Biogen just announced its acquisition of Stromedix for up to $562M.
Another solid M&A exit in biotech emphasizing how innovation matters. With a very different model than Avila Therapeutics, an exit we announced in January, Stromedix is a biology-focused, asset-centric company dedicated to fibrosis translational medicine, predominantly around a single antibody against integrin avb6, called STX-100. We’re going to be dosing our first patients in our Phase 2a Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis study this year.
Stromedix began life as an entrepreneur-driven, Atlas-incubated startup: in January 2006, Mike Gilman joined us as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence after leaving Biogen Idec with the aim of starting a fibrosis company, working closely with my partner Peter Barrett and former colleague Scott Silverman. The two-part thesis was that (a) fibrosis was a huge unmet medical need that was being lost inside big Pharma’s therapeutic area organizations because it cuts across lots of diseases; and (b) by using creative translational medicine biomarker strategies, an efficacy signal in Phase 2a could be detected earlier than the years required to see changes to “harder” clinical endpoints. Mike Gallatin, founder of Calistoga and venture partner at Frazier Healthcare, was also a co-founder. Looking back, it’s clear this general thesis was right: over the past year or so, fibrosis has become one of the hottest sectors in biotech with the acquisitions of Arresto by Gilead, Amira by BMS, and Excaliard by Pfizer, to name of few.
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