Distinguished Pharma Leaders and Experienced Investors Join Together in Nuvelution Pharma, Inc.
- Nuvelution Focuses on Increasing R&D Output through Risk-Sharing Collaborations -
SAN FRANCISCO, California, July 13, 2015 -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Nuvelution Pharma, Inc. announced today that the Company has closed an initial round of investment provided by Clarus Ventures and Novo A/S. Nuvelution will leverage its extensive knowledge, experience and relationships in the Pharma and Biotech industries to deploy capital in collaborations ranging from $50 - $500 million with companies where product development can be facilitated by both capital and human resources. The initial investment will fund operations. Nuvelution has assembled a preeminent board of directors and advisors, including Arthur Higgins, Chris Viehbacher, and Dr. Jeremy Levin, former CEOs of Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi, and Teva, respectively, as well as Paul Sekhri, CEO of Lycera and former Global BD and Chief Strategy Officer of Teva. Further, Dr. Barry Gertz, former Sr. VP of Global Clinical Development at Merck, and Dr. James Cornwall, former VP Corporate Development for Quintiles, have joined Nuvelution as Chief Physician Scientist and Chief Business Officer, respectively.
Sanford S. Zweifach, Nuvelution’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our goal is to make our risk-sharing collaboration approach to clinical development an essential tool for pharma and biotech companies to improve their R&D productivity. The individuals involved in Nuvelution bring a unique understanding as to the ideal way to structure these collaborations given their extensive industry experience.”
“We are entering a new era of pharmaceutical innovation and the flexibility offered through Nuvelution’s R&D risk-sharing collaborations and development expertise, provide companies an important weapon to stay ahead of the competition,” said Mr. Higgins.
As part of the financing, Nicholas Simon and Dr. Nicholas Galakatos, Managing Directors at Clarus Ventures, and Dr. Martin Edwards and Thomas Dyrberg, Senior Partners at Novo A/S, are joining the Nuvelution Board. Clarus and Novo A/S have significant financial resources and extensive experience in structuring collaborative vehicles which are rewarding to all parties “We are excited to be backing this distinguished group of industry leaders and expand our ability to finance drug development in a risk-sharing approach,” stated Mr. Simon.
Through leadership positions with large healthcare developers and manufacturers in both the U.S. and Europe, Arthur J. Higgins has gained deep knowledge of the healthcare market and the strategies for developing and marketing products in this highly regulated area. Currently a consultant with Blackstone Healthcare Partners of The Blackstone Group, Mr. Higgins previously served as Chairman of the Board of Management and as CEO of Bayer HealthCare AG, a developer and manufacturer of human and animal health products. While at Bayer, Mr. Higgins led the restructuring of the company, including the acquisition and integration of Schering AG and the over-the-counter medicines business of Roche. Previously, he was Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Enzon Pharmaceuticals, and prior to this, he spent 14 years with Abbott Laboratories, attaining the position of President of the Pharmaceutical Products Division. Mr. Higgins is a member of the Board of Directors of EcoLab, Endo International plc, and Zimmer Inc. He graduated from Strathclyde University, Scotland, and holds a BS in Biochemistry.
Jeremy Levin, DPhil, MB BChir, has more than 25 years of experience in the global pharmaceutical industry, leading companies and people to develop and commercialize medicines that address compelling medical needs worldwide. Dr. Levin is Chief Executive Officer of Ovid Therapeutics, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies for rare and orphan diseases of the brain. Prior to joining Ovid, Dr. Levin served as President and CEO of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE:TEVA). Previously, he was a member of the Executive Committee of Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) where he had global responsibilities for strategy, alliances and transactions. In this role, he devised and led BMY’s “String of Pearls” strategy, which resulted in the transformation of the company. Prior to BMY, he was Head of Global Business Development and Strategic Alliances at Novartis (NYSE:NVS). In this role, he established and managed strategic collaborations with multiple companies around the world. Dr. Levin has served on a number of public and private company boards, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Biocon Ltd. (NSE:BIOCON) and privately-held ZappRx. Dr. Levin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology and was awarded a Masters of Arts and a Doctorate in the structure of Chromatin from the University of Oxford. He also received Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees from the University of Cambridge. He has practiced internal medicine at University Hospitals in England, Switzerland and South Africa.
Paul Sekhri is President and Chief Executive Officer of Lycera, a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing breakthrough immune modulatory medicines. Prior to joining Lycera, Mr. Sekhri was Senior Vice President, Integrated Care at Sanofi, where he led the creation of innovative solutions and business models to meet patient needs. Previously, he served as Group Executive Vice President, Global Business Development and Chief Strategy Officer at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Prior to this, Mr. Sekhri was Operating Partner and Head, Biotech Ops Group at TPG Biotech, the life science venture arm of the global private investment firm TPG, where he was responsible for a portfolio of more than 50 life science firms. Previously, Mr. Sekhri founded and was President and Chief Executive Officer of Cerimon Pharmaceuticals, focused on autoimmune diseases and pain management, and prior to that, he was President and Chief Business Officer of Ariad Pharmaceuticals. Earlier in his career, he held senior positions at Novartis Pharma AG, including as Senior Vice President and Head, Global Search and Evaluation and M&A. He also held managerial positions at Millipore Corporation and PerSeptive Biosystems. Mr. Sekhri has served as a director of numerous private and public company boards, including KAI Pharmaceuticals, Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Macrogenics, PatientSafe Solutions, and Tandem Diabetes, and as board advisor to IMS Health. Currently, he is director of Veeva Systems Inc., Enumeral Biomedical Holdings Inc., and Pharming N.V. Mr. Sekhri completed postgraduate studies in clinical anatomy and neuroscience at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine and received his BS degree from the University of Maryland.
Chris Viehbacher brings more than 25 years of healthcare experience to Nuvelution, most recently serving as CEO of Sanofi. During Mr. Viehbacher's six-year tenure, Sanofi underwent a significant business transformation, completing over $30 billion of acquisitions, most notably that of Genzyme, and developed a novel approach to building a pipeline of new medicines. Prior to joining Sanofi, he had a 20year career with GlaxoSmithKline, ultimately as President of GSK's North American pharmaceutical division. Mr. Viehbacher also was a Member of the Board of Directors of GSK plc in London and Co-President of GSK's Portfolio Management Board. He also co-chaired the CEO Roundtable on Neglected Diseases with Bill Gates, which led to over 1.3 billion people being treated for such diseases free of charge, and he continues to chair the CEO Roundtable on Cancer. Mr. Viehbacher was the 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. Mr. Viehbacher began his career with Price Waterhouse Coopers, after graduating with a degree in Commerce at Queen’s University in Canada.
Sanford Zweifach has 25 years' experience in the life sciences industry, with extensive background in corporate partnering, business development, operations, P&L, private and public investing, and capital raising. He is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nuvelution Pharma, Inc. Previously, Mr. Zweifach served as CEO of Ascendancy Healthcare, Inc., which he also founded, and before this, he was a Partner at Reedland Capital Partners, a boutique investment bank, where he headed its life sciences M&A and advisory efforts. Prior to this, he was CEO of Pathways Diagnostics, a biomarker development company. Previously, Mr. Zweifach was Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director of Bay City Capital, a merchant bank specializing in the biotech and the life science industry, where he was responsible for oversight of the firm's finance department, as well as President of the firm's M&A and financing division. Prior to this, he was President and CFO of Epoch Biosciences, which was acquired by Nanogen in 2004. Currently, he is a director of Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Lyric Pharmaceuticals, and Viventia Bio. Earlier in his career, Mr. Zweifach was a Certified Public Accountant for Coopers & Lybrand and held various investment banking positions focusing on biotech. He received his B.A. in Biology from UC San Diego and his M.S. in Human Physiology from UC Davis.
James Cornwall, PhD, brings more than 25 years of clinical development, operational and strategy experience across preclinical, exploratory and late phase in large pharma, biotech and CRO, including strategic portfolio management. Dr. Cornwall most recently served as Vice President of Corporate Development for Quintiles, the world’s largest pharmaceutical services provider. During his tenure at Quintiles, he oversaw the development of strategic partnerships with biopharmaceutical companies and financial institutions across the US, EU, and Asia Pacific region. He also worked for Quintiles private equity investment groups PhamaBio Development and NovaQuest, where he led and managed multiple transactions with biopharma companies. Dr. Cornwall gained a BSc in Pharmacology and a PhD in Neuropharmacology from the University Of Bristol, and completed postgraduate training in Executive Leadership at the University of North Carolina Kenan Flagler Business School.
Barry Gertz, MD, PhD, is Venture Partner at Clarus Ventures and Chief Medical Advisor for Relay Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Clarus-backed development company. Prior to joining Clarus, Dr. Gertz was Senior Vice President of Global Clinical Development at Merck, where he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of Merck's clinical research from exploratory clinical pharmacology to global Phase 3 trials and life cycle management. He was instrumental in the development and approval of more than 25 new drugs and vaccines, including six new approvals in 2014, as well as the blockbuster products Fosamax® and Januvia®. Dr. Gertz also has co-authored over a hundred scientific publications and articles. Dr. Gertz received an MD, PhD, as well as BA, from the University of Pennsylvania. He trained in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and held fellowship and faculty positions at University of California San Francisco.
About Clarus Ventures
Clarus Ventures is a leading global investment firm dedicated to life sciences. Founded in 2005 by a team of accomplished investment and operating professionals, Clarus manages over $1.7 billion invested in more than 50 private and public companies in the biotechnology, medical device and diagnostic spaces. In every investment, Clarus employs a hands-on philosophy and adheres to investment principles that are founded on core competencies in drug development, complex partnership structuring and the ability to adapt to an ever-changing investment landscape. Clarus strives to generate outstanding returns for its investors by identifying and financing innovative medicines that improve people's lives. Clarus has offices in Cambridge, MA, and South San Francisco, CA. For more information please visit: www.clarusventures.com.
About Novo A/S
Novo A/S is a Danish limited liability company fully owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and is the holding company in the Novo Group responsible for managing the Foundation's assets, which are currently valued at more than USD 30 billion. Besides being the major shareholder in Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S, Novo A/S provides seed and venture capital to development stage companies, and takes significant ownership positions in well-established companies within life sciences, and manages a broad portfolio of financial assets. For more information visit: www.novo.dk
About Nuvelution Pharma
Nuvelution leverages its extensive knowledge, experience and relationships in the Pharma and Biotech industries to deploy capital in risk-sharing collaborations with companies where product development can be facilitated by both capital and human resources with the goal of making this model an essential tool for pharma and biotech companies to bring products to the market. www.nvtpharma.com
Contacts Nuvelution Pharma, Inc. Sandy Zweifach, 650-866-8065