Seth Yakatan, Invion Limited - This Week in Biotechnology, Life Sciences
From the Desk of Seth: There were several interesting trends and events to note this week in Biotechnology and Life Sciences.
Monday, December 29, 2014
Several articles this week including a very good piece in Forbes highlighting the work of Tony Coles through his new start up "Yumanity." Coles sold Onyx Pharma to Amgen for $10.4 billion in 2013. He founded the company built around the work of the other founding partner, Susan Lindquist, former director of MIT. In tackling new treatments for Parkinson's and Alzheimers, Yumanity, currently financed by its founders, is taking a step in the direction that biotech startups used to be focused on: undertaking the treatment of diseases and finding cures for patients with large medical needs. Bravo Tony Coles. http://onforb.es/1AyK7D6
The words "Risk Arbitrage" are typically reserved for 1980s era M&A scenarios. However, as FiercePharma reported, in a soap opera-eek style, the cancelled deal between AbbVie and Shire had affects that reached out further than just hedge funds. It appears that several large investment banks including CreditSuisse, Barclays and Goldman Sachs lost a significant amount of capital when the deal did not close. http://bit.ly/1zp2b3G
Google ventures announced this week that more than one third of its $425 million venture fund went into life-sciences in 2014. Interesting to see where Google is going to be placing bets future. bit.ly/1CbtDTH
If you have read my blogs, you would know I have oft discussed Alzheimer's treatment. Roche announced again this week another large Phase III failure for an Alzheimer's drug targeting amyloid beta--toxic protein clusters in the brain which have been associated with the disease. Alzheimer's in my opinion has the potential to be bigger than cancer at least from marketplace perspective. The first company to find something that works on Alzheimer's from a therapeutic perspective, that is remotely close to being better than what's out there, is going to be worth billions and billions of dollars. http://bit.ly/1vgTpOM
I keep telling everybody that will listen that bio-specific antibodies are hot and that anyone with any type of technology in this area that is valid should run to the cash register now. Novo Nordisk announced this week, an agreement with Xencor, that will provide $175 million in up-front payments in a discovery deal with Xencor. Now this is was a discovery deal. http://bit.ly/1Az334E
Editor's Note: Seth Yakatan currently serves as Vice-President of Business Development for Invion, Ltd. (ASX:IVX) and is a founder of Katan Associates. Seth has been professionally involved in the biotechnology industry for the past 15 years.
Invion, Ltd., is a clinical-stage drug development company focused on the development of treatments for major market opportunities in inflammatory diseases including asthma, chronic bronchitis and lupus. Website: http://inviongroup.com/
Seth, and his late father, Stan Yakatan, started Katan Associates over 15 years ago parlaying Stan’s work as a thought leader in the nascent industry from the late 1980’s to this year. Katan Associates provides strategic advice to leading corporate biotech companies. It’s early work with emerging growth small cap companies led to creation of the Technology Corridor of Southern California and continues to this day. Look anywhere in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Boston, Israel, Canada, etc., and you can see the work of Katan Associates.