Indian manufacturing player Jubilant poaches top Novartis BD exec to run their new biotech startup in Yardley, PA
The Indian drug manufacturer and developer Jubilant Life Sciences is ramping up a new biotech company in Yardley, PA. And they’ve raided a longtime BD exec from Novartis to lead the “semi-virtual” biotech as they hatch new deals to build the pipeline.
Jubilant spread word today that Syed Kazmi is the new CEO at Jubilant Therapeutics, which has been given a slate of preclinical drugs for its pipeline. Those drugs include a dual epigenetic inhibitor of LSD1/HDAC6 for acute myeloid leukemia, a small molecule PD-L1 therapy with “comparable efficacy to large molecules and lower side effects,” and a small molecule PAD4 inhibitor with potential to treat multiple auto-immune disorders along with a PRMT5 inhibitor for lymphoma.
Kazmi is the latest senior executive to leave Novartis for greener biotech fields. He’s been running the BD team for oncology for Novartis, a job he migrated to after a stint at Amgen. He’ll continue to work on new partnerships, only this time for the biotech he’s heading.
Jubilant hasn’t had a blemish-free resume. The Indian company has come crosswise with the FDA on at least a couple of occasions over the last few years, most recently after receiving a warning letter from the agency last spring regarding repeat problems with their solid-dose facility.
One of its subsidiaries struck a deal to outlicense a portfolio of drugs that inhibit BRD4, a member of the BET (Bromodomain and Extra Terminal) domain for cancer treatment, to Fortress subsidiary Checkpoint Therapeutics 3 years ago. Checkpoint paid $2 million upfront and offered up to $180 million in milestones for the program, which is now listed as a partnered Jubilant Therapeutics asset about to head into Phase I following successful toxicity studies.