FDA, Regulatory

With $1.4B bet riding on their decision, myelofibrosis drug left for dead by Sanofi hits FDA’s inside track to a blockbuster comeback

In just 6 months, we’ll know if fedratinib has completed one of the most dramatic turnarounds in biopharma R&D history and will soon get ushered into the big market for myelofibrosis.

Left for dead at Sanofi in a setback that helped torpedo its oncology effort — and ultimately CEO Chris Viehbacher’s big pharma career — 5 years ago, co-inventor John Hood left Samumed with a rough plan to revive its fortunes. Backed by Medicxi’s Kevin Johnson, he was able to gain rights to the drug, largely paid for with equity, and then months later handed it over to Celgene for $1.1 billion in cash and about $6 billion in milestones — including $1.4 billion for regulatory approvals. The rest is for commercial goals.


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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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