Sector News

Ex-FDA commissioner joins former Elan team at VC fund

October 11, 2017
Life sciences

Malin has named Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., as its chief medical adviser. The appointment puts the former FDA commissioner in a position to work with Immunocore, Poseida Therapeutics and the other cancer biotechs Malin has backed.

Von Eschenbach has worked with Malin since around the time Kelly Martin and other former Elan executives set up the fund and pulled off a €330 million ($390 million) IPO in 2015. But that earlier position on Malin’s scientific advisory board limited the extent to which von Eschenbach worked with the fund’s management team and portfolio companies.

Malin’s appointment of von Eschenbach as chief medical adviser will see the man who ran the FDA from 2006 to 2009 take a more active role in its activities, particularly those relating to its oncology and immuno-oncology investments.

Biotechs in these fields represent some of the biggest bets made by Malin so far. The Irish VC shop has invested more than €70 million in British immuno-oncology star Immunocore and a further €27 million in West Coast CAR-T and gene therapy startup Poseida.

With Immunocore’s lead candidate now in a pivotal trial and Poseida’s BCMA CAR-T in the clinic, a man with von Eschenbach’s background could prove useful.

“Now is a great time for me to join in a formal role as the portfolio continues to mature towards clinical and regulatory milestones,” von Eschenbach said in a statement.

Malin needs Immunocore and Poseida to plot a smoother course past these milestones than some of its other bets have managed. The fair value of most of Malin’s investments is equal or slightly above the amount it put into the companies. But the fund’s performance is marred by Novan and Serenus.

The combined fair value of Malin’s investments in the two companies stood at €16.2 million as of the end of June. Malin has invested €59.6 million in the two companies. The fund’s share price is down close to 20% over the past year.

Martin took over as CEO of Novan in June after the company was rocked by late-phase setbacks. At the end of last month, Martin stepped down as CEO of Malin to spend more time working with some of its portfolio companies, including Novan and Poseida.

By Nick Paul Taylor

Source: Fierce Biotech

comments closed

Related News

March 2, 2024

Seeking blockbuster status, UCB eyes 4 new indications for psoriasis med Bimzelx in 2024

Life sciences

After 14 regulatory approvals on three continents last year, UCB is positioned to grow for “a decade-plus,” CEO Jean-Christophe Tellier said in the company’s full-year earnings press release. Meanwhile, eight regulatory reviews are ongoing.

March 2, 2024

Argenx goes again, ramping up unbranded campaign ahead of hoped-for label expansion

Life sciences

Vyvgart Hytrulo, the subcutaneous version of argenx’s FcRn blocker, is already approved in generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG). Supported by data published last year, the biotech has filed for approval in a second setting, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), and is now counting down the weeks until the FDA rules on its submission.

March 2, 2024

EuroAPI appoints new CEO and lays out restructuring plan as manufacturer’s losses mount

Life sciences

Overseeing the four-year plan, dubbed FOCUS-27, will be new chief executive officer Ludwig de Mot—an industry veteran with a track record at “companies undergoing transformation,” EuroAPI said in an earnings release Wednesday. De Mot, who will take up the reins on Friday, joined the company in January as EuroAPI’s chief transformation officer.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach