James Boylan, Enavate Sciences CEO

James Boy­lan snags $300M to hunt for biotech deals af­ter leav­ing SVB

Af­ter three decades in health­care in­vest­ment bank­ing, cul­mi­nat­ing in serv­ing as SVB pres­i­dent, James Boy­lan is head­ed to the oth­er side of the in­dus­try.

Specif­i­cal­ly, he’s the new CEO of Pa­tient Square Cap­i­tal’s biotech in­vest­ment com­pa­ny Ena­vate Sci­ences, which launch­es Mon­day with $300 mil­lion to go af­ter “mid­dle in­nings” pri­vate and pub­lic biotechs.

“The op­por­tu­ni­ty to re­al­ly sit shoul­der to shoul­der with peo­ple that used to be my clients and now will be my part­ners was so ex­cit­ing it pulled me out of re­tire­ment,” Boy­lan told End­points News af­ter tak­ing a year off to be with fam­i­ly.

The $300 mil­lion is just the start. Boy­lan said he ex­pects an­oth­er cou­ple hun­dred mil­lion dol­lars with­in the next year to pad Ena­vate’s in­vest­ment the­sis of fund­ing half a dozen biotechs with $50 mil­lion to $100 mil­lion over the com­ing 24 months. Those cap­i­tal in­fu­sions will bankroll clin­i­cal suc­cess over the com­pa­nies’ next 3-5 years, he added.

“We are not at this point as­pir­ing to found com­pa­nies by tak­ing tech­nol­o­gy off the shelf, so to speak, but we are en­deav­or­ing to iden­ti­fy and then col­late in­to the or­ga­ni­za­tion in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth in­ning, so to speak, where the com­pa­nies are, more like­ly than not, they’ve al­ready been in­sti­tu­tion­al­ly fund­ed, they have proof of con­cept on the sci­ence, they may or may not be in the clin­ic,” Boy­lan said.

Ena­vate is in “ad­vanced dis­cus­sions” with com­pa­nies al­ready and the first inked deal is like­ly to be dis­closed “short­ly,” the for­mer in­vest­ment banker said. He wants the com­pa­ny to be the “part­ner of choice” to CEOs and man­age­ment teams but al­so VC shops, crossover in­vestors and firms of “an­oth­er ilk.”

Speak­ing of crossover in­vestors, Boy­lan said the val­u­a­tion en­thu­si­asm of 2020 and 2021 brought com­pa­nies pub­lic a year or two ear­li­er than they oth­er­wise would have hit Wall Street.

“So they kind of look and feel like pri­vate com­pa­nies that hap­pen to be pub­licly trad­ed. So will we look at pub­lic com­pa­nies? Yes, we will,” Boy­lan said.

“The bench­mark for val­u­a­tions in those rounds is point­ing to shiny ob­jects that are pub­lic com­pa­nies. So the fact that all those val­u­a­tions are down, on av­er­age, 50%, we think our strat­e­gy is com­pelling and we think the tim­ing is ac­tu­al­ly quite good, too,” he con­tin­ued.

Ex­pect in­vest­ments in high growth, un­met clin­i­cal need ar­eas, Boy­lan said, with the typ­i­cal on­col­o­gy, in­flam­ma­tion and im­munol­o­gy deals, as well as oph­thal­mol­o­gy, CNS, rare dis­eases as a cat­e­go­ry and then cell and gene ther­a­py. Most ac­tiv­i­ty will hap­pen in the US, he added.

Boy­lan will build out his Ena­vate team to in­clude a chief sci­ence and/or med­ical of­fi­cer, CFO, COO and deal team.

Bio­mark­er 'roadmap­s' and the fu­ture of can­cer R&D; Cur­tain rais­es on #AS­CO22; Pfiz­er, No­var­tis tack­le drug ac­cess; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

While this was not a week for earth-shattering news, there were certainly a lot of interesting tidbits. If you found this recap helpful, please recommend it to your friends and colleagues. We’ll see you on the other side of the long weekend.

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Keep­ing pres­sure on Am­gen, Mi­rati draws mixed re­views on lat­est cut of KRAS da­ta

As the close runner-up to Amgen’s Lumakras in the KRAS race, any data cut from Mirati’s adagrasib continues to draw scrutiny from analysts. And the latest batch of numbers from ASCO is a decidedly mixed bag.

While a quick comparison suggests that adagrasib spurred slightly more responses and led to a longer overall survival than Lumakras among a group of non-small cell lung cancer patients, its duration of response appears shorter and the safety profile continues to spark concern.

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Ann is one of ViiV Healthcare's newest spokespeople as the retired school administrator speaks up about her HIV status.

GSK's Vi­iV de­buts next evo­lu­tion in HIV med Dova­to cam­paign with new spokes­peo­ple and new mes­sage

When Ann saw the first TV commercials for HIV medicine Dovato, she didn’t see herself represented. So the 74-year-old retired school administrator who’s been living with HIV since 1998, reached out to GSK’s ViiV Healthcare and asked why not?

Now Ann is one of three people starring in ViiV’s latest Dovato campaign called “Detect This.” The next-step evolution in the branded campaign plays on the word “detect” — often used in describing HIV status under control as undetectable — but in this case, uses the word as a directive for people to understand they can use fewer medicines.

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Tran­si­tion to new Eu­ro­pean clin­i­cal tri­als in­fo sys­tem starts slow­ly

At the end of January, the European Medicines Agency officially launched its new clinical trials info system (CTIS), although the migration to the new platform has only really just begun, and sponsors have until the end of January 2023 before all initial trial applications must be submitted through CTIS.

Overall, 56 clinical trial applications have been submitted in CTIS during the first 3 months since the launch of the system on Jan. 31, according to new data posted by the EMA. By comparison, about 4,000 new trials are authorized each year across Europe.

Switzer­land to de­stroy over 600,000 ex­pired dos­es of Mod­er­na Covid vac­cine

As concerns related to uptake and distribution continue to linger, Switzerland is among the first countries that plans to destroy hundreds of thousands of expired and unused Covid-19 vaccine doses.

The European country said it plans to destroy more than 600,000 doses of Moderna’s Spikevax Covid-19 vaccine as the doses have reached their expiration date.

However, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that he’s in the process of throwing 30 million doses in the garbage, exclaiming, “We have a big demand problem.”

Nassim Usman, Catalyst Biosciences CEO

Af­ter $60M Ver­tex deal, group of Cat­a­lyst share­hold­ers claims biotech could’ve sold as­sets three years ago

Catalyst Biosciences was down to five employees in March, and the biotech needed to do something after two rounds of layoffs, a nixed collaboration and a culling of its hemophilia program.

In came Vertex, with $60 million to buy up the South San Francisco biotech’s preclinical complement drugs, which target the system that bridges the body’s innate and adaptive immune response and a class most known for Ultomiris and Soliris. The deal includes CB 2782-PEG, the dry AMD drug that Biogen no longer wanted in March.

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Lanny Sun, co-founder, CEO and chairman of Full-Life Technologies

Se­quoia Chi­na leads $37M in­fu­sion in­to ra­dio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals play­er set­ting up shop in Chi­na and Bel­gium

It’s not just American startups that are tuning into the rising interest in radiopharmaceuticals.

Sequoia China is leading a $37 million Series A into Full-Life Technologies, a biotech headquartered in Shanghai with offices in Brussels, Belgium, to develop a pipeline of radioactive cancer therapies.

The idea isn’t new: As clinicians started routinely deploying radiation to kill cancer cells, scientists and drugmakers have long been exploring ways to limit that powerful effect only to cancer cells while sparing healthy cells. But recent progress in the production of radioisotopes — coupled with big investments from Big Pharma, most notably Novartis and Bayer — has inspired a new wave of startups.

Lina Khan, FTC chair (Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP Images)

Pile-on over PBMs con­tin­ues with FTC com­ments and a new bi­par­ti­san Sen­ate bill

More than 500 stakeholders sent comments to the FTC on whether the commission should look further into pharma middlemen, known as PBMs, with many of the commenters calling for more federal oversight.

Similar to the critical open comment period in a deadlocked FTC session last February, pharmacies and pharmacy groups are continuing to call out the lack of transparency among the top 3 PBMs, which control about 80% of the market.

Pharma brands are losing their shine with US consumers who are now thinking about the economy and inflation instead of Covid. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Phar­ma brands fade in an­nu­al Har­ris con­sumer vis­i­bil­i­ty poll: Mod­er­na drops off and Pfiz­er dips

As Covid-19 concerns are fading in the US, so is biopharma visibility. The annual Axios Harris Poll survey to determine and rank the 100 most top-of-mind brands in the US finds Moderna, which was No. 3 last year, not on the list at all for 2022, and Pfizer sinking 37 spots.

However, it’s not that Moderna or Pfizer did anything wrong, it’s just that Americans have moved on to other worries beyond Covid.

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