New drug developer Boston Pharmaceuticals has secured a $600 million commitment from Gurnet Point Capital. In addition to the financing, Christopher Viehbacher, a managing partner of Gurnet Point Capital and the former CEO of Sanofi, has been named the chairman of Boston Pharmaceuticals while Dr. Robert Armstrong, the former head of external R&D at Eli Lilly‘s Chorus, will serve as CEO.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Gurnet Point Capital, an investment firm focused on the healthcare and life sciences sectors that was founded by Ernesto Bertarelli and is led by Christopher A. Viehbacher, today announced the creation of Boston Pharmaceuticals, a fully-integrated drug development company that will offer an innovative alternative model for drug development and commercialization.
With a differentiated combination of proven industry expertise and dedicated capital, Boston Pharmaceuticals will partner with academic, biotechnology and biopharmaceutical groups to acquire clinical assets at various stages of their development. The company is composed of a small team of clinical development experts operating with the efficiency of a small company and building a substantial portfolio of clinical and commercial assets. Boston Pharmaceuticals is agnostic to therapeutic area specialization, focused instead on validated mechanisms of action of targeted diseases and efficiently achieving robust clinical and regulatory endpoints. The group will assume the risk of clinical development in de-risking the clinical assets and creating value for patients. The company’s focus is around:
Development phase of drug R&D
Small team of clinical development and regulatory experts
Virtual development through service providers and external experts
Validated mechanism of action of targeted diseases
Robust clinical endpoints
Sale or commercialization of clinical programs
By leveraging the executive team’s network of external partners and service providers, the company will develop and launch products from drug development companies and labs worldwide. Through careful selection of disease areas and mechanisms of action, Boston Pharmaceuticals intends to build a valuable portfolio of clinical stage products focused on delivering medicines that greatly improve current treatment options to provide patients with breakthrough solutions for complex diseases.
The company will be led by two executives with deep experience in the development and commercialization of novel medicines – Christopher Viehbacher, the Managing Partner of Gurnet Point Capital and the former CEO of Sanofi, as its Chairman, and Dr. Robert Armstrong, the former head of external R&D at Chorus (Eli Lilly), as its CEO.
Commenting on Boston Pharmaceuticals’ focused approach, Viehbacher stated, “This is a new way to develop and to bring to market innovative medicines. We believe that the combination of our dedicated capital pool and extensive industry expertise will give Boston Pharmaceuticals a significant competitive advantage in this space. In today’s world of enhanced scientific progress, but constrained financial resources for R&D, Boston Pharmaceuticals offers an efficient means to de-risk and unlock value in early stage assets that might not otherwise be developed. The company has significant capital resources from Gurnet Point Capital and a long-term investment horizon, meaning Boston Pharmaceuticals can focus resources toward the development of innovative medicines in a unique way.”
Robert Armstong, Boston Pharmaceuticals’ CEO, noted, “The company seeks to put novel medicines that are IND-ready or beyond into its development framework. We are acquiring molecules outright or through licensing, to take on the risk of development. Our principle focus is to develop these assets through to proof-of-concept, and often through late-stage clinical trials, registration and commercialization. Boston Pharmaceuticals’ objective is to subject each new product to the most rigorous studies, establishing clinical benefit and minimizing development risks. We aim to have a large portfolio of programs encompassing both large and small molecules across multiple therapeutic areas. By not having any imperatives other then the successful development of its molecules, Boston Pharmaceuticals will be in the most unbiased position to exploit their full potential.”
About Gurnet Point Capital
A unique fund founded by Ernesto Bertarelli and led by Christopher Viehbacher. Its mission is to help entrepreneurs build their businesses through the investment of long-term capital as well as the experience and expertise of the fund’s team. Gurnet Point Capital invests across all stages of product development through to commercialization, and represents a hybrid of venture and private equity investment strategies. These strategies rely on the core tenet that even the earliest of technologies needs to present a clear commercial thesis, both benefiting patients and the healthcare system as a whole. The fund has an initial allocation of $2 billion.
About Christopher A. Viehbacher
Christopher A. Viehbacher is the Managing Partner of Gurnet Point Capital, the healthcare and life sciences investment fund established in 2013. The former CEO of Sanofi, during his six year tenure with the company Viehbacher completed over $30 billion of acquisitions, including Genzyme. Prior to Sanofi, Viehbacher spent 20 years with GlaxoSmithKline, ultimately as President of GSK’s North American pharmaceutical division. He was a Member of the Board of Directors of GSK plc and Co-President of GSK’s Portfolio Management Board. Viehbacher began his career with Price Waterhouse Coopers and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Viehbacher has been Chairman of the Board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), as well as President of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. He has received France’s highest civilian honor, the Legion d’Honneur.
About Dr. Robert Armstrong
Rob Armstrong is the Chief Executive Officer, board member, and co-founder of Boston Pharmaceuticals. With over twenty years of experience working in research and development in the biopharmaceutical industry, Rob has been involved in the discovery and clinical development of programs across multiple disease areas.
Rob created and led the small molecule R&D organization at Amgen in Thousand Oaks, CA. He subsequently co-led research at Lilly as Vice President of Global Medicinal Chemistry, was head of the translational medicine group Chorus, and was Vice President of Global External R&D. He served on the finance and scientific advisory boards of Lilly BioVentures.
Prior to working in industry, Rob was a tenured Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California at Los Angeles. Rob received his BS in chemistry at UCSD, his Ph.D. in chemistry at CSU, and was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Harvard.
Rob is an advisor to Gelesis and serves on the board of directors of early stage biotechnology companies Curza Therapeutics, Cloud Pharmaceuticals, Entrega Bio, and Artax Biopharma.