New­path Part­ners kicks off $350M fund with a wun­derkind hold­ing the bag and an all-star sci­en­tif­ic team wait­ing in the wings

The world of biotech isn’t short on big per­son­al­i­ties, but it’s not ex­act­ly com­mon to see young pro­fes­sion­als earn­ing the broad re­spect of sea­soned aca­d­e­mics. Yet, Tom Cahill and his team at New­path have snagged the sup­port of some of biotech’s biggest names in just a few short years in ex­is­tence.

How did Cahill do it? He thinks big.

New­path Part­ners kicked off its sec­ond ven­ture fund Wednes­day, dubbed New­path Fund II, with $350 mil­lion to sup­port re­search from some of the best and bright­est re­searchers and se­r­i­al biotech en­tre­pre­neurs wait­ing in the wings.

Un­der Cahill’s lead­er­ship, New­path has plant­ed its flags in some of the biggest biotech launch­es in the past year, in­clud­ing the $315 mil­lion launch of Prime Med­i­cines in Ju­ly, the $500 mil­lion launch of Neumo­ra Ther­a­peu­tics and a $125 mil­lion launch for Chro­ma Med­i­cine last month.

Cahill, a Duke grad­u­ate with on­ly a few years in ven­ture cap­i­tal, has punched above his weight in as­sem­bling a who’s who list of aca­d­e­m­ic part­ners, in­clud­ing (but cer­tain­ly not lim­it­ed to) best­selling au­thor and Co­lum­bia re­searcher Sid­dhartha Mukher­jee, the Broad In­sti­tute’s gene edit­ing gu­ru David Liu and leg­endary Howard Hugh­es Med­ical In­sti­tute re­searcher Ron Vale.

One of those fre­quent col­lab­o­ra­tors is Stu­art Schreiber, the famed co-founder of the Broad, who has worked with Cahill’s team launch­ing Ko­jin Ther­a­peu­tics in Ju­ly and build­ing the stealth biotech Kis­bee Ther­a­peu­tics. Get­ting backed by Schreiber, whose long shad­ow Cahill al­le­go­rized to End­points News as the “Genghis Khan of biotech” (he meant that in a nice way), is no mi­nor achieve­ment.

But Schreiber said Cahill’s pre­co­cious tal­ent in iden­ti­fy­ing the next sci­en­tif­ic break­through and his earnest mis­sion to make the world a bet­ter place has earned the trust of oth­er­wise jad­ed re­searchers who have been in and around the game for years.

“Tom Cahill is a force of na­ture and a sin­gu­lar­i­ty in many ways,” he said. “This is a guy who is all about val­ues, and he’s very in­ter­est­ed in dis­rup­tive ideas that are the right ideas. He has a vo­ra­cious ap­petite for things that if suc­cess­ful will change the world.”

In­deed, Cahill is many things — and sim­ple isn’t one of them. On our call, Cahill de­scribed the evo­lu­tion of biotech as part of a great sci­en­tif­ic pro­gres­sion dat­ing back to the Re­nais­sance. Where New­path fig­ures in­to that ex­pan­sive his­to­ry, Cahill says, is em­pow­er­ing the most for­ward-think­ing re­searchers to pur­sue the biggest pos­si­ble ideas, re­gard­less of tech­ni­cal chal­lenges or a prece­dent of fail­ure.

In short, he said: “We’re not here that long so let’s do some cool work.”

That dri­ve to help the best sci­ence have the best pos­si­ble chance at suc­cess means Cahill has been more than hap­py to col­lab­o­rate with oth­er ven­ture part­ners on dri­ving promis­ing com­pa­nies through stealth and be­yond. In two of the three ex­am­ples cit­ed above, Cahill’s team worked close­ly with Bob Nelsen’s out­fit at Arch Ven­ture — a fre­quent col­lab­o­ra­tor — which Cahill de­scribed as like-mind­ed in terms of dri­ving the next gen­er­a­tion of biotech. Nelsen him­self is known as a per­son­al­i­ty in the world of biotech, and his work both at Arch and dis­rup­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing out­fit Re­silience has caught more than a few eyes through­out the years.

With $350 mil­lion to play with, Cahill said the plan is to seed or fi­nance five more star­tups out­side of the four that are cur­rent­ly in the works, in­clud­ing his team’s work with Schreiber on Kis­bee. In terms of what those com­pa­nies are work­ing on? We’ll have to wait and see.

But Cahill did of­fer a bit of in­sight in­to what ar­eas in­ter­est him, in­clud­ing neu­ropsy­chol­o­gy, which he called the dis­ease ar­eas of the next 10 years, and de­liv­ery tech. If you’ve been fol­low­ing along with biotech the past cou­ple years, you will have no­ticed that neu­ro­science has seen a resur­gence among drug de­vel­op­ers as long sought-af­ter drug tar­gets have sud­den­ly shown promise with the rise of new ther­a­peu­tic modal­i­ties.

So where will Cahill go next? Stay tuned to find out.

Late Fri­day ap­proval; Trio of biotechs wind down; Stem cell pi­o­neer finds new fron­tier; Biotech icon to re­tire; 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.

I hope your weekend is off to a nice start, wherever you are reading this email. As for me, I’m trying to catch the tail of the Lunar New Year festivities.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 157,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Pfiz­er lays off em­ploy­ees at Cal­i­for­nia and Con­necti­cut sites

Pfizer has laid off employees at its La Jolla, CA, and Groton, CT sites, according to multiple LinkedIn posts from former employees.

The Big Pharma confirmed to Endpoints News it has let go of some employees, but a spokesperson declined to specify how many workers were impacted and the exact locations affected. Earlier this month, the drug developer had confirmed to Endpoints it was sharpening its focus and doing away with some early research on areas such as rare disease, oncology and gene therapies.

Endpoints Premium

Premium subscription required

Unlock this article along with other benefits by subscribing to one of our paid plans.

Rodney Rietze, iVexSol CEO

Bris­tol My­ers, Charles Riv­er join Se­ries A fund­ing for iVex­Sol

Massachusetts-based iVexSol has secured funding to the tune of $23.8 million in its latest Series A round. The new investors include Bristol Myers Squibb, manufacturer Charles River Laboratories and Asahi Kasei Medical.

iVexSol is a manufacturer of lentiviral vectors (LVV), used in making gene therapies, and this latest round of fundraising brings its total Series A total over $39 million, which will be used to recruit more employees and bolster its technology.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 157,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Jake Van Naarden, Loxo@Lilly CEO

Lil­ly en­ters ripe BTK field with quick FDA nod in man­tle cell lym­phoma

Eli Lilly has succeeded in its attempt to get the first non-covalent version of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, or BTK, inhibitors to market, pushing it past rival Merck.

The FDA gave an accelerated nod to Lilly’s daily oral med, to be sold as Jaypirca, for patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma.

The agency’s green light, disclosed by the Indianapolis Big Pharma on Friday afternoon, catapults Lilly into a field dominated by covalent BTK inhibitors, which includes AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson’s Imbruvica, AstraZeneca’s Calquence and BeiGene’s Brukinsa.

Tony Johnson, Goldfinch Bio CEO (Goldfinch via YouTube)

Kid­ney dis­ease drug­mak­er Goldfinch Bio shuts down

Goldfinch Bio, attempting to make treatments for kidney diseases and diabetic nephropathy, is shutting down.

President and CEO Tony Johnson confirmed to Endpoints News Friday afternoon that the biotech shut down after “fundraising challenges in the current macro-environment.” Fierce Biotech first reported the news.

Johnson, who joined in 2017 after a stint as SVP of early clinical development at AstraZeneca, said in a text that the company “entered the ABC process recently,” referring to an assignment for the benefit of the creditors, which provides a different wind-down avenue than a bankruptcy.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 157,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Filip Dubovsky, Novavax CMO

No­vavax gets ready to take an­oth­er shot at Covid vac­cine mar­ket with next sea­son plans

While mRNA took center stage at yesterday’s FDA vaccine advisory committee meeting, Novavax announced its plans to deliver an updated protein-based vaccine based on new guidance.

Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) members voted unanimously in favor of “harmonizing” Covid vaccine compositions, meaning all future vaccine recipients would receive a bivalent vaccine, regardless of whether they’ve gotten their primary series.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 157,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Eliot Forster, F-star CEO (Rachel Kiki for Endpoints News)

F-star gets down to the wire with $161M sale to Chi­nese buy­er as na­tion­al se­cu­ri­ty con­cerns linger

With the clock ticking on F-star Therapeutics’ takeover by a Chinese buyer, the companies are still scrambling to remove a hold on the deal from the US government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

F-star and invoX Pharma said they are “actively negotiating” with CFIUS “about the terms of a mitigation agreement to address CFIUS’s concerns regarding potential national security risks posed by the transaction.”

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 157,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

CBER Director Peter Marks (Susan Walsh/AP Images)

FDA ad­vi­so­ry com­mit­tee votes unan­i­mous­ly in fa­vor of bi­va­lent Covid shots re­plac­ing pri­ma­ry se­ries

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted unanimously in favor of “harmonizing” Covid vaccine compositions, meaning all current vaccine recipients would receive a bivalent vaccine, regardless of whether they’ve gotten their primary series.

The vote marks an effort to clear up confusion around varying formulations and dosing schedules for current primary series and booster vaccines, as well as “get closer to the strains that are circulating,” according to committee member Paul Offit, professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

In­vestor 'misalign­men­t' leads to tR­NA biotech's shut­ter­ing

A small biotech looking to carve a lane in the tRNA field has folded, an investor and a co-founder confirmed to Endpoints News.

Similar to Flagship’s Alltrna and other upstarts like Takeda-backed hC Bioscience, the now-shuttered Theonys was attempting to go after transfer RNA, seen as a potential Swiss Army knife in the broader RNA therapeutics space. The idea is that one tRNA drug could be used across a galaxy of disorders and diseases.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 157,500+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.