[Ip-health] NIH Preparing to Give CAR Treatment Patents to Investors Behind Sovaldi and Soliris
claire.cassedy at keionline.org
Fri Nov 30 13:59:07 PST 2018
NIH Preparing to Give CAR Treatment Patents to Investors Behind Sovaldi and
Posted on November 30, 2018 by Claire Cassedy
In a recent Federal Register notice, the National Institutes of Health
(NIH) has announced its intent to grant an exclusive patent license on
chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapies for the treatment of certain
cancers to ElevateBio, a company located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The company has no web page, a Twitter account created in April 2018, and
no SEC filings. When asked, the NIH refused to provide the names of key
staff, board members, or investors.
We have gathered some information about the company. According to the
Massachusetts business entity registry, ElevateBio is an LLC, first
organized in November 2017 in Delaware, and registered in Massachusetts on
June 15, 2018. The Massachusetts filling listed four managers: Ansbert
Gadicke, David Hallal, Morana Jovan-Embiricos, and Vikas Sinha. Below are a
few notes on each manager.
Dr. Ansbert Gadicke co-founded MPM Capital, a healthcare investment firm
that invests in companies that develop new therapeutics, particularly for
oncology. He was the lead investor and served on the board of BioMarin
Pharmaceuticals, Idenix Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Merck & Co.), Radius
Health and Mitobridge (acquired by Astellas), and most notably, Pharmasset,
which developed the hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment Sovaldi before being
bought by Gilead Sciences for $11.2 billion.
David Hallal is an executive partner at Dr. Gadicke’s MPM Capital. Prior to
joining the investment firm, he was CEO of Alexion Pharmaceuticals which
developed Soliris, one of the most expensive drugs on the market.
Soliris is classified as an orphan drug, and treats paroxysmal nocturnal
hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). As of
May 2017, it was typically priced from $500,000 to $700,000 per year.
Dr. Morana Jovan-Embiricos previously served as as a Partner at MPM
Capital, before founding F2 Ventures and F3 Ventures, biotech venture
capital funds. She has led and managed a series of biotech investment funds
in the US and in Europe. Dr. Jovan-Embiricos, along with Dr. Gadicke, serve
as a members of the Board of Directors of TCR2 Therapeutics, an
immuno-oncology company that focuses on T cell receptor-based cellular
Vikas Sinha is also an executive partner at MPM Capital, and previously
worked alongside David Hallal, as CFO at Alexion Pharmaceuticals. He has
also served in many roles at Bayer, including as Vice President and CFO of
Bayer Pharmaceuticals in the US, and Vice President and CFO of Bayer
Yakuhin in Japan.
Considering the background of ElevateBIO’s founders, the NIH can expect the
price for the new CAR T treatment to be aggressive, unless the NIH includes
provisions in the license to restrain the prices.
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