Fa­heem Has­nain and his ex-Re­cep­tos team launch a new biotech with $100M and a twist on the old biotech mod­el

Fa­heem Has­nain

And the mon­ey just keeps flow­ing.

Two for­mer Re­cep­tos ex­ec­u­tives, Fa­heem Has­nain and Sheila Gu­jrathi, stepped out late Thurs­day with news that they’ve launched a new com­pa­ny equipped with $100 mil­lion in seed cap­i­tal.

These two ex­ec­u­tives are best know for their roles at Re­cep­tos, a San Diego com­pa­ny ac­quired by Cel­gene for $7.2 bil­lion in 2015. Has­nain served as CEO, and Gu­jrathi as CMO. Since that ac­qui­si­tion, many in San Diego were left won­der­ing what Has­nain and the ex­ec­u­tive team would go on to do. And now they have their an­swer.

The new ven­ture is called Gos­samer Bio, and it’s com­ing out the gate with $100 mil­lion in fi­nanc­ing from a seed round pro­vid­ed by Omega Funds and a Se­ries A pre­ferred stock round co-led by ARCH Ven­ture Part­ners and Omega Funds.

You may not be fa­mil­iar with Omega Funds, and that’s be­cause the in­vest­ment group has laid low for the past 14 years, a com­pa­ny spokesman said. Equipped with a $300 mil­lion fund (their fifth since launch), Omega Funds holds com­pa­nies like Ed­i­tas and Juno in its port­fo­lio.

Sheila Gu­jrathi

Gos­samer Bio plans to use the new funds to quick­ly ramp up the com­pa­ny, tak­ing “a num­ber of ear­ly and late-stage drug can­di­dates” through clin­i­cal tri­als. They be­lieve the lead as­set is a “pipeline with­in a prod­uct,” with mul­ti­ple in­di­ca­tions to go af­ter.

Has­nain came away from the Re­cep­tos sale with enough cash to re­tire ear­ly, but he tells End­points News that he was back in the game with­in a cou­ple of weeks of the sale.

“The day that we an­nounced the sale of Re­cep­tos I was in my board room with my man­age­ment team,” he says. “And you weren’t see­ing a lot of high fives. It was a great deal, but it was a lit­tle glum.

“I ba­si­cal­ly broke that si­lence by say­ing, ‘You guys want to do this again?’”

“It was a re­sound­ing ‘yes!’. Mon­ey’s great, but I don’t think that’s the pri­ma­ry dri­ver for those peo­ple.”

Still, he adds, it’s go­ing to be dif­fer­ent this time. In­stead of be­ing put in a po­si­tion where he might have to sell the com­pa­ny on the ba­sis of the lead as­set alone, Gos­samer will cre­ate an in­de­pen­dent sub­sidiary for each pro­gram, and they can wheel and deal on each ac­cord­ing­ly.

“When you’re ac­quired, the team ei­ther goes with it or gets blown up,” says the new­ly re-coined CEO. And that won’t hap­pen again.

The biotech has com­plet­ed two deals and is close to wrap­ping up a full slate of two to three ad­di­tion­al pro­grams. The lead pro­gram is still be­ing kept un­der wraps, but Has­nain land­ed it from a biotech com­pa­ny and ex­pects to do more in-li­cens­ing deals with a range of big and lit­tle out­fits. The lead is slat­ed to head in­to a Phase II/III de­signed tri­al.

John Car­roll con­tributed to this re­port.

Paul Hudson, Sanofi CEO (Getty Images)

Sanofi CEO Paul Hud­son has $23B burn­ing a hole in his pock­et. And here are some hints on how he plans to spend that

Sanofi has reaped $11.1 billion after selling off a big chunk of its Regeneron stock at $515 a share. And now everyone on the M&A side of the business is focused on how CEO Paul Hudson plans to spend it.

After getting stung in France for some awkward politicking — suggesting the US was in the front of the line for Sanofi’s vaccines given American financial support for their work, versus little help from European powers — Hudson now has the much more popular task of managing a major cash cache to pull off something in the order of a big bolt-on. Or two.

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The Advance Clinical leadership team: CEO Yvonne Lungershausen, Sandrien Louwaars - Director Business Development Operations, Gabriel Kremmidiotis - Chief Scientific Officer, Ben Edwards - Chief Strategy Officer

How Aus­tralia De­liv­ers Rapid Start-up and 43.5% Re­bate for Ear­ly Phase On­col­o­gy Tri­als

About Avance Clinical

Avance Clinical is an Australian owned Contract Research Organisation that has been providing high-quality clinical research services to the local and international drug development industry for 20 years. They specialise in working with biotech companies to execute Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials to deliver high-quality outcomes fit for global regulatory standards.

As oncology sponsors look internationally to speed-up trials after unprecedented COVID-19 suspensions and delays, Australia, which has led the world in minimizing the pandemic’s impact, stands out as an attractive destination for early phase trials. This in combination with the streamlined regulatory system and the financial benefits including a very favourable exchange rate and the R & D cash rebate makes Australia the perfect location for accelerating biotech clinical programs.

Pablo Legorreta, founder and CEO of Royalty Pharma AG, speaks at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Cap­i­tal­iz­ing Pablo: The world’s biggest drug roy­al­ty buy­er is go­ing pub­lic. And the low-key CEO di­vulges a few se­crets along the way

Pablo Legorreta is one of the most influential players in biopharma you likely never heard of.

Over the last 24 years, Legorreta’s Royalty Pharma group has become, by its own reckoning, the biggest buyer of drug royalties in the world. The CEO and founder has bought up a stake in a lengthy list of the world’s biggest drug franchises, spending $18 billion in the process — $2.2 billion last year alone. And he’s become one of the best-paid execs in the industry, reaping $28 million from the cash flow last year while reserving 20% of the cash flow, less expenses, for himself.

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Dan O'Day, Gilead CEO (Andrew Harnik, AP Images)

UP­DAT­ED: Gilead leas­es part­ner rights to TIG­IT, PD-1 in a $2B deal with Ar­cus. Now comes the hard part

Gilead CEO Dan O’Day has brokered his way to a PD-1 and lined up a front row seat in the TIGIT arena, inking a deal worth close to $2 billion to align the big biotech closely with Terry Rosen’s Arcus. And $375 million of that comes upfront, with cash for the buy-in plus equity, along with $400 million for R&D and $1.22 billion in reserve to cover opt-in payments and milestones..

Hotly rumored for weeks, the 2 players have formalized a 10-year alliance that starts with rights to the PD-1, zimberelimab. O’Day also has first dibs on TIGIT and 2 other leading programs, agreeing to an opt-in fee ranging from $200 million to $275 million on each. There’s $500 million in potential TIGIT milestones on US regulatory events — likely capped by an approval — if Gilead partners on it and the stars align on the data. And there’s another $150 million opt-in payments for the rest of the Arcus pipeline.

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No­var­tis jumps in­to Covid-19 vac­cine hunt, as Big Phar­ma and big biotech com­mit to bil­lions of dos­es

After spending most of the pandemic on the sidelines, Novartis is offering its aid in the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.

AveXis, the Swiss pharma’s gene therapy subsidiary, has agreed to manufacture the vaccine being developed by Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital. The biotech will begin manufacturing this month, while the vaccine undergoes further preclinical testing. They’ve agreed to provide the vaccine for free for clinical trials beginning in the second half of 2020, but have not disclosed financials for after.

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Bryan Roberts, Venrock

Ven­rock sur­vey shows grow­ing recog­ni­tion of coro­n­avirus toll, wan­ing con­fi­dence in ar­rival of vac­cines and treat­ments

When Venrock partner Bryan Roberts went to check the results from their annual survey of healthcare leaders, what he found was an imprint of the pandemic’s slow arrival in America.

The venture firm had sent their form out to hundreds of insurance and health tech executives, investors, officials and academics on February 24 and gave them two weeks to fill it out. No Americans had died at that point but the coronavirus had become enough of a global crisis that they included two questions about the virus, including “Total U.S. deaths in 2020 from the novel coronavirus will be:”.

Stymied by the pan­dem­ic, Im­munomedic­s' new CEO bows out, tak­ing a mil­lion bucks plus perks as he heads out the vir­tu­al ex­it

Just a little more than a month since taking over as the latest CEO to helm Immunomedics, $IMMU Harout Semerjian is exiting the company after being confronted by “logistical” obstacles thrown up by the pandemic that made it impossible for him to move from London to carry out the job. And he’s getting a little over a million dollars in cash plus perks to grease the skids on the way out.

Word of the changeup arrived right after the market closed Wednesday.

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Roger Perlmutter, Merck R&D chief (YouTube)

UP­DAT­ED: Backed by BAR­DA, Mer­ck jumps in­to Covid-19: buy­ing out a vac­cine, part­ner­ing on an­oth­er and adding an­tivi­ral to the mix

Merck execs are making a triple play in a sudden leap into the R&D campaign against Covid-19. And they have more BARDA cash backing them up on the move.

Tuesday morning the pharma giant simultaneously announced plans to buy an Austrian biotech that has been working on a preclinical vaccine candidate, added a collaboration on another vaccine with the nonprofit IAVI and inked a deal with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics on an early-stage antiviral.

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David Hoey (Vaxxas)

In for the long vac­cine game, Mer­ck buys in­to patch de­liv­ery tech with pan­dem­ic po­ten­tial

When Merck dived into the R&D fray for a Covid-19 vaccine earlier this week, execs made it clear that they’re not necessarily looking to be first — with CEO Ken Frazier throwing cold water on the hotly-discussed 12- to 18-month timelines. But when it does emerge from behind, the pharma giant clearly expects to play a significant part.

Part of that will depend on next-generation delivery technology that reshapes the world’s imagination of a vaccine.