at the same range. At the midpoint of the revised range, SpringWorks Therapeutics will raise 22% more in proceeds than previously anticipated.
JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Cowen are the joint bookrunners on the deal. The company plans to list under the symbol $SWTX.
→ LapCorp’s Covance Drug Development unit has cut the ribbon on a new R&D center in Shanghai, a 12,000-square-meter facility located at the buzzing Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park. The new site builds on a long history in China that dates back to 1998, said CEO John Ratliff, and allows Covance to double up its clinical development, bioanalytical and commercialization services. Its early development facility remains in a nearby location.
→ Gene therapy player Akouos has unveiled its first program targeting sensorineural hearing loss, zeroing in on mutations in the otoferlin (OTOF) gene. The program, AK-OTOF, is designed to deliver a healthy copy of the OTOF gene to cochlear hair cells via an AAV vector. Backed by a slate of marquee investors including 5AM and New Enterprise Associates, Akouos is conducting IND-enabling work for the experimental treatment.
→ Back in November of 2018, Sygnature Discovery — a drug discovery and preclinical services company with research facilities in the UK — announced the establishment of its first US office in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company is now moving the office a couple miles down from the original location to Kendall Square, the heart of the Cambridge–Boston biotech hub.